How To Make Your Farm Fresh Pumpkins Last Longer

2 Materials
2 Hours

I’ve been seeing all these tips and tricks on Pinterest for how to make your pumpkins last longer, so I figured I would try it out this year. Can you believe I have never done this before? I always would just buy pumpkins and place them out on my porch, without doing any prep work! But it really is so easy to take these steps below in order to make them last a little while longer for the season. I can’t wait to see how long mine hold up! Keep on reading to see just what I did!

Washing Your Pumpkins

The first thing I did was to wash my pumpkins off. I just used a little Dawn dish soap and hot water. I scrubbed them real good to make sure I got all the dirt of of them. Did you know that leaving the dirt on them causes the bacteria to grow on the pumpkin which will ultimately cause it to rot faster?? Cause I sure didn’t and I did not want that to happen this year. There’s really nothing more disgusting than a rotted pumpkin!

Give Your Pumpkins a Bleach Bath

After your pumpkins are all nice clean, now it’s time to let them soak in a bleach bath. You could either use a sink or a tub for this, but I opted for a sink since I did not have that many pumpkins to begin with. And plus, it wouldn’t take so long to fill up my sink versus my bathtub.

A good rule of thumb for a bleach bath is to use 1 tsp (or capful) of bleach per gallon of water. Once I had the bleach water ready, I placed the pumpkins in. And also, did you know that pumpkins float?! Which is so crazy to me because they are so heavy! But anyway, I let them soak for about 5 minutes and then flipped them over (since they were floating) to get the other side for another 5 minutes.

I’ve read differing opinions on how long to let your pumpkins soak in a bleach bath too. I’ve seen 5 minutes, 30 minutes, and even an hour. So I am not exactly sure which one is considered “the best” but I figured I would just share with you all what I did exactly.

Dry Your Pumpkins Off

After you let your pumpkins soak for however long you want to, you just need to dry them off. I just rubbed them down real good with a towel and then placed them outside in the sun for a little bit before I started decorating the porch with them.

Another way to make your pumpkins last even longer is to add epoxy to them after they are done drying too. I did not have any on hand, however, so I did not personally do that this time. But, I may try to do that next year and see how that goes too!

Style Your Pumpkins!

I put my pumpkins on my porch as you can see here. I am so happy with how they turned out and I look forward to seeing how long they will last me this year after doing this trick. Also, remember if you do this too, don't throw your pumpkins out in the yard or field where an animal could get to them. Since they have been soaked in bleach, the animal could get harmed if they eat it. So just be sure to throw them in the trash instead!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Kgaletin
    on Oct 12, 2020

    Can you still eat and/or compost a pumpkin that has sat in bleach? I try not to create more garbage than absolutely necessary.

  • Phylis
    on Oct 13, 2020

    How do you keep squirrels and chipmunk from eating them -- I have tried red pepper and shellac-- still eat them and leave a mess

    • Mi
      on Oct 13, 2020

      Vinegar is better in case any wildlife eats your pumpkins. Bleach will make them ill

  • Granny
    on Oct 15, 2020

    I could deduce the majority of answers were made by "snowflakes". Do you think we should tell them that their "city" water is cleaned by using chlorine? (bleach)

    Many years of pollution by factories, farmers and citizens, it is a wonder we have any wildlife! I do agree the vinegar will work also.

    • DarthPagan
      on Nov 6, 2020

      Well I wouldn't call them snowflakes. That seems needlessly pejorative and inflammatory.

      The actual point is pretty spot on. City water has chlorine in it, that's why you can't use city water for fish without treating it, or letting it offgas. (though if it uses chloramine (iirc) you have to dechlorinate it, as it does not evaporate into the air.

Join the conversation

3 of 30 comments
  • Sibyl
    on Oct 22, 2020

    Do you realize there isn’t a pumpkin in the batch, because they are delicious squash?

  • Thea
    on Nov 28, 2020

    In South Africa people used to put them on their roofs in the sun and wind. Not sure whether it was to keep the galvanized sheeting down or to keep them out of the way.

    • Thea
      on Nov 28, 2020

      They are not used for decorative purposes.😉

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