Halloween hack: Prolong the life of cut pumpkins with petroleum jelly

VaselineKieransma passes along another jack-o'-lantern tip:

I haven't tried this (yet) but recently read that a jack-o-lantern will last much longer if you coat the cut edges with petroleum jelly.

Oh, and thanks to the costume swap hack, my almost two y.o. has his choice between a lion and a dinosaur. I'm going as a witch (thanks to the Goodwill) so if i can talk my husband into a wardrobe costume (?) we'll have the Narnia Chronicles down pat. Happy Halloween!

More: Halloween hacks


  1. Suzanne says

    After dealing for several years with moldy, rotting jack-o-lanterns (a quality my son actually loved), we’ve started a new Halloween tradition of carving our pumpkins the day or weekend before Halloween. I don’t mind the shrunken-head look some of them get after a few days, but the moldy squishy stuff… Ick.

  2. Shannon says

    I got married on Halloween 4 years ago & we had pumpkins carved w/ table numbers as our centerpieces. I reaserched preservation methods all over the net & decided on vaseline. Cost effective & readily available.
    2 days before hand, we carved them all & coated the entire insides & cut edges w/ vaseline. On our wedding day they were still perfect.
    The bleach is a good idea- good for a few. However i would not have wanted to set up enough bleach vats for 15+ pumpkins!

  3. Jill in Atlanta says

    Jennifer- thanks for the link- interesting science experiments there. I’ve got a “control pumpkin” already sprouting mold on Day 2. I hope we can even touch it by Halloween.

  4. Pam says

    Another endorsement of vaseline here. Several years ago I worked at a flower shop and did their logo plus some pretty elaborate carvings each year. What I did was rub vaseline just on the cut surfaces and any extra on my hands got rubbed on the outside surface of the pumpkin to give it a nice finish. I never tried to coat the inside of the pumpkin.

    I have to say, though, the pumpkins which were displayed in the front cooler faired the best, sometimes lasting up to three weeks. When not on display, if you can refrigerate your pumpkin it will help it stay fresh longer.

  5. Kevin says

    Good god! Please be careful – vasoline is highly flammable and pumpkins already start many fires around Halloween.