5 homemade solutions to stop carved pumpkins going mouldy
Customer compares pumpkin prices at every main supermarket
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
It’s officially autumn when pumpkins start arriving in supermarkets and thousands descend upon local farms to choose the pumpkin they want to carve for Halloween. But, after making all the effort to turn the autumnal vegetable into something scary, how do you stop it from going mouldy whilst it waits for trick-or-treaters?
Since pumpkins are moist, any exposed areas inside will start to go mouldy very quickly.
There are several ways to stop the vegetable from rotting – using both chemical and natural solutions.
Warning: It is not advisable to eat the pumpkin after it has had a chemical or natural solution applied to the flesh, nor should you break it up and leave it out for wild animals, or place it in a compost bin or heap to rot. After Halloween, simply discard the pumpkin into a household rubbish bin to maximise safety for all.
Using peppermint soap or essential oil, create a solution with water.
Pour the mixture into a clean spray bottle and lightly spray the inside of the carved pumpkin.
Womansday.com explains: “Peppermint is a natural anti-fungal and will slow the decomposition process, significantly extending the life of your pumpkin.”
Another natural method to preserve a pumpkin is to use the ever-useful cleaning ingredient of vinegar.
Experts said: “To keep your pumpkins looking brand-new, just fill a large tub with 10 parts water and one part vinegar. Let the gourds soak for 20 to 30 minutes in the bath, then pull them out and let them air-dry.”
This won’t make the pumpkins last forever, of course, but it will help them stay fresh and new-looking for longer and it’s safe for any pets or wildlife.
If your pumpkin is starting to wilt, give it an ice bath overnight for some serious rehydration.
Once you take it out, dry it thoroughly to prevent mould growth.
Before starting, wear gloves to protect the hands, and ensure all other areas of skin are covered. Complete the cleaning in an area that can be wiped and cleaned down after. Children shouldn’t take part in this.
Pumpkin Patches and More suggest cleaning the surface of the pumpkin and the interior with a teaspoon of bleach to one-quarter of water.
Putting the solution in a spray bottle makes it easier to apply the solution to the whole pumpkin – this will sterilise the flesh and kill any existing bacteria. Let it dry fully.
Alternatively, submerge a carved pumpkin into a sink of water and bleach – two or three cups of bleach – and leave it to soak for an hour or two.
As an extra layer of protection, apply Vaseline on the carved edges – this will keep them moisturised and prevent the edges from drying out quickly.
If you don’t have Vaseline, try vegetable oil or WD-40 works well too.
But since all three are flammable, don’t put a candle inside your pumpkin — use a fake candle (known as a flameless votive) instead.
Also, don’t put on Vaseline or oil before you clean the pumpkin with bleach, either. Since Vaseline is trapping the moisture in the vegetable, it will trap the bacteria along with it if you don’t clean the pumpkin first.
While pumpkins that are yet to be carved can last for as long as three months, if they are kept in a well-ventilated area, the carved equivalents have a shorter lifespan.
Once carved, they are said to only last three-to-five days, or up to a fortnight if kept cool.
Source: Read Full Article