Thoroughly gutting and cleaning the pumpkin before you start will make for a longer-lasting carving. But after you carve, Ryan Wickstrand of Zombie Pumpkins
suggests sealing in moisture on cut edges by applying a coat of white glue. JP of Jammin' Pumpkins
recommends applying petroleum jelly to carved edges to prevent moisture loss. "I like to spray Lysol on the whole carving and inside the whole pumpkin to keep the pumpkin-killing bacteria away," says Stoney of Stoneykins
. Masterpiece Pumpkins'
Gene Granata recommends Pumpkin Dunk'n
(about $5), a preservative soak that promises to add as much as two weeks to the life of your carving. Meanwhile, 3D carver Scott Cummins of Pumpkin Gutter
recommends bagging and cooling your work. "After your pumpkin has been displayed for a few hours and you notice some drying, you can temporarily revive it by completely submerging it in chilled water for a couple of hours. I put a tiny bit of bleach in the water," he says.
One of Cummins' creations spends the day bagged and iced, and comes back out again for nighttime display.