Manhattan takes fall décor seriously—with gourds, ghouls, cobwebs and, of course, lots of pumpkins lining the stoops of many New York City homes. Learn more about our five simple tricks to preserve your pumpkins for Halloween and beyond!

Pick a healthy pumpkin

The first step to preserving a pumpkin is picking the best possible fruit available. Avoid pumpkins with bruises, bugs, or broken stems. Picking the perfect (healthy) pumpkin will ensure all your preservation efforts are not in vain.

Don’t carve until the last minute

Once you carve up a pumpkin and the air hits the delicate inside, the decaying process is in full swing. To combat this, do not carve your pumpkin until the last moment possible! There is nothing worse than carving your pumpkin too early and seeing it become a sad pile of mush on your front stoop before Halloween night—ACL: always carve last!

Give your pumpkin a little bath

Once you get your healthy pumpkin home, close your sink drain and fill the sink with cold water and a cup of vinegar. Leave your pumpkin (uncarved) soaking in this wash from an hour to overnight. Pro tip: Put the bleach down. Bleach used to be a go-to for pumpkin preservation but it is fatal to the wildlife that may ingest your pumpkin if you leave it outside. After all, pumpkins are an edible fruit. Save a squirrel and use a vinegar soak instead. It’s an eco-friendly alternative that will kill all the nasty bacteria that lead to pumpkin decay.

Spray with clear gloss or WD40!

When you are ready to carve your pumpkin, it’s time to take out some clear spray paint or WD40. Since you washed your pumpkin with the vinegar solution, you are already starting with a pumpkin that is going to last a lot longer. Spraying it down with clear gloss, WD40 or even painting it with Mod Podge after carving will add an extra layer between bacteria, air, and your pumpkin.


Moisturizing your carved pumpkin with Vaseline—especially on the inside —will help it last longer! Simply let the first protective layer you applied during step #4 dry and then coat the inside and outside of your pumpkin with Vaseline. This will keep bugs and bacteria out—and give it a great shine! Have some nonperishable Halloween decorations that you need to pack away for next year? Proper storage is essential to prolonging the life of your Halloween décor. For self storage in New York City, trust Gotham Mini Storage—#1 in Manhattan mini storage and self-storage in NYC.