Halloween is on Thursday, so if you’re planning to carve some pumpkins this weekend, it might be a stretch to keep them looking fresh all week.  Here are five things you can do to help them last . . .

1.  Clean the inside thoroughly.  Make sure the inside of your pumpkin is as clean and dry as possible by getting ALL the pumpkin guts and seeds out before you carve it.  Leaving anything behind is what makes it get moldy fast.

2.  Apply some petroleum jelly or oil.  Putting Vaseline or vegetable oil on the carved edges will keep them moisturized and stop it from drying out.  But those are flammable, so DON’T put a candle inside your pumpkin . . . use a small light or glow stick instead.

3.  Store it in the fridge.  Put your pumpkin in a plastic bag in your refrigerator when you go to bed each night.  If there’s not enough room, use a cool, dark area of your house.

4.  Rehydrate the pumpkin daily.  Pumpkins can shrivel up when they run out of moisture.  Spraying it every day with water mixed with a few drops of bleach will keep it moist and stop bacteria from growing.

And if your pumpkin is starting to look REALLY sad, give it an ice bath overnight . . . and dry it thoroughly to prevent mold growth.

5.  Don’t carve it.  An uncarved pumpkin will stay fresh way longer than a carved one.  So if you want to be SURE your pumpkin will last until Halloween, paint it, draw on it, or look online for other ideas that don’t involve carving it.

(Woman’s Day / HGTV)