I’ve already seen a ton of super-cute carved pumpkins this season. Halloween isn’t until this Thursday, so those pumpkins need to survive at least a few more days before getting all gooey and gloppy, right?

Keeping a carved pumpkin fresh is something people don’t always consider. I’ve experienced that rush to carve a pumpkin, only to find it half the pumpkin it was by Halloween.

Check out some tips for preserving a carved pumpkin below, courtesy of the Times Dispatch. Happy carving!

Tips for Preserving a Carved Pumpkin via TimesDispatch.com:

  • Mold and dehydration are the two main contributors to pumpkin rot. Prevent both by covering the carved areas and interior of pumpkin with petroleum jelly. This will keep the pumpkin from drying out and will slow the growth of mold.
  • Another option is to add a small amount of bleach to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray the pumpkin daily with the bleach mixture; the bleach fights mold while the water keeps the pumpkin from drying out too quickly.
  • Spray the pumpkin with a store-bought pumpkin-preservation spray. Make sure that it is environmentally friendly and nontoxic.

Note: Although these tips are great, a cut pumpkin will usually only last for a few days to a week, so cut that pumpkin right before your big Halloween bash.