My first tip is to make the right selection. Be sure to pick out the best pumpkin possible! To do this, chose a pumpkin that is firm and avoid those with bruising and other blemishes.
Next you want to decide if you are going to throw a pumpkin carving party or just keep them uncarved for a fabulous fall decor accent piece. If you choose to carve your pumpkin, be sure to remove all of the insides and clean it throughout, getting every strand out. Whether you carve your pumpkin or leave it whole, you will want to soak your pumpkin in a bleach water mixture (1-2 TSP per gallon of water) leave overnight then rinse.
Another great mixture to try is Bleach, Water, Dish Soap, and Petroleum Jelly (or matte sealer)
1. Prepare 10 parts water, 1 part bleach, and one squirt of dish soap in a bathtub/large bucket/kitchen sink.
2. Roll the pumpkins around to coat all sides. Then, situate the pumpkins with their stem facing down into the mixture. Make sure to wear gloves!
3. Let the pumpkins sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Remove the pumpkins and dry them with a cloth.
5. Take a cloth and dip into petroleum jelly. Wipe the petroleum jelly on all areas of the pumpkin. An alternative to use instead of petroleum jelly is spraying the pumpkins with a coat of matte sealer!
* Prepare a spray bottle with 10 parts water and 1 part bleach. Spray on all areas of the pumpkin every 2-3 days.