It's not Halloween season without a glowing jack-o'-lantern grinning from the porch. But if you carve a pumpkin too early, it might not have the same appeal on Halloween night. 

While a rotted pumpkin might have some extra spookiness, the smell and eventual clean up aren't exactly ideal.

Here are some tips for keeping your jack-o'-lantern fresh for as long as possible. 

How to pick the perfect pumpkin for carving

1. Clean the pumpkin before you carve it. 

Once your pumpkin is nice and gutted, spray the inside with 1 tablespoon of bleach mixed into a quart of water. This will kill any bacteria lurking inside. 

2. Use petroleum jelly on the carved edges. 

Lock in moisture by using petroleum jelly, olive oil, vegetable oil or hairspray to keep the pumpkin moisturized. Repeat daily. However, don't use an open flame in jack-o'-lantern afterward, as oils can be flammable. 

3. Don't use a candle. 

Even if you don't use oil in your pumpkin, try a glowstick or battery-operated votive. Intense heat speeds up the rotting process by drying out your pumpkin. 

RECIPE: Try these pumpkin pancakes this fall

4. Keep it out of extreme temperatures. 

If it freezes, the pumpkin will thaw and rot faster. jack-o'-lanterns also don't do well in the heat. Bring them inside when temperatures get too low or high. 

5. Cut the bottom instead of the top. 

According to the Farmers' Almanac, this gives the moisture a place to drain. It also makes it easier to place a light inside your jack-o'-lantern