Halloween TikTok Trend Sees People Using Power Washers to Quickly Carve Pumpkins

With Halloween just a matter of weeks away, jack-o-lanterns will soon be taking pride of place on many doorsteps, and one viral trend has provided an easy way to carve the spooky faces.

Not for the faint of heart, the trend uses a power washer to cut through the pumpkin's skin and carve out the features. Within a matter of seconds, a surprisingly impressive face is added to the festive cultivar.

Various users have been sharing their attempts at the technique, providing fun for kids and adults, but the trend's originator has also issued a safety warning to Newsweek.

TikTok user Nick, @flatriverrustics, may not be the first person to try the technique, with YouTube videos dating back to 2016, but he ignited the ongoing TikTok trend.

On October 4, the pressure cleaning business owner shared his unconventional use of the machine to TikTok and has since gained over 3 million views for it. In the video, Nick power washes a face into the pumpkin using a "0-degree" red tip on the machine, which is sat on a garden chair.

"One day I got home from work and my wife wanted to carve some pumpkins, so naturally I wanted to see how it would work with the pressure washer," he told Newsweek. "It turned out to work pretty decently. The video is actually from last year so I don't have any pictures of the back, but it was still mostly intact."

"I put it on my TikTok just because I thought it was funny and was really surprised when it took off like it did. 3.3 million views and a ton of shares was not expected," he said.

In the 10 days since the original was posted, an influx of other users have also tried out the trend, including Jana Brown under the handle @whiskeychicken00.

Carved pumpkin with a power washer
Jana Brown's pumpkin carving. Jana Brown

Three days ago she tried it out with her kids and was more than pleased with the results. "The outcome was amazing," she told Newsweek. "Especially to watch it ooze, the kids loved that part."

For Brown, the insides hurling out of the smile made for an even more spooky look, drawing comparisons to the pumpkin throwing up. "The second one we injected with food coloring to make him puke green and that turned out super cool," she said.

"I would totally recommend this to people who want a quick alternative to carving a pumpkin the old-fashioned way," she added. "Make sure you are using a heavy-duty tip and are spraying straight, not down at an angle."

Viewers voiced concerns in most videos about the back of the pumpkin, writing that the back was likely covered in holes too. There is some discrepancy over which method is the most effective for preventing holes in the back, with some suggesting closer is best and others preferring to spray from afar.

Brown told Newsweek that her trick is making sure the tip of the power washer is close to the pumpkin: "You need to be close to the pumpkin with the tip by a few inches. The first couple we did had bigger holes in the back the further you got away from it."

While power washer Nick said that he would assume "if you hold it close it would be more likely to just blow through the back of the pumpkin."

Despite it being fun for kids, the trend's creator explained that it is vital adults supervise the activity, due to the strength of power washers, especially when used with a narrow nozzle.

"They're actually a lot more dangerous than people think. With a commercial machine and the tip I used it can actually cut through skin. I'd say definitely not without adult supervision/ assistance," he said.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 6,057 people went to the ER with power washer-related injuries in 2014, so making sure you remain safe while power washing a pumpkin should be a top priority.