Hailed as the “plant of immortality,” aloe vera is something we can’t get enough of. Chock-full of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, aloe vera, is now an essential element of alternative medicine and cosmetology.
Since growing succulents is the latest trend, why not grow your aloe vera plant and reap its health benefits, too?
Whether using aloe vera for skin troubles or beauty enhancement, most of us use only a part of the leaf and end up throwing away the rest, which is such a waste of such a valuable resource. It’s also a waste of money if you purchased the leaves rather than cutting them off your own plant.
Cutting an aloe vera leaf and extracting the gel can be a messy affair. So, you might want to do several at one time, which brings us to the need for storing aloe vera properly to avoid spoilage.
We tried some of the popular hacks found on the Internet and bring you the four ways to store aloe vera the right way.
- # Refrigerate
- Method 1: Store the Leaves
- Method 2: Store the Gel
- Method 3: Store the Gel Mixed with Honey
- # Freeze
Method 1: Store the Leaves
The easiest and perhaps the best way to store aloe vera is by storing the entire leaf. Since oxidation of the gel leads to faster spoilage, storing the whole leaf will keep the gel safe from exposure to air.
Single-Step Method: Wrap the aloe vera leaves in plastic wrap & refrigerate them
- Cut out a large sheet of plastic wrap.
- Wrap the aloe vera leaves in the plastic wrap and seal both ends.
- Store the sealed leaves in your refrigerator until needed.
Refrigerating the leaves will keep the aloe vera gel good for 20 to 25 days.
Method 2: Store the Gel
Since peeling and extracting the gel from an aloe vera leaf can be cumbersome, you may want to extract the gel in advance and store it. This way you can have the gel at your disposal, whether it is to treat sunburn or condition your hair.
Single-Step Method: Store aloe vera gel in an airtight jar in the refrigerator
- Extract the aloe vera gel from the leaf or leaves. If you are clueless about how to go about it, you can learn the right way to extract fresh aloe vera gel.
- Use a funnel to pour the gel into an airtight jar and screw on the lid tightly.
- Store the jar in your refrigerator.
Aloe vera gel will stay good for 6 to 7 days when kept refrigerated at all times.
Method 3: Store the Gel Mixed with Honey
Another way to store aloe vera gel is by mixing in some honey. Since honey contains sugar and produces hydrogen peroxide, it works as a bactericide to extend the shelf life of the gel. You can consume the blend as a healthy drink first thing in the morning or use it in face masks.
Things you’ll need:
- Fresh aloe vera gel – ¼ cup
- Honey – 1 tablespoon
Single-Step Method: Mix honey in aloe vera gel & refrigerate it in an airtight jar
- Add 1 tablespoon of honey for every ¼ cup of aloe vera gel.
- Use a motorized blender to whisk up the ingredients.
- Transfer the blend to an airtight jar.
- Secure the lid tightly and refrigerate it until needed.
Aloe vera gel mixed with honey will stay good for 10 to 15 days in the refrigerator.
Method 1: Store Gel Cubes
Freezing anything fresh can extend its shelf life by months. This is true for aloe vera gel. All you need to do is cut the thick gel into small cubes and freeze them in a ziplock baggie.
Step 1. Peel the skin off the aloe vera leaf & cut the gel into cubes
- Use a paring knife to slice off the serrated edges of the aloe vera leaf.
- Hold the leaf in your hand and begin peeling the skin off one side.
- Once done, peel the other side.
- Now, you should have a big chunk of aloe vera gel.
- Make a lengthwise slit in the middle of the chunk.
- Cut the big chunk crosswise to get smaller aloe vera cubes.
Step 2. Put the cubes in a ziplock baggie & freeze it
- Put the aloe vera gel cubes in a ziplock baggie.
- Push out all the air from the baggie and seal it.
- Pop the baggie into your freezer.
- To use the gel, simply take out the amount of aloe vera cubes that you need and let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Frozen aloe vera gel will stay good for up to 6 months.
- To store aloe vera, you can also add vitamins E or C to extend the shelf life. Add 8 grams of crystalline vitamin C for every liter of aloe vera gel. If using vitamin E oil, add 6000 IU per liter of aloe vera gel. Blend either of them with the gel and freeze it for up to 8 months.
- If your aloe vera pulp is runny, you can also freeze it in an ice cube tray.
- You can also add a few drops of essential oils, such as rosemary, lemon or lavender, to extend the shelf life of fresh aloe vera gel.
- If you have leftover aloe vera and are wondering what to do with it, try making a healthy aloe vera tea or juice.