The aloe vera plant produces a gel that is used in home remedies for conditions that range from sunburns to cold sores. While snapping off a leaf and squeezing out the gel is handy for cuts or abrasions, it wastes a lot of the useful gel. Storing aloe vera gel is a straightforward task and can help you keep a ready supply of aloe vera gel on hand and prepared for use.
Things You'll Need
Cut off one of the outermost leaves of your aloe vera plant using a sharp knife. Choose a leaf that is thick and green and cut it at a slight angle, relatively close to the base of the plant.
Stand the aloe leaf cut-end down in a cup for about 15 minutes. This lets the latex (sap) drip out of the plant. The latex of the aloe vera plant is a laxative and needs to be removed before storage. There may be no latex dripping out if the leaf is small.
Cut off the tip of the aloe vera leaf and slice off the serrated edges down the two sides.
Lay the aloe vera leaf flat on the cutting board.
Slice through the meaty part of the aloe vera leaf so that you can separate the front and the back of the leaf.
Lay the two parts of the leaf cut side up on the cutting board.
Use a spoon to scoop out the clear gel that is clinging to the inside of the leaf. Scrape it out lightly, but avoid pressing too hard, or you might get some latex as well.
Place the gel in a food-safe plastic container.
Add a drop of vitamin E oil and a drop of grapefruit seed oil to the gel to avoid discoloration.
Close the container and store it in the refrigerator until you need it. It will keep for about 3 weeks.
If you need to use undiluted aloe vera gel, without the additives of vitamin E oil and grapefruit seed oil, you must use it while it is fresh from the leaf.