Aloe vera should generally be stored in the fridge or freezer; however, aloe vera is versatile and can be used for consumption, cosmetic, or even medicinal purposes.
Storing aloe vera isn’t particularly difficult, but depending on how you plan to use your aloe, there are different ways to store it.
This article explains everything there is to know about storing aloe vera to being able to tell if your aloe has gone bad. Just scroll on ahead and you’ll be an aloe vera expert in no time!
Table of Contents
How to Store Aloe Vera Properly
Whether it’s whole leaves or gel, once you’ve removed an aloe leaf from the plant, it will generally start to go bad after a few days if left at room temperature. Whole leaves generally last 1-2 days while the gel usually lasts only 1 day.
You can make your aloe vera last anywhere from several days to a few years depending on how you choose to preserve it. So it’s important to store your aloe properly to make it keep longer.
How to Store Aloe Vera Leaves
There are two options when it comes to storing whole leaves. You can store them in the fridge or freezer.
Storing Whole Aloe Vera Leaves in the Refrigerator
Be sure to wrap the aloe vera leaf properly before putting it in the fridge. You can do this with cling film. For a more sustainable option, you can also wrap it in a damp towel or reusable beeswax food wraps.
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Cover the exposed or cut end of the plant. This will help retain the leaves’ quality and moisture.
Storing Whole Aloe Vera Leaves in the Freezer
For more long-term storage, put your aloe leaves into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer. This will preserve their consistency and taste for months.
When you’re ready to use them, just defrost the aloe leaves by taking them out of the freezer and leaving them on the counter. They should defrost in a few hours.
Please note to never use a microwave or any heat. This will alter the structure of the plant and reduce its nutritional value.
How to Store Aloe Vera Gel
Whether you plan to consume aloe vera gel, apply it to sunburns, or use it in hand sanitizers, extracting the gel out of an aloe vera plant can help you get the most out of this plant. However, it’s all the more important to store it properly.
Storing Fresh Aloe Vera Gel in the Refrigerator
Once you’ve cut the gel of the leaf out and into appropriate sizes. Store it in the fridge inside an airtight container.
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Storing Fresh Aloe Vera Gel in the Freezer
When freezing the aloe vera gel, it’s recommended to blend and strain it. To not get a frozen chunk of aloe, freeze the blended aloe in an ice cube tray. Once they’re frozen, then transfer the cubes into an airtight container that’s freezer safe.
Like with whole leaves, never use heat! Let the gel defrost slowly on the counter.
Storing with other ingredients
If you wish, you can choose to mix your aloe vera gel with honey or vitamin C. Honey is antibacterial and vitamin C is a natural preservative.
When using honey, there are two options: covering the pieces of gel in honey; adding equal parts of honey and blended aloe vera gel, and mixing well. Make sure to store either prepared aloe and honey in an airtight container.
With vitamin C, you can simply mix your aloe vera gel with a crushed vitamin C tablet and then blend it for a few seconds. Generally, use 8g of vitamin C powder for every liter of aloe gel.
How Long Can Aloe Vera be Safely Stored?
How long aloe vera can be stored greatly varies by the type of aloe vera, its preparation, and the method of storage.
In its original container, store-bought aloe vera gel can be kept for 2-3 years at room temperature and up to 5 years when refrigerated or frozen. Depending on other ingredients or preservatives, this type of aloe gel could last longer.
With fresh aloe vera, the shelf life is much shorter. A whole aloe leaf will stay fresh for 1-2 days at room temperature. If wrapped or stored properly, it can last 1-2 weeks in the fridge and up to 8 months in the freezer.
Fresh Aloe vera gel, on the other hand, will only keep for 1 day at room temperature. If stored in the right container, aloe gel has a shelf-life of 10 days in the refrigerator, and 8 months in the freezer.
Additionally, adding certain additives to aloe gel such as honey or vitamin C can also prolong its shelf-life. With honey, the aloe vera gel can be kept at room temperature but can last up to 3 years if kept in the fridge. Moreover, when refrigerated with vitamin C, your aloe gel can last up to a month.
Since there are so many variables when it comes to storing aloe vera, it’s important to learn how to store it effectively to get the most out of it. By learning the best method to store your aloe, whichever way you want, you’ll be able to maximize its use and reap the benefits!
How To Tell If Aloe Vera Has Gone Bad
Although aloe vera can last a long time, it still goes bad eventually. Using gone-off aloe vera can cause stomach and/or skin irritation. Therefore, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of expired aloe vera.
- Discoloration: Aloe vera leaves are green. Without proper storage and protection, they’ll lose their color and a rusty brown callus will form on the leaves. Because this is a natural reaction of the aloe vera to protect its gel, this doesn’t always mean the leaves have gone bad.
- Foul Smell: If your aloe vera smells odd or different from when it was fresh, immediately toss it out.
- Wrinkles: Wrinkles are usually a sign that the structure inside the plant has changed. This is usually a good indication that they’ve lost quality and are unsuitable for use or consumption.
- Dried: Because aloe vera is mainly made up of water, a dried-up aloe plant means that it’s no longer fit for use.
- Mold: Mold is usually a sign of decomposition and rot. If you find any mold on your aloe vera, throw it out.
Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Aloe Vera
Double-check your containers and bags when storing your aloe vera. It’s easy to overlook an unclipped container lid or partially open freezer bag. This could result in all your aloe vera going bad. Another mistake to look out for is measurements. If you’re blending your aloe vera with an additive such as honey, make sure you have the right ratios; otherwise, your aloe vera might go off faster.
Keep Your Aloe Vera Fresh!
By now, you know all the basics of proper aloe vera storage. There are more nuances to explore, especially if you wish to mix it with other ingredients. However, if you planned to store aloe vera by itself then you won’t need anything apart from the advice provided here.
No matter how you use your aloe vera, now that you know how to store them properly!