It only takes 5 minutes of effort to make homemade aloe vera gel. See how to make aloe vera gel with a trip to the plant nursery or grocery store.
Oh. My. Goodness. Things are just a total mess these days, aren’t they? You can’t find hand sanitizer to save your life. And it’s a total pain trying to find rubbing alcohol. And now you can’t find aloe vera gel unless you want to pay a crazy amount for it on Amazon. We’re talking like $20 a 12 ounce bottle!
I’ve been getting a few messages here and there from folks making my Rubbing Alcohol Hand Sanitizer or Everclear Hand Sanitizer recipes who CANNOT find aloe vera gel anywhere. So today I’m going to share with you how to make your own aloe vera gel at home. It’s super easy and even if you can’t make it to the plant nursery, I have an alternative for you to source your aloe vera leaves!
Supplies needed to make Homemade Aloe Vera Gel.
- Large Aloe Vera Leaf or Aloe Plant
- Sharp Knife (I got this knife set and they are surprisingly good for a really cheap price!)
- Cutting Board
- Clean Jar or Bowl with a Lid (I’m using a Pyrex bowl from my kitchen)
If plant nurseries are open in your area, and if you feel comfortable safely visiting one, this is my first choice in sourcing your aloe vera leaves. Since the plant will continue to grow you’ll have a steady supply of leaves and who knows how long this business is going to go on for?
Suppose you can’t or don’t want to leave the house to get your aloe vera? You can purchase a pair of aloe plants from Costa Farms for a decent price, all things considered. I did find that I could purchase a small plant from Lowe’s online for only $5 but with a $125.00 truck delivery fee that’s not an option for me. Lowe’s is doing in store pickups, though, so you might be able to purchase online and only have to run to the store long enough to grab your order. Currently, if you purchase $45 of items from Home Depot you can get aloe plants delivered to your home in a little over a week. <– That makes a LOT more sense :)
Aloe Vera is Toxic to Cats and Dogs
Aloe vera needs warm conditions to thrive. If you live in a warmer climate you can grow aloe outside but if you don’t it will be an indoor plant. Take care when bringing an aloe vera plant into the home when you have pets because aloe is toxic to cats and dogs.
Don’t Want to Bring an Aloe Plant into Your Home?
In the produce section of grocery stores you might be able to purchase a large aloe leaf. I was able to order a 2-foot long aloe leaf for $1.99 from Walmart Grocery that was delivered to my house. The Texas Grocery Store H-E-B also carries aloe leaves for around $2, too. In all honesty I’m not sure if this is just a Texas thing, but I wouldn’t necessarily think so since it’s a pretty popular natural health remedy and laxative. If you live somewhere other than the Lone Star state let us know if you can find aloe leaves in your local grocery stores in the comments?
How to Make Homemade Aloe Vera Gel
If removing a leaf from an aloe plant, use a sharp knife to cut a single leaf as far down into the plant as you can.
Wash your leaf with cool water and dish soap. Pat dry. Also, take care of the spines on the leaf’s edges. I’ve never been cut by an aloe leaf but I can’t rule it out!
Remove the Aloin
Trim the bottom quarter to half inch of your leaf. Place the leaf cut side down into a small bowl. Prop your leaf up against a wall to achieve a 45° angle or something similar. I’m no math whiz so just wing it :)
Allow the aloe to sit this way for at least 15 minutes. A yellow sap called aloin will begin to drip out of the cut end and into the bowl. This sap is an irritant that can cause discomfort on your skin or diarrhea when ingested. I just cut my leaf, turned it and walked away for a few hours. You don’t need to babysit your leaf as this happens unless you need to keep pets away from it.
Also, if you cut open your leaf and it smells stinky it is starting to rot and that smell will NOT come off of your skin for anything. If your leaf stinks toss it out and try another.
Cutting your Aloe Leaf
Slice off the top 2-4 inches from the aloe leaf.
Cut away the sides of the leaf including the spines.
Carefully slice the leaf in half length-wise. See all that aloe vera goo? Yay!
Turn the wider end of the leaf toward you and use a spoon or a sharp knife to trim the aloe gel away from the green outer part of the leaf. If using a knife be very careful. The gel is slippery and your knife can easily slip away from you. If concerned, you can use a spoon to scrape away the gel (similar to removing the flesh from an avocado).
As you remove the aloe vera from the leaf place it in your clean jar or bowl. Take care to remove any green bits of the outside of the leaf from the gel.
Store unused homemade aloe vera gel in the refrigerator.
How to Make Homemade Aloe Vera Gel Smooth
To make it nice and smooth you can puree your aloe in a blender. Just make sure your blender is super clean and that’s it! :)
- Sharp Knife
- Cutting Board
- Bowl with a Lid
- If necessary, cut a large aloe leaf from the plant with a sharp knife as far into the plant as you can.
- Cut quarter to half an inch from the fat end of the leaf and place cut end into a small bowl. Allow the leaf to sit for at least 15 minutes to aloe the aloin (sap), which is an irritant, time to seep out.
- Cut away the top 2-4 inches of the aloe leaf (the skinny part, depending on its size). Carefully slice the sides of the leaf to remove the spines. Carefully slice the leaf in half.
- Using a knife or a spoon, remove the aloe vera gel from the green outer part of the leaf. Transfer the gel to a clean bowl with a lid.
- Store any unused homemade aloe vera gel in the refrigerator.