Homemade Hand Scrub for Gardeners

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The winter cold can completely wreck your skin. No need to invest in pricey lotions and potions with unknown ingredients. Make a gentle Gardener’s Hand Scrub of your own to bring a bit of glow back to your skin!

Homemade Hand Scrub

Gardening time is one of my favorite times of year but it always leave my hands looking rather rough, brown, or even sometimes stained with green (that just means I’m doing it right, right?). After putting up with rough gardener hands for a few years, I decided that a good homemade hand scrub to use when I came inside from gardening was a must. Not only would it clean my hands during the summer garden season, but it would help repair dry and damaged skin during the cold winter months too!

–If you’re tracking in mud on your feet too, you may want to consider making this easy and frugal Outdoor Foot Washing Station for just outside of your door. 

This homemade gardener’s hand scrub recipe is just what you need to keep your winter or summer hands moisturized and exfoliated. It’s incredibly simple and takes only a few minutes to put together, you will wonder why you haven’t made it already!

If you are gardening or planning on doing any preserving this year, you NEED the Gardening and Preserving Journal!  Get your own copy of this wonderful spiral bound journal here to start planning your garden.

Homemade Hand Scrub Recipe

What You Need:

What To Do:

Making this scrub is very simple for something that is so effective! Simply use a small bowl and melt your coconut oil to a liquid. Add in the sugar, salt, and essential oil if desired.

Stir all of the ingredients together until the mixture is fully combined. Place the scrub into a jar or another airtight container and store it in a cool place until you are ready to use it.

To use the scrub, simply scoop out a small amount into your hands and scrub over dirty garden stained hands. Rinse with warm water and pat dry with a towel. If your hands feel greasy after use you can rinse them again with regular hand soap.

–If you like this recipe you might also enjoy our recipe for this Sea Salt Body Scrub. Or for something a bit more “fancy” you may want to try my Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Homemade Body Scrub. It smells so good!

Need a quick gift idea? Place your homemade hand scrub in a glass jar with a fabric square on top and you have a homemade gem that anyone would love to receive!

–Looking for more gift ideas for gardeners? Check out these Inexpensive Gifts for Gardeners

Looking for more gardening posts and ideas? Here are a few you may want to check out next:

14 Simple Gardening Tips
How to Grow Fresh Produce in the Winter
How to Grow an Herb Garden
10 Practical Tips for First Time Gardeners That You Need to Know
5 Ways to Save Money Gardening
Simple Garden Projects

Check out all the other homemade gift ideas or DIY projects we have here on Little House Living, too!


Want more fun recipes just like this one? Make sure to check out my book, Little House Living: The Make Your Own Guide to a Simple, Frugal, and Self Sufficient Life. It has over 130 original recipes for everything from beauty to food products and I know you will love it!

What is your favorite addition to a Homemade Hand Scrub?


This Gardener’s Hand Scrub was originally published on Little House Living in January 2013. It has been updated in January 2019.

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  1. My skin gets SO dry in the wintertime- I’ve been using Plantain Oil and Aloe Vera on it, but this recipe sounds better since it will slough off the dead skin. I’m definitely going to make some of it!
    Thanks for the great post!

    1. Not really. The zest is there for purely fragrance purposes, so you could omit that if you wanted! I made this for my sister who is a chef and her hands are always cracked from being in water all of the time. She LOVES this stuff!

  2. Thankyou for this Post! I am definitely going to make this scrub! I am a Licensed Cosmetologist ( Hairstylist) for 20+ yrs. & have worked in some of the nicest Salon/Spa’s around! & since I’m now Stay @ home, I miss those sugar/salt Scrubs! They work wonders on all the Rough spots! Thankyou for the Recipe!! ;-).

  3. Can you use this as a daily lotion too? Also, I bought coconut oil but it’s not virgin and it doesn’t smell sweet. Does it really change the scrub or does it REALLY matter?

  4. Hubs works with cardboard in a warehouse, eldest son is a mechanic, I just have plain old dishwater hands. I made a jar omitting the lemon zest, and adding a few drops of thrives oil. Smells wonderful without seeming feminine. Very nice. Thanks for the idea. I might be making some to give as Christmas gifts. 🙂

  5. You see brown sugar scrubs in the stores rhis could be another little spin on it ,coconut oil & lemon sounds good enought o eat,lol,but don’t,use on those cracked hands & feet,just a thought.My feet are always a problem,hands also cracked & rough,alot of times I would like to be knitting but hands are snagging the yarn,Thank-You for these wonderful helps

  6. Hi Dominque, Where can you buy virgin coconut oil? I would really like to try this. Can you use Kosher salt or does it have to be Sea salt? thanks for posting this.

  7. Hello, Merissa, I am thrilled. I just finished showing twenty women how to make this scrub along with how to make home-made coconut oil lotion. They are thrilled to learn about this. Our women’s fellowship group had a fun time together. Thank you so much.

  8. This is an excellent combination of ingredients. I love coconut oil! Definitely trying.

  9. Looks like a great scrub recipe. My mom does a ton of gardening in the summer – I need to make her some of this or tell her how to make her own. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  10. Thank you very much for this recipe. It seems to be beneficial both in summer and in winter so I will definitely try it on my hands… and my feet! 🙂

  11. Hi! Hopping here from Back to the Basics Tuesday. I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my collection! Blessings to you and yours!


  12. Oh, this sounds wonderful! I can imagine a few different variations for scents. Pinning! and sharing with others.

  13. Such an easy recipe! Thank you for posting it. Is there a shelf life for this hand scrub and/or should it be refrigerated?

    1. When I make this I usually use it up quite quickly so I’m not sure but shelf life should be at least a year if not longer. And it doesn’t need to be refrigerated 🙂

  14. My daughter is allergic to coconuts. I wonder what other kind of oil could be substituted that would still smell nice?

  15. Now this is the kind of body care product that I love – edible, no weird, unpronounceable ingredients! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Thanks for sharing this – I’m going to put this on my Ideas for Gifts and pass it onto my kids as well (to make for me!!) As a barefoot family cracked and dry feet are always something we are aware of.

  17. This sounds great. I love homemade scrubs.

    I would be honored if you hopped over to share with us at Inspire Us Tuesdays.

  18. easy and works well? Thanks for sharing this great hand scrub recipe. I think it will work great on my feeties too!

  19. I love this! I used to buy a similar one years ago, and it was sooo expensive for the teeniest little jar. I’m off to make some for my Winter dry hands….only one day to Spring here! Mimi xxx

  20. G’day and thanks for sharing at the #SayGdayParty!
    Please make sure to stop by if you haven’t already and visit some other people also attending the party and would be great if you could answer one of my questions or two! Thank you! Cheers! Joanne

  21. What a great tip! Hello, my name is Misty, from The LadyPrefers2Save, and I’m one of the new co-hosts for the Merry Monday Linky Party! Thanks for linking up at the Merry Monday’s Linky Party this week. Have an awesome week!

  22. What’s the ratio of solid (salt and sugar) to the liquid oil? I”m not sure what the final consistency should be. Thanks.

  23. I’m just curious as to the reason why you add the salt too? I’ve seen scrubs with sugar and scrubs with salt but wondered if there was a specific reason why you added some salt to your recipe. TIA

    1. You can add either salt or sugar in this recipe or even both depending on what you have. Both are in the directions because it doesn’t particularly matter for this recipe which one is used. I generally use a coarse sugar since that’s what I have on hand.

  24. I read some comments that said there was lemon zest in the recipe, but I don’t see it in the recipe above. Also, can you use a different oil besides tea tree, or is there an important reason for it? Thanks!

    1. We found that the lemon that was included in the original recipe could be irritating to the hands (especially if they are cracked). You could use a different oil besides tea tree….lavender in particular would be great!

  25. I am allergic to coconut. I have found lots of home remedies and such that I would like to try but almost everything has coconut of some form. Is there a good alternative

    1. You can definitely sub almond oil, jojoba oil, or a similar oil in this recipe. For an oil that is always a liquid though you just might want to add a bit less.

  26. This is such a neat idea! I love this!

    I would love for you to add this to my Recipes and Crafts Facebook Group.

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  27. I love this! I have been into the body scrubs lately and have made chocolate and spearmint. Right! Why didn’t I think of this?! My recipe is similar, without the sea salt.

  28. Thanks for linking this awesome hand scrub up on Happiness is Homemade – we’re featuring it! I love this idea for gifts and I have a perfect person in mind too. She’ll love this one and the Cinnamon Vanilla one.

  29. I stained some furniture and had it all over my hands. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get my hands clean without harsh chemicals but I tried my hand scrub and it got my hands spotless!

  30. I made this but left out the lemon zest and added 1/4 c. dishwashing soap ( per some other recipes). After putting it in jars, the next day I had settling – it looks like layers. I don’t want to open the jars, cause they are for a sale. Don’t know if anyone else had this happen. Thanks