Homemade Gardener's Hand Scrub

This homemade hand scrub will leave your hands clean and moisturized after working hard outdoors.

Homemade hand scrub

Castile soap, coconut oil, and sugar combine to make a nontoxic and effective hand scrub. Add essential oils to create the fragrance of your choice.

Photo by Charity Burggraaf

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In The Hands-On Home (Sasquatch Books, 2015), Erica Strauss provides readers with more than 100 recipes, tips and inspirational ideas. This no-nonsense, seasonal guidebook to reducing consumerism and increasing DIY covers everything from cooking and preserving to nontoxic home and personal care.

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: The Hands-On Home.

Gardener’s Hard-Core Hand Scrub

As an avid gardener, I get these lines of dirt on the edges of my index finger and thumb that stick like a tattoo no matter how many times I wash my hands. I’ve bonded with my father-in-law, an auto mechanic, over the frustration of perma-dirt. After all, just because you like to get your hands dirty, doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to stay dirty. I developed this hand scrub specifically to combat perma-dirt. The essential oils are optional but add a nice, clean, woodsy smell that is gender-neutral and very refreshing. Lemon or orange would also be great if you don’t have sensitive skin.

Makes 1-1/2 cups

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup liquid castile soap

1 cup sugar

10 drops rosemary essential oil

10 drops peppermint essential oil

5 drops tea tree essential oil

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut oil, castile soap, and sugar.

Let the mixture cool, then stir vigorously with a spoon. This will “whip” the oil for a pourable but creamy texture.

Stir in the essential oils, then scrape the hand scrub into a clean pint-size jar or other container. The hand scrub will last at least 6 months, though the essential oil scent may fade over time. If the scrub begins to separate, just re-whip it with another good stir.

To use:

Wet your hands with warm water, then spoon a generous dollop of hand scrub into your palms. Scrub away, paying particular attention to the sides of the fingers and crease lines where dirt likes to stick. Rinse with warm water.


©2015 By Erica Strauss. All rights reserved. Excerpted from The Hands-On Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving, and Natural Homekeeping by permission of Sasquatch Books.