This Is The Only Homemade Hand Scrub You’ll Ever Need

Gardener's Hand Scrub

I’ve noticed that some of my very favorite ideas that I’ve posted on this blog over the years have two qualities in common. One, it’s something practical that I would actually use, and two, it would make a great gift! And the idea that I’ll be sharing with you today has both qualities in spades. :-)

Gardener's Hand Scrub

We like to refer to this hand scrub as the “Gardener’s Hand Scrub,” because it’s so effective at cleaning and softening dirt-caked, post-yard-work hands. However, there are plenty of other people besides gardeners who could benefit from having a jar of this stuff on their countertops! This hand scrub would be great for chefs, mechanics, construction workers, plumbers, painters, artists, crafters, etc. Pretty much anyone who gets their hands dirty on a regular basis would benefit from owning a jar of this scrub. So when I make a jar for myself, I always make a few extras to give away as gifts!

I would personally recommend this hand scrub to just about anyone, for several reasons. First, it’s effective. Not only does it get your hands clean, but it makes them feel so soft, too! Second, it’s almost laughable how easy it is to make. You’ll only need two ingredients! And lastly, it’s quite affordable as well. The ingredients are inexpensive, and a little goes a long way! Here’s how to make it.

Gardener's Hand Scrub

Gardener’s Hand Scrub

You’ll need:

Related: 28 Ways To Use Dawn Dish Soap That Will Make Your Life Easier

Gardener's Hand Scrub


Fill your jar about 2/3 of the way to the top with white sugar.

Gardener's Hand Scrub

Next, fill the rest of the jar with your soap. Stop when the soap is about 1/2″ from the top of the jar.

Gardener's Hand Scrub

Finally, stir the sugar and soap together. (I find that a bamboo skewer works well here. I seem to make less of a mess that way!) Stir the soap into the sugar until the whole thing reaches a paste-like consistency. I love the pale pink color it turns, but you can also get it in a beautiful green with aloe and sage. So pretty!

(If you’re planning on giving the scrub as a gift, you can skip the mixing step. The sugar will start dissolving once it’s combined with the soap, so you can lengthen the shelf-life a bit by not mixing until you’re ready to use it.)

Gardener's Hand Scrub

Using Your Hand Scrub

To wash dirt, grease, or grime off your hands, scoop a small amount of the soap and sugar mixture into your hands and scrub. The sugar works like an abrasive to remove dirt and dead skin, and the Dawn soap helps to wash it all away. :-)

How do you get your hands clean after a dirty job?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Beauty Tips

  • I. actually liked this. For some reason this formula of Dawn or anything similar has been hard to find in our area. Blame it on those crazy retailers.

  • This is a great recipe! Though I gave a jar to a friend as a hostess gift and when she had company they grabbed the jar and used it all over their body!!!! They thought it was the best product they had every used.

    I wondered if it wouldn’t be too harsh for an overall product but there you have it!

  • Hi Jillee, Can I get more specifics? I’m one of those people that need exact instructions (LOL). What size jar and how long is shelf life would give me enough (I think!). Thanks. Love your stuff.

  • Jillee, thanks again for the great tip. I use it all the time now. I have it in my potting shed ready to go. I use it on my legs, feet, arms and wash off with the hose, then go in for a shower……e

  • Love this. This is one of the first things I tried from your site years ago. My main problem with this is getting my hard working family members to use it. Also the type of Dawn used in this is getting harder o find.

  • I’ve been using this recipe for years. My hands are soft and moisturized afterwards and it quickly gets all the dirt off. I don’t see why you “don’t think so”.

  • I use organic raw sugar. It’s a little more course, but my friends just love it! Especially in the winter time when it is so cold and harsh on the hands.

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