Gardener’s Hand Scrub DIY

Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Ellen Christian

This gardener’s hand scrub is perfect for clean soft hands! I love getting out in the garden each year but playing in the dirt really does a number on my hands and nails. 

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Gardener's Hand Scrub

Gardener’s Hand Scrub

 I do try to remember to wear gloves when I work in the garden but sometimes I forget. I have a tendency to check for weeds every time I walk by the garden – just because.

This morning, when I let the ducks and chickens out, I wanted to see which seeds were up in the garden. While I was there, I just happened to see a handful of weeds and I couldn’t just leave them. So, there I was with no gloves weeding the garden. 

Not only does gardening leave your hands and nails dirty, washing your hands leaves your skin dry and rough.  While I may enjoy playing in the garden, I still want my hands to be soft and my cuticles to be smooth.

That means I need to return the moisture to my dry, rough hands regularly. This gardener’s hand scrub will work away the garden dirt and return the moisture to your skin at the same time.  

The soft, lemon scent appeals much more to me than something that is heavily floral or perfumed.

sliced lemons on a cutting board


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3  – 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used demerara for a rougher texture.)

a container of sugar

Gardener’s Hand Scrub directions:

  • Put the granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  • Zest the entire lemon.
  • Cut the lemon in half and juice one half of it.
  • Remove any seeds and put the zest and lemon juice in with the sugar.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil. You can add a little bit more if it’s too dry but you don’t want it to be liquid.
  • Mix well. To use rub a quarter sized amount between your hands and rinse under hot water.
  • Store in the refrigerator between uses.

Now that you have a gardener’s hand scrub, head out to the garden and tackle those weeds!

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52 thoughts on “Gardener’s Hand Scrub DIY”

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  6. Hey Ellen,  That is the easiest recipe i have seen, and I bet it works so well. I am an avid gardener and always get dirt/clay (in my area) under my nails and stuck on my hands. I am going to make this TODAY, and I am super excited about that and the fact that I have all of the ingredients lol. Thanks for sharing this awesome post. Have a wonderfully blessed labor day! Jess
  7. I love this DIY hand scrub, and its all natural ingredients which makes it more brilliant. I hate trying to get all the gunk off my hands after working outdoors. This would be a great option.
  8. What a nifty trick. I try to use gloves when I remember to. I don't care for gloves because I find I'm more gentle around the plants without them. This is a great diy tip. Thank you for sharing. Stopping by from Hearth & Soul Hop. Toodles, Tammy<3
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  13. Thank you. I need this. I've been planting my tomato plants and herb plants and my hands nails are a mess. I'm going to try this. 
  14. Love this, Ellen!  I bet your hands feel wonderful afterwards.  Thank you bunches for linking up and partying with us!
  15. Wonder if it would be good for dry skin, scared that lemon would be irritating to skin but I would try to make some for my friends who like gardening. 
    • It doesn't irritate my skin but I guess it would depend on the person.  The oil in it is wonderful for dry skin.
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  17. Wow Ellen, I wonder if this would work for my husband.  He's a mechanic and is allergic to those crazy cleaners most of the guys use.  Going to have to try this one!! Thanks for the info!
  18. My husband isnt a gardner but with his work his hands are always dirt stand! He could us this :) 
  19. I never remember to wear gloves, and my nails are always the first to suffer. I bet this scrub smells amazing!
  20. I garden a lot and I love how simple this hand scrub is to make. It is easy, cheap and I love the smell of lemons!
  21. I bet this would smell great! I was just gardening yesterday and could have use this, better whip up a batch for this weekend!
  22. Mmm... I bet your hands smell wonderful after using this. I tend to cut my hands while I am working with them - yes, trying to use my gloves more! But, I am worried the lemon will get into the cuts. I wonder if I could sub something else without citrus in there for a good alternative.
    • You could maybe try adding some dried lavender buds instead of the lemon peel. Just add a bit more olive oil in stead of the lemon juice?

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