Gardening is undoubtedly one of life's most rewarding activities. The feeling of soil between your fingers, the scent of blooming flowers, and the taste of homegrown vegetables are all satisfying and life-affirming. However, the toll it takes on your hands, in the form of dirt, calluses and dryness, is undeniable. 

That's where a homemade gardener's hand scrub comes to the rescue. A hand scrub acts as a cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser in one, leaving your hands clean and feeling refreshed. The scrub also makes a much-appreciated gift for gardeners that doesn’t take a lot of time or planning to make.

Making your own scrub gives you the option of personalising the recipe with your preferred fragrances and textures. Sugar, fine or coarse salt can be used as the exfoliant, so experiment to see which texture is best for your skin type. Some scrubs rely solely on olive oil as the moisturiser, while others also incorporate coconut oil which brings a sense of richness and luxury to the mix. In terms of fragrance, try lavender oil for relaxation or citrus for freshness. Sprigs of rosemary or a few drops of eucalyptus oil will enhance the healing, antiseptic qualities of the scrub.

Here’s a simple and effective recipe for making your own gardener's hand scrub using common household ingredients. It only takes a few minutes to mix up a batch, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing exactly what’s in it. Let’s get started.

Gardener’s Hand Scrub

Makes 1 x 275ml jar.


  • 1 cup caster sugar (for a fine scrub) or salt (for a coarser scrub)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • sprigs of fresh herbs or a few drops of herbal essential oil such as lavender, rosemary or eucalyptus (optional)

    Ingredients for making gardeners hand scrub



  • A bowl for mixing
  • Measuring cups
  • A clean jar and label


  1. Mix the sugar (or salt) and olive oil together until the olive oil is evenly distributed through the mixture. Using a butter knife to mix in this step and the next helps to avoid the mixture forming clumps.

    A bowl containing salt, olive oil and coconut oil sitting next to a lemon and some thyme sprigs
  2. Add the coconut oil and mix thoroughly to make a thick grainy paste.

    The hand scrub mixture in a bowl
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add a few drops of essential oil, if using.
  5. Mix thoroughly, then transfer the mixture to a clean jar.
  6. Add sprigs of herbs to the jar for fragrance (optional).
  7. Label the jar.

Using Your Gardener's Hand Scrub

Now that your DIY gardener's hand scrub is ready, it's time to put it to use. Here's how:

  1. Before applying the scrub, rinse your hands with warm water to remove surface dirt.
  2. Scoop a small amount of the scrub out of the jar using your hands or a soft brush and gently massage it into your hands. Pay extra attention to areas with calluses or rough patches.
  3. Gently massage the scrub into your hands for a minute or two to exfoliate and moisturise them. 
  4. Rinse your hands thoroughly with warm water.
  5. Gently pat your hands dry with a clean towel.

Your hands should now feel soft and refreshed.

Making your own gardener's hand scrub is not only a fun DIY project but also a practical solution to keep your hands in top shape after a day in the garden. By using simple, natural ingredients, you can ensure that your hands aren’t exposed to any unwelcome chemicals. 

Don't hesitate to treat yourself to this little self-care ritual - after all, your hands should be as well-nurtured as your garden!

A man washing his hands with the gardeners hand scrub
A glass jar of gardener's hand scrub sitting on a wooden board next to a small pile of the scrub and an old nail brush