09 June 2021

Easy Hand Soap for Gardeners Recipe

Learn how to make an exfoliating hand wash recipe that's perfect for gardeners or anyone who gets dirty.  This gardeners exfoliating hand wash is easy to make, even if you've never made soap before.  It makes a great gift for a gardener.

Summer is gardening season.  We plant a huge garden because we have room and three reluctant gardening children to help us.

We preserve our homegrown food and give some away.  We know several older couples who aren't able to garden any longer, but they want fresh vegetables to enjoy during the summer.

So we pick up extra seeds and plants and grow for them.  

I don't mind getting dirty while I'm working, but as soon as I'm done, I want to get cleaned up.  I use this exfoliating liquid hand soap recipe to wash my hands and scrub away dirt after being in the garden.

How to Make Exfoliating Hand Wash

Originally, I wanted to make an actual liquid soap with an exfoliant in it for a hand scrub soap.  However, liquid soap is a labor of love.  

You need potassium hydroxide to make a liquid soap, so it's a different lye than you'd use to make cold process or hot process soap.  

Personally, I do not have the time or the desire to make my own liquid soap.

I use liquid castile soap for my hand soap recipes, and I really like it.  But you can't add anything that will exfoliate because it will sink to the bottom.

You can use a suspension base for liquid soap, but it's expensive and hard to find.  

So I came up with a hand soap scrub that uses liquid castile soap, but it still has natural exfoliants like sugar, lemon peel, and ground almonds.

How Do You Make Exfoliating Hand Soap?

This hand soap scrub is very similar to my gardener's hand scrub recipe.  However, I added liquid castile soap to this exfoliating liquid hand soap in place of half of the carrier oil.

You can either wash your hands with soap and use the scrub or use this garden hand scrub and wash and scrub in one step.

How Do You Make a Hand Soap Scrub?

This exfoliating hand wash is more like a sugar scrub in looks and texture.  However, it does have liquid soap in it.  

This is an easier method than making soap from scratch, which most people do not have the time or patience to do unless they are selling their products.

In addition to the sugar, I also used lemon peel and ground almonds for more scrubbing power in this garden hand scrub..  

I also used coconut oil so this exfoliating hand wash would be thicker.  Coconut oil is naturally antimicrobial to kill germs on your skin.  It's also moisturizing and helps smooth your skin.  

How Do You Make Hand Soap With Sugar?

To make a hand soap for gardeners with sugar, you will need sugar, coconut oil, and liquid castile soap.  I also added natural exfoliants and essential oils to my gardener's exfoliating hand wash.

Can You Add Soap to a Sugar Scrub?

Yes, you can add liquid castile soap or other liquid soap to a sugar scrub in place of the carrier oil.  You substitute all or half of the oil for liquid soap to make an exfoliating hand wash.

Does Castile Soap Kill Germs?

No, liquid castile soap does not kill germs.  However liquid castile soap is a surfactant.  Surfactants remove bacteria and other microbes and remove grease from your skin when you use this garden hand scrub.  

So no, it doesn't kill germs, but it does help lift them from your skin so they can be rinsed away.

How Do You Make Soap for a Gardener?

This is an easy exfoliating liquid hand soap recipe that uses a soap base.  If you'd rather make a bar soap, try one of these soaps:

Those soaps use melt and pour soap, so they are still fairly easy to make.  

For cold process recipes, I recommend Soap Deli's gardener's soap recipe with exfoliating botanicals or this natural gardener's soap recipe.

How Can I Exfoliate My Hands Naturally?

I used sugar, lemon peel, and ground almonds for my exfoliating hand wash recipe for gardeners.  However, there are other natural exfoliants that you can use.  

I buy sliced almonds and grind them in my Ninja and store them for later.  

You can use one of the following in place of the lemon peel and/or almonds:

These natural exfoliants for skin can all be added to gardener's exfoliating hand wash.  Some are more gentle than others, so use what works best for your skin.

Essential Oils for Garden Hand Scrub

I used a blend of frankincense, lavender, and lemon essential oils.  It's a light and clean scent that's perfect for summer.

Frankincense essential oil is an excellent essential oil for your skin.  It's anti-inflammatory when used topically, so it can help reduce inflammation from working with your hands.  It also promotes healing if your hands get scratched up while you garden.

Lemon essential oil is uplifting, so I like to smell it after working for a while.  In addition, lemon can kill bacteria that can get trapped in your pores.  It is also high in Vitamin C to naturally exfoliate and provide antioxidants for your skin.

Lavender essential oil is also naturally antimicrobial.  It can reduce inflammation when you apply it topically, and it's relaxing in aromatherapy.

You can also use a blend of essential oils.  I like the following blends:

  • Skin Care Blend is a blend of organic lavender essential oil, organic frankincense essential oil, organic helichrysum essential oil, and organic carrot seed essential oil.
  • Beauty Within is a blend of myrrh, frankincense, rosemary, and lavender. 
  • Bumps and Boo Boos is a blend of helichrysum, lavender, tea tree, and lemon.
  • Farewell Scars is a blend of myrrh, helichrysum, lavender, rosemary, and lemon.

How Long Does Homemade Garden Hand Scrub Last?

This gardener's exfoliating hand wash will last about three months.  There are no water based ingredients, so it doesn't need a preservative.

However, you should be careful not to introduce water to the jar of hand soap for gardeners.  Use a spoon or a small scoop to scoop out the exfoliating hand wash when you use it.  

Hand Soap Scrub Ingredients

To make an exfoliating liquid hand soap, you will need:

How to Make Exfoliating Liquid Hand Soap

Step #1

Melt and coconut oil in a small bowl.   Add essential oils and stir to combine.

Step #2

Combine sugar, coconut oil and essential oils, lemon peel, and ground almonds in a bowl.  Stir to combine.

Step #3

Spoon into an 8 ounce container.  I used a jelly jar for canning.  This gardener's exfoliating hand wash will almost fill the container.

Step #4  

This hand soap scrub will harden as the coconut oil sets up.  If it's warm out, it will be softer.  

To use, scoop about 2 tablespoons onto dirty hands.  Scrub your hands and then rinse well.  Your hands may feel oily, but it will soak in quickly and moisturize your hands.

I hope you enjoy this hand soap scrub recipe.  It would make a great gift for a gardener, and it's also good for mechanics or others who get dirty working.

gardeners scrub, hand soap, scrub, liquid castile soap, diy, easy
Yield: 8 ounce
Author: Cari @ Everything Pretty
Estimated cost: $5

Easy Hand Soap for Gardeners Recipe

prep time: 5 Mperform time: 10 Mtotal time: 15 M
How to make an exfoliating hand soap for gardeners.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1.4 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon peel
  • 8 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil
  • 7 drops lemon essential oil


  • Spoon
  • Small bowl
  • Medium sized bowl


  1. Melt and coconut oil in a small bowl. Add essential oils and stir to combine.
  2. Combine sugar, coconut oil and essential oils, lemon peel, and ground almonds in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Spoon into an 8 ounce container. This gardener's exfoliating hand wash will almost fill the container.
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