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Mother’s Day: Homemade Hand Scrub

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Mother’s Day: Homemade Hand Scrub

CRAFT: Make It for Mom
Homemade Hand Scrub
By Katie Goodman

Handscrub Finishedproduct
As an avid cook and a mother of two young children, I find myself constantly washing my hands. As a result, I suffer from very dry skin. Living in a dry climate doesn’t exactly help with that either. I’ve tried all kinds of lotions, but when it comes down to it, I realized that the lotions don’t have a lot of time to do much good when I’ll be washing my hands again in five minutes. What I needed was something that moisturized as I washed my skin, rather than removing the much-needed natural oils.
Olive oil moisturizes the skin, lemon freshens and is especially good for removing onion and garlic odors from the skin, and the sugar/salt combo exfoliates dry skin and renews the appearance of your hands. Salt can be drying, so you wouldn’t want to make the scrub entirely of salt, but I added a bit for some coarser pieces. If you’d rather, simply replace the amount designated for the salt with additional sugar.

Handscrub Ingredients
First, you will need to gather your ingredients. This project is simple enough that many will have all the ingredients in their kitchens already.


Olive oil
Kosher salt
Lemon zest
or other citrus zest
Lemon extract (optional)
One recipe makes 2 cups, enough for a 1-pint jar, or 2 half-pint jars.


Microplane zester
Medium-sized bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Mixing spoon
Container or jar
for the finished product
Ribbon for decor
This project is great for reusing old jars that have been cleaned out (such as jam or sauce jars) or canning jars that you might have around.


Handscrub Bowl
Step 1: Combine 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup kosher salt, and 1 cup of olive oil in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until the oil is evenly distributed throughout the sugar and salt mixture.
Handscrub Zest
Step 2: Using a microplane zester, grate the zest of 1 large lemon. Add zest to the bowl and stir to combine. If you would like a stronger scent, add 1/4 tsp lemon extract.
Handscrub Jars
Step 3: Spoon the scrub mixture into a clean jar. Make sure to wipe up any spills on the outside of the jar. Tighten the lid on and decorate according to your tastes.
Handscrub Finishedproduct
Not only is this a great gift for Mother’s Day, but I am also using these as gifts for friends. Use ribbon tape to cover the edge of the jar’s lid, and tie a simple bow around the top of the jar.
And there you have it: a simple recipe to keep those kitchen hands moisturized, or a pretty, inexpensive gift that many would enjoy.
About the Author:
Katie Goodman resides in New Mexico with her husband, two children (a 4-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl). Learning in the kitchen, eating, trying new recipes, and sharing them with friends and loved ones are some of Katie’s favorite things to do. She wholeheartedly believes that part of the goodness in life is enjoying good food with good friends and family, and goodLife {eats} is a place for her to share what she finds good in the kitchen.

34 thoughts on “Mother’s Day: Homemade Hand Scrub

  1. Mai says:

    Neat!!! I’m thinking about doing this! Can I use Epsom salt instead of Kosher salt?

  2. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says:

    Mai – I don’t know about Epsom salt. If you don’t have kosher, go ahead and omit the salt, just sub the salt amount for additional sugar. The kosher salt was really just because I wanted a few extra coarser pieces, but all sugar works great as well. Enjoy!

  3. Janell says:

    This looks great! My hands are always dry because we live in such a dry climate too! Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Danielle says:

    I was wondering if this needed to be refrigerated? Great idea…THANKS!

  5. Lenetta @ Nettacow says:

    This must smell good enough to eat – can’t wait to try it! I linked to this on my weekly link roundup. Thanks!

  6. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says:

    Danielle – it does not need to be refrigerated. Enjoy!

  7. Nicole says:

    I’m thinking that any citrus zest or combination of zests would work? Also any idea of the shelf life on this? This is a great idea for an easy homemade Christmas gift! Thanks!

  8. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says:

    I have used lemon, grapefruit, lime, and orange…all are great!
    As for the shelf life, I’d guess a couple of months, though mine is usually used up by then.

  9. ookpik says:

    I’ve made a similar handscrub that I love using epsom salt, olive oil and honey. As an avid gardener, it’s the only thing I’ve found that will remove the ground-in dirt and soften my hands again after an afternoon digging in the dirt.

  10. Kym says:

    LOVE the recipe, and can imagine the scent. Just wanted to confirm that it is lemon extract, and not essential oil?

  11. Rachel Miller says:

    Thanks for the wonderful idea (which our family are receiving as a christmas present this year). Only thing is, I’ve used loads of lemon rind and lemon extract, but I can hardly smell the lemon, what am I doing wrong???

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