Easy Homemade Hand Scrub {DIY Satin Hands}

Homemade Sugar Hand Scrub

I have seen sugar hand scrub recipes many times in the past in magazines and on tv and such.  I finally got around to experimenting with a few myself and I was so pleased with the results.  I really do recommend trying one of these scrubs out – I bet you are hooked!

I do crafts with the kiddos and DIY projects all the time so my fingers are quite regularly covered in paint or glue or glitter…  Plus I get dry hands in winter from washing them so often and then there are always those cooking odors- onion and such that can stick to your hands even after washing.

So this is something for sure I would recommend that you try and see what you think!  My original intent in making these hand scrubs was to get a little gift for a neighbor that is an avid gardener.  I didn’t want to spend a lot but I did want to give her something she might actually use.  I liked this so much after experimenting, I am going to keep a jar on the kitchen sink for myself from now on!

So here are two recipes to try depending on what you preference is.  These are both very easy and very inexpensive to make.

I don’t have exact measurements for you on all the items because the container/jar you use will not be uniform in size.  Trust me though that this is really so simple- my 6 year old helped me with this and she could have actually done it all by herself.

Lemon Sugar hand Scrub

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

Add about 2/3 of  sugar to a jar or container of your choice (whatever sugar you have in the pantry is fine).
Next mix in about 1/4 cup of either coconut oil* or olive oil. This varies depending on the size of your container so the idea is not quite 1/3 of the container to be the liquid. It is best to ad the liquid slowly and stir with a knife as you go.

Your final consistency should be semi-dry- like sand that is just a little damp.

Next squeeze the juice of one fresh lemon or approximately a tablespoon of lemon juice into your jar. Stir well.

You will need to make adjustments at this point to get the right texture. This should be nice and creamy and not too dry but yet not runny. So continue to add more sugar and or more lemon juice/ oil until it looks like a thick hand cream.

And that is it!

*I used coconut oil and if it is in a solid state you just want to pop it in the micro for a few seconds to get it to melt to liquid form. Not too hot- just about 20 seconds or so. I didn’t get a ton of fragrance from this scrub so you can always add a few drops of essential oil if you like and stir well. Lemon or rosemary fragrance would be lovely!

I liked this scrub a lot and I love the freshness of the lemon and the pretty color of the mixture. I did find a very tiny bit of a greasy feeling on my hands after washing from the coconut oil. I think I am hyper sensitive to any sort of greasiness and I don’t like about 80% of the lotions on the market for this reason so it is probably something that most people wouldn’t notice.

DIY Satin Hands from Mary Kay

Homemade Mary Kay Satin Hands 

This next sugar scrub I really loved and it is even easier to make! We did this awhile back in MOPS and I wound up giving away the jar that I made. Now I wish I had kept it!

To make this recipe takes 2 ingredients:

  • Dawn Hand Renewal Dish Soap (this was $.88 at my local CVS)
  • Pure cane sugar (or whatever you have in the pantry)
  • Essential Oils- optional

The process is identical. Just dump about 2/3 of your container full of sugar. Next add the Dawn Dish Soap in slowly until you get the right texture. Approximately 1/3 of the final product is going to be Dawn.

Don’t get nervous about quantity because you really can’t mess this up.  If you use more sugar the scrub will be grainier on your hands and if you use too little sugar it will just be a bit silkier.  So really no matter what there will be a nice result.

Now the Dawn is great for many reasons- it is a soap so your hands are getting extra clean. It also has magical properties for softening hands (whatever stuff they ad in is really nice), it comes out this pretty light pink color and it has a nice smell.

So you could use other varieties of dish soap but this is the one that is the best because of the extra hand softening magic in the bottle.

I found it easier to stir with a knife instead of a spoon and again just add more sugar or add more Dawn until it gets to be the right consistency.

If you want to add a few drops of essential oils that works– a citrus fragrance, Jasmine, Lavender or Rose would be great.  The Dawn already smells wonderful in my opinion so I skip this step.

And that is it!! Add the lid and pop on a bow and you are good to go!

This would be a great hostess gift, something for Mom or add it to a gift basket.   You will probably want to keep some on your own sink year round.

To give you a very rough idea I used about 3 oz of Dawn when I made the container you see above.  That container was from some farmstand jam we bought over the summer and I just repurposed the little jar it came in.  I am guessing it is an 8oz jar.

Here is the final product- just use a spoon or your fingers to scoop a bit out, rub over your hands and wash! You can follow up with a hand lotion or skip that because the soap is moisturizing.

Update:  Prices can change at any time, but if you are looking for jars for your scrubs there is a great deal on Mason jars from Amazon here.  Get the quilted jars for just $.58 each!  A great deal if you want to make these for gifts.

Homemade Sugar Hand Scrub

I hope you will consider following me on Pinterest for more fun projects.

Here are some other things you might like:

Homemade Bath Bombs Recipe

Homemade Oatmeal Bath Fizzies 

Homemade body butter recipe

Homemade Body Butter-– just like the Body Shop

Fresh Raspberries with White Chocolate- so simple and absolutely delicious

Quick and Easy White Chocolate Raspberries – after all you might want a treat after making all those lovely products!


  1. Renea says

    I am having the separation issues as well. But I’ve been messing with all my jars everyday. I will let you know if I find the right direction to go to get the right consistency! I’m glad I’m not the only one having this issue. I have three little boys and we panted baby food jars to give out as Christmas presents and I would hate to have done all that work for nothing!

  2. Charlene says

    Well I don’t see why you did “all that work for nothing”. If you use a small jar and the soap is separate from the sugar is it not possible to simply scoop a small amount of soap with sugar with your fingers? Or can you not simply stir it? I am having trouble understanding why the mixture would be a waste if it is separate- it doesn’t seem like a very big deal to me. Or just try the lemon scrub instead. Problem solved :)

  3. Tessia Lewis says

    do you think it would be acceptable to substitute lemon juice for fresh squeezed orange juice? I would love to have a orange hand scrub, but I’m not sure if it would mess up the consistency.

  4. Kelli says

    I understand where she’s coming from because I myself didn’t want to give somebody something that looked funny and the separation to me looks funny and I would rather have it be more perfect

  5. Charlene says

    Hi Kelli- hmm.. homemade items are hard to get to be completely perfect. The separation doesn’t seem to be a big deal to me but if it makes you upset just try the other scrub. I am going to make this again and I will see if I find the separation issue. Usually I use it in summer and I haven’t noticed anything but I’ll try again.

  6. Cindi says

    I just made a batch of the Dawn/white sugar scrub. Added a bit of citrus essential oil and a bit of “fragrance grade” coloring. I’ve placed in rubber sealed jars tonight and will check in the morning for separation issue. Also put the leftover next to my bathroom sink uncovered to see if it turns to stone overnight. Hope it works out. I’ll be giving as a gift this weekend, I might add tongue depressors so it’s easy to stir in case it needs it. Thanks for the instructions!!

  7. Tabitha Doyle says

    I made some. Just Dawn renewing dish soap and regular white sugar. I finally got mine to a good consistency, but mine would get a little hard on top. ??? I take a butter knife and stir and it’s ok. IDK what’s going on. It made my hands VERY soft, but noticed my hands felt a LITTLE dry afterwards. Instead of adding the oil to it (which I feel by reading through the comments, may cause more separating issues) I just bought little plastic craft containers and squirted some of my Bath & Body Works aromatherapy stress relief lotion in each one. I will attach a note to the gifts, telling the recipients to apply the lotion after the scrub….. my hands felt AMAZING after I did this!

  8. Delanie says

    I made the Mary Kay satin hands.
    You have to change the molecular structure of the soap so that it does not separate. The way I found to do this is mix all the ingredients in a stand mixer. I whipped the ingredients until stiff peaks formed. After doing this the mixture does not separate. It worked good for me so far give it a try if you like!

  9. Charlene says

    Tabitha- is it really cold where you live? I live in California so we don’t get really cold weather but that is likely why you get the hardness.

  10. Jodi says

    Hi Charlene! I received some of the Mary Kay version homemade hand scrub as a gift last year and I love it!! It smooths my rough skin and makes my hands feel very soft. It does separate ever so slightly, but I couldn’t see the separation until I opened the jar…I just stir a little before scooping out what I want to use. I like it so much that I plan on making this for gifts this year. I may try to find little wooden scoops to attach to the jar as well. Thanks for the great post and advice on adding some essential oils. :-)

  11. Charlene says

    Awesome Jodi so glad to hear it! I haven’t had time to whip the product as the other reader suggested but I am hoping to do that this weekend and I will update the post with my results :)

  12. melissa says

    I will try the coconut one for sure. Coconut actually has great antimicrobial properties. I use it to make toothpaaste with and it never seperates. Its made my teeth whiter within a week healed 2 cavities and my teeth are no longer sensitive. I also usually “oil pull” with it and it keeps my mouth fresh without the weird chemicals in a lot of mouthwashes. (Oil pulling is just getting the coconut oil in your mouth and swishing for awhile then spitting). You can rub it in your hair and make it soft and shiny only a tiny bit is needed so it doesn’t leave to much in the hair and make it look oily, unless you want a “wet look”. Also great to rub straight on the skin. I work in a foundry and have extra extra dry skin. It was a life saver! Just google uses for cocnut oil. Also recommend virgin cold pressed organic since it hasn’t been as refined and has more nutrients left in it. Ps the greasy feel absorbs relatively quickly. Thanxx for reading :)

  13. says

    Delanie is right, I’ve been making the Satin Hands Dawn sugar scrub for a couple of years now and I like to whip it up so it’s frothy and airy. This year I paired it with some homemade whipped body butter and called it “Sateen Hands”

  14. Charlene says

    Hi Christine- I actually did try it and the whipped version is something different- sateen is a good word. It did separate for me though from the bottom rather than the top.

  15. Doreen Williams says

    Hi i made the sugar scrub with the Oil of Olay daw.n and when I woke up in the morning it had separated. the sugar and the dawn separated into two parts in the bowl. I’m kind of freaking out because I wanted to give it as a gift to people and I’m not sure what I did wrong. if you could please help me before Christmas I appreciate it thank you in advance!

  16. Charlene says


    I am sorry you are so upset. The product works perfectly. It does seem to have some separation so simply mix it up and put it in a jar and gift it to your recipient. They can simply scoop a small amount of soap and sugar with their fingers when they would like to use it. No big deal. The product works perfectly well. If that is unacceptable you can whip the mixture in a mixing bowl but you will still have slight separation from the bottom. Again not a big deal as the product works beautifully. You can also just give the product with a small spoon for them to stir briefly if they really feel the need or just make the lemon scrub instead. I am sorry that I am not seeing a reason to freak out. If you have a large bowl full of sugar and Dawn, the problem might seem to be a little bigger than it really is. In a small jar or mason jar it won’t be as noticeable and I bet people love the product.

  17. Shana says

    I made the Olay Hand Scrub last night. I lucked up and found the exact jelly jars in your pics! It worked great! I have read the other comments talking about separation issues. I really feel that the problem may be that they need to use less liquid and more sugar. Simple fix, just add more sugar and mix:) Mine has sat over night and looks perfect, smells perfect, works perfectly!!! Thanks so much for this idea…

  18. Charlene says

    So glad Shana! I just used it literally seconds ago and mine was a bit separated so I just stirred it quickly with my finger and it was fine. Really not a big deal at all and better to do that than have lots of extra chemicals to serve as binding agents :)

  19. Shana says

    I totally agree! I started making my own Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener for the same reasons…PS My 7 yr old little boy helped me make the entire 12 jars we are giving as gifts. It’s some what of a task to keep him interested in anything for that length of time. But he absolutely loved it from start to finish and has asked for a jar to keep of his own!!! I have a feeling this will become a staple in our home:) Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

  20. Stormie says

    I made this three days ago and haven’t had any trouble. I filled my jars 3/4 full with sugar then to the bottom of the rim with Dawn. I stirred it til mixed and added sugar to the bottom rim. Hope this helps. Thanks so much for this idea!

  21. Sandie says

    Steppe ration happens even in expensive products. You can’t stop oil and water products from separation. I made mine to smell mike a brand that I paid $25 for. It separates also. So I don’t worry about it.

  22. Angela says

    I was wondering with using coconut oil in the scrubs and then washing your hands, is the oil going to clog up your pipes (drains). Because when you do oil pulling you have to spit the oil in the trash so it won’t clog up your drain pipes. Just wondering if this would be an issue with the scrub?

  23. Melinda says

    I received the Dawn sugar scrub as a holiday gift from one of my families (I teach preschool) in 2013, and just finished the jar this morning! I actually used it on my legs which get very dry in the winter time. The jar I was given lasted me all year. It did separate a couple of times, but speaking as a recipient of the gift, I wasn’t grossed out, offended, or judgmental about it. When it happened the first time, I thought, oh how unfortunate, I guess I shouldn’t have expected a homemade product to last forever! But I gave it an experimental sniff (still smelled fine) and a poke with my finger (hey look, it’s recombining!), stirred it back up, and kept right on using it. If you are concerned about the separation, maybe include a little tag with a cute name for the scrub and a little note, “Some separation is normal; just stir to mix, and enjoy your smooth, fresh smelling skin!” Thanks for the recipe, I happen to use that Dawn for my dishes, so I’ve already refilled my jar!

  24. Charlene says

    Awesome Melinda- you are so sweet :). I was looking at my body shop scrub in the shower and noticed a layer of oil on top too. I guess it just doesn’t bother me to stir a bit. So glad you liked it :)

  25. Virges4 says

    Thank you for these great ideas! I actually used the MK Satin Satin Hand Scrub to make 100 baby shower giveaways and I didn’t break the bank! It helped that I already had gotten the mini mason jars from an estate sale and baby food jars from a friend, but I had to order hard plastic containers from Amazon when I ran out. All in all, it was an inexpensive alternative yet useful, too!

  26. Patty says

    Hi..I made the Oil of Olay hand scrub for a baby shower 2 years ago and everyone loved it. Thank you for the amazing idea. I just found a jar and it has solidified. Help ! Is there anything I can do to bring it back to the original creamy scrub so that it can be used ?

  27. Charlene says

    Patty– did you use coconut oil? It solidifies in cold weather so it needs to be kept in a spot where it is warm or warmed up before use. The winter is hard because it is nearly impossible to keep the coconut oil warm. If you did the Dawn and sugar one I am not sure why that would solidify. Are you in a super cold climate? Why don’t you try popping it for 10 second increments in the micro and see what happens? Once it is soft enough to stir see what happens after a few days on the counter. If it is a jar from 2 years ago though you might just scrap it and start again. The ingredients are so cheap it isn’t a huge waste :)

  28. jasmine says

    I thought this was just wonderful, i went out and bought a clean and free dish soap to use as the soap so i could mix it with herbs of my choice, as a more natural look on it. I Gotta say this is a perfect cheap gift or just for your self. I made it also with my shaving gel, and my legs havent ever been softer after a shave.

  29. Moya says

    Hi there. I’m in the UK any idea what I could substitute for the Dawn as I have never heard of it. Many thanks

  30. Charlene says

    Hi Moya- it is a dish soap that you wash dishes with. I think you call it washing up liquid not dish soap?

    Here is what it looks like:


    So when you go to the store just look for a creamier dish soap that claims to be good for your hands. I am sure there must be an equivalent brand there. :)

  31. Shana says

    Moya, hello there. If you can’t find the Olay Dawn, I’d gladly mail you some:) It’s great stuff!!!

  32. Robin Bair says

    I made the sugar scrub with the Dawn oily of ola 18 1/2 pints to give away at a girls night out. Please HELP a few hours later the sugar is hard the soap separated from the sugar.

  33. Charlene says

    Robin, if your sugar is hard that usually means it is in very cold temperatures. The only way to correct that is to store it in a warmer place. If your soap separates from the sugar just give it a stir with a spoon or your finger before use. Easy :)

  34. Ellen says

    I just use a large make up spatula to stir and scoop and I used really small mason jars and mixed sugar and a scented soap no separation issues

  35. Sandra says

    Loved these recipes I have to make a gift for a neighbour who loves his motorbikes. But… The dawn hand renewal dish soap has got me stumped would there be another name for this or is it dish washing liquid or is it liquid soap hand wash?
    I am in Australia so don,t always have the same products.

  36. Celeste says

    I love the Homemade Mary Kay Satin Hands. My hands are so soft now!!!

  37. Tonya says

    I am pretty sure it’s separating because dawn is a grease fighting soap. I just made a similar recipe and used regular hand soap. Will check it out tomorrow!

  38. Whisper says

    As far as the separation issues everyone has been having, it’s most likey just that you’re mixing it all at once. I’ve seen this recipe a few times and you are supposed to mix it slowly, pull up the sugar a little at a time. Hope that helps! :)

  39. Kathryn says

    Do you think you could use these hand scrubs for your face? (like a face scrub)

  40. says

    Wow! I made it with the coconut oil and lemon and it is amazing!
    I love it and will be making it from here on out!
    Thank you very much for this recipe.


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