Grooming – Body Scrub and Hand Cleaner

Commercial body scrubs cost $20, $30 and up for a pound or so. You can make your own by combining one part cooking oil to two parts sugar. Sugar costs less than a dollar a pound, and liquid vegetable oil can cost as little as fifty cents a cup. The sugar cleans and exfoliates while the oil softens and moisturizes. Baking soda will also work in this recipe. It makes a finer, softer scrub.

Any essential oils or spices you want to add can make it unique or luxurious. Fresh grated ginger root or lime or lemon juice would be lively; lavender is soothing; vanilla extract could be good too. You could use any dried spices or herbs that you like the scent of.

Some recipes call for honey instead of oil. That would be less slippery under foot in the shower and avoid sending oil down the drain. has some interesting ideas for making body scrubs to give as gifts. Sugar can be used as a scrub without the oil too, if you don’t want a moisturizer. A small waterproof jar of it in the shower keeps it handy for when you want it.

The same sugar and oil scrub described above is an alternative to scrubby cleaners like Goop® hand cleaner or Lava® soap. If you use salt instead of sugar, it will scrub more harshly, for tougher dirt. Salt will sting an open cut though, but sugar won’t. If you have ground-in mechanic’s grease stains at knuckles and fingernails, try soaking for fifteen to twenty minutes in diluted dish liquid before using the scrub.


Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on in both Kindle and paperback versions.

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