Dirty Rider’s Homemade Hand Scrub

There’s no doubt about it; riders get dirty!

While I envy those with Pinterest worthy manicures, I’ve always kept my nails short, bare and barn ready.

Easy to clean is priority #1 so when I came across this DIY hand scrub recipe a few years ago it’s been on my “must have” list ever since.

Not only does it work REALLY well, it’s perfect for those days you’re heading to a social event after riding (or anywhere dirt stains aren’t welcome) because it also leaves your hands soft and smooth.

There’s two times a year this really comes in handy and that’s spring time shedding and mane pulling/braiding. All that oil in your horse’s mane that helps make tight, tiny braids possible (at least in theory) sticks to knuckles like glue.

Your horse may look fabulous but your hands will be a disaster. That’s where this homemade hand scrub comes to the rescue.

And the best part is it can be made from ingredients already at the barn or show grounds. How handy is that?


Find a small container or jar and fill about 80% full of sugar.

Now top with liquid hand soap, leaving some room to stir.

Mix the two together until it creates a thick paste, adding more sugar or soap as needed.

Just take a generous scoop, lather, scrub and rinse. It’s that easy!


You can also make this right in your hand with just a packet of sugar and a squirt of soap. Salt is a good alternative, but it can be more abrasive.

For the soap I highly recommend Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure-Castile Soap. It’s all I use at home now and the Tea Tree Blend is great for a natural antibacterial boost in this recipe.

More From Savvy Horsewoman:  How to Be an Equestrian Without a Horse of Your Own

If you horse is willing to share, Mane N Tail Shampoo also works (so does body wash or even dish soap).

This hand scrub can be stored at room temperature so I always keep a jar by the barn sink. It might just need a stir every once in a while if the sugar and soap start to separate.

As an added bonus, if you have coconut oil for your horses it makes a great moisturizer to use afterwards.

Put some in a cute jar with a homemade label it can be great gift for fellow riders and trainers. And thrifty too!

How do you keep your hands looking great?


  1. Anonymous
    September 29, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    I love your ideas!!! I especially like the scrub for my hands, because I am one of the worst at getting dirty, and accidently wiping my hands on my expensive breeches!! I would recommend putting some natural lavender essential oil in the scrub, just a couple drops, because horses are usually calmed by lavender and the faint scent on your hands, whisking around them as you get show-ready, might calm them a little.

    • Savvy Horsewoman
      September 29, 2015 / 8:02 pm

      Great suggestion. I love lavender essential oil!

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