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Real gardeners don't use gloves: Give me your best handscrub/salve recipes!

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have one?? I scrub my hands raw & they still look dirty. It's a permanent dirt. The kind that hasn't left my body in a loooong time.

Don't get me wrong... I'm proud of my working hands! However, last week I served ice cream at my daughter's ice cream social for school & I was sooo embarrased when I saw the nicely manicured hands of the other moms! I dug around the kitchen of the church for food handler's gloves! Who wants dirty looking hands serving their kids ice cream???

I scrub with a scrubbrush and baking soda, sometimes soak in epsom salts & use vegetable oil as an emolliant. I can't afford fancy ingredients... (no coconut oils or rose extracts... even olive oil! ) anyone have something brilliantly basic I haven't thought of?

Sock it to me!! Please?

I realize there's a natural body care forum, but I wanted some experienced perma-dirty-handed gardener's advice! Move this thread to another forum if you must!
post #2 of 39
What about a nice long bath? Soaking, then scrubing with a nice soft brush does wonders for my dirty feet. Nothing gets kids cleaner than a day at the pool.
post #3 of 39
Same problem here. I don't scrub though, just wait a few days and it all seems to eventually come out from around my nails. I don't garden more than once a week at the moment (in fact has been much less), so not too much of an issue as far as permanent looking.
post #4 of 39
I don't have much of an answer for you, but i hope someone does. I'd go get "maintenance" pedicures (just conditions, paraffin and whatnot - no polish, just buff). I think anything with a wax in it would be good, or even vaseline type products to soak on your hands overnight. I would condition your cuticles with a nice oil like almond or jojoba. To reduce the dirty look or coloring, maybe some lemon juice would do the trick, but you'd have to really moisterize afterwards.

I wanted to post, because i was one of those moms with nice manicured soft hands. I've started gardening and working hard in the house with renos etc and now my hands are starting to look the part, which is neat.

I just wanted to tell you that as the mom with the nice hands, whenever I saw a woman with hands like yours, it immediately garnered my respect and admiration. I remember thinking "here's a woman who does stuff - stuff that i would like to do. How can i get to be friends with her?" and feeling embarrassed that I looked so wimpy and polished. Definitely be proud of your hands. It can tell you everything about a person.
post #5 of 39
I always have better luck cleaning my hands if I wash my hair first. The combination of the shampoo and running your fingers through your hair gets most of the dirt out, and then you can finish up with a nail brush.

For the cracks, I have the best luck with Burts Bees diaper cream, believe it or not. Messy, but it works miracles. I spread it on my hands, then put on gloves for a couple hours when my hands get really rough.

All said, though, my hands never look anything like manicured.
post #6 of 39
I have permanent dirt under my nails and in the ridges of my fingerprints from like Mary to August. Sometimes it goes away after a few days of showers and dishes and washing hands, but then I go digging in dirt again.

Here's soap my soap lady has, but I don't use it. Well, she used to have something called "Gardener's Friend" to help get all the grit off, but I can't find it right now. I just use regular soap and call it good. As long as I'm not shedding dirt into dinner or whatever, groovy. Not near as bad as my farming uncles who permanently have dirt/oil stuck under their nails for 9 months of the year.
And here's a cream/lotion I've been using for a few years now. I just use unscented as hubby thinks the scents are too strong (so I use the oatmeal-milk-honey one when he's out of town).
post #7 of 39
I do find soaking my hands helps and regular application of hand lotion. I keep some by my computer and dap it on my nails/cuticles a couple times per night. It seems to soften up the most stubborn dirt. I have nail brush in the shower and make sure to scrub scrub scrub. I think the lotion has made the biggest different, though.
post #8 of 39
I find if I slather on a heavy lotion before heading out to garden, it's easier to get my hands clean after.

But I also use gloves.
post #9 of 39
maybe real gardeners do use gloves.
post #10 of 39
not much help here - as I wear gloves...but

If you scrape your nails across a bar of soap before you go out to garden, it will make clean up much easier. The dirt doesn't get under the nails and it keeps them nice and clean.
post #11 of 39
I just thought of something. A sugar scrub might help. Mix a bit of sugar with some oil (any kind-olive, vegetable...) Make a paste and rub it over your hands then rinse off with very warm water.
post #12 of 39
Usually washing dishes and scrubbing the house does the job for me so I save chores up like that for a day or so before I want my hands to be really presentable. I do wear gloves, not always, but probably 50% of the time, more for when I'm pounding with a tool or something like that, not just for digging in the dirt. They are not as clean as when I waited tables many moons ago (like you said folks probably don't like to see built up dirt and grime when they are being served food, back then I was careful to always where gloves outdoors when my livelihood depending on my tips)

My hubby swears by dove soap, he has been known to use lava and gojo on his hands, while testing different soaps out on our son dove came along in our trials - now we always keep a pink bar of it around for hubby to use on occasion, he dislikes the smell but puts up with it for the cleaning that it does on his hands. He says the white unscented doesn't clean as well as the pink. He gets those deep dark cracks from winter exposure that just seem to fill with dirt that won't ever go away.
post #13 of 39
I use gloves but I do occassionally still get dirt on my hands. I make up a mixture of course salt (like the kind you use for margaritas) and baking soda and scrub with a pumice stone brush.
post #14 of 39
I wear gloves for some things. :

I also carry a travel sized tube of burts bees hand repair in my pocket for when I'm taking them on and off. My hands are torn up from winter still, though.
post #15 of 39
Not that you asked, but I wear gloves too. Unless it's a really wet and muddy job. And I'm a REAL gardener! Really, really, really, real.

I second the baking soda. Also, here's a trick if you get into poison ivy or oak. Wash immediately with Dawn which cuts the grease.
post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
GREAT ideas!!! I hadn't thought of lemon juice, Dawn or slathering up before gardening! I guess I should buy some Dawn? Heh.

How the heck do you guys wear gloves? I would never trust gloves around my seeds sprouts or transplants. Gloves block sensation! I probably couldn't even hammer with gloves on. Definitely not a skill saw or most of the work I do around here.

I can see wearing them for cultivation, but I still prefer to get my hands in there when transplanting or planting seeds. I only use gloves if I'm using a long tool in the rain. Rock crushers & hoes get slippery here in the PacNW!

It's clearly my own doing. Maybe I should keep food handler's gloves in my bag

Pedicure... mmm.... *drools*
post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrogirl View Post
I just wanted to tell you that as the mom with the nice hands, whenever I saw a woman with hands like yours, it immediately garnered my respect and admiration. I remember thinking "here's a woman who does stuff - stuff that i would like to do. How can i get to be friends with her?" and feeling embarrassed that I looked so wimpy and polished. Definitely be proud of your hands. It can tell you everything about a person.

I can't tell you how better this makes me feel! Even if other mom's don't think this way, at least I know somebody out there might!!! Thank you thank you thank you!
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carley View Post
How the heck do you guys wear gloves? I would never trust gloves around my seeds sprouts or transplants. Gloves block sensation!
I wonder the same thing. I haven't done any gardening in years, and getting set up this year, I bought a nice pair of gloves. Snug-fitting, good quality.

Then I filled my starter pots and put seeds in... and quickly took the gloves off! I couldn't handle anything! Even the snuggest gloves I could find were still too bulky at the fingertips. I couldn't control anything with NEARLY enough precision for handling seeds, small pots, and baby seedlings.

And lest anyone say I'm just lacking find motor coordination, let me point out that I am a professional classical pianist with a Master's degree lol
post #19 of 39
I use nitrile exam gloves. If they're good enough for IV starts, they're good enough for anything I do in the garden. I tend to wear my mechanic's gloves over them for more durability when weeding.
post #20 of 39
I onlt wear gloves for cultivation and weeding. But that's what gets my hands the most dirty.
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