How Do You Wash Gardeners’ Hands?

It’s a perennial problem: you spend all day digging in the garden and end up with deeply ingrained dirt as well as painfully dry or cracked hands.

We look at the best way of gently washing any gardeners’ hands to get them clean without further damaging skin. Here are our top tips for a good clean-up after a day spent digging and weeding, whatever your age...

Top tips for looking after gardeners' hands
  • Prepare! Keep your hands in good condition so they can cope with what gardening throws at them.

  • Moisturise before and after every gardening session - and last thing at night!

  • Use an oil-based balm rather than a lighter, water-based cream.

  • Ointments (also known as balms or salves) are more deeply protective and hydrating than creams or lotions.

  • Wear gloves. And even better, apply salve before you put on your gloves!

family of mixed ages potting out plants from terracotta pots into the soil
    Best ways to wash gardeners' hands
    • Soak hands in a basin of warm water to loosen embedded grime - then moisturise immediately afterwards!

    • Scrub them with a homemade sugar scrub (sugar, gentle foaming wash and a little bit of oil will do it!) before washing.

    • Use a skin-kind ph-neutral foaming wash, rather than a high-alkaline household soap which is likely to strip the natural oils from the skin, further damaging its protective barrier.

    • Keep water warm - not cold or hot, as either extreme can cause damage to the skin’s top layer and allow natural oils to be washed away, leading to irritation and dehydration.

    • Dry with a clean soft paper towel; don’t rub if hands are sore or cracked, and leave skin very slightly damp.

    • Moisturise barely-dry hands immediately afterwards with an oil-based salve.

      Recommended products for before & after gardening:


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