I’m a big fan of do-it-yourself shower scrubs. They’re fast, easy to make and leave you with a delightful pampered feeling. Plus you’ll save a ton of money making your own homemade recipes.
What I’m not a big fan of? Planning ahead. So it’s usually when I’m getting dressed and applying lotion after my shower that I realize, holy mackerel, exfoliation needed, stat!
Enter sugar scrub cubes. This is genius, folks. These perfect problem solvers are perfect for cleaning and exfoliating!
How to make sugar scrub cubes
The benefits of these little cubes?
- You can whip them up whenever the scrub-making urge strikes.
- They aren’t all gloopy and gooey.
- They’re portioned out to just the right size.
Love!! You want to make your own now, right? Here’s how!
The ingredients you will need:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (or any other oil of choice)
- 1 cup of sugar (white or brown)
- 1/2 cup of unscented soap, grated
- Mixing bowl & spoon
- Optional add-ins for scent
- Ice cube tray or other mold
How to make sugar scrub cubes
1. Mix the oil and grated soap together in a microwave safe bowl.
2. Microwave on high for 10 second intervals, stirring in between each. Continue until the soap is melted into the oil.
3. Add in optional scents or other ingredients and stir.
4. Quickly move mixture to a mold and let firm up (putting it in the freezer helps).
How to use sugar scrub cubes
You can use fun molds (like this spider and web one last seen in our Halloween bath bombs). When the scrub is firm, pop them out of the mold and cut into small cube shapes.
Keep them in a covered container until ready to use (otherwise they will dry out and crumble). Then take a couple of cubes into the shower and crush them a bit in your hand under the water. Then scrub away!
The optional stuff is my favorite part. Here are three fall flavors we tried out.
Maple and Brown Sugar Scrub Cubes
Maple and brown sugar is a combo that always makes the think of fall (okay, oatmeal too). For this flavor, replace the white sugar with one cup of brown sugar and add one to two tablespoons of maple syrup.
Vanilla Coffee Sugar Scrub Cubes
Who doesn’t want a warming coffee beverage on a cool fall morning? Before you drink that cup o’ joe use this vanilla coffee scrub to energize in the shower. Coffee is great for cellulite so mix in 1/4 cup of coffee grounds and one to two tablespoons of vanilla extract.
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub Cubes
We couldn’t not do a pumpkin version! Add one to two tablespoons of skin soothing honey along with a heaping teaspoon of pumpkin spice. Get your PSL fix without the sugar overload and buff off dry, dead skin at the same time.
Have you ever tried a sugar scrub cube? Did you love it? If you don’t want to deal with melting soap, try these coconut coffee scrub cubes that need only two ingredients.
How to Make Sugar Scrub Cubes
- Microwave safe bowl
- Ice cube tray or silicone mold
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or any other oil of choice
- 1 cup sugar white or brown
- 1/2 cup unscented soap grated
- Optional add-ins for scent
- Mix the oil and grated soap together in a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave on high for 10 second intervals, stirring in between each. Continue until the soap is melted into the oil.
- Add in optional scents or other ingredients and stir.
- Quickly move mixture to a mold and let firm up (putting it in the freezer helps).
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who performs adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.430
Elizabeth Rolan says
My cubes won’t hold their shape. I have tried a few times. Do you have any ideas on why they won’t hold their shape?
I want to make these using my essential oils. How many drops do you think I should use?
These worked really well for me. Thank you for sharing!!
Dawn S Borden says
The soap base you linked to is unavailable. Will melt and pour base work?
Rylie Greenawalt says
With using vitamin E, what would the approximate shelf life be?
Mei M. says
Just tried this recipe! Can’t wait to use my sugar scrub! Thanks for posting this! ^_^
Whats the shelf life on these?
I tried making these, but even though I put them in the freezer for 6 hours they won’t keep their shape. What do I do now? Do I have to start from scratch?
I say, as someone who creates and sells homemade products, yes. I think you would have to start over if you wanted the shape. (its harder to try to fix it)
If you DO NOT, you can just put it into a jar and use it like that : )
I tried to make them but i moisten my hand and nothing really happened. I used glycerin soap and I followed the recipe and use Valentine molds. What did I do wrong?
Tee Carter says
Made Coconut lime sugar scrubs, and they smell so yummy. Thanks.
Liz Witherden says
Hi my hubby is allergic to most soaps is there anything else that I can substitute?
What about just plain glycerin? You can get it at a craft store like Michael’s in the soap making aisle. I have extremely sensitive skin (allergic to aloe of all things!) and I’m fine with plain clear glycerin.
Courtney Adeeb says
Also Beeswax may be a good substitute! It locks moisture in and is super gentle.
Courtney…Beeswax is a great idea for the sensitive skin! My skin is freaking out right now. So, I just made oatmeal, honey, brown sugar scrub flowers in a shea butter base with almond oil. Fingers crossed it will help. I think these will be great for shaving!
Thanks for all the neat ideas. Cant wait to give as Christmas gifts. Lynn (me)
So this has been asked already but not answered. Is the shredded soap measured to just 1/2 cup or is it measured by weight? I also had the same problem with some soap I had that I shredded and it didn’t melt either. SO when you use melt & pour soap, how is THAT measured? If you weigh what a 1/2 cup of soap would be it works out to over a cup 1/2 of shredded soap. That’s a huge difference. Also I would assume if you just measure shredded soap you don’t pack it. Is that right? Thanks.
T. Kyree says
Hi. I’ve made these a couple times and they come out perfectly when I shred the soap over a measuring cup and put in just a little over a quarter cup, lightly packed down. I melt the coconut oil, pour it into the soap, and then melt the soap in the microwave. Follow the rest of the steps like normal, and pack the mixture into a mold and freeze them for about half an hour. They come out nice and firm, and they have a nice crisp shape that will hold.
What is the verdict on the coffee grounds? Used or unused? Can’t wait to make these! I’m thinking Vanilla Peppermint would be lovely too!
I’m no expert but i had a slight obsession with diy body products for years…I read (and again, it’s been awhile so I don’t know the exact source) that you make a pot of coffee and then get the used grounds out of the filter, and I always put them in the refridgerator for a few minutes before using. Hope this helps..
Hey there! I would suggest using unused coffee grounds in your scrubs because the water can make it ideal for bacteria to grow. I say this because I made a scrub using used coffee grounds and it went mouldy. Hope this helps
Thank you so much for that information as I was grossed out to the use of used coffee grounds. Just on general principle, I agree, used coffee grounds is an invitation to trouble.
I made these tonight and used a K-cup from the morning. It seemed to have worked fine.
I’ve attempted to make these several times. I keep ending up with items the consistency of gummy drops that will not retain their shape. I tried using coconut oil thinking that would help, but they are still very soft. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.
The recipe just says “soap” but all other recipes that I’ve found for this type of scrub cube specify “melt and pour soap”. The melt and pour soap makes it harden and retain the shape.
These look super cute! Looks like I found my diy project for the weekend. :)
Everything I need lives in my kitchen but the soap and I’m kind of wondering what it’s in there for? Can these be made with out it?
Boca Soaps says
Yes you need it, it’s what binds the cube☺️
I have made the vanilla coffee ones several times now and I really like them. I do heat the coconut oil and shredded soap for quite a while (30+ minutes) in a double broiler and the soap does not melt all the way. I use an unscented bar of soap that I make using the cold process method. Since it doesn’t melt all the way, there are little pieces of soap left in the cubes which gives you some lather with the scrub. Thank you for the recipe!
Is the measurement for the soap melted or shredded?
Can you use cooking oil or no oil at all for body scrub ?
try olive oil
Just tried this and ran into a road block right away. The soap doesn’t melt into the oil? I even tried putting it on the stove and the oil just got hot and the soap stayed in shavings.
I think you may need to use a melt and pour soap base for these. There are a few different varieties on Amazon or may be available at your local craft store such as Jo-Ann’s.
I am a soap maker. You have to melt the soap also, and then add it to the oil. Different liquids and solids melt at different temperatures. You will see a big difference. Also adding a little bit of essential oil will give it a nice scent.
I want to make some scrub cubes as christmas presents. I have no idea what i’m doing. How many cubes do your recipes make and can i get these ingredients locally (ottawa) or should I order online?
Can you use vegetable oil?
What is the shelf life of these cubes? Will they mold since sugar is in them? Sorry if that’s a dumb question!
If you add a little vitamin E they will have a longer shelf life, it’s a natural preservative, a very mild one ;) I’d say maybe 4 drops per cup of sugar or so.
Just a question, can you use vegetable oil?
Anything you can use olive oil for you can normally use vegetable for however I notice vegetable has a ‘cooked’ smell when heated :/ Just my opinion.
Would not recommend it. Yes it will work but not really healthy for the skin. May cause breakouts for people who have acne. It’s just not a good healthy oil
Courtney Adeeb says
From what I have been told by my dermatologist when I told her that I make my own lotions and scrubs is that to always make sure whatever oil you use is First pressed or cold pressed and ALWAYS unrefined. I’d be careful. I always use organic olive oil or Coconut oil for my lotions and scrubs.
Robin Turner says
Could liquid castille soap be substituted for the shredded soap?
No as it will not get hard, the Melt n pour soap is used as a binding agent. ( Keeps the shape)
Hi, with what other kinds of oil can I replace the Coconut oil? (Coconut and almond oil are very expensive in my country!). Thank you!
im pretty sure that you can use oils such as olive oil and canola oil just along with vegetable oil.
Kym Robertson says
I just made some with grapeseed oil and they’re fine. Its cheaper on Amazon. Even a small bottle of almond oil makes 4 batches of sugar scrub cubes. Its expensive to buy in larger sizes but not in smaller bottle. Its my favorite. Good luck. P.s. u can also use a grapeseed oil blend from the market.
Avocado Oil, Jojoba oil – those should work ok, not sure what IS available in your country so not sure which f the available oils would be a good substitute. Due to varying thicknesses of oils you just have to play w the measurements.
What kind of shredded soap do you use? I have some Dr. Bronners bar soap, Kirk’s Castile Soap, and a Yardley of London Soap. Would any of these be okay? Or do I have to use a Melt and Pour Base?
Lisa Ference says
Before I bought melt and pour wax, I used a bar of unscented glycerin soap from grocery store. One bar came out to 1/2 cup after I cut into small cubes. It had coconut oil in the list of ingredients so no issues getting soap and coconut oil to mix. Worked pretty well! Funny note… at first, I thought cleanup would be annoying until I remembered all ingredients were water-soluble. :-)
Hi! These are great – thanks! I did have a problem however… My coconut oil wouldn’t incorporate – just sat in a stubborn little layer on the top… Any advice?
Mix the oil and shredded soap together in a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave on high for 10 second intervals stirring in between each. Continue until the soap is melted into the oil.
Add in optional scents or other ingredients and stir.
Quickly move mixture to a mold and let firm up (putting it in the freezer helps).
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but do you add the sugar while you’re adding in the scents or other ingredients.
Great question Helen! Yes, that’s when you add the sugar – thanks for clarifying!
I made vanilla with brown sugar batches for Christmas, and got great feedback. I also tried some myself and loved it:-)
Barb @ FL Mom's Blog says
I’ve never tried a sugar cube before, but I love the ideas that you posted! Thanks!!
I tried to make these and they did not stick together. I shredded a bar of castille soap – then measured 1/2 cup. I used same recipe; 1/4 cup almond oil, 1/2 cup soap then 1 cup sugar…
Should I measure the soap by weight (4 oz) instead of w/ a 1/2 cup scoop?
I used she butter soap from Michaels… I also omitted 1/4 c sugar and replaced it with 1/4 cup dry coffee grounds..
I have been wanting to make these! Can I use bath whip instead of the shaved soap?
That is supposed to say Shea Butter soap
Janet B says
I’m making some of these. Is the coffee used? What type of container have you found to be the best for storage? Thanks so much!!!!!
Were the coffee grounds fresh or used?
I 2nd ‘Hello Christmas Gifts’!!! I will try tonight and post some feedback in preperation for the Christmas batches!
That’s an amazing idea! I’m always too lazy to prepare each time I do a shower, and even when I tried to prepare an amount I always fear about letting water fall into the jar without noticing. That could actually help my laziness overcome everything, thanks for the idea :D
HELLO CHRISTMAS GIFTS!!!
just the perfect thing for quick exfoliation!
it happens with me as well, I realize afterwards that I need to exfoliate !
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
What a brilliant idea Stephanie! I love the sound of the vanilla coffee version.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
My God..they look almost edible!
Alexis @ Persia Lou says
These would be a great gift! And your photos are beautiful!
what a great and fun idea !
They just look so pretty, would hate to use them :)