16 Side Hustles for People Who Don’t Mind Getting Dirty

Dig into unconventional income streams with these hands-on side gigs for the adventurous.
Updated Aug. 28, 2023
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A side hustle can help you make a little extra cash, and there are plenty of options — including a few that involve getting your hands dirty.

Check out the following great ways to make money with a less-than-pristine side hustle.

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Car detailer

REDPIXEL/Adobe male auto detailer polishing car

Help get crushed crackers out of the carpet in a minivan or clean up the dashboard of a luxury car during your side hustle as a car detailer.

Car detailing can be a great option if you’re an auto enthusiast or just like getting things clean.

A side hustle like this can be a great way to ensure you don’t come up short at the end of the month.


Maksim Kostenko/Adobe female gardener planting flowers in garden

Spend your days with flowers and plants as a landscaper. Help plant bushes and flowers or pull weeds for your client. You may also enjoy mowing lawns or cleaning up leaves.


pikselstock/Adobe senior female artist painting ceramic pot

Art lovers may find pottery to be a great way to make money — even if you do get a little dirty in the process. Make bowls, pots, and other pieces that can be sold locally and online.

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Dusko/Adobe senior farmer plucking tomatoes from garden

Use some of that extra space in your yard for tomatoes, herbs like basil or parsley, or strawberries and blueberries.

Then, sell your fruits, vegetables, and herbs at local farmers markets. Or, create small baskets for loyal customers to purchase on a regular basis.


Rawpixel.com/Adobe asian baker decorating berries cheesecake

Create cupcakes, cookies, and cakes and sell them for parties, celebrations, or just everyday treats.

You can work out of your kitchen, getting your hands dirty with flour and sugar, or find a baking space that will allow you to do your work.

Dog groomer

bondvit/Adobe male pet groomer shaving welsh corgi

Keep furry friends free of extra fur as a dog groomer. You can set up a dog-grooming station for clients to drop off their pups or make yourself mobile, and bring your trimming tools to clients' homes.

Pool cleaner

Christina/Adobe man using equipment to clean pool

If you love water, work with clients and keep their pools clean and running smoothly. Pool cleaning can be a great seasonal job if you want some extra work in the summer.

Personal trainer

Joshua Resnick/Adobe female trainer helping client to stretch

Get dirty and sweaty as a personal trainer who helps others get in shape.

Work with clients through a local gym or visit clients' homes. And feel free to make things even dirtier with hiking, biking, or other dirty outdoor activities.

Roadkill collector

New Africa/Adobe street cleaner with broom on street

Live in a rural area? The roads can get dirty with critters that have run-ins with cars. You can help keep your community clean by collecting roadkill.

You may get work on an as-needed basis with a private animal control company or through your local municipality.

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Trash pickup

visoot/Adobe garbage men unloading trash into truck

Work with local property managers to pick up trash around commercial buildings, apartment buildings, or businesses. Work as a freelancer and you’ll be able to choose the people you want to work with.

Dog walker

luckybusiness/Adobe happy woman walking dogs in park

Some pets need extra exercise throughout the day, and you can give it to them as a dog walker.

Help clients while they’re at work. Just remember to bring extra bags to keep the neighborhood clean.


Andy Dean/Adobe male painter spray painting home deck

Earn extra cash doing small jobs as a painter of homes or businesses.

You’ll likely have to invest in your own tools, such as brushes and cans. But you can easily make that money back with work on any number of projects.

House cleaner

alfa27/Adobe professional female housekeeper vacuuming bedroom

Add a few house-cleaning jobs to your schedule and clean up on extra cash. Start-up costs can include cleaning supplies, but these expenses shouldn’t be too steep.

Home repair

artursfoto/Adobe male worker installing insulation on roof

Pick up some work doing basic home repairs. You can patch holes in walls, clean garages, make minor plumbing repairs, and more.

Websites such as TaskRabbit can be a great place to find some work. Take on as much or as little as you want.

Home organizer

New Africa/Adobe Woman opening drawers of kitchen

Help your clients dig out of their mess by getting them to organize and clean.

Encourage your clients to get rid of dirty junk. Then, help them neatly put away the things they want to keep so they can easily find them later.


Svitlana/Adobe female babysitter talking to girl

Kids can be plenty of fun, but they can also create plenty of messes.

If you aren’t afraid to change diapers or clean up baby spit, working as a babysitter can be a great side hustle that helps you get ahead financially.

Bottom line

SB Arts Media/Adobe Man walking dogs

A side hustle can be a great way to add a little money to your wallet. Just remember that some jobs may require you to pay startup costs for materials. 

For others, you might need a business license or other official qualifications before you can start the work.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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