As I was browsing Facebook this morning, one of my friends posted an article about all the things that can be done with Dawn dish detergent, one of which was making your own insecticidal soap.
But WAIT! Don’t use dish detergent. I did just a bit of research to find a resource that would provide a good recipe and sound science as to why we want to use proper ingredients when making our own insecticidal soap. As the article states, “The active ingredient in insecticidal soap comes from the fatty acids in animal fat or vegetable oil, so it’s important to use the real thing.”
The article says to use a pure castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s, and that is what I like, too. You can buy it in lots of places like a good grocery store, Target, Walgreen’s, etc. The article also tells about natural additives you may want to add to your insecticidal soap mixture to help with other objectionable garden pest situations.
Here is the base recipe for making the recommended 2% insecticidal soap:
- 5 tablespoons soap mixed with 1 gallon of water OR
- 1 heavy tablespoon soap mixed with 1 quart of water
- See the article for the other additives
Bottom Line: Don’t use Dawn or other ‘detergents’ to make insecticidal soap. Use SOAP. Detergent is NOT the same thing as soap.