Country Lore: Nontoxic, Homemade Insecticidal Soap Spray

By Ted Swensen
June/July 2007
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Fels-Naptha soap, available in grocery stores, is an effective nontoxic insecticide.
MATTHEW STALLBAUMER


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This insect spray is economical and environmentally safe for indoors or in the garden. You can use it for soft bodied insects, such as aphids, and for little sugar ants.

To make the insecticidal soap spray, shave one quarter of a bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap (about 1 inch) into 1 quart of heated water and stir until dissolved. This will be your insecticidal soap concentrate. Put the soap solution into a labeled jar.

To use the soap spray, put 1 teaspoon of concentrate per quart into a sprayer. This insecticidal soap is a contact poison, so spray it directly onto the insects you want to eliminate from your home, garden or orchard. For additional killing power, add one-quarter cup of rubbing alcohol per quart.

— Ted Swensen
President, Home Orchard Society
Portland, Oregon

 








Post a comment below.

 

MotherEarthHHO
4/24/2012 2:25:33 PM
Im gonna make this and for those who wish to know where to purchase fels-naptha soap... In Miami Publix carries it Look in the Laundry section of your grocery store or ask them to order it. Thanks for an amazing post!! I love living the Healthy life!

G Sunshine
8/14/2009 1:19:47 PM
MY solution is really simple and you don't have to buy anything. 2 tbs vegetable oil 2 tbs baking soda 2 tbs Dawn dish soap (NON anti-bacterial, good quality dish soap) 1 gallon water You have these things in your cupboard, right? Take these ingredients and mix them in a gallon milk jug. Then fill a spray bottle and save the rest for later. Spray directly on the pest problem and avoid any new flowers or buds. This is a powerful solution, so always remember to afterward spray your plants down with water after about 30 minutes, until the suds go away. And only do it once a week or as needed. It also works on everything else from ants to spiders and some other strange wood eating bugs. (I don't know what they were...)Stops everything in it's tracks...! And the kids can help! NON TOXIC! YAY!

G Sunshine
8/14/2009 1:19:28 PM
MY solution is really simple and you don't have to buy anything. 2 tbs vegetable oil 2 tbs baking soda 2 tbs Dawn dish soap (NON anti-bacterial, good quality dish soap) 1 gallon water You have these things in your cupboard, right? Take these ingredients and mix them in a gallon milk jug. Then fill a spray bottle and save the rest for later. Spray directly on the pest problem and avoid any new flowers or buds. This is a powerful solution, so always remember to afterward spray your plants down with water after about 30 minutes, until the suds go away. And only do it once a week or as needed. It also works on everything else from ants to spiders and some other strange wood eating bugs. (I don't know what they were...)Stops everything in it's tracks...! And the kids can help! NON TOXIC! YAY!

Casey_7
6/15/2009 3:32:26 PM
I made this spray and it has killed every pest I sprayed. It is great! That said; I think the formula is wrong. He uses 39 grams of soap to make 192 quarts of spray. This equates to a 0.02 wt. % soap solution. Every formula I find and the Safer commercial brand have 2.0 wt.% soap. So I mixed my at 1.5 wt. % soap.

Barbara_68
5/26/2009 11:16:35 PM
Do I add the alcohol to the original concentrate quart or the spray quart?

rachel olson
6/29/2008 1:18:24 PM
where can i buy fels-naptha soap. zip code 55110 thanks

Melissa_24
9/22/2007 10:12:43 PM
This concoction is AMAZING! I sprayed it on my tomatoes and it killed the hornworm. Works great for flies, ants, and spiders too. I love it! Thank you so much








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