Homemade Insecticidal Soap

You guys.

I feel almost guilty about posting this recipe!  It is so simple, so easy and so cheap.  But let’s not start there, shall we?  Let’s start at the beginning.

You see….. I had a bit of an aphid problem in my garden.  A few plants had aphids and since we are at the VERY beginning of the fall gardening season here in Phoenix, I wanted to nip that problem in the bud.  I went right on over to Home Depot and bought some insecticidal soap – http://amzn.to/191Vlyk and I sprayed the little buggers.  Then I did it again the next evening just to be sure.  It worked like a charm!

The problem is…. that bottle of insecticidal soap was NOT cheap (at least by my definition) and using it on several plants over two days depleted it.  So, what’s a girl to do?  Keep buying these expensive bottles of soap?  No way.  I took to the internet determined to make my own and here’s what I came up with.  It is simple, cheap and organic.  Doesn’t get much better.

1/4 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap – http://amzn.to/191Vvpn
4 cups Water

1.  Heat the water to boiling or almost boiling.
2.  Pour the grated soap into the hot water.

3.  Remove from heat and stir until the soap is dissolved in the water.
4.  Let cool and transfer to a 1 quart mason jar or some other container that will hold it for a good long while.

5.  Use 1 tsp (that’s it) for every 4 cups water and pour into a spray bottle – http://amzn.to/1b7Cea8 of some sort.  What you made with the soap and hot water is a concentrate that will need to be diluted to use it.  Do not spray the concentrate directly on your plants.  It will burn them.

That’s it guys.  See?  I told you.  Almost too simple to post.

**Note** I call out “ Fels Naptha – http://amzn.to/191Vvpn ” in specific as the soap to use.  There are other soaps you can use but it has to be “real” soap – not detergent, not something with antibacterial this or deodorant that.  Fels Naptha fits those requirements, is easy to find in the detergent aisle of most grocery stores and can be used as a stain stick, of sorts, after you grate your quarter cup.

Shared on:
Homestead Barn Hop – http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/10/homestead-barn-hop-130.html

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  • 11 thoughts on “Homemade Insecticidal Soap

    1. Teresia

      We currently have a pest control man spray around the perimeter of the house for bugs. Have you got any ideas to replace this kind of bug spray. Something more natural? No garden involved. We too are in the Phoenix area. No bugs = no scorpions either YEAH. Thanks for your help

      1. Colleen

        DE (diatomaceous earth) is a great option in Arizona (since we don’t get much rain to wash it away). That’s all we use in our house!

        1. Helen

          I am about to try this stuff in my garden here in New Zealand. Have never tried it before but apparently it should keep the white butterflies away. If not, I am going to try a recipe with some kind of soap we can find here.

        2. enjb

          DE works like a charm. Its organic and non-toxic to pets. Its actually the skeletons of very tiny sea creatures. It gets into bugs joints. Works well with fleas.

          1. Colleen

            Yes! We love DE! The only problem is that once it gets wet, it is ineffective until it dries out again. This can be tricky when using it directly in the garden.

    2. Kirsten Mia

      You went to a bit more trouble than I did. I remembered my grandmother doing something like you did and used the wash for all her plants and even vegetables. I was a wee bit lazy so I put a chunk of the fels naptha in my little green and white hose end feeder/sprayer. I sprayed everything! I hardly had any bugs on anything, (except bees I had tons of bees), and all my plants grew lush!

      Thanks for sharing my Grandmas Gardening tips; btw she’s 97 this year!


    3. kathy

      Where is it sprayed if not directly? In the air near the leaves and buds? Unclear regarding topical application. Thank you for clarification

      1. Colleen

        I suspect it could be used in a pressure sprayer, though I’ve never tried it. Not sure about japanese beetles… we don’t have them here.


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