Homemade Insecticidal Soap Recipe

Recipes for organic homemade insecticidal soaps that are chemical- free. Rid your plants of aphids and other pesky bugs.

Over the course of my gardening years I've been given a recipe here and there to aid in my quest to rid my plants of pests naturally. While I try and be as organically responsible as I can, I find no harm in using some of my everyday cleaning supplies as tools to help me reach my goal. So when the aphids were sucking the life out of my newly planted container gardens, I ran to my files to see what I could scrounge up.

Ok, strong sprays of water at all affected plants and then take a spray bottle filled with a solution of homemade insecticidal soap:

Two Tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing detergent in one gallon of water will make a hefty supply for houseplants but you may need to mix up a few gallon milk jugs for those areas where you have a lot of ground to cover. This recipe can be broken down further to:

1 ½ teaspoons of Dawn liquid detergent per one quart of water.

This mixture should assist you with the removal of mites, whiteflies, aphids, thrips small scales and leafhoppers. This recipe has a very low toxicity to wildlife and humans but should not be applied on a sizzling hot day, windy, or humid. It can burn some plants with dull leaf surfaces so always test a non-visible area before you attack the whole plant or growing section.

Scale can be attacked with this recipe which when mixed with the alcohol will penetrate the adult scale insects' shells which will kill them soon after contact. Scale is a problem with many houseplants. Take the plant outside for a quick spray or do it in the bathtub.

Mix one cup of your generic isopropyl alcohol, that you can find at most any store in the first aid section or the like, with one tablespoon of the above insecticidal soap recipe (1½ teaspoons of Dawn to one quart of water). Mix those two ingredients with one quart of water and apply on your plant's leaves (top and bottom) every three days for two weeks.

The last recipe can be used to spray on those plants that you want to bring inside for the winter.

Put three tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle (quart size, which you can find at most bulk warehouses or any mass merchandiser) and fill with lukewarm water. Add one teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing detergent. Spray the topside and underside of the leaves and let it sit for three minutes, rinse all the leaves thoroughly and let them dry outside.

At the end of the day, all homemade insecticidal recipes make me feel comfortable about what I'm spraying onto my plants and into the environment. I'm not out to kill the "good" bugs that protect my plants, only the ones that do them harm. There is one commercial brand that I have used without any ill effects and that is Safer's. The important thing is to use as many natural methods as possible with the least effects even if they don't work as quickly as a strong dose of a chemical insecticide. The verdict is still out on some safety issues and this way I can sleep better at night.

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