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How do I make soap spray?

Hi!
I've read a couple of posts from folks who suggest using soap spray to control aphids. What is it and how do I make it? Thanks!
I haven't actually even planted my broccoli yet but I want to be armed with knowledge just in case.
Peace!
 
....................................................................... No one should die because they can't afford health care and no one should go broke because they get sick.
Yo Bird!

The soap acts as a surfactant, making the liquid stick to the aphid's soft bodies (no shell/no armor/no protection). Try a few different formulations, depending on how many aphids come around.

Basic measure: clean Windex type trigger spray bottle
Basic mixture: water, a squeeze of dish detergent

My own favorite: 60% water, 40% rubbing alcohol.
Others I know use less alc. and more water.

The trigger blast dislodges the aphids, they then have to climb all the way back up. The detergent does not help them either. The alcohol works if you want instant death ie if the aphids are attacking a prized flower or plant.

I cannot remember ever seeing aphids on plants within the brassica family, you are more likely to be prone to damage from worms, caterpillars etc. Aphids suck the plant juices from new growth and can stunt or kill a shoot.

fwiw!

John
 
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Thanks!
 
....................................................................... No one should die because they can't afford health care and no one should go broke because they get sick.
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Will the alcohol version work on roses too?
 
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! teaspoon of real soap mixed in 1 quart of water, or 3 tablespooons of real soap per gallon of water. There is no need to add alcohol to this mix. Look closely at the "soap" you purchase for this purpose because many detergents (Ivory today) do not have the fatty acids necessary for the Insecticidal Soap to propely work.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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flour dusted on damp plants works better soap at killing aphids without the side effects.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by peterpo:
flour dusted on damp plants works better soap at killing aphids without the side effects.


Uh, not exactly Peterpo. First off - aphids are easily controlled simply by hosing them off with plain water. Second - dusting your plants with flour will do nothing but block their pores, & after a rain can encase parts of them in a mummy-like casing. Not to mention the attraction flour has for vermin - from crows upward.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

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"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

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Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

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breezy you rinse the plants 20 minutes after dusting , which is not enough time to attract crows.
 
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Crows notwithstanding, I still wouldn't do it, & certainly not for a pest that can be eradicated simply by diligent rinsing with plain old water. Roll Eyes
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

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First time I have seen someone proposing using flour to control aphids. Other then the expense, I can see several problems with that. Since Aphids are easily knocked off plants with a sharp spray of water and since you would need to wash the flour off the plants anyway, why bother with the flour in the first place?
If needed, for Aphids, the soap spray would be much less expensive then flour.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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Call the press. Breezy and Kimm agreed on something!

For insecticidal soap, I use 1 T. Dr. Bronners or Murphy's + a couple T. alcohol to a quart sprayer.
 
MD Eastern Shore, Zone 7
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LOL!!!!!! Smiler
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

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4nematode, is that 1 Tablespoon, or 1 teaspoon?
The alcohol simply is not necessary.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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Last year we made this mixture to control the aphids on my roses:

One spray bottle filled with water, a tbs of eco-friendly dish soap, and a crushed up hot pepper from the garden. Very successful. Had to re-apply it for new infestations, after the old application was washed off by watering or rain though.
 
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I use soap...not deodorant soap...scraps of dr bronner, ivory that I throw into a cup or so of water and let it melt. Then I use a teaspoon: Qt water.
A strong blast of hose water works all by itself.
The soap spray is good for other soft bodied pests.
I DO NOT use detergent, mostly because it will burn the leaves if they are wet and in the sunshine.
 
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I have heard using dish soap, like dawn, I don't remember the soap to water ratio but that was the soap suggested. Is that a good idea? and someone mentioned side effects, what would those be? and how often can you use soap sprays? lots of questions!
 
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Hi,

when you talk of alcohol are you talking about hydrogen peroxide say 10% volume?
 
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Dawn is a detergent, not a soap.
When you mix soap, for insecticidal soap sprays, the ratio is 1 teaspoon of soap to 1 quart of water or 3 tablespoons soap to 1 gallon of water.
Because the soaps are contact insecticides they can be used as often as necessary, however, the soap can build up on plant tissue so it may need to be rinsed off if used very often.
Hydrogen Peroxide is not alcohol. There is no good reason to mix anything with the soap in this spray.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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If ratio is 1 TEASPOON to a quart of water, why is it 3 TABLESPOONS for a gallon? Since 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoons, should it not be 4 TEASPOONS to a quart??? Thanks!
 
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Oop! I mean, 4 teaspoons to a GALLON!! Sorry!
 
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If a little is good more is not necessarily better! Ever read the directions on fabric cleaners? Try a hidden corner first. How about the old saying, "Don't try this at home"!

 
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I have seen Insecticidal Soap recipes that start with 1 to 2 tablespoons of soap to 1 quart water to the one I recommend 1 teaspoon of soap per 1 quart of water. The reason you do not follow with 4 tablespoons of soap in a gallon of water is because the mix can get too strong and do harm to your plants. Applied too heavily, at the wrong time, too much, can cause phytotoxicity in your plants, so like another pesticide use of Insecticidal Soap must be with due care.
Remember also that the Insecticidal Soaps are broad spectrum and can kill off beneficial insects as well as your pests.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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Thank you!! This confirms that I'm doing OK by using dish soap (eco-friendly), 1 teaspoon per quart. I hope this will do the trick.
 
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Be sure your "dish soap" is actually soap. Many are detergents and detergents do not work as well and do more harm to plants.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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Thanks! I'm using Seventh Generation eco-friendly dishwashing liquid.
 
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I've used the following recipe before. Soak 12 cheap cigarettes in a gallon of water for 24 ours. Strain out the cigarettes and any loose grinds. Add 2 teaspoons of Dawn dishwashing liquid. This will drop squash bugs and stink bugs in their tracks when the spray hits them.
 
mississippi gulf coast zone 8
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Wow--Thanks! (Ughh!!!)
 
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Keep in mind that steeping cigarettes to make an insect spray is not an acceptable organic solution to any problem.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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Kim's right..you are using nicotine to kill the bugs..kills everything because it's absorbed thru their skin..you are killing the good guys, bees..just like people who pick it..
Kinda like using a cannon in place of a flyswatter.
Plus, it is disgusting...
 
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Soap is soap, detergent is not what you use because if it is sunny and your mix dries on the leaves, you will burn the leaves of your plant.
I take the scraps of old bars of ivory, or dr bronners and dilute a tsp to a quart. Do not spray in bright sun.
My garden is in a 50 x50 area, and I mix up a qt at a time..it lasts several days. No need for gallons unless you've got a big farm.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by pfhlad0:
Will the alcohol version work on roses too?


YES.....
 
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quote:
Originally posted by CLAUDE:
I use soap...not deodorant soap...scraps of dr bronner, ivory that I throw into a cup or so of water and let it melt. Then I use a teaspoon: Qt water.
A strong blast of hose water works all by itself.
The soap spray is good for other soft bodied pests.
I DO NOT use detergent, mostly because it will burn the leaves if they are wet and in the sunshine.
 
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Alchool does damage to plants even when sprayed on a cloudy day. It is not something one should be using in the garden, even though it does kill off all the insects it contacts.
To knock insects, such as Aphids, all that is needed is sharp spray of water, nothing like the pressure you would get from the water hose. Many people have found that the spray form a water hose can cause more damage to plants then the Aphids would.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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I want to make the soap spray today but I have ivory and someone mentioned earlier ivory doesn't work well, so what kind of soap is best?

Second I noticed a lot of talk about aphids, I didn't know what that was (haha not real familiar with bugs just yet) so I googled it and I haven't seen any of those around so they are apparently not my problem. My garden hasn't been eaten completely but I'm noticing more and more holes on the leaves so something is eating it I just don't know what. Will the soap spray work to repel most things or do I need to find out what exactly the problem is and find a specific method?

Other than that my lil garden is doing great! super excited, first garden that is all my own and it's still alive and I have little teeny tiny veggies! yay!
 
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Insecticidal Soaps are contact poisons. Once dry they are not effecgive for much of anything except possibly limiting a plants leaves ability to photosynthesize. I have heard from some, not very reliable, sources that Ivory soaps do not work as Insecticidal Soaps. Howevver, I have not seen that, yet.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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I just use the scraps from bar soaps, it works.
I don't use the liquid soap just because I'm not paying for something when I can just use up what would otherwise be tossed, you know?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kimm1:
Alchool does damage to plants even when sprayed on a cloudy day. It is not something one should be using in the garden, even though it does kill off all the insects it contacts.
To knock insects, such as Aphids, all that is needed is sharp spray of water, nothing like the pressure you would get from the water hose. Many people have found that the spray form a water hose can cause more damage to plants then the Aphids would.


kimm - what do you use to get a "sharp spray of water"?
 
Zone 10: Hawaii; Sunset Zone H2
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We bought a 1 quart sprayer bottle at the store, only because I did not want to use an old Windex or similar spray bottle containing who knows what.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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