Make Bug Repellent from Ordinary Dish Washing Liquid Soap

By Susan E Couch

Most, if not all, insecticides that kill and repel bugs within your home and outside around your home are made from harmful chemicals that are not good for you, your family or your pets. There are more natural pest control recipes of repellents you can make from household ingredients and dish washing liquid that are safe for you, your family and pets. Dish soap is deadly to bugs but is designed to be gentle to your hands. Adding ingredients you probably already have around the house to liquid dish soap will provide a non-toxic all-purpose way to control pests. It is also easy to make and doesn’t take much time. Here are 3 different recipes.

For Plants:


1. ½ cup liquid dish washing detergent
2. 2 cups cooking oil
3. 1 qt water
4. spray bottle
5. wide mouth jar with lid or storage container


1. Mix ½ cup liquid dish washing detergent with 2 cups cooking oil in storage container or wide mouth jar. Mix well.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of mixture to spray bottle and add 1 qt or water. Shake well to mix.
3. Spray the mixture thoroughly on your plants to rid them of pests. This will also shine the leaves.

For Plants:


1. 10 cloves of garlic, minced
2. 2 tsp of mineral oil
3. 2 ½ cups of water
4. 1 tsp liquid dish detergent
5. spray bottle
6. wide mouth jar with lid or storage container


1. Using food processor or blender, process 10 cloves of garlic until minced but not liquefied.
2. Soak the minced garlic in 2 tsp of mineral oil for 24 hours. (could use pre-minced garlic in jar)
3. Using cheesecloth or fine meshed strainer; strain the mixture to remove garlic pieces into storage container
4. Add 1 tsp of liquid dish detergent.
5. Add 2 ½ cups of water to mixture. Mix well.
6. Pour mixture into spray bottle and spray plants thoroughly to get rid of pests.

Bug Repellent Spray for Skin


1. 8 oz water
2. 8 oz white distilled vinegar
3. 8 oz liquid dish soap


1. Mix together equal parts of water, white distilled vinegar and dish soap. Stir
lightly, do not shake, to prevent the dish soap from bubbling.
2. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle.
3. Spray the dish soap and vinegar mixture on your skin to repel bugs. This mixture will repel most types of bugs, including mosquitoes and gnats.

Note for skin spray:
Now the thought of letting this mixture of soap and vinegar dry on your skin may be undesirable for some, I think that letting harsh poisons dry on your skin is a lot worse. The vinegar odor will go away.  As with commercial store bought bug repellents, touching or rubbing eyes while having this on your hands is definitely not recommended.  If it gets in your eyes, wash out with water.

Note for plant spray:
The reason that soap can kill  the insects is that the soap penetrates and disrupts the natural balance of the insect’s cells. It is important that the spray get directly on the pests when spraying plants, so be sure to get the underside of the leaves as well where bugs tend to lay their eggs.

Once the soap residue has dried it will begin to lose its insect killing properties.   Place the plant in the sink and rinse the residue off of the plant leaves and reapply once a week as needed until there are no more signs of infestation.  If  the plant is too big for the sink then take it outside to rinse off.  Soap recipe insecticides will only kill small, soft-bodied insects like aphids, spider mites, white flies, mealy bugs, gnats and immature scales. Dish soap recipes will also destroy all eggs, including those of beetles, moths, and flies, as well as very small larvae.

Larger pests like large beetles, maggots, and catapillars, for example, may be unaffected, but it could weaken them. You may have to resort to adding a small amount of an all-purpose repellant or insecticide to the mixture for it to be beneficial. If none of this works, you may have to resort to a commercial product to eradicate these pests. At that point, I would use a smoke type fogger, not a spray type fogger as they reach further into the cracks of walls and it will leave less residue. There are many pesticide companies who use only natural ingredients to kill and repel pests so they are better for you and the environment. I would definitely use one of them before using one that uses harmful ingredients.

Making bug repellents and insecticides from ordinary dishwashing soap is economical, safer and always a good choice before using anything that could be harmful to you, your family or your pets.

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About Susan

I'm a writer, so I love to write and I love to share information as well as do research. If I visit your website, chances are I like what I'm reading just from the info I got from google so I commend you for making the first page of google. Good job!!
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