How to Make Insecticidal Soap for the Veggie Garden


Using insecticidal soaps is an organic method of controlling insects in your garden. Although you may be tempted to use dish soap, some dish soaps contain ingredients that may not be good for vegetables. When making an insecticidal soap spray, use a natural soap with no other ingredients. Be sure to freeze any excess because it will spoil, unlike commercial chemical insecticides. Plain soap diluted in water can kill soft-bodied insects, such as aphids. Harder-shelled insects may respond well to soaps with peppers and aromatic roots.

Step 1

Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of natural liquid soap to a quart jar.

Step 2

Fill the jar with water to dilute the soap.

Step 3

Place this liquid in a spray bottle for a basic homemade insecticidal soap.

Step 4

Add a handful of strong-smelling roots (onions, garlic, ginger) and hot pepper powder to a second quart jar.

Step 5

Cover the roots and peppers with boiling water. Allow the jar to stand overnight.

Step 6

Strain the solids out and mix this liquid 1 to 1 with the soap mixture. The resulting insecticidal soap will not only kill and deter insects, but may also be good for deterring deer and rabbits.

Things You'll Need

  • Castile soap, or other natural liquid soap
  • Water
  • Quart jars
  • Spray bottle
  • Strong-smelling roots (onions, garlic, ginger)
  • Hot pepper powders


  • Care2: Homemade Insecticidal Soap Spray
  • Sager's Gardens: Make Your Own Insecticidal Soap
Keywords: organic insect control, controlling insects organically, organic insecticides, insecticidal soap

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.