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15 Best Non-Detergent Soaps For Plants

Plants need cleaning once in a while. Insecticidal soaps will kill the insects that come in contact with your plants. Using them will help you prevent plant diseases.

Besides keeping the plants clean, you should also be conscious of soil and water systems when using plant soap. You should select a soap that is safe for the plants and the environment. 

When choosing soap, you should check for any harmful chemicals as an ingredient. Not all insecticidal soaps are detergent-free, so you have to be careful. There is a variety of plant-friendly soaps that will keep your plants clean.

Keep reading below to find out more about each of the 15 products in our list.

Close up view of person using homemade insecticidal insect spray in home garden to protect roses from insects - 15 Best Non-Detergent Soaps For Plants

1. Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap

spraying rose in the pot with pesticides, hand sprayer, Rose Diseases, fungicide spray

Use this OMRI and certified organic soap to combat damaging pests in plants. The soap is also best for hydroponic and indoor plants. It is gentle when you spray it directly on the plants, and it has no unpleasant odors.

The soap's active ingredient is potassium salts of fatty acids that will not harm the environment. You can use the soap up until the day of harvest. 

Spray this soap on the plants when you see the first signs of insect damage. Then reapply it every 5-7 days if the insects are still present. 

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2. Mammoth CANNCONTROL Concentrated Insecticide Spray for Plants

This product claims to be a highly-effective fungicide and insecticide. The spray has natural thyme compounds that leave no toxic residue. Other ingredients include corn and oleic acid. 

You should spray your well-hydrated plants once a week, especially during the vegetative or flowering stages. However, do not apply the product when there are bees actively foraging the plants. You should read the directions before using this product.

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3. NPK Industries Power Wash Plant Care

This wash removes the unwanted residues left by pesticides, sticking agents, and foliar products. It also helps the plant to maximize photosynthesis by unclogging the stomata of the leaves.

You can use this wash during the growing and flowering cycles of the plant until the day of harvest.

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4. Garden Safe Brand Insecticidal Soap

Another non-detergent soap option is from Garden Safe. The insecticidal soap is a fast-acting insect killer that is great for organic gardening. You can spray away powdery mildew and pests through contact.

However, according to the manufacturer, you cannot use this on delicate ferns, nasturtiums, or sweat peas. Moreover, be careful when you use the product on new seedlings, blooms, and transplants.

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5. Bonide Insecticidal Soap

You can use this soap for all your organic gardening needs. This ready-to-use insecticidal soap is effective by directly spraying the pests. 

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6. Organic Laboratories Organocide Bee Safe 3-in-1 Garden Spray

This trusted organic garden spray contains a formulation that is safe for bees. It is an effective and natural solution against garden insects, spider mites, and scale insects. There are no petroleum solvents included.

The product is safe for all plants, except for the Euphorbia family, which showed some sensitivity. 

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7. Mighty Mint Plant Protection

This product provides complete plant protection that is safe for you, your plants, and your pets. It has premium ingredients that effectively kill insects, spider mites, and fungi. The spray has U.S.-farmed peppermint oil to battle plant issues.

You only need to gently spray on both sides of the leaves. Reapply every 7-10 days as needed. If you want your plants protected for long, apply every 2-3 weeks.

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8. Earth's Ally Insect Control for Plants

Woman spraying flowers in the garden

You can effectively fight common soft-bodied plant insects and mites with this organic spray. You   should not worry if bees will be harmed because this product will protect them, too. 

The spray's active ingredients include:

  • Clove oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Rosemary oil

As a precaution, do not use the product if the temperatures are above 90°F and there are active pollinators.

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9. VPG Fertilome Natural Guard Insecticidal Soap

Like most insecticidal soaps, this product has potassium salts of fatty acids as the active ingredient. You can use this soap for the following:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit and nut trees
  • Citrus
  • Greenhouses
  • Ornamentals
  • Shrubs
  • Flowers

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10. Natria Insecticidal Soap Organic Miticide

This soap can kill insects in minutes and is also a preventive bio-fungicide to control plant diseases. You can use this for a wide range of plants for indoor and outdoor gardens. 

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11. Harris Garden Insect Killer Insecticidal Soap

Use this insecticidal soap to kill insects at all life stages to prevent them from eating the foliage. The active ingredients of this soap are potassium salts of fatty acids and spinosad. The clean formula of this soap does not leave any residue on the plants.

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12. Miracle-Gro Nature's Care Insecticidal Soap

This fast-acting insecticidal soap is great for organic gardening. It also has potassium salts of fatty acids as its active ingredient. 

Spray the soap on all plant parts, especially the undersides of the leaves. Reapply to the plants every week or bi-weekly.

Per its product label, do not spray on the plants during full sun. It is best to find a day with calm weather and there is no expected rain for at least 24 hours after spraying.  

As an environmental precaution, do not allow the product to enter storm drains, gutters, or surface waters. 

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13. Espoma Organic Earth-Tone Insecticidal Soap

This soap is a contact insecticide with 47% potassium salts of fatty acids as an active ingredient. Applying this soap to plants is similar to other insecticidal soaps. You need to wet all plant parts, especially the underside of leaves.

You should not spray this on stressed plants. In addition, the best time to spray is during the early morning, evening, or when the weather is overcast.

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14. Natural Guard Spinosad Soap

This insecticidal soap has .1% spinosad that is effective in contact-killing plant pests. It combats Japanese beetles, caterpillars, and leafminers. You need to reapply the soap every 7 days. 

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15. M-Pede Insecticide Soap

This soap is an OMRI-listed and NOP-compliant organic fungicide, insecticide, and miticide. The soap provides broad protection against soft-bodied insects and powdery mildew. 

After applying, it has a 12-hour restricted entry interval. The restricted hours also mean it has a preharvest interval of 0 days. 

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Why Is Detergent Harmful To Plants?

Detergent soaps are toxic to plants and the environment. The wax coating of the leaves will disintegrate if you use a detergent-based product. In effect, your plants will dehydrate because they cannot receive water. Using soapy water will not benefit your plants in the long run. 

If you also spray used soapy water from washing the dishes, it creates greywater. This water attracts insects and rodents that feed on the healthy plant parts. Also, the water can contain bacteria and viruses that cause plant diseases.  

You can also create your if you don't want to buy a commercial non-detergent plant soap.

Close up view of person using homemade insecticidal insect spray in home garden to protect roses from insects.

Homemade Non-Detergent Plant Soap

The ingredients for a gallon of homemade 1% insecticidal soap solution include:

  • 1 gallon of distilled water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of mild liquid soap (e.g., liquid Castille soap)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (optional)

Take note that you should not use hard water because the solution will not be effective. You should mix all of the ingredients in a one-gallon sprayer.  

Apply the soap by spraying on both sides of the leaves and the soil surrounding the plant. 

Growing fast. Close up shot of a gardener spraying water on tomato seedlings indoors.

In Summary

Detergent is toxic to plants and will cause dehydration in leaves. But there are great options available on the market for non-detergent plant soaps. These insecticidal soaps are effective in killing plant pests and keeping healthy foliage.

You should look at the product info sheets of the soaps to check if there are ingredients to avoid. The soap should not only be plant-safe but also environment-friendly. Always follow the instructions of the plant soap products to avoid any side effects.

If you do not want to buy products, you can make a homemade non-detergent plant soap that is also effective.

Regardless of your choice, you should ensure that your plants get the best benefits.

You might want to read more about protecting your plants from these posts:

5 Best Systemic Insecticides For Leaf Miners

15 Best Palm Tree Insecticides That Can Save Your Trees