Detergent in potting soil absorbs water better?

I've been told if I put a pinch of dry laundry detergent in a gallon in water and then use that solution the very first time I water my newly-transferred plants, the potting soil was absorb water better.
Is this true?
Will my plants be harmed in any way?
viv
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vivian wrote:

Your plants will be fine and a few drops of dish soap works good too.
Derryl Killan Calgary
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vivian wrote:

If you mix your own potting soil according to my recipe, detergent or soap are not necessary. See <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_potting_mix.html .
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Adding soap to water reduces the surface tension of the water and allows it to be absorbed by the soil easier. This would be more useful in your lawn or garden area that has been so compacted by rain and being walked on, that the water runs off, rather than being absorbed.
Depending on where your are and the type of soil you have, you would see some benefit from doing this 2 or 3 times a year.
Dwayne

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Yes.
Maybe. The only real way to tell is to experiment. Different surfactants in different concentrations affect different species differently. (How's that for a sentence?) Long way of saying, no way to know ahead of time.
I've used a drop of baby shampoo in a quart of water when I have to wet homemade potting soil that's very dry and has to be done ASAP. I prefer to either dump very hot water in the container an hour or so before planting and knead the soil (wait till the soil is at room temp before potting) or soak the potted plant in a bucket of water nearly up to the pot rim until the surface soil is moist. Then remove the pots and allow them to drain completely.
Kay
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