Nontoxic Garden Insecticide Using Fels-Naptha Soap

The new Mother Earth News just arrived and one article had a recipe for a safe insecticide. I gotta try this as soon as I can find the soap, locally if possible. I found it at the manufacturer's site. Dial.
Recipe and instructions:
Shave one-quarter bar Fels-Naptha soap (about 1 inch) into 1 quart heated water and stir until dissolved, This is your concentrate.
Put 1 teaspoon concentrate per quart into sprayer.
This insecticidal soap is a contact poison, spray directly on the little bastids, in the home, garden, orchard, etc. For additional killing power, add, 1/4 Cup rubbing alcohol per quart.
Care Charlie
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On Thu, 31 May 2007 19:50:03 -0500, Charlie <Charlie> wrote:

Expect leaf burn on at least some species, and do not apply at high temps. That's pretty much true of any soap or detergent spray.
Do they still put naphtha in Fels?
Kay
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"Contains No Naphthalene", according to the label.
I found it at the HyVee today, couldn't believe it. 93 cents per bar.
Going to mix a batch tonite and will report results soon.
Care Charlie
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["Followup-To:" header set to rec.gardens.]

Naphtha is not naphthalene. You may be old enough to remember cigarette lighter fluid... that's one of the naphthas (a name given to several highly volatile and flammable hydrocarbon mixtures). Naphthalene is mothballs, two fused benzene rings. Nasty stuff.
Anyhow, I chased it down in the Household Products Database... it lists Stoddard Solvent, aka one of the naphthas http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=brands&id@02005

You might want to compare with something like plain soap like Ivory and dilute alcohol sprays, as well as a few dish detergents. California Extension Service (I believe) in the late 80's did a series of comparisons of efficacy and leaf damage on hort crops using Safer soap, Hiway soap, and several other things. Winner was Ivory dish detergent, diluted. Don't remember the reference... do remember the winner. ;-)
Kay
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Sure do remember lighter fluid. I also remember the fluid leaking out of a lighter, after overfilling, and irritating my leg

Thanks. Didn't know this. And no am questioning this "recipe"
Do you think there is any "danger" in using the Fels?
I'd sure hate to waste 93 cents. :-)
Charlie, Tryin' To Be Careful Here
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On Sat, 02 Jun 2007 10:33:30 -0500, Charlie wrote:

If you have 93 cents, add it to 5 dollars and buy insecticidal soap! It's designed for what your intentions are about. Just a thought. OR, like I said before go to a healthfood store and buy Dr. Bonners castile soap.
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wrote:

I think I will.
I opened the bar and have had it sitting by my desk since yesterday and the odor is overpowering and not pleasant.
Smells like things I rail against.
John Bachman would likely approve of the Fel smell.
Thanks Charlie
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On Sat, 02 Jun 2007 11:54:22 -0500, Charlie wrote:

I use the Fels Naptha laundry soap recipe. It has a unique clean odor, neither objectionable nor pleasant. But, it is a harsh soap for use on the skin. Can't guess what plants might not tolerate it. I plan to dip a single leaf and wait a week to see what happens before a full-scale treatment.
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On Sat, 02 Jun 2007 11:54:22 -0500, Charlie wrote:

You are very welcome. On another note and out of curiousity, what type insects are you trying to kill?
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wrote:

Mostly in preparation for the attack... have not really had any major problems yet, just a little gnawing going on that I am ignoring Maybe the soil has improved and I won't have a problem??? I can hope.
Flea beetles, cabbage loopers, and Japanese beetles (or bean beetles or whatever they are called, the little greenish stripey bastids that gnaw hell out of the beans and cuke foliage), which always show up! The cabbage worms I usually deal with by hand, but it is a never ending job and those damn moths are flighty, often working at night.
THough, I am more than surprised, I have had no cabbage worms on the brussels sprouts. They do attack them right? THey played hell with the broccoli last year and we didn't plant any this year.
No cabbage either.
The flea beetles are bad on the eggplants only.
Crap, outta time. Must wake Sleeping Beauty.
Later Charlie
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Charlie, look what Ivory soap did for Marilyn Chambers. Think what it could do for your 'maters. Sounds like a good investment to me . . .
Charlie, why are the ladies lookin' at me like that?
Going back to sleep now.
- y'Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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On Fri, 01 Jun 2007 17:08:11 -0500, Charlie wrote:

Why not just hose insects off with a very strong spray or use Dr. Bonners peppermint soap?
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On Thu, 31 May 2007 19:50:03 -0500, Charlie wrote:

Thanks Charlie. I have several Fels Naptha bars and may try this. I suspect the concentrate will gel up after cooling. Do you add 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol to the concentrate or the sprayer mix?
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??????? I don't know! I just reread it and it is not clear.
The addition of alcohol is suggested at the end of the instructions, so it sounds like you add it too the spray solution. Two ounces seems a little ineffective if mixed in with the concentrate if you only use 1 tsp concentrate per quart. I'm guessing the alcohol would evaporate out of the concentrate after too long.
I think I'll try the alcohol in the spray mix.
Good question, thanks!
Care Charlie
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