Re: Baby Shampoo as Horticultural Soap

Speaking of aphids, is it possible that the aphids that appear on my Staghorn Fern are actually spores?
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I have always used Dr Bonners liquid peppermint soap on my plants for years. I used it on my babies 30 years ago too, and they never once had an aphid or fungus show up on them! ;-)
Val

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Ooo! Loved that Dr Bonners' ABCs of Rabbi Hillel's Splendid Easy 1-2-3 of Eternal Wisdom! The founder of that company was believed by his family to be a complete nut with his silly-ass stoned-sounding philosophy printed all over the labels, & no one had much to do with him or his company while he was alive. When the guy died, though, the family discovered belatedly that he was crazy likea fox, making millions, & suddenly everyone greatly valued his splendid label-writings.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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wrote:

Babyshampoo
Ingredients from MSDS/Label Chemical CAS No / Unique ID Percent Sodium laureth sulfate 009004-82-4 Tetrasodium EDTA 000064-02-8 Fragrance/perfume(s) 000000-00-1 Polysorbate 20 009005-64-5 Cocamidopropyl betaine 061789-40-0 3-iodo-2-propynyl butyl carbamate 055406-53-6 Water 007732-18-5 Polyethylene glycol distearate 009005-08-7 Sodium lauroampho PG-acetate phosphate 999999-21-4 Oat extract 084012-26-0
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On 01 Aug 2003 19:39:35 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comic (TOM KAN PA) wrote:

Without a photo hard to tell, but I know my staghorn fern gets scale insects from time to time.
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snipped-for-privacy@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat) wrote in message

Ivory bar soap swished around until the water looks a bit gray works fine. I wonder how Dr Bronners does?
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Dr Bonners works great!
Val
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snipped-for-privacy@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat) wrote:

PS. The fungicide (or, rather, broadspectrum antimicrobial) that is in Johnson's & Johnson's & most other major brands of Baby Shampoo is Quaternium. There is not a lot of it, & it is supposed to protect against numerous pathogenic microorganisms -- viruses, bacteria, & fungus -- & hand-cleaning formulas with greater amounts of Quaternium are used in hygienic farm practices when moving between animals, so as not to carry illnesses from animal to animal (or from animal to human). It is also found in many ordinary handcreams and ointments. Some petshops & animal shelters make people clean their hands between animals with a self-drying soapy squirt-bottle substance, the active component of which is Quaternium. The hand-wiping concoction allegedly kills over 99% of skin surface microbes, especially fungus and bacteria, but also protozoans & small parasites & viruses if they have not penetrated the skin surface. Its milder dose added to baby shampoo is supposedly responsible for certain infant scalp disorders & fungal diseases which are common in the rest of the world pretty much vanishing among North American children. That's the very good part of this chemical. But there is also a bad part:
The manufacturers of Quaternium insist it is non-toxic to the nth degree, but in fact it is a carcinogen & Johnson's & Johnsons has been somewhat under siege about this for some while (their baby shampoo contains at least two known carcinogens; it doesn't worry me a lot for skin-contact, so I happen often to use J&J for my hair as it's a comparatively cheap product compared to fancy-ass shampoos & I just kinda like it). In products wherein it is more potent, it still seems to me the worst potential of Quaternium is still less harmful than alternatives, plus it has a healing & moisturing properties.
When I posted the above I wasn't actually recommending it, but had intended after seeing what others thought (if others thought anything about it at all) to note that it is also a carinogen (as Jerry Baker did not note). Baker seems a bit a twink to me, more salesman than gardener, but I haven't seen him enough to know if he always comes off like that. He does recommend what he perceives as organic alternatives for things, & that's to the good, it's just that anyone among us who prefers to adhere to organic principles must always be on guard that the organic thing is also toxic or unnecessary or at at least questionable.
For garden use I don't find it any more questionable than horticultural soap or my past use of dishwashing soap. I stopped using even that as it just seemed unncessary & harsh. Some recommendations when using the soap-your-garden alternative (for aphid & other insect control) is to use either baby shampoo or Ivory because these are non-detergents, & detergent soaps can & do burn leaves. Commercially made horticultural soaps have harsher content, with salts, copper or pyrethenes, & fatty acids that are actually toxic to ants, caterpillars, spider mites, & beetle larvae; whereas homemade with Ivory or baby shampoo it would be less toxic than commercial insecticidal soaps for gardens, but would mainly only kill soft insects like aphids & spitbug larvae), & some insecticidal soaps with fatty acides can have a most unwanted herbicidal side-effect because the fat holds fast to the plant so that any mild herbicidal effect of sundry salts remain especially on broadleaves long enough to cause burn or leaf death. So while the baby shampoo would kill fewer insects (& is generally only suggested for aphids) at it's worst it is going to be safer than detergents or insecticidal soap products for the plants.
ANY use of soaps should be regarded a "less toxic" option rather than overly lionized as an organic non-toxic option.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Honey supposedly has fungicidal (and bactericidal) properties. The rest of the stuff looks like standard shampoo ingredients (aside from the vitamin e).
-- Salty
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wrote:

I use insecticidal for houseplants only, and only when there is an infestation of scale on some of my ferns. I don't use any pesticides, natural or synthetic outdoors.
V
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