" Blog da Horta Biológica: Soap and Vegetable Oil Spray - Natural Insecticide - Garden and Orchard Pest Control

Soap and Vegetable Oil Spray - Natural Insecticide - Garden and Orchard Pest Control

One of the principles of organic farming is to let biological pest control happen. This consists in letting the beneficial insects attack the insects that harm the plants, such as ladybugs eating aphids. However, this biological pest control is not always enough to protect crops. Hence, it becomes necessary to use natural products to fight the pests. 

Fortunately, there are many natural homemade recipes. You can also find in our blog the recipes for Onion Bug Spray and Coconut Soapy Water. In this post we will talk specifically about Soap and Vegetable Oil Spray that can easily be made at home and then applied to the vegetable garden, flower garden, orchard, and also to indoor plants. At the end of this post you can watch our educational video where we show you how to make this spray step by step.

Benefits of Soap and Vegetable Oil Spray

Soap and vegetable oil spray has long been used to combat pests because of its many benefits:

  • It is easy to make at home
  • The cost of making this spray is very low
  • It is very effective in fighting pests
  • It is natural and environmentally friendly


To make this spray, we use 100% coconut soap with no superfat, as it is highly effective in fighting pests. See in this post how to make this soap at home. If you don't want to use this soap, you can make the same recipe with Offenbach soap or potassium soap. 


  • 10 L of water (can be tap water or rain water)
  • 200g of 100% coconut soap with no superfat
  • 100ml vegetable oil (we used olive oil, but it can be another oil. Sunflower oil also works very well)


  • 1 large pan with 10 L capacity
  • 1 big spoon 
  • 1 grater 
  • 1 funnel
  • 1 jug (to help pour the liquid)


  1. Grate the soap
  2. In a pan, over low heat, place the soap scraps in 5L of water and stir until the soap is well diluted
  3. Gradually add the vegetable oil, stirring constantly
  4. Gradually add the other 5L of water, and keep stirring
  5. Turn off the heat and let it cool
  6. With the help of a funnel and a jug, pour the liquid into the container where it will be stored
  7. Label with the name and date it was made. It can be used for up to 2 years.

How to Apply

The soap and vegetable oil spray should be used as an insecticide, not as a repellent. It should not be sprayed on plants if no pests are present. This spray should be applied directly to soft-bodied insects such as aphids, lice, mealybugs, moths and whiteflies. Soap and oil damage the waxy layer that protects them, asphyxiating them and drying out their airways.

Excessive use can damage the plants, since the oil can block the plant's breathing pores. Application should be done  once or twice a week.

Spraying should always be done in the early morning or evening to avoid the hours of greatest heat. It is also important to avoid spraying on windy days, in order to avoid the waste of spray and to guarantee a good application over the insects.

VIDEO - Vegetable Oil and Soap Syrup - Natural Insecticide - Pest Control for Vegetable Garden and Orchard

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