Dish soap as 'sticker'

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Am planning to spot spray my lawn with a 3way product within a couple weeks. Is liquid dish soap a decent 'sticker' substitute to use? How much do I need in, say, a 2 gallon hand held sprayer?
  2. bug-guy

    bug-guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,033

    dish soap would act like a wetting agent (spreader)
    a spreader sticker would break surface tension(not bead up) causing the liq. to spread and then dry and stick.
    think of a dollar weed liq would bead up into drops and roll off the leaf adding soap would stop the beading but would still drip off
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    About one tablespoon (or... a 'squeeze':) ) of dish soap would be about right for two gallons of herbicide mix.

    Is it as good as non-ionic surfactants?
    Not by ANY stretch of the imagination!

    But for the purposes of jockeying around the yard and hand-tanking a couple dozen weeds...It'll more than suffice.

    I would never recommend dish soap to anyone as a 'sticker', for the purposes of spraying deciduous ORNAMENTALS, however.
    That's usually much more of a 'high risk' operation...and unless you live WAY OUT THERE in the sticks, there usually are just too many MUCH better surfactant alternatives readily available to you.
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,135

    Dish soap is also usually alkaline. Some pesticides are not affected by this, others enhanced. On treatments for ornamentals, dish soap is the worst possible thing to use. Many fungicides and insecticides are susceptible to alkaline hydrolysis or destruction of activity due to water pH. Also, dish soap will help things rinse back off of a treated plant. Use it if there is no other choice, but I carry 3 different surfactants to formulate a mix at all times. I have MSO(methylated seed oil), an acidifying surfactant, and a plain nonionic surfactant. Which one I use depends on what I am treating and with what product. For an amine based three way, an alkaline surfactant is ok. Before I got into the lawn business, I remember frying spurge and oxalis at home with Weed-B-Gon and a teaspoon of dish soap per gallon of spray.
  5. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    Its $10 for a gallon of 80/20 non-ionic surfactant. If you don't have a chem store around you, go to Tractor Supply and buy it.

    Do a search on google about dish soap surfactant.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    Dish soap is fine--I have used it many times. I use about a full 20 ounce bottle in my 400 gallon tank. In recent years I have been using laundry detergent--wets well and smells nice.
    A tablespoon is slightly too much for a hand sprayer--a good squirt or a teaspoon is more like it.
  7. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    I'm with RigglePLC on this. Basicly "It makes water wetter"
    Teaspoon full in hand can is plenty
  8. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,414

    Dish soap works fine, we were using it in the 1970's, long before wetting agents or even backpack sprayers for that matter. The good old days as they say.
  9. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    I have used dish soap as a surfactant for years. It's cheap and it works great for weed killing applications where a surfactant is needed. A few drops in your spot sprayer is all that is needed.
  10. Hogjaw

    Hogjaw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    It does smell good also.

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