Dishwashing liquid as a sticker

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by alegrier, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. alegrier

    alegrier LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Hello All,

    I've been told that dishwashing liquid can be used as a surfactant instead of spreader sticker. Has anyone done this? It would be great it dishwashing liquid worked because it's a whole heck of a lot cheaper. More specifically, has anyone mixed it in 100 gallons of water? If so how much should I use.

  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Not as a sticker, but atleast as a spreader. By the time you add some sort of tackifier, the cost comes out about the same. The cost will come out about the same, because using a dish soap, it can take even more anti-foam solution.
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,126

    Dishwashing liquid can also be a neutralizing agent for certain products, rendering them less effective. There is normally anionic surfactants and ammonia present in dishwashing liquid. Completely opposite of what most chemical manufacturers want you to use with their herbicides. Ammonia is what many herbicide manufacturers suggest as a tank wash to destroy and remove residue from spray equipment. I use specific adjuvants for specific products. One size does not fit all. I am normally adding adjuvants at 0.25-1% of mixed solution so that comes out to 1-4 quarts per 100 gallons. Everything I use does not cost more than $40 per gallon. I also eat the cost of treatment failures, so applications work the way I say they do or I lose money. Therefore, I stick with the adjuvants used by people spraying 100s of acres.
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I've wondered of HE laundry soap would work since it has anti-foam. That being said, I still use Lesco spreader sticker at a rate of .25 oz per k and at that rate it gives me over 1 million sq ft of treatment.
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  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I will give a different opinion.

    Antibacterial dish soap is the worst when it comes to reacting with your pesticide. However I do use Cheap non antibacterial Dish soap as a surfactant on some things. Fire Ant Sprays I find Dish soap works great to break surfact tension (wetting Agent) and target Fire Ant colonies under ground. I use a quart per 100 gallon or 0.25%. BTW I am also applying 5 gallon a thousand.

    The important thing to remember is any time you mix chemicls they will react with each other given enough time. Given enough time is the key point. Only mix what you can use and don't let it sit over night.

  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    Your surfactant can cost as much as your herbicide in very high volume of water situations. I used to use dish detergent or laundry detergent for these situations; inexpensive. About 20 ounces in 400 gallons.

    However, for weed control ordinary situations and low volume applications I used to use Drench and sometimes "Improve". Powerful wetting ability. You don't need to use much. And built-in foam suppression.

    Got it here:
  7. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,763

    Dawn is just non-ionic surfactant. No ammonia, no enzymes. I doubt that it's really cheaper than concentrated non-ionic surfactant sold by the gallon or more though, and it foams like all hell.
  8. alegrier

    alegrier LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I guess I have a different outlook on using dishwashing liquid as a sticker. I'll be waking up early tomorrow morning and going to John Deere to get some of the real stuff!
  9. Danscapes

    Danscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 328

    Two shampoo. Cant get any cheaper than that.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    Its sometimes a toss-up as to whether it is better to use the maximum rate of Three Way or to use the minimum rate and include surfactant. Or both for tough weeds.

    If you have ground ivy, veronica, oxalis or spurge--you really need surfactant.
    Also, anything that is hard to wet, waxy or hairy. Waxy like oxalis or hairy like spruge needs some surfactant. Also quinclorac on crabgrass needs a surfactant. In a back pack or hand sprayer the cost of a surfactant is insignificant. It can be a bit difficult to measure the small quantities needed for one gallon. The silicone surfactants need about a tenth of an ounce per gallon. (That is about 3 milliliters).

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