Gardening

How to make potash soap to fight pests

The soap of potash is very useful in agriculture to control insects and other pests that threaten plants. With potash soap you can combat aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, fungi such as mildew, powdery mildew, botrytis , etc. Soap damages the exoskeleton of insects and kills them by not allowing them to breathe. This is a solution that kills the plague, it has no long-term effects and for this reason it seems like a practical solution to end up with entire colonies of unwanted little friends. Potash soap, being a soap with much softer characteristics than hard or sodium soap, allows us to do the treatment without significantly damaging the plant.

On most web pages, they are told that potash soap should be made with KOH. Potassium hydroxide is not very ecological, as it is produced using large amounts of electricity from oil. This being the case, I thought of a practical solution to produce potash soap solely from environmentally friendly things.

Potash soap can be produced in a simple way from the following elements (this is what you will need):

– a bowl

– a metal pot (! Can not be aluminum) or a container that can microwaveable


– wood


– lemon


– a stove or microwave


– element to mix


– a potato


– vegetable oil (of their choice)


– pH indicator paper (optional) but ethanol and colored flowers

Now what to do is not very complicated. Make a fire with the wood by burning at least 3 to 4 kg of wood (so that the fire is intense enough), this to leave as much white ash as possible. Then put all the ash in a bucket and add about a liter of water. Mix the ashes with the water for about 10 minutes and then let it rest for 1 or 2 days.

Now the test is to place the potato in the solution. If the potato floats halfway, then the solution is ready to use. If the potato does not float, then they should add more ash and wait 1 or 2 more days and try again. This is a rudimentary method of estimating the proper concentration of potassium carbonate in this solution, since when the solution becomes concentrated there is a significant change in the density of the medium.

Now if you want you can filter the solution or if not, you can leave it as it is. Add the solution to the oil (1L of solution can make about 0.5-1L of oil, but this already depends on the oil) slowly with stirring and observe how the oil acquires a creamy texture. What I have done is add the 20mL solution in 20mL until I reach this texture, once this is done, I stop the addition. If you get out of hand with a little solution, it is not a problem, I will tell you how to solve it.

Once we have finished the addition, we put the whole mixture on the stove or in the microwave (if it is in the microwave, they must be very careful because the container easily overflows due to the formation of bubbles) and let the mixture boil with stirring (in the microwave, stop the micro, they take it out, shake it and put it back in) until it becomes much thicker (we stop when it acquires a soap-like texture).

Now we use the indicator paper and if we do not have it then we crush some colored flowers and extract their coloring with ethanol (practically all colored flowers have compounds that indicate the pH). We see what the pH of the original solution is (if it is with the floral extract, we take a sample, add a few drops and observe the color). Now we see the pH of the soap, it should be around 10-12 if we put excess original solution, or the same color as the original solution if we are using an indicator. Now we add lemon juice, slowly and mixing (be careful because if you add too much they ruin the soap) until the pH is around 8-9 or the color given by the indicator changes or disappears.

Now the soap is placed in a container and stored for use as an insecticide or even for hands. The soap was produced with 100% organic elements and can help keep your garden experience 100% organic.

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