Using soap in neem spray for people

You say to use soap to make neem spray work. Does that also apply to human neem spray, please?

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Soap in neem spray
by: Birgit

The detergent or soap is not added to make the neem spray work. It's added to make it possible to mix the neem oil with water when preparing neem spray.

You probably know from experience that oil and water do not mix. Oil will float on top. If you do not add a detergent then the neem oil floats on the surface and you end up spraying only water. (The neem oil will in the end probably stick to the walls of the spray bottle.)

So, you need some detergent every time you want to dissolve neem oil in water.

When using neem as a personal insect repellent spray you obviously don't need insecticidal soap. That soap was specifically developed for plants.

Any soap acts as a detergent. For a personal neem spray use a soap developed for people. You can use any castille or liquid soap. Use something that you don't mind putting on your skin.

Make sure that all the neem oil dissolves and none is left floating on the surface. If necessary, add more soap. (Using warm water helps.) And don't forget that neem oil is not stable when mixed with water. Only mix a little at a time, ideally only as much as you intend to use.

Hope that answers your question.

Related information: Making Neem Spray

Thank you and @Birgit
by: JB

Thank you!! I've been using Neem for a while, but suddenly wanted to know why I was mixing it with soap. It took forever to find this site. Everything popping up was ratios and recipes, but not why. Now I get it. FYI, if you have very few plants, or any object you want organic insecticide on, you can use a cotton ball with straight neem. I cover openings in my worm bin with straight neem. Keeps out insects, especially flys to prevent maggots or other invaders from entering. Just an fyi for readers. I would imagine you could that for your skin as well?????? Anybody know? @Birgit, what do you mean when you say Neem is not "stable" in water so only mix as much as you need? I use the same bottle and whatever is left in it each time I spray. So I would really like to know what you mean by that "stable", thx.

neem active ingredients not stable in water
by: Birgit

Hi JB,
Glad to hear the info helped :)

Regarding your question:
The active ingredients in neem start breaking down once mixed with water.
A solution will not lose all its potency, some effects will remain, but it will certainly be a lot more effective if used fresh. I recommend using it within 8 hours.

Neem NEW
by: Abraham Junior

I was not thinking of using soap just directly after having it soak in water, but wanting to know reasons why soap was needed. Now I can understand. Thanks a whole lot.

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