Potassium soap is a 100% natural stain remover product. Its function has always been to eliminate stains that are difficult to remove without damaging the fabrics. However, from Gea Seeds recommend using potassium soap as an insecticide and acaricide to prevent the most common pests of the garden in an ecological and natural way.
What is potassium soap?
In fact, it is an ideal product for organic farming because it does not contain any toxic compounds and therefore its use does not affect product certification. Using this product is ideal if we do not want to negatively affect the environment or our body.
As you can see, this biodegradable and innocuous soap is one of the best options to fight pests without causing negative side effects and is also a secondary source of potassium for plants.
What is it for?
This biocide is ideal for combating and preventing the most common pests such as aphid, whitefly, mealybug, red spider and thrips, among others. There is no problem in using it for gardening as there are no restrictions on this. In addition, it can also be used to combat fungus such as bold mushrooms because it washes molasses residues generated by insects in the leaves. It also affects mites, making it ideal for fighting pests such as red spider mites. And if we use it in combination with Neem oil or other phytosanitary products, we will achieve an even greater effect.
Finally, it is not systemic, i. e. it does not enter the plant and, if that is not enough, it biodegrades very quickly. These characteristics mean that no safety time or pre-harvest washing is required.
What is its composition?
Potassium soap consists of three main elements: water, lipids and potassium hydroxide. When the lipids meet the potassium hydroxide, a chemical reaction occurs, the result is mixed with water and liquid potassium soap is obtained. The resulting mixture does not affect plant tissues and its rapid degradation causes it to become a fertilizer for plants.
Where to buy it?
Potassium soap is a easy item to buy since it is mainly a stain remover product and, therefore, we can find it on the Internet, in any drugstore, supermarket or similar. In addition, its use for pest control has made it also sold in grows or in any garden centre.
How is it applied?
If you use potassium soap to prevent pests, point out that it will act by direct contact with the parasites, softening the protective cuticle they use to breathe. It therefore suffocates them without affecting other larger insects such as bees or their natural predators, mites.
Therefore, in order for potassium soap to be able to kill the pest, we must make sure that we spray the plant well, spray it thoroughly and reach as many parasites as possible. These pests are located mainly on the underside of the leaves, so pay special attention to them. And more specifically during the growth phase, which is when there is most danger because the tissues of our plants are more tender and therefore more appealing to this type of insects.
As we have mentioned before, potassium soap will also be more effective if combined with any other phytosanitary product, as soap helps break the surface tension of the leaf and acts as a wetting agent, i. e. after using potassium soap any other foliar treatment will stick better to the plant and improve the efficiency of that application.
When to use it?
We can use them at any time, although it is advisable to apply them at sunrise or sunset. Also, we must bear in mind that there is not too much sunshine because, when spraying the plant, it could burn the leaves. In the same way, we will have to be careful not to apply it on a rainy or windy day, otherwise the rain will wash the application, or the wind will dry it, and the effort will not have been worth it.
What dose to use?
Depending on the type of potassium soap, the dosage to be used will vary. Potassium soap is usually used in a proportion of 1 or 2 % dilution in water, i. e. about 10 to 20 ml of soap per litre of water. In any case, being a vegetable product, ecological and harmless, nothing will happen if we exceed the dose at any time. This is something that we do have to consider when using chemical pesticides that, in addition to negatively affecting the environment and ourselves, can also kill the plant in a fulminating way.
How often do you use it?
To prevent pests, it is best to apply a spray of potassium soap about 3 or 4 times, leaving a few days of rest between treatment and treatment. In addition, because the treatment is so gentle, there will be no problems if we decide at some point to increase the frequency of treatments. Anyway, we should read the concentration of soap in the container well, as there are some more concentrated than others.
Throughout the article, we have been analyzing all the factors related to potassium soap, and we have been synthesizing all its characteristics and advantages. However, if there is one main advantage of potassium soap is that it respects the environment. This is the most important characteristic, as it is not the one that stands out most when it comes to efficiency. However, we are faced with one of the few options for treating pests without the use of harmful chemicals.
The only disadvantage of this product applied as a pesticide is that it is not very potent. If the pest that affects our crop is very advanced and has spread throughout the crop abundantly, potassium soap may not be enough to finish it. This product can combat and prevent minor pests but may not be effective enough if the problem is already widespread and out of control.
In any case, the fact that it respects the environment and that it is not harmful to us, or to other animals and insects, is more than enough to make us consider it our first option when we must fight a plague. And if we still have problems after using it, we will have to switch to more potent chemicals.
An economical and highly recommended example
A company that offers potassium soap at an unbeatable price is Mercadona. If you enter this famous supermarket and get closer to the section of cleaning products for clothes, you can find a round boat with the label: Natural soft soap stain remover, brand Beltran. This round jar contains 500gr of potassium soap for only 1.55 euros, an unbeatable price!
As far as its composition is concerned, it is composed of vegetable oils and does not contain any type of perfume, colouring, thickening or whitening. In other words, it is made exclusively from vegetable oils of natural origin. It should also be noted that due to its concentration we can use up to 20 grams of soap per liter of water.