Safer® Hydro FAQ: Is Dish Soap The Same As Insecticidal Soap?
Soaps of all kinds are cleaning agents made from oils and salts. Many products you might think of as "soap" are actually detergents, made with synthetic chemicals called surfactants, as well as phosphates, bleach, dyes, fragrances and rinsing aids. Detergents can be harmful to plants and are not formulated to kill pests.
True soaps are made by blending salts, such as sodium or potassium, with fats. Soaps containing potassium, listed on labels as potassium salts of fatty acids, are milder and softer than sodium-based soaps.
Potassium-based soaps are formed from long-chain fatty acids, which are target pests (while not endangering people, pets, or plants) in ways that the short-chains of sodium-based soaps do not. The active ingredient in Safer® Brand Insecticidal Soap is potassium salts of fatty acids.