View Full Version : has anyone heard of using veggie oil as surfactant?

Apr. 14, 2011, 01:05 PM
I bit the bullet and bought the atv sprayer, pasturepro, colorant, and 2 small bottles of surfactant. I asked the girl that rang me up is she thought the surfactant helped and she said it did, but a trick is you can use dish soap or veggie oil instead. Has anyone ever tried this?

Apr. 14, 2011, 01:11 PM
I don't have any experience with your product but dish soap is a surfactant (generally) and veggie oil is the opposite. (This is why dish soap is used on greasy dishes!) :-)

Tamara in TN
Apr. 14, 2011, 01:39 PM
oil will keep the leaves from taking up the material as quickly into roots...
the job of the surfactant is to keep the product on the leaves and not dripping off on to the ground.
perhaps the cashier should stick to things she knows more about :>


Apr. 14, 2011, 01:53 PM
Tell us what the ingredients are in what you bought and we can tell you if you could make a substitution.

The surfactant probably helps dispense the oily herbicide into the water (guess).

I mean, I don't know what system you are referring to or what you are spraying from your atv.

Tamara in TN
Apr. 14, 2011, 02:11 PM

sorry about the wiki link but it's pretty straight forward


Apr. 14, 2011, 05:12 PM
I always use dishwashing liquid in my tank mixes. But crop oil does have a place; I just can't remember what it is. Getting old!

Apr. 17, 2011, 04:28 PM
For herbicides and fertilizers to work, they have to be absorbed into the plant. Generally either through the roots with water or through the leaves by crossing cell membranes (which are made of lipids. Fat or oil, in other words.).

There's a whole complicated series of equations that can be used to describe getting stuff across the oil/water barrier and into the plant.

The rule of thumb would be, if you're trying to get something absorbed through the leaves (like Roundup), mix it with something oily like diesel fuel to enhance uptake into the leaf cells. Oily things also helps to keep the herbicide from washing away as quickly.

I'm personally not familiar with using surfactants for something like this. As others have noted, they behave just the opposite of oil. Soap and detergent are common surfactants. They'll take a tiny bit of something oily and form a surfactant bubble around it, which ends up making that bit of herbicide very, very mobile in water. So, maybe that's for root uptake?

Apr. 17, 2011, 08:48 PM
a surfactant breaks the surface tension of the water used for delivery, allowing it to coat the plant compared to beading off.

Oil does no such thing since it's not water solluable.

There are however agricultural oils available, used to coat bugs.

Apr. 20, 2011, 03:39 PM
So how much dish soap for a 120 gallon tank?

Apr. 20, 2011, 04:39 PM
So how much dish soap for a 120 gallon tank?

you don't need much.

I never dealt in these volumes, but I would think a generous squirt.

Apr. 20, 2011, 09:42 PM
Wont you be spraying out a bunch of bubbles if you put dish soap in the auto sprayers? I just sprayed my one field with 2,4 D, diluted with water as it called for, mainly to get rid of all of the dollar weeds as that pasture has a lot of clay and doesnt drain well and the dollar weeds love it. Within 3 days, they were yellow, and now they are all but gone. I dont expect to get rid of every single dollar weed but the vast majority are gone and I didnt use any carrying agent. Ive honestly never heard of doing so.