Widely known for its powerful qualities, neem oil is an organic pesticide with a special chemical known as azadirachtin. This chemical helps disrupt the feeding, growing, and reproductive systems of pests making your garden bug free.
While neem oil is a great pest eradicator, most people get carried away when spraying this magical oil on their plants. The majority of these plants are those planted to harvest fruits and vegetables. So, a few questions come to mind, can I eat fresh produce sprayed with neem oil? Do I need to rinse the plants off with lukewarm water first?
Here’s all you need to know about rinsing neem oil off plants.
Rinsing Neem Oil Off Plants
You don’t have to rinse off the plants that have been sprayed with neem oil. However, if you’ve applied neem oil on fruits and vegetable harvest that is ready to be plucked within a week, you must wash the fresh produce thoroughly with lukewarm water and natural soap to ensure it is free from all chemicals.
When using neem oil, know it takes about an hour to absorb into the plant and work its magic on pests. However, the mixture gradually loses its effect, and the elements of neem oil break down within less than a week. So, you need to reapply neem oil repeatedly.
Plants sprayed with neem oil should receive proper care. Neem oil can burn and kill your plants if sprayed on at the right time, primarily in the wrong seasons. Remember that neem oil should be applied correctly (diluted with lukewarm water and natural soap). It makes a great mixture that helps fight off all harmful pests that eat away at your plants.
How to Wash Off Neem Oil?
There are three main steps to rinsing neem oil off plants. Follow these steps for a great result:
- To wash off neem oil, you need to create the perfect mixture.
The first step is to make the soap mixture yourself. It will help break down the oily texture accumulated on the plants over the days/months of its use. The soap mixture includes only a few ingredients, such as lukewarm water, dish soap, and vegetable oil.
- Apply the mixture to the plants.
The following step is breaking down the strong neem oil application on your plant leaves. The soap solution must be applied properly on all the sprayed areas to ensure it all comes off. However, be sure to do this at the right time, before the sun comes out, as this mixture might end up burning your plants.
- Start cleaning the soap solution from the leaves
Now that you have applied the mixture to your plants, it’s time to take it off. The most effective way to clean the mixture is to get a hose and ensure you have running water. Sprinkle water from the hose on all the plants to ensure the soap comes off. If you feel that some soap mixture is still left on the plants, you can take it off with your hands.
To properly rinse neem oil off plants, it is important to use a strong stream of water to remove the oil from all surfaces of the leaves and stems. It is also helpful to rinse the underside of the leaves, as this is where many pests lay their eggs.
Additionally, it is essential to rinse the plants in the early morning or late evening, as this will prevent the water from evaporating too quickly and prevent the leaves from burning in the sun. Furthermore, it’s better to use lukewarm water instead of hot or cold water, as it will help remove the oil effectively.
Another way to rinse neem oil off plants:
You can use warm water, mild soap, or detergent to wash off neem oil. Mix a small amount of the soap or detergent with warm water in a bucket or spray bottle. Thoroughly wet the surfaces treated with neem oil. Then, gently scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush.
Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of soap or detergent. Repeat this process if necessary to ensure that all neem oil has been removed. It’s important to note that neem oil can harm beneficial insects such as bees, so it’s best to avoid using it or washing it off when pollinators are active.
Rinsing Neem Oil from Fruits and Vegetables
You can use warm water, mild soap (natural), or soft detergent to remove neem oil from fruits and vegetables. Mix a small amount of the soap or detergent with warm water in a bucket or spray bottle. Thoroughly wet the fruits and vegetables and gently scrub them with a soft-bristled brush or a cloth.
Rinse the fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of soap or detergent. Repeat this process if necessary to ensure that all neem oil has been removed. It’s important to note that neem oil can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested; therefore, it’s important to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
Additionally, if you have sprayed neem oil on the plants before harvest, it’s better to wait 3-4 days before harvesting the fruits and vegetables. It will allow the oil to dry and get washed off by the rain. If unsure, you can peel the fruits and vegetables before eating them.
While neem oil doesn’t need to be rinsed off from common plants, it is essential to wash off any excess chemical from the harvest that needs to be plucked. Now that you know the correct way of rinsing neem oil off plants, you are ready to start!