HomeCockroachDoes Soapy Water Kill Roaches? How to Use It Effectively?

Does Soapy Water Kill Roaches? How to Use It Effectively?

Are you tired of those pesky cockroaches invading your home?

Have you been searching for an affordable and effective solution that’s safe for your family and pets?  

You might have stumbled upon mentions of a simple remedy, but have you ever wondered, “Does soapy water kill roaches?

Dive into this blog to discover the science behind this age-old method, its effectiveness, and how it could become your go-to cockroach combat strategy.

does soapy water kill roaches
Does Soapy Water Kill Roaches? How to Use It Effectively?

Does Soapy Water Kill Cockroaches? 

Yes, soapy water can indeed kill cockroaches. But it’s not just about mixing soap and water randomly; there’s a method to it. 

To get the best results, it’s a good idea to mix soap with water for a few reasons: 

  • Easy to Use: Once you mix them together, you can put the mixture in a spray bottle, which makes it easy to apply. 
  • Covers More Area: When you spray this mixture, it spreads over a larger surface, making sure that no cockroach can escape from it. 
  • Effective Penetration: The mix of water and soap can get inside the small breathing holes of the cockroaches, which are on their abdomen. 

A study in Advances in Biological Science Research showed some interesting numbers. When American cockroaches were exposed to five sprays of a 32% soapy water mix, a big 50% of them were dead within a day. If you make the soapy solution stronger, it seems to work even better. 

If you’re thinking about using liquid dish soap, here’s more good news. The Journal of Economic Entomology found that just a 3% mixture of soapy water made 100% of German cockroaches unable to move in a quick 3 minutes. 

How to kill cockroaches with Soapy Water?

If you want to repel and kill roaches at the same time, may make a mixture of vinegar and soapy water as follows:

  1. Get a clean container with 2 cups of water
  2. Add about 8 teaspoons of liquid soap
  3. You may also use powdered soap and add 6 teaspoons
  4. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar into the solution and gently stir to mix so that it does not foam excessively
  5. Add this in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the roaches generously to kill them fast
  6. You may also use this to spray their hideouts if you want to flush them out

As you know, vinegar kill cockroaches and when combine with soapy water will create s a perfect trap for both big and small roaches in the house.

How to use dawn soap to kill cockroaches?

Dawn soap is another good way of killing roaches because it also contains sodium chloride that works well in drowning roaches when combined with other soap properties. This will drain the cockroach very fast and kill them in a matter of minutes.

  1. Add ½ cup of dawn dish soap in a spray bottle
  2. Add 1 cup of water and gently shake to mix
  3. Generously spray this directly on the cockroaches

You can also make a solution of dawn dish soap and water so that you have a good amount of soapy water in a bucket. You may draw the cockroaches in this solution and they will definitely die. You may also use this to wipe out their eggs with a damp cloth.

Try and use pure water that is free from a lot of impurities when making soapy water for killing roaches at home. This is because salty water or dirty water may have some neutralizing agents that may make the solution weak to deliver the intended purpose.

Can Soap and Water Mixture Kill Both Male and Female Cockroaches? 

Scientists have discovered something pretty cool: plain soap and water can be just as good, if not better, than regular bug-killing chemicals. This natural combo doesn’t discriminate – it works on both boy and girl roaches.

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Cockroaches, those crafty bugs, breathe through their skin. When you cover them in a mixture of soap and water, it creates a barrier that stops them from getting oxygen, essentially making them suffocate and go away quietly.

This method is a bit slower than using typical bug sprays. But here’s the good part: it’s safer for people and our furry friends. Plus, it makes it harder for roaches to become resistant to it over time.

Now, here’s a twist: Female roaches are a bit tougher when it comes to our soapy enemy. Because they have thicker armor (called an exoskeleton), it takes longer for the soap and water to get through and suffocate them.

But the guys, well, they’re not as lucky. They have a shorter life cycle and thinner armor, so they’re more vulnerable to the suffocating power of the soap and water combo.

While it might not always work perfectly, using soap and water is definitely a kinder and less cruel way to get rid of roaches compared to strong chemicals. So, if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly way to kick roaches out, give this mix a try.

Remember, in the world of pest control, sometimes the simplest solutions, like mixing a bit of soap and water, can be the most effective!

Does soapy water kill roaches

Can Soapy Water kill Cockroach Eggs?

If you are wondering how to kill cockroach eggs, you might think that soapy water can help.

However, this is not enough to get rid of them.

Cockroach eggs have a hard outer cover that protects them from water and other substances.

You will have to break this cover first before spraying soapy water on the eggs. Otherwise, they will not die and they will hatch into more roaches.

However, soap and hot water kill cockroaches. Using this when controlling an infestation is a good idea.

Once you identify where the eggs are hidden, you can smash them open or simply have the eggs dipped in hot soapy water. 

What Type of Soap Kills Roaches?

When it comes to dealing with cockroaches in your home, you don’t need fancy solutions. You can actually use common soaps you probably already have. But how effective they are depends on the type of soap and how you use it. 

Liquid Dish Soaps

Liquid dish soaps are a top choice for many people dealing with cockroach problems. They work well because they’re made with special ingredients that can break through the tough outer shell of cockroaches, which makes it easier to suffocate them with the soap-water mixture. 

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Liquid dish soaps also tend to be more concentrated compared to bar soaps. This means they are stronger against roaches. To make your own roach repellent, mix a tablespoon of liquid soap with a quart of water and put it in a spray bottle.

This liquid form is convenient because you don’t have to dissolve the soap first. It’s great for quick action, especially in those tricky spots where roaches like to hide. 

does soapy water kill roaches

Bar Soaps

Even though liquid dish soaps get a lot of attention, don’t overlook bar soaps. They can also be effective against roaches because they contain certain ingredients that cockroaches don’t like. The only downside is that using bar soaps takes a bit more time and effort. 

If you prefer bar soaps or have them on hand, here’s what you can do: start by melting the soap in boiling water. Once the mixture cools down, put it in a spray bottle. A good mix is an equal amount of melted soap and water. This can be a strong defense against roaches. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Soap Water in Killing Cockroaches

Soap water has been gaining a reputation as a useful tool against cockroaches. It works by dehydrating the cockroach’s body quickly. However, like any method, it has its pros and cons. 


  • Cost-Effective: Getting rid of roaches doesn’t have to be expensive. Soap water is a great example of that. It’s simple and doesn’t require fancy ingredients or tools. When used correctly, it can be just as effective as the expensive commercial cockroach exterminators. 
  • Eco-friendly: Avoiding harsh chemical pesticides is better for the environment and everyone in your home, especially if you have kids or pets. Soap water is a safe and environmentally friendly choice that doesn’t sacrifice effectiveness. 
  • Easy to Use: Using soap water is straightforward. You mix it up and then spray it – no special training or equipment needed. 
  • Non-Toxic: What’s really appealing about soap water is that it not only works on roaches but is also safe for humans and pets. Many insecticides on the market can be harmful, even after they’re used. Soap water is different – it’s non-toxic and safe for your family. 


  • Not 100% Effective: While soap water has its benefits, it’s not a guaranteed solution. Roaches are persistent and can find other sources of moisture to rehydrate, which might help them survive the soap water. 
  • Can’t Reach Roaches in Hiding: One big challenge with soap water is that it can’t get into the hiding spots where roaches like to hang out, like cracks and crevices. So, while it might deal with the roaches you can see, it might not solve the whole infestation problem. 
  • Takes Time: Using soap water takes some preparation, especially if you’re using bar soaps. If you have a widespread roach problem, you might need to make multiple batches, which can be time-consuming. 


The question of whether soapy water kills roaches has a promising answer. While it might not work for every infestation, it’s an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and safe way to deal with these unwanted pests. Knowing the pros and cons, you can decide if it’s the right choice for protecting your home.  

For more tips and expert advice on pest control, be sure to explore other articles at Pestweek. We’re here to help you keep your home pest-free.

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