Does Soapy Water Kill Lawn Fungus? [How to Use It]

Let’s face it- no homeowner wants unsightly fungi growing all over their green and beautiful lawn. Not only is it unsightly, but some types of fungi such as toadstool are poisonous. You need to get rid of fungi on your lawn as soon as you notice an invasion. Can laundry detergent get rid of such lawn fungus?

Dawn dish soap kills lawn fungus when applied repeatedly for a few days. Mix 2 tablespoons of laundry detergent with a gallon of water and spray it over the fungus infested areas on your lawn to kill it.

For some types of fungi such as mushrooms, there are no commercial chemical products approved to eliminate them. As such, you may need to rely on homemade alternatives such as Dawn dish detergent. But how effective dish soap is at killing lawn fungus? How can you use it?

Does dish soap kill lawn fungus?

Yes- dish soap kills lawn fungus by drying them out- just as it does on plants. However, since it also kills turfgrass, you’ll only want to apply the dish soap solution on the fungus-infested lawn sections as a spot treatment. If the surfactants in the dish soap come into contact with your desirable turfgrass, they’ll dry them out as well and kill the grass plants.

How to use soapy water for lawn fungus

To effectively kill off lawn fungi such as mushrooms and toadstools using soapy water, we recommend following the procedure elaborated below:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of dish-soap detergent with a gallon of water.
  2. Aerate the soil sections next to where the mushrooms or fungi are growing using aerating shoes. If you don’t own a pair of aerating shoes, you can use a pair of soccer cleats or a screwdriver instead. The holes that you poke into the ground around the fungal organisms should be about six-inches deep and 12-inches apart from each other.
  3. Spray the soap dish detergent solution onto the fungi-infested sections, making sure to target the aerated sections around the fungi.
  4. Repeat steps one-three above twice daily for about seven days to ensure that you totally get rid of all fungi from the lawn.

Is laundry detergent an effective lawn fungus treatment?

While laundry detergent will effectively kill lawn fungus, it’ll also kill your desirable turfgrass. This is because dish soap/laundry detergent contains surfactants that work to make oil and dirt molecules water soluble. These surfactants tend to be indiscriminate, killing off all plants that they come into contact with.

Insecticidal soap- on the other hand- doesn’t contain any chemical surfactants and is simply a combination of natural oils/fats with an alkali such as sodium hydroxide. However, insecticidal soap will kill insects but not fungi mycelium- leaving you with laundry detergent/dish soap as your most effective option.

Laundry soap kills fungi such as mushrooms by neutralizing the hyphae to inhibit mycelium growth. However, it’s advisable to go for a mild dish soap instead of a strong laundry detergent, as the latter will leave more visible damages on your desirable turfgrass.

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