Killing Mushrooms with Dish Soap in 5 Easy Steps

killing mushrooms with dish soap

Mushrooms can be a nuisance, especially when they appear out of nowhere and destroy the overall appeal of your yard or garden. One popular solution you can use to help in the fight against mushrooms dish soap. But does killing mushrooms with dish soap actually work, and how do you go about doing this?

To kill mushrooms with dish soap, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of dish soap for every 3 gallons of water. Aerate the area where the mushrooms are located. Pour your solution into the holes you created by aerating. Repeat this process a couple of times per day for 1 week.

Digging up mushrooms may be a popular way of dealing with them in your yard, but this does not eradicate them altogether. If you have persistent mushroom problems, read on to get some tips on how a dish soap can be the simple solution you need.

Mushrooms On Your Lawn

Fungi is naturally present in soil as their role is to break down decaying matter, such as thatch and dead roots. These fungi can show up as mushrooms on your lawn, which reproduce by spreading spores nearby.

Generally, mushrooms are beneficial but this cannot be said of gardens that need to maintain a lush appeal. Many think mushrooms are unsightly and need to be removed. On top of that, mushrooms can be hazardous to young kids and curious pets.

To effectively limit mushroom populations, you can prevent them from popping up in the first place. However, if you are currently dealing with prolific mushrooms, then maybe you want to try home remedies that have been proven by many gardeners all over – one of which is killing mushrooms with dish soap.

Can I Use Dish Soap To Kill Mushrooms?

The kitchen is not the only place for dish soap. Apparently, it also has a place in your outdoor shed. Many gardeners swear that it can be the perfect fungicide and herbicide to have around. It’s been used to kill pests that destroy your crops and as an herbicide for persistent weeds.

You may also wonder if dish soap can be used as a fungicide to kill mushrooms. The answer is yes, dish soap can be and has been touted as a simple but effective remedy against mushrooms that show up on your lawn. 

Will Dish Soap Kill Mushrooms?

While many gardeners can attest to the efficacy of dish soap to control mushroom growth, it does not kill mushrooms per se. That is because mushrooms don’t really die but rather go dormant. Once the right conditions are met, they spring back up again.

To really tackle mushroom problems, you have to literally go deeper – dig deep into your soil and attack the mycelium. The mycelium is the mushroom’s vegetative part.

While mushrooms remain stationary, the mycelium grows in search of nutrients for the fruiting bodies – in this case, the mushroom. That being said, dish soap should be used to target the mycelium to be able to control mushroom growth.

What Type Of Dish Soap Should I Use To Kill Mushrooms?

Now that you’re ready with your plan to kill off mushrooms, you might be wondering about the best soap to use. You don’t have to go out of your way just to purchase a special soap made for fungus. Any mild dish soap will do and you can just go to your kitchen and get that bottle of dish soap from the sink.

Do notice that mild is the keyword – you don’t want to use a strong detergent in place of a mild dishwashing liquid when spraying them to your lawn. Unless, of course, you don’t mind sacrificing a portion of your vibrant turf.

There may be plenty of options of dish soap but the best one to use – and recommended by most home gardeners is Dawn Dish Soap. More than choosing the brand of dish soap, it is also important to know how to use dish soap as a fungicide properly. We will discuss more of it further below.

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Fungus?

Dawn dish soap just does wonders in the kitchen sink. Many agree that it’s best for washing your dishes, cooking ware, and crystal. Other than that, it has also been used as a multi-purpose cleaner and pesticide for both indoor and outdoor plants.

So is Dawn dish soap capable of killing fungus? As mentioned above, yes, Dawn dish soap (or any dish soap for that matter) can kill the fungus since it will neutralize the hyphae (collectively mycelium). As a result, the mycelium’s growth is inhibited.

The bonus part is that the mild soap mixture doesn’t harm your lawn and will also act as a pesticide, eradicating the unwanted bugs in your soil.

Meanwhile, in other home remedies, dish soap can be used along with aspirin, to combat fungal infections in plants. In this recipe, dish soap acts as an agent that makes the active ingredient – in this case, aspirin – stick to the leaves.

Dish soap can either be the main or supporting ingredient, which only shows that it does play an important role in fungal growth control.

How Do I Get Rid Of Mushrooms In My Yard With Dish Soap?

Using dish soap is just one of the many ways you can get rid of mushrooms in your yard. Some have had successes killing mushrooms with vinegar while others swear by using baking soda or bleach to get rid of mushrooms. But with dish soap, you’ll have an ingredient that can be used in many ways in the garden –  as a pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide.

As mentioned earlier, targeting the mycelium is the goal when dealing with mushrooms. Knowing the proper way to do this ensures you can effectively prevent mushrooms from coming back to your lawn.

Killing Mushrooms With Dish Soap Step By Step

The best thing about using a mild dish soap like Dawn for mushrooms on your lawn is that it is completely safe. You are basically using a soap that touches your skin most of the time so you can be sure you won’t have skin irritations should the solution spill. 

To use dish soap to kill mushrooms, follow these easy steps:

Step One

For every three gallons of water, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of mild dish soap. Place your solution in a garden sprayer or a container.

Step Two

Aerate the area where the mushrooms are in your lawn. You can use aerating sandals for convenience. You can check out Punchau Aerator Shoes, for example. 

Step Three

If buying aerating sandals is not an option, you can start poking holes into your soil with a screwdriver for instance.

Step Four

Spray the solution to the area, making sure the soapy water gets into the holes you made. Alternatively, you can just pour the solution directly into the holes.

Step Five

You may need to repeat filling up the hole a couple of times per day for a week.

How Long Does It Take To Kill Mushrooms With Dish Soap?

Within minutes, you may see mushrooms wilting. However, to get to the mycelium, you may need to do the abovementioned steps repeatedly for a week. This will ensure that the mycelium has been disrupted.

Other Tips To Control Mushroom Growth

Besides using dish soap, knowing more tips to control mushroom growth is important, should one method fail. Below are some other steps you can take to deal with mushrooms in your garden.

  • Uproot mushrooms quickly – since mushrooms grow rapidly, timing of their removal is essential. At the first sight of a mushroom, pluck it from the base immediately. If they are left to grow for long, they will start releasing spores, which will lead to the growth of more mushrooms.
  • Apply nitrogen fertilizer – Mushrooms are present in your soil since they feed on decomposing organic matter. When more nitrogen is present, the decomposition rate is increased, leaving no more nutrients for mushrooms.
  • Extra care for potted plants – Pots are great places for mushrooms to thrive since they are mostly damp – the ideal environment for mushrooms. Make sure you potted plants adequate drainage and circulation to discourage mushroom growth.
  • Dispose of mushroom properly – Since plucking mushrooms is a common practice, it’s easy to just toss them into your compost pile. However, this is mostly a mistake from many gardeners. Instead, place the plucked shrooms in a plastic bag and tie it off properly. This prevents the spread of spores to other areas.


Dish soap has been a popular home remedy for gardening problems, including uncontrollable growth of mushrooms. They’re effective and they are readily available. The best way to use dish soap is by applying it into the soil. This can be done by poking a hole into the soil and pouring soapy waters into the hole.

One of the reasons soapy water is favored by home gardeners is because it doesn’t ruin your lawn while you take care of the mushrooms.

While it has been proven by home gardeners to have worked, remember that best gardening practices to keep your lawn healthy is the best way to prevent reemergence of annoying mushrooms on your lawn.

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