Can This Viral TikTok Soap Hack Really Keep Your Home Pest-Free?

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A viral TikTok has provided hope that just possibly, an inexpensive and environmentally-conscious hack for keeping bugs at bay is waiting on your bathroom counter. Rather than choosing a harsh chemical alternative, this video suggests a surprisingly simple technique purported to deter pests. According to @lawilliams50 on TikTok, applying a layer of Irish Spring soap to door jambs will be just the trick for stopping a potential invasion of bugs.

Another TikTok Stitch with @jordan_the_stallion8 from, who claims to be a "federally licensed pesticide applicator-slash-pest control technician," backs up this hack. The professed technician insists that when the insects encounter the substance, their exoskeleton will be compromised and they'll dry out. Word of mouth is one thing, but research is key to proving whether this simple hack will eliminate bugs from your home once and for all or if it's just another pest control myth. There are quite a few conflicting reports online, so let's narrow down the consensus and figure out if Irish Spring is the solution for more than just dirty hands and body odor.

Is this TikTok hack up to snuff for repelling insects?

Some proven, natural pest-repellent scents include thyme, linalool (found in lavender), and eucalyptus. Meanwhile, the purported pest control technician from the aforementioned TikTok recommends rosemary and peppermint oil as the perfect ingredients for a DIY bug spray. Maybe Irish Spring contains some of these specific scents?

A quick scan of Irish Spring ingredients does not support evidence of any of these pungent oils, and though we can't say for certain what's in its proprietary "fragrance," any oils present are certainly not formulated in the same way as the solutions tested in laboratory settings or even the one mentioned in's TikTok. Beyond that speculation, nothing else in the list of additives suggests the power to ward off insects. But it's not just up to us label-reading laypeople: Expert Molly Keck, an entomologist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, declares, "There's no reason that it should work. There's no scientific explanation for it working" (via KHOU News).

It's especially important to take bugs seriously given the harmful diseases they can easily spread to humans with a bite, and Keck further urges us not to discount the need for a real exterminator, saying, "It's not going to replace your regular pest management. It's not going to eliminate all the insects away from your house or anything like that. I mean, if you think it will, by all means, try it, but you're probably going to find that that's not the case."

Take your Irish Spring outdoors to deter other pests

While there aren't actual studies or expert testimonies to prove Irish Spring will ward off insects, and parent company Colgate-Palmolive confirms (via KHOU) that neither product research nor intent support this use, there is evidence of its effectiveness in the garden. Grating it and sprinkling it on the ground or putting a whole bar of soap in your garden on a stake is a method of creating a barrier against some animals, especially smell-sensitive mammals like rabbits and deer. Refreshing the supply is an important key to this method's efficacy; adding freshly cut or shaved chunks to a garden will increase the potency of the smell, so this must be done often.

The point is to make the scent as strong as possible; Irish Spring is known for its kick, but you can technically use other strongly-scented as well, so it probably has less to do with the mysterious chemical properties of any one soap and more to do with a sensitive animal's instinctive response to overpowering odors. And most importantly, as horticulturist Andrew Gaumond reiterates to Real Homes: While this method can work for certain small-to-medium-sized animals with delicate noses, you shouldn't rely on it for bugs.