By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | June 1, 2010
I was talking with a friend recently, and she shared a heretofore-unknown-to-me use for Lemon Joy dishwashing liquid. I was so surprised by it, and wanted to share it with ya’ll!
Turns out, Lemon Joy can be applied directly to the skin as an incredibly effective tick repellent. In fact, it seems it’s so effective that my friend sends her toddler son outside into her deer tick-laden Westchester NY backyard, and he never picks up a bug. This is astonishing to me! There are so many sprays and cremes and lotions which aim to do the same thing, some on the natural side and most on the not-so-natural end, but I’ve not heard of them being nearly as effective. And in a part of the world in which Lyme Disease is a real concern, this seems like a minor miracle.
I was also told that it’s used at Scout camps as a mosquito repellent for large areas– it’s mixed with water, and sprayed all over the ground in the areas where people congregate. Apparently this is also a really effective solution.
So I got to wondering how safe Joy is to use directly on the body, and when sprayed directly on the ground and plantlife. Obviously, Joy isn’t a “natural” brand–but does that mean it’s distinctly unsafe? And if it is, how does it rank in comparison to other bug repellents such as, oh, say, DEET?
Wikipedia says that “Joy dishwashing liquid contains both anionic and nonionic surfactants (each of which are biodegradable) and no phosphate.” That doesn’t sound so bad… but when I searched for a list of ingredients, this is what I found: “Water , Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , Sodium Pareth-23 , C12-14-16 Dimethyl Amine Oxide , SD Alcohol 40-B , Undeceth-9 , PPG-26 , Sodium Chloride , Cyclohexanediamine , Polyacetate , Fragrance , FD&C Yellow #5 , D&C Red No. 33.”
Now, I’m not a chemist, but besides the first ingredient– water– the rest of those don’t seem so healthy to me. Are they better for us than DEET? I’m not at all sure. But since I do resort to the super-harsh chemical potions once or twice a year, when I’m deep in the woods for extended periods of time, I’m willing to give this a shot instead. I think the marketing brilliance of the product being named “Joy” and smelling of bright citrus and colored such a pretty yellow goes a long way towards me wanting it to be a useful buggie option, even though I really do know better.
Have you tried this trick? Do you have other buggie-dissuading techniques to share with the class?
[Image by Noego via Creative Commons]
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