Does Irish Spring Soap Really Work to Repel Squirrels? (ANSWERED)

Squirrels are the bane of our existence! They treat our gardens like an All-You-Can-Eat buffet, and they are near impossible to keep out, due to their agility and nimbleness, allowing them to scale fences and jump from tree to tree.

But, have you heard of a wonder product called Irish Spring Soap. Word around the Garden Bench Top is that it repels common garden pests! But it does make you wonder…Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Squirrels Away?

Irish spring soap is an effective deterrent for keeping squirrels away from your delicious fruits and vegetables. With their keen sense of smell, the squirrels will catch a whiff of the strong Irish Spring scent and steer clear of your precious garden. There are several ways of using Irish Spring Soap in your garden, and we’ll walk you through our favorite methods below, so stay tuned.

Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Squirrels Away

However, before we jump into the DIY portion of this article, let’s explore why Irish Spring Soap is so effective against squirrels.

How does Irish Spring Soap Deter Squirrels?

The reasoning behind the magic of Irish Spring Soap is simple.

The smell is so strong and off-putting for ground squirrels, as soon as they catch a sniff of the familiar original scent, they will stop, turn around and find tastier pastures (and nicer smelling ones!).

So, does that mean you can use any bar of soap to deter squirrels? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Irish Spring Soap has a unique mix of ingredients that trigger a strong reaction from squirrels. Other brands will work to a degree, however Irish Spring Soap seems to be the preferred brand amongst fellow gardeners.

Unfortunately when we tried to find out the secret ingredient that makes Irish Spring Deodorant Soap so special, the particular ingredient we were searching for was only listed as “FRAGRANCE”, which indicates the makers of Irish Spring Soap are keeping their unique smell a mystery. Whatever the combination is, it seems to do the trick, and we, and the wider gardening community, are thankful for it.

For those interested in the components of Irish Spring Deodorant Soap, check out the website for a full list.

How to use Irish Spring Deodorant Soap to Repel Squirrels?

Irish Spring Deodorant Soap

Now that we know squirrels will run for the hills when Irish Spring Deodorant soap is present, what are effective ways for using it around the garden?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are our favorite methods of using this wonder Irish Spring soap.

Soap on a Rope

One of the most popular ways of using Irish Spring soap around the garden is to use the old soap on a rope method.

It is effective, because you can hang the soap from trees, shrubs and even fences along the perimeter of your garden. This effectively creates an invisible (smelly) boundary around your garden, warning squirrels to stay away.

The steps for using Irish Spring Soap on a rope are:

  1. carefully chisel a hole through the middle of your soap bar using a butter knife or sharp pencil. We suggest chiseling the soap over an open container to catch the bits of soap you are carving out to spread over your garden (another method we’ll discuss below).
  2. Thread a thick threaded rope through the hole and tie it off, creating a large loop. The loop should be 1-2 feet in length.
  3. Find hanging positions around your garden to form a perimeter. Some suggestions for hanging positions include horizontal tree branches, picket fences, poles or walls. Basically, any pathways that squirrels are likely to use as a thoroughfare to your edibles in your garden.

You can choose to cut your bar of soap into pieces and carve holes out in each piece, so you don’t have to save on costs. However, we find the smaller you cut your bar of soap, the more frequently you will have to replace them around the garden.

irish spring soap in hand

Soap on a Wooden Stake

This is a variation of the Soap on a Rope method described above. However, instead of using rope to hang bars of soap around your garden, you use sticks or poles to hold your soap up.

This method is effective for lawns and other wide areas of the garden that don’t have natural hanging areas for your soap.

We still recommend stringing your soap with a rope, wire or zip ties to the stick, as we find balancing or impaling the soap using the stick, often results in the bar of soap falling to the ground.

Grate Irish Soap Around Your Vulnerable Garden Plants

Another method of using Irish Spring Soap around your garden is to use a cheese grater to grate a soap bar directly on the soil around your favorite plants you are trying to protect.

We use this method to protect our vegetable patch, and other seedlings that we are trying to establish for the spring.

When you grate Irish Spring Soap, make sure to use a large grating grain, as you want the grated bits of soap to stick around, and not disintegrate with the first sign of rain.

Wrap Your Soap Bars In Cloth

Okay, this one is not exactly a ‘method’, rather more of a good tip. To prolong the longevity of your Irish Spring bar soap in the garden, wrap the soap in cheesecloth (or a cloth substitute) before hanging them or placing them out in the garden.

The cloth allows the scent to still emanate around the garden to ward off squirrels. And it is an effective barrier that protects the soap from exposure to the elements, such as sun, rain and wind.

Tie Irish Soap to Trellis, Tomato Cages and Bird Feeders.

Irish Spring Soap wrapped in material

Another effective use for this wonderful deterrent is to zip tie pieces of soap to trellises and growing structures like tomato cages and bird nets.

You can even use it to keep tree squirrels out of any bird feeders you have in your garden.

Obviously, these structures are hot targets for squirrels, because they usually indicate a meal is ready and waiting. So masking these with the strong Irish Spring scent is a necessity if you want to enjoy some mature and ripe produce, or some casual bird watching.

Frequently Asked Questions – Irish Spring Soap

In this section, we’ll address those common questions you may have about Irish Spring Soap and pests.

Will Irish Spring Soap Hurt My Plants?

The good news is, according to the Irish Spring website, Irish Spring deodorant soap will not harm your plants and is made from biodegradable cleansing ingredients, paraben free and formulated without phthalates.

This is especially important when you use the soap in methods such as grating it directly onto your topsoil. Even though it keeps the squirrels at bay, it would be counter-intuitive to contaminate your soil and detrimentally impact your plants’ health.

What Animals Eat Irish Spring Soap?

Unfortunately, not all animals share the aversion to Irish Spring Deodorant soap like squirrels, and can even be attracted to the smell.

Animals like skunks and even foxes will happily munch on your soap traps, actively seeking out the smell to satiate their appetite.

Check out this video by Frederick Dunn of an interesting experiment he did revealing a skunk eating the Irish Spring Soap!

What Pests Do Irish Spring Soap Repel?

Other than squirrels, Irish Spring soap does also repel other common garden pests.

The list of Irish Spring Soap includes larger wild animals like deer, as well as smaller ground dwelling pests like rabbits, mice and voles.

Final Thoughts

Using Irish Spring Deodorant Soap in your garden is a wonderful natural solution for keeping squirrels away from your garden. It is a budget-friendly and easy solution for protecting your garden.

We like to use grated soap around our favorite plants, as well as hanging soap on a rope around the perimeter of our garden to ward off pests.

Show us your brilliant ideas for using Irish Spring Soap around your garden.