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Homemade Organic Flea Shampoo

Annette McDermott
dog and cat

If you don't want to expose your pets to the harsh chemicals in many commercial flea shampoos, try making your own organic flea shampoo. Many ingredients are natural flea repellents that will also improve your pet's skin and coat. Making your own organic shampoo is simple; it just takes a few more ingredients and a little more time.

Soapwort Shampoo

You can find organic soapwort root at your local health food store.


  • 2 cups of distilled water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of organic soapwort root


  1. Bring the water to a boil and add the soapwort root.
  2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for 40-60 minutes.
  4. Strain the soapwort out of the liquid.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Before using this shampoo on your pets, you will need to remix the ingredients again as the oil will rise to the top.

Vinegar Flea Bath

This shampoo may not have the best scent, but fleas hate it. It helps get the job done without the use of chemicals.


  • 2 cups of distilled water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup organic, unscented liquid Castile soap


  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly with a whisk.
  2. Pour into an airtight container.
  3. Shake well just before using.
  4. Store at room temperature up to a week.

A Caution About Essential Oils

An Internet search for homemade flea shampoo recipes results in many options that use essential oils. In fact, many essential oils repel fleas. However, they may be toxic to cats and even small to medium sized dogs or dogs with sensitive skin. Never use essential oils undiluted on any animal and do not use them on cats, kittens, puppies or toy and small breed dogs (diluted or undiluted) unless under the advice of your veterinarian.

Since many factors can affect your pet's reaction to essential oils (such as overall health and age), it's best to check with your veterinarian before using essential oils on even medium and large healthy dogs.

If you decide to add essential oils to your homemade flea shampoo, the following oils have flea-repelling abilities:

  • Lemon
  • Neem
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Geranium
  • Citronella
  • Lemon Grass
  • Peppermint


Here are some other tips when bathing your animals in your flea shampoo:

  • Always rinse thoroughly to avoid skin irritation.
  • Use a flea comb. If your pet already has fleas, use a flea comb while he is lathered up to pull the fleas and the eggs away from the skin.
  • Avoid the face. Most animals do not like their faces getting wet. Instead, lather up your hands and gently wash over the face.
  • Remember to get the hard-to-reach areas. Don't forget about washing in between your pets' toes, their tails and their "armpits."

Treat Your Pet Regularly

While these remedies will help keep your pet flea-free, you may need to reapply or wash with them once a week on an ongoing basis. Frequent applications will help ensure your pet is comfortable and not bothered by fleas or harsh chemicals.

Homemade Organic Flea Shampoo