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Quinoa rinse water as a bug repellant?

Just saw this recommended. Has anyone tried this? I think it's time to make some quinoa. Right now my green bean plants are looking so healthy, but I know any day now the beetles will arrive.

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  1. Oh, rats. When I saw the title, I thought maybe I'd be able to sit on my deck without the mosquitos attacking me.

    1. It would make sense because the coating on quinoa has a lot of saponins (natural soap-like substance). But I think most of the quinoa sold in the US is already washed and you might not get enough saponin in your rinse water to do much. The quinoa sold in the markets in Bolivia needs a serious rinsing with several changes of water and rubbing the grains between your hands. But it's worth a try and can't hurt.

      8 Replies
      1. re: AmyH

        Thanks. I will give it a try when I next make quinoa. Like you said, it can't hurt. Thought I'd do a first rinse in a small amount of water to keep what saponins are there as concentrated as possible.

        1. re: MrsJonesey

          That's a good idea. And then maybe put it in a mister if you have one, so you can cover the most surface area on your plants.

          1. re: AmyH

            Oh, definitely. I just bought a new spray bottle.

            1. re: MrsJonesey

              Please let me know if it works. I have something eating my basil, although my green bean plants have been left alone this year. Maybe because I planted an heirloom called rattlesnake instead of my usual Kentucky wonders.

              1. re: AmyH

                Sure! Unfortunately, you might taste the saponin on your basil. Wouldn't hurt to try though. Even if you could taste it, perhaps it would get the bugs under control and you could enjoy new unsprayed leaves.
                http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/non...

                1. re: MrsJonesey

                  I would hope it would wash off. I might have to cook up some quinoa and try it.

                  1. re: AmyH

                    I cooked some quinoa today. I had maybe 1/2 cup in a package that said to rinse. I needed 1 cup so just mixed it with some from a no-rinse package and swished the quinoa in about 4 cups of water and let it sit for a few minutes before draining. The water was quite cloudy with minute particles, so I put a coffee filter in my funnel when filling the spray bottle. They are notorious for clogging. I will spray tomorrow if it doesn't rain.

                    1. re: MrsJonesey

                      Update: I have only sprayed my beans once. So far I have only seen a couple of the bean beetles, but that was before I sprayed. I have been seeing some Japanese beetles, so the quinoa water doesn't deter them. Overall verdict is still out though.