I am looking for a cheap supply of surfactants for use as a soil wetting agent. Here is why; the soil in my garden is hydrophobic. When I water the garden, most of the water pools on the surface and drains out of the garden. I can water for an hour and the soil is still dusty dry. Here in Florida this is a common problem. For some reason the soil particles are covered with a waxy substance caused by the decomposition of organic material. Commercial wetting agents are available but they are definitely not priced for the average consumer. 2 gallons cost about 70 dollars. I was thinking about laundry detergents but the main ingredient Sodium Carbonate might be a problem since it will change the Ph of the soil and cause problems for the plants. Does anyone have any ideas of a cheap source of surfactants? Thanks for the help
Here are the MSDS ingredients for Tide laundry detergents.