Having weeds in your garden and lawn really detracts from the look of your yard. Avoid using harmful chemicals by making you own weed killer. This is a guide about homemade weed killer recipes.
I have used the same method for many years now. Who would know that a huge mistake could turn out to be something useful years later? Maybe many ideas come to use that way, this one for sure did.
We were boiling shrimp with some friends when I lived in Louisiana. Being young and trying not to show it, actually taught me two things in the same weekend. One: do not put shrimp down the garbage disposal. Two: the hot mixture of spices kills your grass almost instantly! I do pretty much everything I can organically. If I still lived in the South where you boil shrimp or crawfish often, I would just use the left over water to pour on all my weeds. Since I have moved from there, now I make a special "brew" to kill all of those weeds, without hurting the environment. The ones that come up through cracks in driveway or close to the steps can't hide from this hot and spicy weed killer.
You take Cajun pepper (red pepper will do) and hot sauce, vinegar can also be added if you have extra. Bring it to a boil and pour directly on any area where you want everything to die. Be very careful not to get it on grass you want to stay alive. Anything this hot mixture is put on will die (ants don't like it either). If you make more then you use at any given time, put in bottle for next time. This works cool, but I have found it works faster when boiled, steaming hot. If you aren't wanting to see results immediately, know it works after mixture has cooled off.
I add a half jar of Cajun or red pepper and half a bottle of hot sauce to a large pot of water. You just know it is ready when your eyes are watering and the room fills with the smell of the mixture. I have added left over pickle juice, vinegar, even jalapeno juice to this, depending what is left over in my fridge or cabinets. This works and works well without hurting anything in the air; animals tend not to eat in that area but it doesn't hurt them.
If you do boil shrimp, crab or crawfish, please drain the water where any unwanted weeds are so you get double use out of something you would just throw away. At most markets that sell seafood, they have bags with seasoning already in it. I always ask this time of the year to let me know if any are past the selling date. A couple of times I got lucky and was able to get the boil in bag seasoning for a dollar. Any of these ingredients can be found at the Dollar Store. With no more worries about pulling weeds, maybe you will have more time to enjoy this beautiful time of the year.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
Here is an easy all natural weed and grass killer that works fast, doesn't harm the environment and is a lot cheaper than the toxic weed killers available at the home improvement store.
I was tired of using harmful chemicals to keep weeds and grass under control in my yard. So I decided to try something new. I know that salt will kill off just about any vegetation in large quantities, so I figured it would be good for killing weeds and grasses in smaller amounts. Vinegar affects the PH of the soil also and makes it difficult for plants to grow.
So I mixed the 2 together and put them in my trusty weed sprayer to see what happened. I used a whole gallon of white vinegar and about a half cup of salt, here are the results.
I chose a test area that had some grass growing up in seams of the driveway. Here you can see the test area I used to apply the mixture.
This is what it looked like after 24 hours.
This is what it looked like after 48 hours.
As you can see it is a very effective weed and grass killer. I also tried it on dandelions and some other weeds around the yard. It worked equally well with them, but it will also kill the grass surrounding the weed if you are not very careful with the application. This year, I am going to give my kids little paint brushes with cups of vinegar and salt and let them apply the mixture to the dandelions in the grass. I think this will be an effective method of applying the weed killer without killing the surrounding vegetation. Plus, it will be kind of fun for them.
It rained the next day and I thought the grass might perk up, but the weeds and grass continued to die off. It was very effective on the broad leaf weeds. Some of the grass in the driveway and sidewalk needed a second dose after about a week, but the areas I doused really well the first time died off completely. I believe the reason for needing to reapply was because I did not put enough on those areas the first time around.
By Jess from Hillsboro, OR
To get rid of dandelions, spray straight vinegar into the center of each plant and in about two weeks they will all be dead and gone. Any that haven't disappeared will be dead and can be dug/pulled out. (There shouldn't be any). This really worked for me and they have never grown back in the area I treated. ONLY in the center of the plant, not on the grass.
Source: The Vinegar Book
By katesnanna from Brisbane, Australia
One can just pour hot water on plants to get rid of weeds. But, I wish people would really look at all the plants growing in their yards and ask why.
Plants like dandelions have deep tap roots. They break up the soil and bring minerals up to the top soil. Why not just mow them down after they've bloomed. They are pretty. Plants tell you a lot about the condition of your land.
We've been taught to prefer manicured, scrubbed yards. There are no fruit trees anymore which could have something to do with the bee problem. No berry bushes, and a few set apart plants. Why not go crazy and go for lush? Weeds would get crowded out.
By Jeannette 1
I've misplaced a very effective recipe for an natural weed killer. It used Pine Sol as one of the ingredients. Would greatly appreciate if anyone is familiar with this recipe.
June 19, 2013
I use white vinegar, the cheaper the brand the better. Save the pinesol mixes to spray your trash cans, theones you put out for pick up. The pine sol smell makes the trash less nasty to your nose and totally nasty to the critters like racoons and skunks who may be in search of a free meal.
Be Careful with the vinegar. Don't get it on any plants you want to keep. Otherwise it's totally safe for you, your pets, and the environment.
I am looking for a recipe for organic weed and grass killer.
Hardiness Zone: 8a
By Cynthia from TX
April 2, 2010
I believe corn bran is now used to kill weeds, used like mulch. Covering grass with a mat, boards, or black plastic will kill it. How much grass influences the choice.
I am considering making a weed killer using vinegar and salt. What are the benefits and the amounts used?
August 31, 2013
Is this safe to use on weeds around the base of a tree? Or will it harm the tree?
To kill dandelions, pour vodka into spray bottle and spray on dandelions on a sunny day. Add a little dish liquid for more stubborn weeds.
By duckie-do from Cortez, CO
How do I make and use vinegar weed killer?
By Glenda from Winfield, MO
April 16, 2010
I used it when I lived in Louisiana & had fairly good luck. On a bright sunny day, I would spray full strength white vinegar on weeds & grass growing in places I didn't want it growing (like a small crack I had in the driveway). It took a few days to work. It won't work on huge patches, just strays and small clumps.
Use 10% vinegar per gallon of water. Add 2-4 oz orange oil (citrus Orange oil) and 1 Tablespoon liquid soap (not germacide type but real soap).
and if you have a really bad weed problem:
Use 2 cups dried molasses, 2 cups sugar with 1 Tbsp chili pepper and 2 Tbsp garlic powder - mix it and lay around base of weeds.
You can mix the dried mix with orange oil and 1 cup vinegar but be sure you are outside as it is bad to breathe. Be sure not to get it on you when spraying and not in your eyes at all.
We would like to try the solution of vinegar, Epsom salt, and dish soap, but are concerned if it will kill everything. We do not want "volunteers" oaks, coffeeberry, etc. to be killed. Thanks!
By Maria R.
March 25, 2014
First of all, you'd use regular salt; epsom salt is actually a plant food. Vinegar will render the soil sterile, meaning that nothing at all will grow there, maybe for decades (it stays in the soil). It will also render the soil sterile if a rain washes it to another place. It is best NOT to use it if you ever want anything to grow, ever. And yes, it will kill "volunteers." Just lightly spray the leaves with soapy (blue dawn dishwash soap) water on a really sunny day or use boiling water.
If you spray vinegar ''at what rate?" will you be able to grow other plants in the same area? Does the vinegar sterilize the ground or how long will it keep weeds from reappearing?
March 25, 2013
Vinegar is a great weed killer, even better with dishsoap in it (the soap acts like a bonding agent) It will kill anything.
But unfortunately it changes the soil so that nothing will grow there after it has been used. Bleach is better 50/50- it doesnt hurt the soil and doesn't harm the environment. It dissipates after about 12 hours.
I thought I saw a homemade recipe to kill vegetation and weeds using rubbing alcohol. Can you help me? Or is there any other recipe that would kill thistles, etc.?
October 11, 2015
apparently you should use regular salt, as the Epsom salts are a fertilizer for plants. I did not know this, lol. Could have had megaweeds growing everywhere on my little lawn. I found by accident a wonderful weed and grass killer one time as our dog and house was sprayed by a skunk. So after spraying the house, I noticed later that same day that all of the grass on my lawn and ditch area, we lived in the countryside, it all turned an orangey colour and poof it died in two days. Amazing stuff, only problem is, the computer that it was on died and now I cannot find the recipie, oh crap.
It had glycerine included, it allows the mixture to stick to the leaves of the plant, plus if you use a nice smelling dish soap then your yard smells nice as well, bonus, lol.
Anyway, Take care Tracey and good luck.
Is there a formula for homemade weed killer?
By Pat H.
March 31, 2012
Here's a good one I came across the other day!
We've used vinegar for killing weeds around the garden, for several years now. It's a great way to get rid of weeds in cracks in cement or in a paved driveway. You can pour it on directly from the jug or put it in a spray bottle (use full strength). Just a word of warning, if you don't want it to die, then don't go near it with the vinegar. If using in a flower garden, be careful around the plants you want to keep. The vinegar will leach to the other plants through the roots and kill them, so it may be better to pull these by hand.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
What is the best homemade weed killer?
By Diane from Center Point, IA
May 13, 2010
Vinegar works or boiling water but then you will kill the good things growing around it too. If you have individual weeds you want to kill, the best thing to do is take one of those sponge paint brushes (preferably a small one) and dip it in Roundup and "paint" the leaves of the weed. It takes it down to the root and does not affect the grass around it. It is time consuming but it works.
By Laurie 1
What is the best nontoxic weed killer to use and what ingredients are needed?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Laurie from Jackson, MI
April 24, 2010
Vinegar or Boiling Water: Regular household Vinegar can be used or you can buy a stronger vinegar at a plant nursery. Heating the vinegar up works even better! Put the vinegar in a garden-sprayer & spray on the weeds, or pour it directly on to the soil to kill the roots.
Vinegar is more permanent & will keep most things from growing long-term, while boiling water, of course is only temporary, but it works for areas where you may want to later grow things, like weeding flower or vegetable gardens or where you may want to plant foliage or bushes at a later date.
* To boil water outside, you can use a propane camping stove, but don't leave it unattended! Not even for a second, because a child or someone's pet could get burned!
Do the environment a favor & please don't use bleach, it IS toxic!
Put straight vinegar into a cheap garden sprayer ($12) and spray this onto your weeds. You can also pour the vinegar right on to the soil to kill the roots and stop everything from growing there in the future. If you heat Vinegar up, it works even better. You can also buy a special vinegar with a stronger acid content at most plant nurseries that works even better!
If you want a temporary week killer and don't want to stop everything from growing, just pour boiling water on to the area. It's easiest to use a propane camping stove and boil your water outside. Use a camping coffee pot with a handle and a pouring-spout if you have one. Be careful that the steam doesn't splash back and scald you!
I feed all of our wildlife here in the yard. I have a feeder for peanuts for the squirrels, they make a mess with the peanut shells, so I got the bright idea of using them for weed control. I put them around the flowers, and have started using them around my vegetable plants.
By kelli H. 2
Instead of using harsh chemicals that can be lethal to children and animals and quite expensive, grab a nice big pot and fill it with water. Bring water to a rapid boil and pour on weeds. This literally fries the roots and the active growing weeds nearly instantly.
Does anyone know where corn gluten can be purchased? I have been told it is used in Oklahoma, spread like grass seed. It apparently feeds the grass and kills the weeds.
By samsosa35 1
What is the best homemade remedy to kill weeds permanently around the house.
I am looking for a cure to kill the bind weed around my farm. I haven't minded it too much except that it is moving into my flower beds and that is a no, no. I've tried digging it, but there is just too much of it.
By sgm48 1
I have a lot of grass right up next to my house and azaleas not too far from the house. Will the homemade Roundup seep over into the azaleas? I have already killed some of the grass. So far, the azalea is still alive, but I was wondering if anyone knew about this because I have more grass to kill with several more plants.
By Sandy M. from Tyler, TX
How do I make my own weed killer?
By Bill from Ajax, Ontario
Will the recipe of 2 cups Epsom salt, 1 gallon white vinegar and 1/2 cup blue Dawn detergent kill my centipede grass or flowers?
I use vinegar, ammonium sulphate, salt, and liquid soap to kill my weeds. Is that better or not? What is the most highly effective homemade weed killer?
By Ansa from Nigeria
What is the best thing to use for Florida betany weed commonly known as rattlesnake weed grass? It is very invasive and spreads fast.
What is the weed killer recipe that includes gin?
By Barb Jean
Q: How can I make my own weed killer?
Salmonfly from Rochester
There are a number of recipes for homemade weed killers. All are variations of the following recipe:
Mix thoroughly until the salt dissolves, pour into a hand-held spray bottle and spray the solution directly on the target weeds. For weeds growing out of cracks in driveways and sidewalks, some people pour salt directly on the weeds. Other people pour straight vinegar directly on weeds. Still others add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the recipe to help the solution stick to the weeds. The important thing to know about this homemade recipe is that is non-selective. Just like any weed killer, use it sparingly and with caution. Non-selective means it will kill or damage any plants or grass that come into contact with it. Also, try to avoid spraying it directly on the soil. Vinegar breaks down the soil structure and kills beneficial microorganisms. In areas where this is applied, the vinegar can render the soil sterile for several years. Other organic methods of weed control include hand-pulling, boiling water or torching.
<img src="/images/articles10/weeds250x206.jpg" width="250" height="206" border="0" alt="Homemade Weed Killers" hspace="5" vspace="5">
|<img src="http://www.thriftyfun.com//images/articles24/weedkillers300x252.jpg" width="300" height="252" border="0" hspace="7" vspace="0" alt="Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe">|
I am looking for a recipe for weed killer that is made with vinegar, Dawn dishwashing liquid and something else. If you have this recipe, or another recipe, please let me know.
Here are two homemade recipes to try. Both should be used only on plants that you want to get rid of, taking care not to spray any on surrounding plants. These are most effective when used on emerging weeds.
Spray these directly on weeds in the garden or pour directly into cracks of walks and driveways.
By Ellen Brown
Here are some other ideas from the ThriftyFun community.
Here's a recipe for homemade weed killer that works for me.
Use a funnel to place the following ingredients in a medium spray bottle approximately the size of a quart, but it doesn't have to be exact:
Fill the rest of the bottle up with water.
Shake well before each use. Spray mixture directly on the weed itself; if weed is out in the yard, be careful not to spray the grass! The vinegar is what kills the weeds, but the dish soap holds the vinegar in place so it stays on the plant instead of running off. This works great on grass or weeds in sidewalk or driveway cracks, too. Best time to spray is in the middle of the day when the sun is beating down on you.
Just a quick comment on the weed killers: Add dish soap to the vinegar and mix it with water to spot-weed the yard (usually 1 part dish soap, 2 parts vinegar, and 2 parts water). The dish soap makes the vinegar stick to the weed longer, and a couple of days baking in the sun should do the trick!
Here's some solutions I've used:
I have used plain old vinegar, it even kills dandelions.
I recently read an article about Roundup. It has been linked to the death of amphibians. A few years ago, my neighbors sprayed some on my rockery which spread over into my garden. I'd had visits from little tiny frogs every year but there have been none since.
Susan from ThriftyFun
Be careful when using the mixture that contains salt around concrete - salt can and will damage concrete. I personally wouldn't recommend this one for driveway and sidewalk cracks, just use the vinegar. (06/09/2007)
No, I have the best one, try 1/2 cup Flyphosate, 1/4 cup 2,4d Amine and 1 Tablespoon Ammonium Sulfate; Per Gallon of Water. It will kill everything, and be safe to grow new plants. (08/28/2007)
I read that if I sprinkle baking soda on weeds they will wither and die, but will it kill my grass also?
Editor's Note: Yes, it will kill grass also. (10/15/2007)
Where do you buy hort vinegar?
Editor's Note: It is available at a garden store. (02/13/2008)
NEVER use salt in your garden, even in weed killer. It stays in the soil and will salinate your garden and things just won't grow. As a weed killer I use the vinegar and soap recipe and haven't found anything it won't kill. (06/07/2008)
My bio-dynamic farmer friend showed me how you can kill burdock and Thistle by cutting the flower stalks down just after they reach full flowering. They will not have time to regrow and as most varieties are biannual they will die. This takes a couple of years of consistent cutting and a good scythe for cutting. (06/17/2008)
If you have plants coming up under the bird feeder, they're probably plants that produce seeds that birds like to eat. So, I would just leave them be as a free bird feeder. We get lots of sunflowers this way.
Also, plain old boiling water works well and won't damage the soil. Just be careful about nearby plants. (06/20/2008)
Use 10% vinegar - 1 gallon, add: 2-4 oz orange oil (citrus Orange oil) and 1 Tablespoon liquid soap (not germicide type but real soap).
and if really bad weed problem try this:
2 cups dried molasses, 2 cups sugar, with 1 Tbsp. chili pepper and 2 Tbsp. garlic powder - mix it and lay around base of weeds.
You can mix the dried mix with orange oil and 1 cup vinegar but be sure you are outside as it is bad to breathe. Be sure not to get it on you when spraying and not in your eyes at all.
Triox, this will kill your weeds to bare ground and last for a year. (09/18/2008)
By Tim W
Wal Mart has their own house-brand of "Round-Up"-- same active ingredient as Round-Up. 41% concentrate, but half the price of Round-Up! It will kill your weeds roots and all, and has NO soil activity! Be careful with salt, it can poison your soil. (10/13/2008)
One can just pour hot water on plants, too. But I wish people would really look at all the plants growing in their yards and ask why. Plants like dandelions have deep tap roots. They break up the soil and bring minerals up to the top soil. Why not just mow them down after they've bloomed. They are pretty.
Plants tell you a lot about the condition of your land. We've been taught to prefer manicured, scrubbed yards. There are no fruit trees anymore, which could have something to do with the bee problem. No berry bushes, and a few set apart plants. Why not go crazy and go for lush? Weeds would get crowded out. (04/15/2009)
Are there any home recipes for weed and grass killer for vegetable gardens?
Anita from Prattville, AL
You can also pour boiling water straight on the plants. Just be careful not to get it on any good plants. (09/13/2008)
No, I disagree with the use of a cup of salt. That is permanently ruined soil. Salt is a chemical. (09/15/2008)
It kind of worked. (12/03/2008)
You should also use Lemon juice. It works very effectively. (01/14/2009)
By Paul A.
Mix 1 gallon of vinegar with 1 oz. of liquid dish detergent. The soap works to break down the waxy surface on the leaves, allowing the vinegar to work more efficiently. It also helps the solution to stick to the leaves, giving the vinegar time to kill the weed.
Fill a spray bottle with the solution and spray weeds thoroughly. The solution will kill any plant it comes in contact with. Use care to avoid over-spray to neighboring plants. Small weeds will shrivel and die within 24 hours. Repeat application if regrowth occurs from the roots.
Pour the solution directly on the roots of large weeds that have extensive root systems. Plants like burdock may take a day or two to die off. Once the root withers and becomes soft, pull the root from the soil. Be careful, good luck. (03/26/2009)
Will the vinegar and dish soap work for not just surface weeds, but roots as well? If this is not remedied soon, I will have weeds the size of trees like last year when we bought the house. That was last July, so we decided to wait. Please help, I'm desperate to sod and start a small vegetable garden. Thanks.
Hardiness Zone: 10b
By ladyhawk171 from Windsor, ON Canada
When it comes to homemade weed killers, if you kill the leaves of a weed too quickly, your vinegar or bleach or whatever will not be absorbed into the plant and kill the roots.
You can read all about homemade weed killers here:
It makes sense to me to simply mow them prior to putting the vinegar solution on them. That's what I did and it did kill them all the way to the roots. (05/08/2009)
Does anyone know how to make a natural vegetation killer?
By EM10 from Bancroft, Ontario, CA
I have used vinegar sprayed on the plants. Spray them on a sunny day, it seems to work faster. (06/19/2009)
Here are several ideas. I used the bleach with a little soap detergent. (you will understand when you read it).
Hope this helps. (06/20/2009)
I am looking for a homemade weedkiller that is safe to use in an area intended for planting flowers and vegetables.
Hardiness Zone: 8b
By dovelady1962 from Seattle, WA
Boiling water poured onto weeds or vinegar. (05/27/2009)
Depending on the time of year covering up the weeds with black plastic, or newspaper will kill them and not contaminate the ground. (05/28/2009)
I am looking for a cheap way to kill weeds.
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By 204563 from Cascade, WI
For weeds in between cracks in driveways and sidewalks, I found that boiling water did the trick. Some said to put salt in it too, but, why put that on to cement?
For the garden area, get some black plastic tarp, place it over where you want to plant, and hold it down with rocks or bricks. Give it after about 2 weeks, (check it first though) and all the weeds are cooked under the black plastic and already starting to composting. (09/14/2009)
Pour vinegar into a spray bottle full strength and heavily spray over area you want weeds killed. It will also burn off the grass too, so be sure you want all of it gone before applying. Grass will grow back in time as will the weeds. (09/15/2009)
What is a good homemade natural weed killer?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Sophia from Jamestown, NY
I say you take off and nuke the entire site from orbit; it's the only way to be sure. I am trying the 3% vinegar, salt, and soap approach using a narrow stream right into the maw of the dandelion plant. Each application is limited to the specific plant; I am not applying it to a broad area of my lawn. My goal is to keep the dandelions from spreading too far. I will let you know the results. (04/10/2010)
Put straight vinegar into a cheap garden sprayer ($12) and spray this onto your weeds. You can also pour the vinegar right on to the soil to kill the roots and stop everything from growing there in the future. If you heat Vinegar up, it works even better. You can also buy a special vinegar with a stronger acid content at most plant nurseries. That works even better!
If you want a temporary weed killer and don't want to stop everything from growing, just pour boiling water on to the area. It's easiest to use a propane camping stove and boil your water outside. Use a camping coffee pot with a handle and a pouring-spout if you have one, and be careful that the steam doesn't splash back and scald you!
DO NOT leave the water cooking outside unattended because a child, your pet, or a neighbor's cat may burn themselves! (04/10/2010)
I need a homemade weedkiller that will get rid of burdock, stinging nettles and bull thistles. Our farm is getting overrun with this stuff and my back is aching from digging and pulling all spring!
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Beverly from Barre, VT
I found this recipe:
Mix 1 gallon white vinegar with 1# salt and a generous squirt of lemon dish detergent. Mix in a water can. Sprinkle on unwanted weeds.
I didn't mix the whole recipe, but I did mix a little and poured it on some dandelions and they died. I also tried to pour boiling water on some weeds, and it did not kill them. Just stunted them some. (06/05/2008)
There's a propane torch designed for torching the tops and stems of weeds. That might work, eventually, and it might save your back. Or, do you know someone with a goat that could be corralled on your land? (06/05/2008)
Homemade Weed Killer:
4 litre jug of vinegar
1 cup of salt
Take a cup of vinegar out of the jug, pour in the salt, shake to dissolve the salt. Pour the cup of vinegar back in the jug. This will kill all weeds, so be careful not to put on anything you want to keep. (06/06/2008)
Thank you for ideas. Thinking of getting some goats again but the way people drive I wouldn't dare put them near the edge of the road where a lot of the burdock are located. (06/06/2008)
Sorry, my goats never would eat a single bite of nettles or stickery things, except for blackberries. I used to use a scythe, one of those tools that the Grim Reaper carries. Mowing before seed-fall helps. And I poured boiling water under the electric fence (turned off, duh). The more you treat the pasture grasses right, the more they predominate and the undesirable weeds get crowded out. (06/08/2008)
I'd like to use some kind of natural weed killer that I can make myself to use in and around my flower and vegetable garden without killing off my vegetables and flowers. What do you recommend?
Hardiness Zone: 7b
By Red from LaFayette, GA
Your best bets are your hands and a hoe, followed by mulching. Most anything that will kill the weeds, will kill the garden plants. If the aisles are wide, you can use a tiller, or burn them off with a propane weed burner. Once I have the weeds in the aisles knocked down, I use grass clippings to keep them down (tilling them in at the end of the season). Once the rows are weeded, it only takes a few minutes a day to keep them that way. Unfortunately, when it comes to gardens, there are not a lot of SAFE chemical shortcuts. (06/08/2010)
Plain cheap white vinegar. (06/12/2010)