Homemade Weed Killer Recipes

Homemade Weed Killer Recipes

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.


Solutions: Homemade Weed Killer Recipes

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Tip: Hot and Spicy Weed Killer

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

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Tip: All Natural Weed Killer

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.

Salt and Vinegar Weed Killer

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.

Before All Natural Weed Killer

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.

Applying All Natural Weed Killer

This is what it looked like after 24 hours.

All Natural Weed Killer at 24 Hours

This is what it looked like after 48 hours.

All Natural Weed Killer at 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.

Happy gardening!

By Jess from Hillsboro, OR

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Tip: Natural Weed Killer

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

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Tip: Hot Water Weed Treatment

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.

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Tip: Weed Killer Recipe


  • Vinegar
  • Liquid Soap
  • Orange Oil


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.

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Tip: Homemade Weed Killer

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

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Tip: Homemade Weed Killer Recipe


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!

Boiling Water:

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!

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Tip: Chemical Free Instant Weed Killer

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.

    By kelli H. [2]

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    Tip: Pickling Vinegar For Weeds

    Use pickling vinegar instead of regular white or malt vinegar since it contains 7% acetic acid and not the usual 5%. The ratio of 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) of liquid washing soap to 1 gallon (4 Litres) pickling vinegar is fine.

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    Tip: Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds

    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!

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    Tip: Peanut Shells for Weed Control

    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. No more weeds, and helps keep soil warm, and takes less watering as they keep the soil from drying out!

    By Rosa

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    Here are questions related to Homemade Weed Killer Recipes.

    Question: Using Vinegar, Salt, and Soap for Weeds

    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.

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    Best Answer

    By susan [8] 03/25/2014

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Salt and Vinegar for Weeds

    I am considering making a weed killer using vinegar and salt. What are the benefits and the amounts used?

    By Donb

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Ilene Waters V. 08/31/2013

    Is this safe to use on weeds around the base of a tree? Or will it harm the tree?

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    Question: Homemade Weed Killer With Pine Sol

    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.

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Most Recent Answer

    By Tina H. 3 06/19/2013

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Organic Weed and Grass Killer

    I am looking for a recipe for organic weed and grass killer.

    Hardiness Zone: 8a

    By Cynthia from TX

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    Most Recent Answer

    By PENNY K [15] 04/02/2010

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Use Vinegar as a Weed Killer

    How do I make and use vinegar weed killer?

    By Glenda from Winfield, MO

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Janet [11] 04/16/2010

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Killing Weeds With Vinegar

    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?

    By Nellie

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    Most Recent Answer

    By cheri_bah_zing 03/25/2013

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Homemade Weed Killer Recipes

    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.?

    By Norrene

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    Most Recent Answer

    By fattdaddy.jm 1 10/11/2015

    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.

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    Question: Homemade Weed Killer Recipe

    Is there a formula for homemade weed killer?

    By Pat H.

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Saber Alexander [9] 03/31/2012

    Here's a good one I came across the other day!


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    Question: Homemade Weed Killers

    What is the best homemade weed killer?

    By Diane from Center Point, IA

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Elaine [173] 05/13/2010

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Non-Toxic Weed Killers

    What is the best nontoxic weed killer to use and what ingredients are needed?

    Hardiness Zone: 6a

    By Laurie from Jackson, MI

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Cyinda 214 1,287 04/24/2010

    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!

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Getting Rid of Weeds in Grass

    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 Jaci

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Most Recent Answer

    By likekinds [108] 08/14/2014

    You may want to read this and other articles before you spend time and money on corn gluten.

    http://www.safelawns.org/blog/2010/ ... 0-years-later-the-jury-is-still-out/

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

    What is the best homemade remedy to kill weeds permanently around the house.

    By samsosa35

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Most Recent Answer

    By Chris Anderson [1] 08/21/2011

    This is a video showing how to make homemade RoundUp http://www.recipes-network.net/home ... mp;feature=youtube_gdata_player.html

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Killing Bind Weed

    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.

    Donna Marie

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Most Recent Answer

    By Barbie (Guest Post) 02/02/2005

    try using just staight vinegar.....I use it on my sidewalks on pickers and grass but try to get the root area and try not to get other plants as it may damage their roots also....kid and animal safe

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Using Homemade Roundup

    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

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Question: Making Weed Killer

    How do I make my own weed killer?

    By Bill from Ajax, Ontario

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Question: Homemade Weed Killer

    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?

    By Jackie

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Question: Effective Homemade Weed Killer

    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

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Question: Weed Killer for Florida Betony Weed

    What is the best thing to use for Florida betany weed commonly known as rattlesnake weed grass? It is very invasive and spreads fast.

    By Glenda

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Question: Homemade Weed Killer Recipe Containing Gin

    What is the weed killer recipe that includes gin?

    By Barb Jean

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

    Archive: Homemade Weed Killers

    Q: How can I make my own weed killer?

    Salmonfly from Rochester

    A: Salmonfly,

    There are a number of recipes for homemade weed killers. All are variations of the following recipe:

    • 1 gallon of white vinegar
    • 1 cup of table salt
    • 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap

    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.

    Good luck!


    Homemade Weed Killers

    Archive: 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.


    Archive: Homemade Weed Killers

    Are there any home recipes for weed and grass killer for vegetable gardens?

    Anita from Prattville, AL

    RE: Homemade Weed Killers

    You can also pour boiling water straight on the plants. Just be careful not to get it on any good plants. (09/13/2008)

    By Wendopolis

    RE: Homemade Weed Killers

    No, I disagree with the use of a cup of salt. That is permanently ruined soil. Salt is a chemical. (09/15/2008)

    By kimhis

    RE: Homemade Weed Killers

    It kind of worked. (12/03/2008)

    By stephanie

    RE: Homemade Weed Killers

    You should also use Lemon juice. It works very effectively. (01/14/2009)

    By Paul A.

    RE: Homemade Weed Killers

    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)

    By kffrmw88

    Archive: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

    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

    RE: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

    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:
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060719233201AAdLohZ (05/06/2009)

    By Anonymous

    RE: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

    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)

    By Cricketnc

    Archive: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

    Does anyone know how to make a natural vegetation killer?

    By EM10 from Bancroft, Ontario, CA

    RE: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

    I have used vinegar sprayed on the plants. Spray them on a sunny day, it seems to work faster. (06/19/2009)

    By mulberry204

    RE: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

    http://www.thisgardenisillegal.com/2006/05/7-deadly-homemade-weed-killers.html 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)

    By jesikarena

    Archive: Homemade Weed Killers

    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

    RE: Homemade Weed Killers

    Boiling water poured onto weeds or vinegar. (05/27/2009)

    By Wendopolis

    RE: Homemade Weed Killers

    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)

    By merlene

    Archive: Homemade Weed Killers

    I am looking for a cheap way to kill weeds.


    Archive: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

    What is a good homemade natural weed killer?


    Archive: Recipe for a Homemade Weedkiller

    I need a homemade weedkiller that will get rid of burdock, stinging nettles and bull thistles.