Can I use steam to kill weeds?
Hardiness Zone: 9a
By Steve from San Jose
Yes, you CAN use steam on a fence or gravel driveway. However, it is not cost effective if you have to pay for the fuel to produce the steam.
You can not use it on a lawn, unless you have a tightly focused pencil nozzle on a wand, since many weeds are tougher than lawn grass. A pressure washer is usually just as effective on sidewalk and driveway cracks, but like steam, does not do any root killing.
A "torch on a stick" is more effective.
The only place, where steam is the solution, is along wooden sided buildings with dry leaves or dry grass clippings accumulations, where you don't want to use flame.
If you need a solution, that does not involve commercial herbicides, you can boil down vinegar in a big pot on a BBQ, until it is about half the original volume, or less. That kills most weeds.
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I understand that steam can kill weeds in a fence row or on gravel driveways. What temperature of steam could you use on a lawn to kill weeds but not the grass (Bermuda and St. Augustine)?
Larry from Burleson, TX
Mix some salt water up and spray weeds. They won't grow back, so only spray what you don't want! (01/21/2009)
I've used boiling water on poison oak and it killed it. (01/21/2009)
Boiling water works GREAT for this! (01/22/2009)