Lisa S.
Lisa S.
  • Hometalk Helper
  • Wilmington, DE

A Natural Method for Killing Weeds

4 Materials
15 Minutes

With kids and pets, a natural way to kill weeds is your best bet. This method is also more economical than commercial weed killers. You may already have these items around the house. It probably only costs $1.00 a bottle to make.

This homemade product is best used on weeds that come up between bricks / pavers on patios. If used on a lawn or garden it will kill grass and flowers / vegetable plants. It cannot discriminate between weeds and other plants.

I use a cocktail of (5%) white vinegar, plain table salt and liquid dish soap to quickly kill weeds on my brick patio. Acetic acid in the 5% vinegar and the salt are both very good at drawing moisture from weeds. This causes death to the plants.

Stick to 5% white vinegar. Do NOT use the stronger vinegars available. You can find 5% white vinegar in the food section of the grocery store. Dish soap acts as a surfactant. The soap helps the vinegar / salt solution to stick to the leaves.

Applied on a warm, sunny day, the results of this homemade weed killer spray will be obvious in a few hours. Total death in a few days.
Weeds on my patio! Looks so bad!
Take a plain empty plastic spray bottle. Add 1 tablespoon to 1/2 cup plain table salt. Then pour in 5% white vinegar. Store brand is fine. Then add a squirt of your favorite dishwashing liquid.
This solution is pet safe, after it dries.   The 5% white vinegar and salt can burn paws, so it is best to wait unit the solution is dry to welcome them in the area. It will also hurt the eyes if the spray gets into them.
Store brand 5% white vinegar.
Check the label for 5% acetic acid. Do NOT use stronger. Stronger vinegar may damage your skin, and the surface you are spraying.
Store brand salt is fine. You may use Iodized salt or plain salt. After adding a squirt of dishwashing liquid (your favorite) - shake the bottle to mix thoroughly. It should have a slight color, from the dishwashing liquid.
Spray the solution on the weeds. If you have any open sores on your hands, the solution may burn - so wear gloves.
For best results, saturate the weed.
Totally saturate the weed. You may notice that this solution may clean green and dirty areas of the patio.
The weeds are already dying after 1 1/2 hour!
I did this application on a warm spring sunny day. After 1 1/2 hours, the weeds are already dying.
Weed dying after 1/1/2 hours. Weeds will continue to die over a few days. For tougher weeds, a second application may be necessary.

When weeds die and turn brown, they can be easily swept up. If you leave them they will disintegrate and blow away!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 267 questions
  • Wendy Spencer
    on Jul 5, 2019

    Can I use on weeds on grass or will it kill my grass too?

    • Karen
      on Jul 5, 2019

      It will kill anything it touches. Dont use it on the lawn

  • Beaufort
    on Jul 14, 2019

    what can be used to kill unwanted grass

    • Lisa S.
      on Jul 16, 2019

      The vinegar, salt and dishwashing solution will also kill grass.

  • Diki Burns
    on Oct 3, 2019

    I feed birds and some seed falls in the cracks in my patio. I'm pretty good at keeping it swept clean, but they still peck at the cracks. Will it harm them?

Join the conversation

3 of 421 comments
  • Ama10189603
    on Jul 5, 2019

    We just sprayed our yard with dawn vinegar and salt - we haven't seen any results of the weeds going away. I used straight vinegar before and if you really soak the leaves they do die. I really want natural remedies I will never use round up again.

    • Sheryl Gregory
      on Jul 31, 2019

      1. Yes, do soak (saturate) the weeds. Don't just spray lightly.

      2. Don't spray the lawn. This also kills grass, flowers, nearly any plant. Spray to kill.

      3. Spray dry plants, on a sunny day.

      4. The dish soap is in the recipe to help the mixture stick to the plant while it works.

      Hope this helps. Good luck.

  • Margaret Christian
    on Oct 18, 2019

    I have some places where the sidewalk is lower than the lawn. In these places there is vegetation growing in the cracks. I will be using this to stop the vegetation. Thank you for the idea. I will have to use it after my dog has been outside so the chemicals can soak in before she goes back outside again. Maybe I will take her for a walk instead.

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