Cheap & Easy Homemade Ant Spray

4 Materials
3 Minutes

One of the most viewed chemistry tips post on Chemistry Cachet is this homemade weed killer (link in blog post below). Readers love how effective and easy it is to make. I have also used it to kill bugs! It works amazing to kill ants especially.

Over the last few months, I have modified it up a little to be an amazing and easy homemade ant spray!

The reasons I changed it up is to make it a little better for killing ants on any surface without leaving as much of a residue. Although this homemade weed killer is fantastic for killing bugs outside, it can leave a little salt residue behind in the home.

Remember! This for ANTS! For the weed killer, Click blog post link (at the bottom of this post it says check out our website with the word GO you click on) and we have it linked in article numerous times. We keep having readers asking why we don't share the weed killer, we have!!! Just click the blog post at the bottom.


2 cups of vinegar, distilled

2 cups of water

3 tablespoon blue Dawn dishwashing liquid

3 tablespoons table salt

Spray Bottle (For the best spray bottle options, please click blog link below)

NOTE::::I've had people saying they've used this for weeds. This is NOT our weed killer. It has completely different ratios with addition of water for the chemistry of it. Please read the FAQs on our website to see the difference between this and weed killer!!!!!! People keep asking for the weed killer recipe, please read the blog post. We've linked weed killer 4 or 5 times for you. Also, this is not really for other bugs. You're welcome to try it, but this is specifically for ants.


Mix ingredients together, add to a spray bottle.

Shake well before spraying each time.

I use blue Dawn for all my solutions on Chemistry Cachet because it has worked better for me. You can use any dishwashing liquid you have on hand, but I prefer Dawn

**You might be wondering why we use so many of the same ingredients for is all about the RATIOS and the Chemistry!! You can stock up on cheap ingredients like this and create hundreds of solutions, like the ones in our book and on our website.


Saturate the area the ants are crawling. They die in a few seconds. Make sure to spray the entire pathway they have used too.

Allow the ants to die, then wipe the area off with a paper towel! The lingering vinegar and dish soap scent deters them from coming back to this area too. Make sure to wipe surface to prevent any possible residue.

FOR FIRE ANTS: it will kill the ones around the home. For outdoor fire ants or mounds, you might need to use a lot more of this solution.

Chemistry Tips on Homemade Ant Spray

I know readers love understanding the reasons we use certain items in our solutions, so let’s discuss the chemistry behind this ant spray.

Vinegar & Dawn Dish Soap

Why do we use acetic acid and a surfactant like Dawn dish soap? Click post below!

Why Salt??

Salt has an interesting chemistry, but it also enhances the acidity. By adding salt, you increase the effectiveness of this solution.

Without water, salt won’t dissolve well. Like I mentioned above, our homemade weed killer doesn’t contain water, so the salt doesn’t dissolve completely. This is perfect for sticking on weeds and killing them. For an ant spray, you don’t necessarily need the salt pieces, just the salt water.



Readers have already been using this solution an LOVING it! Make sure to click the blog link below for all the questions we've been asked. If you have a questions, make sure to read the blog link first!

Resources for this project:

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Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 512 questions
  • Kimzbizz Kimzbizz on May 22, 2021

    Does this work for fire ants?

  • Renz Renz on May 30, 2021

    Won't the detergent make the walkway slippery ?

  • Dvolpe Dvolpe on Aug 30, 2021

    How can we get rid of voles and moles underground. My yard is a disaster. Everyone that lives in my home keeps falling in the tunnels that they keep making. Please Please help us find something that will not hurt our children and pets. Desperately need help/ no harmful chemicals please. Thank you all for every idea you send us. Deb please remember to always stay safe😊


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5 of 618 comments
  • Holly O. Holly O. on May 26, 2021

    Just an FYI, Chemistry Cachet has a great blog! There are so many "tried and true" recipes not only for DIY stuff around the house but skin care, etc. You can also purchase online from the blog: a booklet with all of these great recipes and FAQ, for just a small fee!! Great content!!

  • Cinlu Cinlu on Aug 28, 2021

    Yay for Summer Sharing ! I really prefer to dyi safer cheaper and easy. Effective is always good too.

    Problem with salt in spray bottles is it seems residue always clogs and ruins it pdq if not quickly used and cleaned. Sometimes, it may not even get empty.

    Plain salt sprinkled, or soapy water spritzed may not get rid of a pest permanently- but sure will make it more comfortable.

    • It will depend on your climate. I don't have an issue with salt clogging in my area, but if you do, just remove spray nozzle for storing extra solution. You can put a cap or just a wrap on top of bottle until you need the nozzle again :)