Natural Weed Killer

3 Materials
1 Day

Raise your hand if you hate weeds! I totally hate weeds. Can't stand them, and they're always creeping up into my yard, between my pavers, everywhere! Most people I know use that awful poison, and while that works, I do not want to spray that stuff anywhere I step. This recipe is a great organic weed killer. It's definitely the best natural weed killer, and you can easily substitute the apple cider vinegar for white vinegar.

Here’s some weeds. My weeds. In my yard. I gotta get rid of these.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

I used apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt, and a spray bottle. Step 2: Pour the Vinegar in Your Bottle

I added two cups of apple cider vinegar to the bottle. If your bottle is smaller, then you'll probably have to add less. But don't worry about it; you can always refill. Step 3: Add the Epsom Salt

I funneled in a 1/4 cup of Epsom salt. Step 4: Shake Well and Spray

I shook up the bottle until the Epsom salt dissolved. Then I sprayed the weed very well.

The weeds totally dried up 24 hours later (its pretty hot right now during the summer, so that also helped). I was able to simply brush them away. I'm sure if your weeds are thicker and stronger, you might have to yank them a bit, but this weed killer will definitely help.

No more weeds! This is the best weed killer!

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Frequently asked questions

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  379 questions
  • Lesley Brisco Lesley Brisco on Sep 01, 2016
    Amazing! Can I keep this mixture in the bottle to re-use, or will it lose it's potency?
  • Kevin Kevin on Sep 01, 2016
    Can I use this on my lawn area as well? Worried about killing the grass
  • Carol Vaughan O'Brien Carol Vaughan O'Brien on Sep 01, 2016
    Can I use white vinegar instead of applie cider vinegar?
  • Barbara Barbara on Sep 01, 2016
    I have pets, and they go on the paved area all the time. Can I assume that once the solution dries, it is safe for them to walk on?
  • Valerie Gorman Valerie Gorman on Sep 01, 2016
    Is this toxic for other plants? Thanks
  • Tidalgirl Tidalgirl on Sep 01, 2016
    What does the Epsom salts contribute to the solution, does it help the vinegar to adhere to the weed?
    • Jac9966391 Jac9966391 on Sep 01, 2016
      I cannot imagine! I mix Epsom salts in water and soak the soil under blooming plants in both the house and garden to increase the blooms. Read the label on a bag of Epsom salts. It will say it is a fertilizer.
    • Tidalgirl Tidalgirl on Sep 02, 2016
      Yes! I agree!
    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Sep 04, 2016
      Yes, it makes the plant suck up the vinegar faster. By itself (and in small amounts) Epsom salt helps most plants
    • Tidalgirl Tidalgirl on Sep 04, 2016
      Thank you Shawna! I have learned something new today! :-)
  • Erin Erin on Sep 01, 2016
    I use white vinegar on weeds, which works. What does the Epsom salts do?
  • Patty Vasil Patty Vasil on Sep 01, 2016
    Is this for isolated areas, or can we use this on our lawn w/o killing our grass?
  • Pet7734899 Pet7734899 on Sep 01, 2016
    Will this work on vegetable gardens and will it hurt the plant if it gets sprayed on?
  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Sep 01, 2016
    Instead of the Epsom salts could you use the softener salts?They are much cheaper!
  • Dlr717 Dlr717 on Sep 01, 2016
    Will white vinegar work? Thank you!
  • Leslie Leslie on Sep 01, 2016
    is the mixture ok for surrounding vegetable plants ?
  • Lucinda Johnson Lucinda Johnson on Sep 01, 2016
    will this kill grass if i use for my lawn to kill weeds in the lawn?
  • Rosanne Paula Hughes Rosanne Paula Hughes on Sep 01, 2016
    Is it safe for areas where children and dogs stay?
    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Sep 06, 2016
      Yes, I've got young kids and a dog. I always think about this. (which is a big reason I won't use bottled weed killer)
  • RuthAnn RuthAnn on Sep 01, 2016
    If you spray it on the grass want to kill grass?
  • Kathy Kathy on Sep 01, 2016
    What about bees, is it safe for them????
    • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Sep 01, 2016
      I can't imagine a bee would come near it. Bees are highly intelligent. They go to where the good stuff is; blooming flowers and bushes. The only thing that comes to mind that might pose a hazard is clover while it's blooming. And yes, one lady mentioned using Epson Salts for plants health. I always use a bit once a month in my hanging ferns. As for salt, use it only if you don't want to replant in that area for a long time. It has lingering effects.
    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Sep 04, 2016
      It's bee safe!
  • Linda Glennon Linda Glennon on Sep 02, 2016
    Is the ground still plantable for the flowers after killing the weeds?
  • Mary Flath Raymond Mary Flath Raymond on Sep 02, 2016
    Will the acid in the vinegar affect brick pavers
  • Judith Boyd Judith Boyd on Sep 03, 2016
    I have lots of wild grass growing close to the house around my Aloe Vera, and Rosemary bush....I presume it will work on that too.??
  • Maggie   Gallagher Maggie Gallagher on Sep 04, 2016
    Does this affect the worms and bugs in the ground? I love my earth worms ..
  • Ronda Foster-Vermillion Ronda Foster-Vermillion on Sep 05, 2016
    If you spray in your flower bed to kill the weeds will it hurt the flower plants???
  • Shelly Shelly on Sep 06, 2016
    Will it kill the grass also?
  • Iri10040251 Iri10040251 on Sep 06, 2016
    I have live oak trees and live on the Gulf Coast of Florida....suckers from the seeds of the tree grow incessantly....pulling is really difficult and weed whacking is only a quick fix....will this kill the off shoots the tree gives off? If not, any solutions you could offer? Frustrated gardener
  • Lizzette Lizzette on Sep 06, 2016
    Can it be sprayed to weeds in your lawn without hurting the grass?
  • Deborah J DuBost Deborah J DuBost on Sep 06, 2016
    how much vinegar and how much epsom salt?
  • Joseph Monahan Joseph Monahan on Sep 07, 2016
    Do you need water also?
  • Iko11492128 Iko11492128 on Sep 07, 2016
    Will it work on goatheads? We are infested by them!
  • Saima Peerwani Alnoor Saima Peerwani Alnoor on Sep 07, 2016
    Can i use it on weeds grown in the grass?
  • Willie Willie on Sep 07, 2016
    Will it work on poison ivy?
  • Nalini Samlal Patten Nalini Samlal Patten on Sep 07, 2016
    Will it kill my lawn I have some weeds in my lawm and want to get rid of them?
  • Susan Treloar Wood Susan Treloar Wood on Sep 08, 2016
    If I spray it in my flower beds will it kill my flowers
  • Bonnie Thorp Farmer Bonnie Thorp Farmer on Sep 08, 2016
    If I use this late summer will it be ok to plant there next spring?
  • Cecile Thompson Cecile Thompson on Sep 09, 2016
    How do you get rid of wild violets
  • Jo Ann Walker Merrifield Jo Ann Walker Merrifield on Sep 11, 2016
    Does landtanta flower discourage moles
  • Maryann Ridenour Olguin Maryann Ridenour Olguin on Sep 12, 2016
    I have these weeds starting to grow in my front grass will hit kill my grass
  • Janet Slovak Janet Slovak on Sep 19, 2016
    Will white vinegar work or does it have to be apple cider vinegar?
    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Sep 20, 2016
      White vinegar will also work
    • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Sep 26, 2016
      How does the Apple Cider Vinegar differ? Any improvements over regular White Vinegar?
    • Erin Erin on Nov 01, 2016
      I bought a $2 jug of white vinegar and used that. Straight out of the bottle. I doubt apple cider vinegar would make any difference. I find the white vinegar cheaper.
    • Carol Jackson Carol Jackson on Mar 29, 2018

      Apple cider vinegar is used a lot internally because of the nutrients of it not being pasterized containing what is referred to as " the mother". This also makes it more expensive. For those concerns white vinegar is more economical. Just sayin

  • Laurette Laurette on Sep 20, 2016
    I have a grape vine taking over my yard plants and trees can I use this. If yes, can I spray the base of the various trees that the vine is climbing without harming the trees?
  • Lisa Rae Lisa Rae on Sep 24, 2016
    Can you please tell me if it's still okay to do this weed spraying on a day that will rain? Do you have to wait till you have a couple of dry days to spray this? And how close can you get to the things that you don't want to veggies, fruit, flowers, plants? Can it be used in the same bed or is it too risky? We have a seedling that keeps growing back that is in the same bed as my rose bushes. Will the ingredients flow too close to their roots in the soil and harm them or is there a certain distance away that is still safe to spray? Thanks in advance for your help and for your great recipe for natural weed killer. - Lisa
    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Sep 26, 2016
      I wouldn't do it before the rain. It needs that day for the roots to suck up all the vinegar. you can get about 6 inches away from plants you don't want to kill if your very careful to apply the solution right to the roots of the weed.
    • Erin Erin on Oct 13, 2016
      I took a hug of straight vinegar on a hot sunny day and blasted all the vines along my house. That was almost two months ago and they're still gone. The dandelions, however, need a bit more. Sure beats spending money on chemicals that could hurt my local wildlife or one of my pets.
    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Nov 29, 2016
      Great to hear Erin
  • Linette Templeman Linette Templeman on Oct 10, 2016
    I have morning glories that killed everything in my garden. Could this be used if I want to use this garden to replant after the morning glories are killed off they are even growing in my lawn. Cut them when mowing n they just keep coming back.
  • Helen Jolliffe Helen Jolliffe on Oct 10, 2016
    will this solution of apple vinegardo any harm if i use it near flowers
  • Angelo Bonito Angelo Bonito on Oct 31, 2016
    Will that formula kill regular foliage as well?
  • Kathy Matteson Kathy Matteson on Nov 28, 2016
    Does it kill the roots or just what is above ground?
  • Gigi Gigi on Jan 12, 2017
    Is this safe over a well?
    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Jan 15, 2017
      AS long as you're not using tons of it, then yes. It's not poisonous you can drink it in small amounts. (it will make you go to the bathroom a lot)
    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Jan 15, 2017
      AS long as you're not using tons of it, then yes. It's not poisonous you can drink it in small amounts. (it will make you go to the bathroom a lot)
  • Susan Wenzel Susan Wenzel on Mar 07, 2017
    Will this kill the grass around the weeds? Looking for something safe for my dogs. I lost a dog I believe due to the weed killer the company used.
  • Susan Wenzel Susan Wenzel on Mar 07, 2017
    Will this kill the grass around the weeds? Don't want dead patchy grass
    • Robin Conway Robin Conway on Mar 22, 2017
      Yes it will kill your grass.
    • Robin Conway Robin Conway on Mar 22, 2017
      I have to buy stronger vinegar at Amazon. I also mix in salt and dawn dish soap. Soap helps it stick to weeds. In the morning heat is best time.
    • Ray Ray on Mar 24, 2017
      I like to know how long of a time period will it kill the weeds for 3-6-9 -12 mths
    • Russ Russ on Mar 29, 2018

      It kills the weeds. So indefinitely. But it won't kill weeds not yet emerged. (Pre-emergent)

  • Fer23016031 Fer23016031 on Jul 04, 2017
    Would regular white vinegar work?
  • Anne Kristiane Frost Anne Kristiane Frost on Aug 18, 2017
    Would white vinegar and regular salt work? I ask because I come from Denmark, Europe, and believe it or not - the two ingredients used in the video aren't exactly cheap here 😉
    • Jeff Elliott Jeff Elliott on Sep 29, 2017
      You could try boiling water and normal salt. It worked for me. Happy gardening from Aus
    • Zeng Chun Zeng Chun on Oct 25, 2017

      1 Gallon Vinegar
      2 Cups Epson Salts
      1/4 Cup non-toxic dish soap
    • Connie Quine Connie Quine on Mar 29, 2018

      Reading other's answers, boiling water works just as well, and a LOT cheaper!

    • Stephen Wall Stephen Wall on Mar 29, 2018

      You do not need EpsoMMM salt, you just need regular table salt and any kind of vinegar. I do it all the time.

    • Deb31435469 Deb31435469 on Mar 29, 2018

      Just plain salt and nothing else works. I sprinkle it over the paver cracks and just leave it. I use it on gravel drives too.

    • Sue31866582 Sue31866582 on Mar 29, 2018

      I put cheap bleach in a spray bottle that has a jet rather than a mist to do the weeks in my grass! Kills them in a couple of days and you can just pull them out .

    • Adele DuranGO Adele DuranGO on Mar 29, 2018

      hmmm. maybe a good use for my steamer again -- 200 degrees of hot water blast!

    • Jamie Nicholas Jamie Nicholas on Mar 29, 2018
      Put some winter salt melt in a bucket, maybe 1 cup. Fill the bucket with hot water (or boiling) and let it sit for a bit and the salt to dissolve some. Pour it on anything you want to kill. Salt will kill pretty much anything.
    • Eleanor Korf Eleanor Korf on Mar 29, 2018

      I would be careful with where I would use salt because it could kill your other plants.

    • Chris Chris on Mar 29, 2018

      Straight boiling water, no salt, no vinegar needed. Salt will run off/leach and damage your lawn or other plants, and stays for sometime.

  • Tom Tom on Mar 29, 2018

    Can you use in your yard or does it kill grass also?

    • Dana Ellebracht Dana Ellebracht on Mar 29, 2018

      It kills grass too. You can spot treat your weeds or use a large plastic tank to clear large areas.

    • Barbara Buchan Barbara Buchan on Mar 29, 2018

      This method will poison the soil where ever you use it, so not a good option for all weedy areas. Good for sidewalks, patios, driveways where you will never want to plant anything. Also, you can use table salt (cheaper than Epsom salt). Adding a tablespoon of liquid detergent will help the solution be absorbed.

  • Fre13371260 Fre13371260 on Mar 29, 2018

    How long does this treatment. I have used salt, vinegar and chemicals and all the weeds came back.

    • Whi30797980 Whi30797980 on Mar 29, 2018

      I takes months. I use one gallon white vinegar and 2 cups Epsom salts for a quick kill or 1 gal water, 1gal vinegar and 2 cups of Epsom salts for a 2 or three day kill.

    • Random Chance Random Chance on Mar 29, 2018

      The likely reason weeds come back is windblown seeds rather than a failure of the weed killer. You can put down a commercial product like Preen that stops seeds from sprouting.

    • Wind and wildlife spread weeds - you will never be totally rid of them. This is an easy way to stay on top of them though.

  • Margo Green Margo Green on Mar 29, 2018

    How to kill poison ivy ....

  • Pau21018845 Pau21018845 on Mar 29, 2018

    Is it pry safe

    • Random Chance Random Chance on Mar 29, 2018

      Epsom salt in very small quantities is a laxative, but ingested in large quantities could be dangerous. Other than that it’s safe to handle.

  • Judy Fair Judy Fair on Mar 29, 2018

    Does anyone know if this would be harmful to birds or butterflies? I am trying to help save the monarchs.

  • Judy Judy on Mar 29, 2018

    Does this mixture kill creeping Charlie ? Our neighbors is invading our yard !

  • Judy Judy on Mar 29, 2018

    Does this mixture kill creeping Charlie ? Neighbors c.c. is invading our yard !

  • Shelby☮️ Shelby☮️ on Mar 29, 2018

    I'm all for naturally killing weeds. Great job. Question: Does this also kill grass? If I'm killing weeds next to grass I don't want to also kill my grass. Anyone know?

    • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 29, 2018

      Vinegar or salt will kill anything it touches. This is good for areas without grass or other plants around. It will sterilize the soil it touches as it soaks in to the soil. If you can only spray the leaves and not anything else around it, including the soil, it would be safe.

    • Jane Jane on Mar 29, 2018

      If you want to kill broad leaf weeds in your lawn, buy a product made for that. I use Weed B Gone or Beyer. Both are great and won't kill your grass.

    • Gale Allen Jenness Gale Allen Jenness on Mar 29, 2018

      All I know is yes it turned my weeds brown and they seemed to die. But within less then a months time the weeds were back strong as ever in the exact same spots! I spent a fortune in vinegar and I can’t say I’m too impressed. Poison still be best answer if you want your weeds to go away for close to a year’s time anyway! Personally I don’t have the time, money, nor energy to keep spraying weeds every month. Especially not when I have 5 acres to take care of! But I did give this a 6 month trial to see how well it actually works? Short term it works, long term not so much!

    • Pyesangel Pyesangel on Mar 30, 2018

      Regular salt and vinegar will kill anything it touches...Epsom salts will NOT.

    • Shelby☮️ Shelby☮️ on Mar 31, 2018

      Thank you all so much for your replies to my question. It seems we are in constant search for the "perfect" product that will rid us of weeds yet be kind to our lawn. I may have to just start using the old fashioned way - bend over and pull the weeds. 🌿🌱🌿

  • She13855634 She13855634 on Mar 29, 2018

    First you said use apple cider vinegar then under supplies you said white vinegar?

    • CJ CJ on Mar 29, 2018

      Sherkin54, the list of "Suggested materials for this project" was not put there by the poster of the project, apparently Hometalk does that but she did say that either white or cider vinegar could be used. It's the acidic quality of the vinegar and the salt that kills the weeds. Actually either vinegar or salt will work to kill most weeds.

  • She13855634 She13855634 on Mar 29, 2018

    First you said use apple cider vinegar then under supplies you said white vinegar?

  • Lori Dumm Lori Dumm on Mar 29, 2018

    Does it actually kill all the weed ncluding all its root ? If not why not just cut it all

    • L L on Mar 29, 2018

      Someone wrote to try boiling water. I'm going to try that. I've used white vinegar, and that worked. It might be best to stay away from recipes that call for salt when using it in our fresh water supply, or the ground.

    • Amazed Amazed on Mar 29, 2018

      the vinegar alone will do the job but the salt is a catalyst...

    • Sandy Sandy on Mar 29, 2018

      I tried boiling water and it did not work for me.. sorry

    • Cam23995085 Cam23995085 on Mar 29, 2018

      I didn't think Epsom salts did any harm, boiling water did very little to my weeds, vinegar is what I use works great, and Epsom salts on the lawn.

    • Becky Becky on Mar 30, 2018

      I put Epsom salt on my flowers to keep slugs out. It also makes my hydrangeas more vibrant in color. It hasn't ever killed any of them. I think the vinegar is what kills the weeds.


  • Sandy Sandy on Mar 29, 2018

    I use Epsom salt in my yard for plants and grass because of the magnesium it makes them green....How soon does this came back?

  • Marcia Deerfield Marcia Deerfield on Mar 29, 2018

    Will this work on oxalis? That is my major problem.

  • Ma_pa_jackrabbit Ma_pa_jackrabbit on Mar 29, 2018

    I was told by our contractor to not use salt as it breaks down the brick, add vinigar to the mix does it just break them down quicker?

  • Cheryl Williams Cheryl Williams on Mar 30, 2018

    Yes but do the weeds grow back

  • Sonnia Alday Weiss Sonnia Alday Weiss on Mar 30, 2018

    Will they rebirth?

  • Sharon Sosa Sharon Sosa on Mar 31, 2018

    Would table salt work with the vinegar?

    • Nikki Nikki on Mar 31, 2018

      Epson salt is Magnesium Sulfide, table salt is Sodium Chloride

      Vinegar is a weak acid, so you are talking about a specific chemical reaction between epson salt and vinegar. Table salt and vinegar would a completely different king of reaction, with different end products.

  • Nir5810418 Nir5810418 on Apr 03, 2018

    Epsom salt is used or helpful to grow vegetables . So how will it help to kill a weed with a weak acid ? This is a genuine question , not trying to be a nuisance.

  • Nir5810418 Nir5810418 on Apr 03, 2018

    Epsom salt is used or helpful to grow vegetables . So how will it help to kill a weed with a weak acid ? This is a genuine question , not trying to be a nuisance.

  • Nir5810418 Nir5810418 on Apr 03, 2018

    Epsom salt is used or helpful to grow vegetables . So how will it help to kill a weed with a weak acid ? This is a genuine question , not trying to be a nuisance.

    • 10033107811 10033107811 on Apr 06, 2018


  • Gail Gail on Apr 11, 2018

    How big of a plant will it kill. I have palmeto bushes in my back yard. Will it kill them? They’re very hard to get rid of. They keep coming back.

    • Nancy Perdue Nancy Perdue on May 21, 2019

      Being from NWFL, the only thing that my mama ever found to get rid of a palmetto bush was to dig it up; however, if it’s not in a bad place just let it grow and it will grow better tall like a palm tree (nurseries grow them this way). They don’t take very long to get going. Every couple of years just trim the bottom layers of the “break” to keep in tree not bush shape. Mama would also dig the bushes up and plant in pots to give away. She had some that were about 5+ years old and a friend from Dallas said they’d give her $5000 each and dig them up to take back to Dallas and sell to landscapers. So those not so pretty bushes grow into beautiful trees. This is lengthy but if you want some palm trees this is how you do it in FL. Hope this info helps anyone new to a palmetto bush and what it becomes if you just let it grow

  • Pamela Pamela on Apr 13, 2018

    Can u use the scented Epsom salt

  • Margaret Rawlins Margaret Rawlins on Apr 13, 2018

    I I want to kill the dandelions in my grass. Will it kill the grass?

  • Sandy Sandy on Apr 17, 2018

    do you have to use apple cider vinegar, can you use regular vinegar AND how long does this keep the weeds away?

    • Kimberly Blanford Huskey Kimberly Blanford Huskey on Apr 22, 2018

      I use white vinegar and table salt and some dish liquid (about 1 tbls). It works great but does take about a week. Im willing to wait a little longer to avoid toxic chemicals

    • 26246053 26246053 on Apr 22, 2018

      No, no, you do not have to use apple cider vinegar. I read in the beginning of her article that she used apple cider vinegar but you can easily substitute with white vinegar as well.

    • Sandy Sandy on Apr 22, 2018

      thanks I'll try it again.

  • Dora Egnor Dora Egnor on Apr 22, 2018

    Why did it say to mix apple sider vinegar and where it says material needed it says white vinegar

    • Carolena Harrison Carolena Harrison on Apr 22, 2018

      It said you can exchange for apple cider vinegar

    • 26246053 26246053 on Apr 22, 2018

      No, you do not have to use apple cider vinegar. I read in the beginning of her article that she used apple cider vinegar but you can easily substitute with white vinegar as well.

  • Lopez Dorothy Lopez Dorothy on Apr 22, 2018

    How long will the weeds stay dead and not come back?

    • Kimberly Blanford Huskey Kimberly Blanford Huskey on Apr 22, 2018

      Several months has been my experience. If you wet the soil pretty good with the salt and vinegar (and i also put in about a tablespoon of dawn) the weeds stay gone longer

  • Cheryl Kaleela Cheryl Kaleela on Apr 22, 2018

    Does it last all summer long or do you have to keep spraying that area throughout the summer and if so how often

  • Amy Lovejoy Amy Lovejoy on Apr 22, 2018

    Will this hurt my grass and plants?

    • Carla Carla on Apr 22, 2018

      Yes. It will. If you pour salt around a tree or a plant it will kill it.

  • Suzanne Krisch McBride Suzanne Krisch McBride on Apr 22, 2018

    Would it hurt plants that are in the garden with the weeds or grass?

  • Wendi Renae Wendi Renae on Apr 22, 2018

    Can you use just plain distilled vinager?

  • Delphine Delphine on Apr 22, 2018

    Does this kill ferry ring.

  • Kwintina Kwintina on Apr 22, 2018

    My problem is in my front lawn. Will it destroy the grass? We just moved here and are trying to fix up our new home and lawns. I do not want to destroy the entire lawn getting rid of them. Thanks.