If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may already know that vinegar has a ton of uses around the house. Maybe you’re like me and keep loads of it around. Even our cleaning crews use it when cleaning houses, so we keep gallons on the shelves at work, while I keep gallons at home.
Besides all the proven uses of vinegar in the home, did you know that regular old vinegar is also an effective weed killer?
I have a patch of garden where I haven’t planted anything for quite some time, and the weeds get totally out of control. I thought I’d save myself some backbreaking work and use a vinegar solution (recipe below) to kill the weeds.
It works really well and when the weeds are brown, dried, and dead, I’m a happy camper—it makes cleaning them up a bit easier!
Vinegar Weed Killer Recipe
- 1 gallon white vinegar (regular household strength)
- 2 tablespoons Dawn liquid dish detergent
- 1 cup salt
Add the salt and vinegar to an empty sprayer, the garden variety kind. If you don’t have one you can use a watering can. Swish the container around until the salt is dissolved, then add the dish detergent and swish again to mix it in.
The vinegar alone will do the job, but because I had quite a bit of weeds, I added the dish detergent, so the mixture will stick to the weeds and hold a little better. I also added the salt to help dry out and kill the weeds faster.
You don’t have to use the salt if you’re just going after a few sparse weeds here and there.
If you have some of this weed killer left when you’re done spraying, it will keep nicely. Just swish it around before you use it the next time. When I store it, I tie a label around the lid, so that others in the house will know what’s in the container.
If you finish what’s in the container, just rinse it out good when you’re done to remove all traces of the vinegar/salt/soap mixture.
Using Your Homemade Weed Killer
The best time to use this type of weed killer is when the sun is out on a warm day. You also want to make sure you do this on a day that isn’t windy.
For those that live in a place with an abundance of sunshine, warmer climate, and a little less rain than where I live, it can be used just about any time of the year.
Spray directly on the weeds, drenching all parts of the weed. That’s it! You’re done. If you notice within a few days some of the weeds haven’t died off, repeat the application.
Nothing is a cure-all. This is not a long-term solution to keep weeds out of the garden; your weeds will return. If you don’t want to use a weed killer all the time, this will at least get you caught up and make the weeding easier and more manageable—if you keep up on it, that is.
As it is with commercial weed killers, this mixture can harm any surrounding foliage and the lawn, so do be careful where you spray. That being said, it most likely won’t kill a plant if a small amount does get on it, but it may cause some discoloration.
Help Keeping Weeds out of the Garden
As I stated above, nothing is a cure-all for killing weeds. You can, however, help keep them at bay by using mulch. Applying at least 2 to 4 inches of mulch can help retain moisture in the soil as well as help keep weeds away.
Mulch will naturally decay over time, so maintain your layers of mulch on a regular basis and enjoy your beautiful garden space.