How to Make Homemade Weed Killer

How to Make Homemade Weed Killer

With debates about some store bought weed killers causing medical issues like cancer, many are looking for alternatives they feel safer with. Although a lot of weed killers say it's safe once the area is dry, there is major concern this is not true. One of the chemicals in question is glyphosate, suspected to cause Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and other terrible medical issues. 

It's also estimated that around 65% of families in the United States have a household pet. I think it's safe to say, most would feel more comfortable using something with less chemicals if their pets are in the yard. 

Well, there is another alternative to store bought weed killers. It's homemade, cheap and really easy to make. But be aware, this will kill grass and other plants, so use it selectively.

How To Make Homemade Weed Killer 

Supplies Needed

- Tank Sprayer or Water Bottle Depending on Surface Area
- 1/2 Gallon of Distilled White Vinegar 
- Two Tablespoons of Dish Soap
- 1/2 Cup of Table Salt 


1. Use a tank sprayer for this recipe or a large enough container. If you have a small area to work on, use a spray bottle and use lower yet equal proportionate measurements.  

2. Pour in a 1/2 gallon of white vinegar into your tank. 

3. Add two tablespoons of dish soap, but do not mix anything yet. 

4. Add 1/2 Cup of table salt. Make sure to use table salt and not epsom salt for this. Also the salt will probably not dissolve completely in the mix but it will still disperse enough to work. 

5. Add lid to tank or bottle, shake well for a good few minutes. If using a tank sprayer, pump the sprayer to get pressure after shaking. 

6. Add a gracious amounts of spray on to the weeds leaves, stems and base. The liquid mixtures should stay on the weed a bit due to the soap.

7. Allow about 7 days for results and repeat if needed. 

How does homemade weed killer work?

Vinegar and Salt are the main active ingredients to a homemade weed killer. The acidity of the vinegar destroys the PH environment of the plant and the salt acts by drying the plant out. The dish soap added to homemade weed killer allows the mixture to stick on to the plants leaves. 

What do you do after killing weeds?

Once you have removed the weeds in the area, it's best to plant new native plants to thrive in the area. Adding a layer of mulch the same day you plant these new plants will prevent weeds from coming back to the area. This adds a layer to the soil and restricts sunlight to anything trying to grow beneath it. 

Don't know if it is a weed? Here is a great weed identification video. 

No supplies? Here are three other tricks to Kill weeds. 

If you don't want to run to the store and get the supplies for this homemade weed killer you are in luck. There are other ways to kill weeds and we are going to cover them here. 

1. Newspaper

Yes, as weird as it sounds you can use those newspapers just laying around to kill those obnoxious weeds. This trick actually works quite well and overtime they shouldn't grow back in the area. Although, it will be an eyesore so it's not recommended for a front lawn. 

You would want to trim weeds down to ground level. With a few rocks, pin down a good amount of newspaper over the desired area you would like to remove weeds. It will take time, but this starves the weeds from sunlight and proper airflow. If you end up leaving the paper out there, overtime it will dissolve into the grass. 

2. Boiling Water

Pouring boiling water on weeds will eliminate them really well. But, they will grow back eventually after using this method. However, using this method will work if you just want to shock the weeds and redo the area. You can put mulch over the soil once you kill the weeds so they don't grow back.

3. Elbow Grease 

Depending on the size of the area, you might just want to yank those weeds out by hand. It's a good method because you can pull out the roots as well. If you plan on a day do this, it's a good idea to soak the area the night before. This will make the soil nice and loose, the weeds will come out easier and without breaking apart. 

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