The 7 Deadly Homemade Weed Killers

“And the weeds of the garden shall be visited upon the gardener.”

I can certainly think of the 7+ weedy sins of the garden but knowing how to cleanse my garden of these weeds is even better. Especially if it can be done cheaply and with household items. Murdering weeds is a fun past time.

So, for your reading enjoyment, here are The 7 Deadly Homemade Weed Killers, guaranteed to help you eradicate the weeds you find in your garden.

  1. Boiling Water – Yep, that’s right. Plain old H2O can be used as an extremely effective weed killer. As a matter of fact, boiling water is more effective than many of your store bought weed killers in wiping out unwanted vegetation. Easy-peasy to do. Put a kettle of tap water on the stove and heat till boiling, then pour on the weeds you wish to kill.You are effectively cooking the plant in the ground. Boiling water is a great way to clear out vegetation on a wholesale basis, like driveways and sidewalks. But be warned, boiling water is not selective. It will cook and instantly kill any plant that it comes in contact with and this includes underground roots of nearby plants.
  2. Bleach – Not only is bleach a spot remover, it is a weed remover as well. Place some bleach in a spray bottle and spray on the weed you wish to remove. The bleach chemicals will evaporate or dissipate in about two days (or less but better safe than sorry), making the area safe for planting. Again, bleach will kill anything but if you do get some on a plant you want to keep, just wash the plant off.
  3. Vinegar – Vinegar is a great organic homemade weed killer. Either white or cider vinegar will work. The acetic acid in the vinegar works to kill the leaves on the plant but not the root. Vinegar will kill back (kill the leaves but not the root) any plant but works best on young plants because they do not have enough energy stored in the roots to regrow their leaves. If vinegar is applied to more established weeds enough times, the plant will eventually deplete its stored energy reserves and die.
  4. Salt – It was once a known war tactic to salt the fields of enemies. Salting the earth was also used as punishment for severe crimes in several countries throughout history. The reason is because salt will kill plants and will make the ground unsuitable for future plant growth. On a small scale, you can drop a small pinch of table salt at the base of the undesirable plants. It will kill the plant but will dilute down to harmless in the next few rainfalls. On a larger scale, you can cover your gravel driveway or your ex’s yard with a good amount of salt and nothing will grow there for months. (FYI, it is illegal to salt another person’s property. It’s called vandalism.)
  5. Rubbing AlcoholRubbing alcohol is used around the house because it draws water out and helps to evaporate it quickly. Guess what? If you put it on a plant, it will do the same thing. You will be basically sucking the life blood out of the weed. Makes you want to run right out and try it, huh? But again, rubbing alcohol is non-selective. It will kill any vegetation it comes contact with.
  6. Corn Meal – Corn meal doesn’t really kill weeds, it just stops the weed seeds from ever developing. Corn Gluten is a pre-emergent, which is a fancy way of saying that is it is a seed birth-control. Corn meal scattered around an area will keep any seed in that area from growing into a plant. This means a weed seed or a desirable seed. This method is a good option for areas that you plan on planting grown plants in.
  7. Newspaper – If murdering your weeds with chemicals is not your style, you can always smother them. Laying down a layer of newspaper at least 4 sheets thick (the more the better) will go a long way towards killing the weeds underneath. The weeds that are already there will die from lack of sun and the weed seeds will not be able to sprout because they are not getting any sun to start with.

As an added bonus, many of these 7 homemade weed killers can be combined to produce super results. For example, the boiling water can be mixed with the salt or the vinegar (or both) for a super weed killer. Use common sense when combining chemicals and make sure that there are no adverse reactions.

You can also add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the liquid homemade weed killers for added effectiveness. The soap is not harmful to the weeds but the soap acts as a sort of bonding agent and will help the weed killers to stick to the weed more effectively.

Since most of these homemade weed killers are all-or-nothing weed killers, you may want to use a weed killer shield with them to prevent sprays and splashes on desirable plants.

So, go forth and cleanse thy garden of its weedy sins.

244 thoughts on “The 7 Deadly Homemade Weed Killers
  1. Sandy on

    Hanna,
    This is really helpful info that I can use! Thank you. I don’t like using weed killers, but I will try these.

    By the way, the latest frost here in our area that I can remember is June 12th.

    [Reply]

    Dawn Reply:

    Genius, pure genius. Why do I spend tons of money on chemicals that hurt and help when you give simple, cost effective proven ways to achieve the same thing….I love these ideas…..Thanks you!

    [Reply]

  2. Pam on

    Hey – great list (and site)! I’ve tried vinegar before – and it took ALOT to get anything to happen – but eventually the plants did die. Newspaper is great. Oh – sorry about the frost, I agree – there should be someone easily available to complain about that sort of thing!

    [Reply]

  3. Karen on

    These are good to know. If you need a shield for spraying, you can cut the bottom off a plastic bottle, enclose the weed in the bottle, and spray into the opening at the top. This stops the spray from getting on nearby plants.

    [Reply]

  4. Karen on

    Oops, just saw the link in your sidebar for how to make a soda bottle spray shield. ;-)

    [Reply]

  5. Aimee on

    Thank you for posting this! It is good information, and totally earth friendly to boot. Yay!

    [Reply]

    big don Reply:

    hey,

    great advice! and one more thing to make you feel better about it. round up, the most common weed killer on the market, is made by one of the most noxious corporations on the planet–MONSANTO. they are the folks who have genetically engineered crops that don’t reproduce seeds so that farmers have to come back to them every year to buy more seeds. they are particularly nasty in india, apparently, where, i suppose, restrictions are more lax.

    thanks again!!!

    [Reply]

    moy Reply:

    Glad to see this comment. Can’t publicise this often enough!

    [Reply]

    Tom Joyce Reply:

    Also, Monsanto produced Agent Orange, round up has this chem, in it.

    [Reply]

    James Reply:

    Agent Orange was 2,4-d-t, a derivative of 2,4-d. Different chemistry entirely from Round Up. There are plenty of truthful bad things you can say about these chemicals without resorting to misinformation.

    Ikari Reply:

    “…genetically engineered crops that don’t reproduce seeds…”

    You mean the same company that the Greenies attack when farmers “save and replant” their (apparently infertile…) seeds? Monsanto is producing crops that are both infertile and so fertile a gust of wind can contaminate entire fields, so the evil megacorp can sue them later? How’s that even possible? Magic?

    The folklore, myth, and outright lies fabricated against this company are so laughable and diverse you people can’t even keep your propaganda consistent.

    Meanwhile you anti-GM folks are directly responsible for the deaths of millions in India– by scaring a bunch of uneducated farmers into burning down their own fields out of fear of something YOU MADE UP. You spread an anti-corporate LIE that managed to scare bunch of backwater peasants that still kill people when they fear witchcraft… and then act like the company you lied about is responsible?

    There are plenty of legit complaints one can make about Monsanto’s business practices, but the anti-GMOs rely entirely on lies, myth, and propaganda instead. Why is that?

    [Reply]

    Jeff Bigman Reply:

    Sorry that you are so misinformed, or a stooge for Monsanto. If you did ANY homework you would know GMOs are proven to be a cause of LeakyGut Syndrome, which is recognized by the AMA as a disease that results from GMO corn, and the pesticides that explode the gut of the corn beetle, work on you at a much smaller scale, causing undigested food to enter the blood stream and cause sever allergic reactions. This is one reason that so many kids are allergic to many common foods and other ingredients that were never a problem before. eat all the GMO crap you want, my family is eating organic.

  6. California Gardener in Zone 23 on

    Here’s a weed killer. Hot sauce. I like to stick with name brands so Tabasco is my hot sauce of choice. I use a little spray bottle with water, hot sauce and a little soap detergent to hold it on the leaves. The soap makes it a little sticky so it doesn’t run off.

    [Reply]

    levi Reply:

    it will work

    [Reply]

  7. Hanna on

    Ohh… I had never heard of hot sauce as a weed killer (pest deterrent but not weed killer). That’s great. It can serve two purposes at once. Thanks for the tip!

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    In addition to the peppers, Tabasco is vinegar and salt.

    [Reply]

  8. Petunia's Gardener on

    My routine is to make tea or french press coffee and then carry the teapot out to our stone walkway and boil any weeds brave enough to come up between the stones! I do this regularly enough that they don’t have a chance to take over. Glad you shared these with your readers.

    [Reply]

  9. Reading Dirt on

    I discovered quite by accident that our corn-based cat litter (brand name: World’s Best Cat Litter) supresses weeds as well as the packaged corn gluten products. I’d scattered some scooped, used around where I’d seen rodents, hoping to discourage them, and no weeds have popped up. That litter will be doing double-duty from now on, at least in areas where I don’t do a lot of digging or hand work.

    [Reply]

    nikkii Reply:

    be careful its not GE corn products… read about how ge trees r ruining tasmanian water and soil.. mutation cells of animals and aquatic life. yikes..

    [Reply]

  10. Anonymous on

    im a grade 11 biology student, and we have to design our own experiment, and i have chosen to go with home made weed killers… this site has given me some good ideas, and i’ll be sure to mention it in the bibliography! thanks

    [Reply]

  11. Anonymous on

    I went out with some table salt and drenched an area of weeds with it. I did the rock salt, but it only killed where the ‘rock’ itself was. Does anyone know how long the salt takes to work? If it works, I have a lot of weeds to kill and I will be getting salt by the case. This is a great site by the way!!!

    [Reply]

  12. Jessica on

    This is great stuff. I’m so glad someone is promoting NATURAL remedies. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  13. Anonymous on

    So glad I found this site. I spent last weekend pulling weeds and now and covered in some kind of rash. Love the part of murdering the weeds. Exactly what I was looking for. Hope they really scream!!!!

    [Reply]

  14. Maija on

    AWESOME to have found this site just in time to
    try murdering the darn thistles in my lawn!
    I’ve been fighting a losing battle with them for
    years… spending hours and hours trying to dig
    them out each year. It’s like the more I dig,
    the more I end up getting. Darn near impossible
    to walk barefoot in my grass anymore. Isn’t
    that one of life’s pleasures?!
    I’m going to try heavily salted boiling water…
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    aycee Reply:

    Don’t use the salt on your lawn. As previously mentioned, nothing will grow, where salt is used, for years.

    [Reply]

    Monica Reply:

    I boil 1 gallon of vinegar, then I dissolve 1/2 pound of salt in it and add some dishwashing detergent. The reason for boiling the vinegar is that salt will dissolve quickly. Put the solution in a sprayer and spray it on the weeds. It works great but not on weeds that have glossy leaves. Also it works best if you spray it in a warm sunny day. Round up has been linked to leukemia and non- Hodgkin lymphoma, it is NOT safe like they want you to believe. Do your own research online and stop buying carcinogenic chemicals for your yard!

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    Boy, this looks potent, Monica – thanks! I have some henbit I’m going to try it on, before it greens up and starts blooming.

    matt1313 Reply:

    I must say with enough watering salt washes through. I deal with the ocean coming on a finished lawn i maintain all the time. after removing sand, I give it 6 hours of water and wait a week. all dead material removed more H20 feed and over-seed. a week later the lawn has already reestablished itself due to long roots and good maintenance.

    [Reply]

  15. This is great….I’m going to start attacking today. I already have the products at home!

    [Reply]

  16. Anita on

    Great tips and I love that they are earth friendly, economical and no-nonsense. I will be using them this weekend. Thanks!

    [Reply]

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  22. Charles on

    You can also dissolve 20 mule team borax.. It binds up Co2 and makes it hard for the weeds to live. WARNING, it does not know what sort of plants you are putting it on.. You can’t be casual when spraying or well, it will eventually be washed out..

    [Reply]

  23. Anonymous Cow on

    “it will eventually be washed out.”

    No it goes into the ground and enters your reserve of groundwater. But who gives a rat’s ass about groundwater when you can have pretty oh so pretty flowers in your little burgeois garden…

    [Reply]

    Pave Stiletto Reply:

    Comment removed for failing to follow rule #2.

    [Reply]

    nono Reply:

    Haha Pave You Pig

    [Reply]

  24. tom on

    Boiling water takes energy creating CO2 which some vocal lock-step Gaia worshippers will tell you kills all life. Earwigs and other critters love newspapers. Slugs are partial to corn meal and will get fat on it making them more attractive and non-toxic to birds.

    [Reply]

  25. boiling salted water, the way to go. The water kills the weeds, the salt keeps them from returning for a lont time. The only thing to remember is that the salt tends to stick to your soles, and this is not very friendly to your marble floors, if you have any.

    [Reply]

  26. Best this I have read on the internet!!
    Before I finished reading my husband is boiling the water.
    I can inform the gardener to come back now after refusing to pulling any more weeds.

    [Reply]

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  29. Kristen R. on

    People should be very careful about “corn gluten” vs. “cornmeal” because each serves a different purpose in the garden!

    CORN GLUTEN MEAL is a byproduct of corn processing. Its proteins are able to inhibit seed germination, therefore it can be used as a pre-emergent weed killer. It works by stopping root formation. It also breaks down over time to become an organic nitrogen source.

    CORNMEAL is flour ground from dried corn. It’s not a weed killer but can be used as a fungicide. Grocery stores’ “food grade” cornmeal works fine but it’s expensive and usually comes in small quantities. “Horticultural” cornmeal is generally used for animal feed. It’s a good choice to use as fungicide because it’s cheap and available in bulk. Cornmeal is also a source of nutrients for the soil.

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    Thank you Kristen! I had never heard of corn gluten meal, so I would probably have experimented with corn meal from my kitchen. You saved me some money and a failed experiment! :) I wonder where I can get corn gluten meal?

    [Reply]

    sl farrell Reply:

    stop at a local feed store (for farm animals) you can buy horticultural cornmeal in bulk

    [Reply]

    Elayne Reply:

    We need corn gluten meal, not corn meal. I have tried to get CGM from feed stores and have not been successful. I live on a producing farm and shop regularly from the local big name brand store.

    [Reply]

  30. Pingback: 7 homemade weed killers « greener loudoun

  31. Cecily T on

    Found this article through LH. I wanted to add it to my RSS feeds, but you don’t print the whole article through them. Too bad, b/c I don’t have time to click through on the blogs…I wish you’d send the full articles through RSS.

    [Reply]

  32. Hanna on

    Sorry, it is waaaaay too easy for people to steal articles when the rss has the full article. It is a common problem for bloggers and RSS is normally the root of it. I only publish a partial in the RSS because of this. Thanks for stopping my blog.

    [Reply]

  33. Hanna on

    Kristen R. – Thanks for the clarification.

    Everybody else – thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation. :)

    [Reply]

  34. Pingback: GTMOO… » Blog Archive » Use Corn Meal to keep weeds away

  35. I understand that corn attracts rats. I was told not to throw out corn cobs in a composting place near my house. Maybe you should find out if corn meal also attracts rats.

    [Reply]

  36. I live on Delmarva, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. It’s very sandy soil. There is a belief that Bermuda grass is what holds it all together. I call it wire grass because after a day of pulling it out of my garden beds my hands bled as if I’d been pulling on wires. I’ve heard it call the cancer of gardens. Trust me when I tell you that 4 layers of newspaper will not phase Bermuda grass. I have seen it come through 3/4″(c.2cm) thick layer of newspapers by the end of a season. In almost 40 years of gardening in this area, the only worthwhile Bermuda grass removal method I’ve found that really will work without unwanted poisons is to break up the soil with a potato fork and sit your butt down and hand pick/pull all the bits of it out. DO NOT put these weeds in the compost!

    [Reply]

  37. Scott on

    Marlene- I had the same problem down in Florida but was able to get the grass under control after some work. What I did was take my shovel and slice into the ground all around the area in whcih I wantd to kill off the grass. Doing this killed off the arms of the grass that was growing into the space I wanted cleared. I next put black plastic on the area I want to clear out and held is in place with stakes, bricks and even had a layer of sand on the perimeter of the plastic. After a few weeks I rolled the plastic back and everything- EVERYTHING- was dead under neath it. It was just a matter of raking it up and throwing it out.
    As long as you keep an eye on the border of the cleared area and chop off any amrs trying to grow into it, you will be fine. A neighbor suggestd spraying Round Up lightly on the space you want to clear prior to putting down the plastic. It seems like overkill to me, not to mention a bit “chemically” but he swears by it. I have not tried it but I am suplyig it as an FYI. Just make sure you wait a few weeks before you plant anything in there though if you do use Round Up. Good luck!

    [Reply]

    cc Reply:

    we removed 50 years of ivy with roundup + black plastic; next time, i will try vinegar + black plastic!

    [Reply]

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  39. jay ouellette on

    hey…nobody mentins about the bleach does it work ,i would like to know thanks …..jay

    [Reply]

  40. I think the new bleach pens could do wonders when you need to get at targeted plants. Where you can’t get the whole plant out. Try putting the bleach on the remaining stubs.

    [Reply]

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  42. virgil on

    Can you please explain to me what exactly is “green” or “environmentally friendly” about putting bleach, salt, acetic acid, and alcohol into the ground? Not only do these things make CO2 during their manufacture and transport, most of them will wash down into the groundwater.

    What’s wrong with good old-fashioned hand picking of weeds with a removal tool, followed by a good layer of mulch to suppress new growth?

    [Reply]

    superC Reply:

    Seriously? co2? Yes I understand the bleach… But everything else you mentioned shows a complete lack of any understanding at all.

    Alcohol will evaporate very rapidly mostly within seconds, if you somehow happen to dump the whole bottle on the ground it will be broken down with in the soil in a matter of hours.

    Salt, aka Sodium Chloride will be slowly dissolved by water and is beneficial for ground water in small amounts even for lakes and streams.

    acetic acid is a naturally occurring chemical in the decomposition of certain plant sugars after the fermentation process, also would be easily broken down within the soil after a few days short of dumping an entire 55gallon barrel.

    My compost pile creates more co2 than both of my vehicles, so please become more educated about these topics.

    [Reply]

    Marlene Reply:

    “Salt, aka Sodium Chloride will be slowly dissolved by water and is beneficial for ground water in small amounts even for lakes and streams.”

    In small amounts, yes. In large amounts no. When the ground is poisoned with salt large amounts are used and it takes years to naturally filter out. Most lakes and streams are not able to handle large amounts of salt and the life in and around the lakes and streams will also die. We’re talking pounds of salt not salt shakers from the table.

    Used in small amount it is safe and that’s what has been said here. Moderation. Whether you need to call it sodium chloride or are just happy calling it salt, used in small amounts it’s fine, just don’t be heavy handed.

    [Reply]

    George Reply:

    Virgil said, “What’s wrong with good old-fashioned hand picking of weeds with a removal tool, followed by a good layer of mulch to suppress new growth?”

    Well I have a wide rock path, and use to pull the weeds, but now there is grass growing everywhere. I can’t dig up rocks and pulling a blade at a time would try anyone’s patience.

    [Reply]

  43. Al Boosh on

    Soapy Water also makes a great red ant killer. I’ve used Simple Green (biodegradeable) and it took care of all the red ant holes/mounds in our area. They never came back!

    [Reply]

    Dave Reply:

    Plain talcum powder is also very good for getting rid of any ants

    [Reply]

    Brad Reply:

    I got large black ants around house. I leave them alone and they leave me alone. Figure they keep bugs in check, airate the soil, clean up trash.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Those big Black ants may be carpenter ants, not a good thing, they will eat you out of house and home literally if you give them some time. Best to rid yourself of them asap

  44. Pingback: Meet Baby Jones » Tip #006: Kill Weeds the Safe Way (for both babies and the earth)

  45. Having grown up in Denver and learned about water from the scarcity of it rather then it’s abundance, I realize that adding salt to the earth sounds like a simple easy fix. The fact is that you seriously need to think about what is going to happen to that salt (or any of these products) after they’ve entered the groundwater.

    I urge you to resist salting the ground, including your driveway, the streets, your garden, etc, given the ill effect of over saline water on the ground, on drink water supplies, and especially on plants.

    The both the plants and the humans need a certain amount of salt, but the only way to get it out of water is to evaporate the water and leaving the salt. In the case of a lake, (say the dead sea) when you evaporate water you are left with more saline water and eventually the water becomes unusable by any but the most hearty bacteria. In the case of a river, adding a little salt upstream means that down stream it’ll be more salty, as during that commute it’ll evaporate and leave more salt at the base. How about when you irrigate, given all water has some salt, the evaporation causes the salt to be left behind on the ground. Repeat and you’ll build the salt concentration up till the land is unusable.

    Biologically we need it, but but all elements in at some level are poisonous.

    [Reply]

    sl farrell Reply:

    What about all the salt they use on the roads when they’re icy???? Where do you think that water goes??

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    Ice-melt runoff goes into the groundwater, of course. In some areas, that’s not a problem (currently, anyway). But in others…see Barbara McMillan’s post, August 8.

    My feeling is that using a little salt on isolated weeds – say, in cracks in the sidewalk – should be harmless. But I do worry about those who may be so excited about its effectiveness that they go overboard, and could end up poisoning large swaths of their yards (or their neighbors’ yards) next to the treated areas. Remember Carthage: breadbasket of the Mediterranean, until the Romans conquered them and salted the land!

    [Reply]

    Brad Reply:

    If you live in the south, were they do not salt, salt your weeds. If you live in the north, where they have real winters, use other methods to kill the weeds. Salt problem solved.

  46. Julia on

    Great tips on how to kill weeds. I have a whole bunch to get rid of before summer!

    [Reply]

  47. roberto on

    i already laid the mulch but weeds are growing through them, what can i put over the mulch to stop and kill the weeds

    [Reply]

    Eddie Reply:

    Roberto, lay newspaper before mulch, thick like 8 page layer, then apply mulch of your choice…that does the trick

    [Reply]

  48. danny on

    hi, this is a great site with brilliant info. but what i want is the most potent of all home made weed killers so i was wondering if combining all of the ingredients was a good idea. i wondered would the salt/bleach neutralise the vinegar or vice versa if not completely then partially making it less effective and also if i am combining is there a perfect mix as far as quantity of each ingredient goes? im very keen to know as i jet washed out all the weeds in my block paving drive and it took around 8 hours and after a meer 2 weeks the beasts have returned with friends!

    [Reply]

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  51. Toni on

    Glad I found this site! I went out yesterday and bleached all of my weeds. I will keep everyone posted on how it is doing/did. If all goes well, I will have killed all of my weeds for $2.78!!!
    THANKS!!

    [Reply]

  52. carlos on

    I have a few tree stumps left from hurricane wilma that have not stopped growing. May I pour a bag of salt on them to kill them for good?. Just this morning I bought some weed killer. I will try you ideas first though.

    [Reply]

  53. Stirgy on

    For those with no luck with newspaper “smothering”, Try cardboard, then mulch on top. Worked at suppressing weeds in parts of our garden. Lasts for a few years before it breaks downs and decomposts.

    [Reply]

  54. Marlene on

    The best thing I’ve found so far is to leave your kid’s pool up for a year. That’ll kill back the Bermuda grass for about another year and by that time you could have other deterrents in place. Plan it right and you’ve got your start on a key-hole garden.

    Carlos – Be very careful with salt. It can poison the earth. Never broadcast salt. For the stumps try bleach first. You need to be careful with that too. Try to keep the bleach only on the open wounds of the trees.
    Marly

    [Reply]

  55. Marie on

    My boyfriend and I just bought a house about a month ago, when we initially looked at the house and the yard it looked ok, the yard we could tell would need some work and we were fine with that. However, by the time moving day had arrived after waiting the month for closing etc.. our back yard looked like a field that had never even seen grass before. Around the edges were weeds that are over half as tall as me (I am 5’3″), most are very spiky and painful to attempt pulling so we have been using the shovel. We both work swing shifts and have the two kids to take care of so our time has been limited to the weekends for the most part. My children basically don’t have a backyard to play in, this is why we bought a home and not a condo.. having a yard meant everything to us.
    Neither of us have ever really gardened, and having put all of our funds into the house we don’t have the necessary cash needed to buy a lot of products or services. I love the ideas presented on this blog, though it seems these solutions are more or less for “spot” treating. Our whole yard is the “spot”, and a damned ugly one at that lol. We aren’t looking to have some award winning garden, all we want is to be able to get this nightmare out and to be able to plant grass seed so we have a nice grass covered backyard without all of the frill for the kids to play in.
    I spoke with my new neighbor and apparently the lady we purchased from LOVED to garden… problem is once the weeds would start growing she would plant something in another part of the yard. Neighbor said “I don’t think (insert name here) ever pulled a weed in her life”. So we have found that we indeed do have veggie gardens, flower gardens, vines growing EVERYWHERE, and just about anything else that will grow in this backyard.. I am sure we even have new species of weeds back there. So although I will be trying out some of the suggested solutions on the lesser areas, does anyone have a suggestion for large scale weed removal? Something that will allow for grass seed to grow after it is out, we don’t want an all dirt back yard after all, but at this point even that would be more welcome than what we have haha. Thanks for listening to my rant and sorry it was so long :(

    [Reply]

    Liz Reply:

    We had a similar problem when we moved into our house. It basically just took a lot of work. First, go through with a big shovel and get the big weeds out. Make sure you’re getting the roots. Next, I took a pick axe and went to town; I had to tear up some patchy grass spots. I sprayed the whole area with a regular weedkiller and then rototilled to loosen up the soil. Finally, I sprayed once more with weedkiller and laid down sod. It took months of work but now we have a nice grassy yard.

    [Reply]

    Jessicadg Reply:

    stake out a horse and give it plenty of water-horse urine kills the toughest of weeds and grass-water down where you have good grass.

    [Reply]

  56. After I cook pasta or potatoes, I take the pan outside to throw off the water. We have a pebble path with weeds. I add salt afterwards. This way I use no extra energy and don’t steam up my house. I live in a wet climate and struggle to keep the house dry. It’s not all done at once but it keeps it clear!

    [Reply]

  57. Susan on

    Thanks for this information it’s a great help and I really appreciate finding it.

    [Reply]

  58. Another thing to remember is the definition of a weed. Any plant that is where you don’t want it to be. We have loads of plants that others consider weeds, we have 3 acres so we have the space. Many of these plants are important to butterflies for food. Example, milkweed is essential for monarch butterflies. Milkweed is considered a weed by very many people and it’s removal has endangered the monarchs. Having 3 acres we can devote a large spot for these sorts of plants but even with limited space you can enjoy a few milkweeds or Queen Anne’s Lace (wild carrot). Just another point of view. Marly

    [Reply]

  59. Steve on

    The bleach and vinegar are really simple options. I hate to think how uch money I have spent over the years on store bought wedd sprays.

    [Reply]

  60. Pingback: Homemade Weed Killers « Family Of Girls

  61. Charlie on

    I saw on TV (Victory Garden, I think)
    a while back that 50/50 water and
    white vinegar plus a table spoon of
    citrus cleaner and a tea spoon of
    soap to make a gallon will kill any
    plant as well as well as it’s roots. Does any one
    Does any one know if this is correct
    and safe?

    [Reply]

  62. brian on

    I wanted to thank everyone for the ideas and website! I went out and spent around $8.00 on 3 gallons of vinegar and 4 bottles of salt and 1 bottle of dish soap and took the directions of 1 cup of salt , 1 gallon vinegar 1 tablespoon soap and my weeds all shriveled up within 2 hours after just a light spraying. Never have we had this kind of success even with roundup or other name brands. I am a huge believer in organic weed killer and would love to see all the poisons stay out of our ground and stay natural.

    [Reply]

    jerry gross Reply:

    50# bags of salt are available at tractor supply year round for $7.00—-the cheapest way!! I use a hand held grass seeder to spread into my gravel drive and let mother nature do her job—work is a four letter word!

    [Reply]

  63. saspatrish on

    Hanna, I saw the recipe for the vinegar,salt,& soap weed killer, but it calls for 80% vinegar, and I can’t find it anywhere?? Any pointers on this.
    Also, where are the answers to the questions on this page such as can alcohol be added to the above concoction without adverse effects?
    Thank you for this wonderful site.

    [Reply]

  64. Barbara McMillan on

    Thanks Hanna for some great suggestions. I do have concern in regards to your suggestion of using salt to kill weeds and that “It will kill the plant but will dilute down to harmless in the next few rainfalls.” Here in New Hampshire we are combating salt in our ground waters and surface waters and have impaired waterbodies for chloride primarily due to salting of roadways and parking lots in winter. In addtion, salt in our groundwaters from cooking and water softeners does contribute a small amount. Salt does not go away into the ground. It goes through the soil and into our groundwaters or in the case of treating a driveway, may run accross impervious areas into stormdrains to streams and other waterbodies. There is no practicle treatment for salt in our waters (or soils) and we are seeing enough salt in some of our New Hamshire fresh waters to make it the salinity of seawater. Lastly, one grain of salt ingested by a song bird can be toxic enought to kill that bird. Although decreasing the use of herbacides is a positive for our environment, please research the impacts of salt in our environment and re-consider suggesting homeowners contribute to this environmental problem.

    [Reply]

    shark Reply:

    all this crap about what salt does to ground water,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,is it worse than all the chems this world dumps into the ground?what would you rather have, 100 one gal bottles of roundup ect or a hundred pounds of salt on the ground ?

    [Reply]

  65. Tina on

    this is a great site as i dont need weed killers in the garden, but i am a daycare provider and my whole fenced in area is covered in mulch which makes life a little easier except when the weeds or mushrooms pop up. i was contemplating round up but i hate that stuff and have only ever used it once in my life the reprocutions are to great environment, water, kids, animals etc etc. so boiling salt water here i come..LOL

    [Reply]

  66. User on

    I am so sick of reading about the supposed harms of using salt on weeds. Look, most of the weed killing applications here are done on such a small scale that it may only increase the salt concentration of a typical underground aquafer or groundwater by a few parts per billion, essentially with no dire impact. Furthermore, water treatment plants will filter and reduce the level of most harmful ionic species from the water before distribution, so unless you’re drinking untreated well water (which may also contain water-borne parasites), chances are your water supply is relatively safe.

    And for New Hampshire’s water issue, that’s the result of winter after winter of salting the roads…which is a practice we never need here in southern CA and other warmer climate regions of the nations. So I do believe I can put a few tablespoons of salt on my lawn and not risk salinating the county’s watertable to seawater salinity levels. Besides, if NH’s water gets to a point where the salt levels in the water supply is absolutely adverse to health, I’m sure the state will provide for a few desalination plants to make sure the citizens of the US will have water to drink.

    In closing, I will be salting my earth.

    [Reply]

    Inagreement Reply:

    I agree! I have my fair share of concerns, but let’s pick our battles. The idea is that all of these ingredients combined are NOT near as potent and toxic as the marketed weed killers! Ppl keep complaining abt this concern or that, yet I’m certain they all drive cars and use electricity or throw away trash! I’d much rather boil a bit of water or sprinkle a drop of salt than to have Round Up in my ground!

    [Reply]

    Denise Reply:

    Salt will kill weeds. However, if the ground is totally dried out from it (so that nothing will ever grow there), you may get overrun with ants (ant colonies) who like that environment… Then, you will be trying some of the same methods (boiling water, detergent, etc.) to get rid of the ants. Just saying…

    [Reply]

  67. Marly on Delmarva on

    Is there any Russian in your ancestry? That is one of the ways Napoleon was defeated by the Russians. So your homeland isn’t ruined, YET! You’ll just add a tiny bit now, and someone else adds a tiny bit more. How do you think it got so bad in the first place?
    You have great faith in our government. Tell it to the Indians. Oh Yeah! We surely can count on our government to save us. Did you pay any attention to hurricanes Katrina and Rita’s aftermath. Yeah We can count on our government to be there for us when we really need them. ROFL

    [Reply]

    omer dhansay Reply:

    what do u mean by “Tell it to the Indians”

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    Um, I think Marly is talking about American Indians (ie, Native Americans).

    [Reply]

    margaret Reply:

    as in the gov. took the Indians land and put them on a reservation.

    [Reply]

  68. Reply to Marly on

    To the poster above:

    Your logic of the snowballing effect with salting is flawed. Under the binomial distribution model, there’s a 50% chance of salting and 50% of not salting for any given individual looking for a herbicidal solution should the decision be made. However, if we factor in confounding factors such as the need to salt–conditions where salting would be beneficial, having the knowledge of salting, and other unforeseen variables, we can safely assume that less than 50% of people will salt their soil, which puts the practice of salting at a lower probability of occuring. Thus the impact of salting would not be as you claim: one person does it, another person does it some more, then it gets as bad as Russia’s scorched earth. Which by the way, Napoleon’s army was defeated by a combination of the harsh Russian winter and Russian troop’s retreating/scorched earth policy–not purely by salting farmlands.

    As for the US government’s response to the tragedies of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, yes it was imperfect because we have casualty counts. But I ask you, what government in this world would be able to provide the response that people who are critical of our government expect in a situation like that? Would the Indian government have done any better in the tsunami of 2004? How about the Chinese government in the Sichuan earthquakes of this year? For disaster of those magnitudes, we would be foolish to expect the perfect rescue from any government. These are experiences that humble ourselves in the knowledge that even a developed country like the US cannot respond perfectly to a natural disaster of that scale. Could the response have been better? Of course, but to what degree short of perfection will it satisfy critics?

    If you are able to take warm showers, drive on paved roads and the highway system, enjoy near-uninterrupted electricity, benefit from health care provided in an emergency, and drink from the tap and not risk death from systemic sepsis of parasitic infections, then I say the faith in our government is well founded. I invite you to visit a developing country and see if you’re able to find these spoils that our government has either directly or indirectly provided for. Most Americans have no idea how fortunate they are to have infrastructure that provides for the most basic and granted necessities. An infrastructure nurtured by a government such as ours. I respect your opinion of our government, but I also want you to realize why some of us still have faith and trust in our government.

    [Reply]

    Meshel Reply:

    5 Star Answer! Thank you for speaking the truth!

    [Reply]

    Inagreement Reply:

    Well said!!!!! AMEN! The poor lady was just posting a few helpful tips on how to eliminate a weed and ppl get all emo abt it! I was just reading the comments to see if there were any posts on these solutions actually working and found a mini eco/earth war going on. If those folks feel so passionate why don’t they work on inventing other solutions to the salt trucks that come down my emergency snow route several times a winter? I appreciated the article and while I don’t particularly like to use chemicals (for fear they’ll enter my veggies~~ which are completely organic) I do have a truly nasty poison ivy issue that I may resort to using the bleach on. Unless u’ve had poison ivy in the creases of your neck and eye lids you have no idea what lengths I’ll go thru to rid my yard of it! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Dave Reply:

    I agree with at least the principle of what you were saying at the start… I fully intend to go and pour some salt on my weeds right now. But as for trying to sound clever – binomial distribution wouldn’t really be a good statistical method to assess this. There are not 2 factors “salt” vs “herbicide”… i suppose you could argue for salt vs non-salt, but that isn’t really very helpful. For example, on this site alone there are 7 possible weed solutions – if chosen evenly, that would give a probability of about 14% of people going for salt. Far too many confounding factors in addition.

    [Reply]

  69. Heather on

    My vegetable garden is 2500 sq. feet and I am not a weeder! It can truly get scary!! I wait till after everything is planted and put down a few bales (2 inch layer) of pine shavings. They kill the weeds, add organic matter into the soil when it’s tilled in in the fall, make a soft squishy work surface for my RA and, as an added bonus, it makes my whole yard smell pine fresh! Any crazy super weeds that come through the pine shavings I’ll through newspapers on top of. It works wonderfully and my garden becomes my compost pile (though I still have two other piles)!
    Happy gardening,
    Heather
    Billerica, MA

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    I missed this one on my first time through – thanks for the tip! I could sure use a mulch that’s gentle on my knees, smells nice, AND is sustainable (since pine trees are grown as a cash crop, unlike cypress for example).

    [Reply]

  70. Heather on

    Oh yeah, the pine shavings also add a water retention barrier to the soil which means watering less.

    [Reply]

  71. this site really sounds like what i have been looking for. I saw a mention of horticultural vinegar but it was expensive this will be great. thank you.

    [Reply]

  72. Anna Roberts on

    Giday all, this is an awsome site. I am a keen veggie gardener and am always looking for good ideas for my garden, and ways of recycling things into the garden,looks like I have found a good site here one that looks after our planet too.

    We have some real hard strong grasses in Aus. and the way we kill them ( naturally)and plant a garden at the same time is by using putting old house carpets down first, this stops weeds in their tracks, ( saves on dumping into land-fill), then we just lair the garden from there on.About 8 lairs.
    First up some wood chips, ( no wood chips lots and lots of cardboard soaked with water, but wood chips would be better or a mixture of both) followed by blood and bone, water well,
    Next pile on all the weeds you may have pulled/torn up, grass cuttings and lime( lime helps to break down and aids composing, about 250 gm to one sq. metre of garden, and you will only have to do the lime thing to your garden once a year).
    Next old leaves, straw, old horse stable straw,( make friends with a horse owner) twigs( not big branches they can be used for a another start-up garden later) and leaves cut from old/felled tree branches, more blood and bone.
    Next some sheep,or cow,or horse, or chook manure, or a bit of them all. Lay it on thick, some more lime on top of that.
    Next up more straw or mulch or grass cuttings. More blood & bone.
    Next more manure lay it thick and more lime.
    Next more grass/straw, of leaves (dried) weeds or what ever is lying around in the yard,( organic that is) more blood & bone.
    Next and for the final lair, all the compost you can find and soak with water right through. Leave this tall ( about 60cm high) for a week or so to break down and you will have the best rich planting soil ever. Lay on some straw or mulch thickly when you start to plant your seedlings, just make a hole in the straw where you want the plant to go, add a little soil and water and plant. The carpet will take some time to eventually break down, but you will have no weeds in your veggie patch, and when it is time to grow a new seasons crop, all you have to do is top it up with mulch, manure, grass cuttings etc.You may not have noticed, but, No digging is ever needed in this garden, just a light rake to spread things around as you lay them. Old tree branches, washing machine parts, bikes, wheels, baby prams, everything ( not rubber or batteries or chemicals though) can be used to Raise the garden bed from the start to keep from bending and there by preserving the back/knees.

    [Reply]

  73. theresa on

    if I pour salt out will it kill my grass as well because I have weeds all over my yard I have that bahia grass

    [Reply]

  74. Anna Roberts on

    It is very hard to eradicate weeds from Bahai grass, it being a tough drought resistant grass, which needs very little if Any watering and fertilization. The only way I have found to get rid of the weeds is by digging them up by hand. Back breaking, knee cracking for sure, but you could get through it by, On with the ear phones with great music blasting like Hard Rock, Country, Heavy Metal which keeps you moving at a good pace, plenty of water at hand to drink (no excuse to leave the weedy area)some suncream on the exposed skin area, a hat (not a baseball cap), a box to collect and hold the weeds (keeps them from blowing away and perhaps resow themselves) a good spade, and strong boots to help you push the spade right down to the roots and away you go.
    Good excerise too. Before you know it, you will have dug up those weeds.

    Cut of the roots of the weed and discard into a bucket for a boiling later on to kill them, but keep the rest of the plant and use for your mulch/compose, heap or to start one going.

    Or you could try the salt & vinagar treatment, but be warned salt, vinagar, weed killer, and pouring of boiling water onto your weeds will damage/kill the surrounding grass/plants too, as it gets splashed with the liquid or absorbed from the run-off.

    Salt & Vinagar treatment; 1 cup salt, I use cheap own brand cooking salt, 4 litres white own brand cheap vinagar, mix in a Plastic container until salt is dissolved then spray or use a an old cup and pour on the weeds, taking care if possible not to wet the surrounding grass. I have found it easier to fill an old drinking bottle (the kind you buy milk drinks or drinking water, the ones with a spout) the water flow is more direct to where you want to place it, and you are reusing/recycling the bottles. I also wear rubber gloves when using S&V treatment as both can dry out the skin.

    I have been using both methods on my garden for over 40 years and both have worked for me. Itcould be the music I listen to.

    [Reply]

    Erlean Reply:

    If I were a plant, that hard rock and heavy metal music would definitely put an end to my existence. Thanks for the S&V recipe. Plan to use it real soon.

    [Reply]

  75. Anna Roberts on

    Sorry almost forgot to say Giday from Aus. and thanks to Hanna for allowing me to use her great site.
    Thanks Hanna mate

    [Reply]

  76. Pingback: A Selfish Green Gardener | The Garden Composter Blog

  77. Aloha from Hawaii!

    Which one of those methods would you use if you had a invasion of a pesky vine called Ivy Gourd growing on your property? I keep pulling them out and cutting them back so it hasn’t had a chance to cover my property like a blanket. Some places it is gorwing from I have good access to pull it from the roots, like under the house, or it grows threw a wall. If you have suggestions I’d apprecieate them. Please e-mail me @ teestayovahea@yahoo.com just incase my computer dies on me and I lose this page. My computer is old and is on it’s last leg. Thanks! Have a good day!

    Tee

    [Reply]

  78. Carex Elata on

    Does anyone know enough info about eradicating Houttuynia cordata? This plant is VERY invasive. Please advise…

    [Reply]

  79. i have 300ft of fence line to keep clean of grass and weeds. i have a 15 gallon sprayer. how much salt should i mix with 15 gallons of water to keep fence line clear of weeds and grass?

    [Reply]

  80. Grea infomation. I did my own concoction. 1 part Bleach 1 cup Salt 1 part vinegar, 1 part Shower Power mould remover, Detergent, my poor weeds are screaming, can u hear them? i can haha

    Scott, Newcastle AUS

    [Reply]

  81. I went to lowes and got 20lb bags of water softener salt for 5 bucks each. Boiled water and made a mixture of about 3 cups salt to each gallon of water, then mixed 1.5 gallons of the salt water with 1/2 gallon of vinegar in a 2 gallon sprayer and killed of an area 10ft by 30ft. 2 weeks later and noting grows!

    [Reply]

  82. Roberto on

    Message for Joe:

    When you sprayed the salt/vinegar mixture was the liquid still hot?

    Your mixture sounds great, I want to get a headstart on the weeds this season.

    Thanks, Roberto

    [Reply]

  83. Bob Stevens on

    To remove tree stumps, bore holes in the top and pour in buttermilk. There’s something about the acid in it that will decay the wood. It may take reapplication a few times and a few years, but it works.

    [Reply]

  84. Michael McGee on

    I had some roofing shingles left over from a recent re-roof of my house. I had an area that I wanted to kill grass and weeds, also an area along a wood fence that I did not want to have to use the weed eater everytime I moved.

    So I laid down one shingle next to each other until I had the area covered. Also I cut the shingles in half -length wise and laid along the fence for a permanant kill area where I could just run my lawnmower wheel on it and ‘mow’ my fence line, and no follow-up weedeater, ever again, needed.

    The ‘area’ that I wanted to kill out and replant, I just came back later, two or three weeks, to insure roots were dead, and removed the shingles and planted again. …saved the shingles for later use.

    [Reply]

  85. Scott in Missouri on

    I just had to add a couple comments. As a gardener I am always looking for better methods to make green/organic gardening more productive and less tiring. Sites such as this with homemade ideas are a wonderful tool. Thanks for the ideas! Just be careful to do your research.

    Just hand pulling weeds may be an option for some, but is not practical for us.

    Our family of 11 grows two 65′X110′ gardens to provide a large portion of our annual produce needs. Relying on hand or even just mechanical weeding is impossible.

    We have found 2 “tools” that have greatly reduced our weeding workload and improved plant health/productivity:

    CORN MEAL (not corn Gluten meal): For the last 2 years we have been experimenting with corn meal as a weed suppressant. We have either ground whole dried corn or just purchased some cheap cornmeal at the store. It works very well. It is inexpensive & easy to get. After planting plants, or after the seeds we have sowed emerge, we sprinkle the area lightly/evenly with corn meal. This greatly reduces the amount of weeds sprouting in that area.

    One warning: Be careful where you put corn meal! We have applied it to a row of plants and then planted bean seeds just downhill. Apparently the rain carried corn meal over to the beans. We only had about 5-10% of the beans sprout!

    MULCHES: We have used cardboard (a free waste product from my work) and black plastic (I know, its not a green choice, but it works great, allowing us to increase our garden size.) The mulches are laid down on the ground, secured then holes punched and plants placed. This has GREATLY reduced the amount of weeding. (We also sprinkle a little corn meal in each hole to reduce/eliminate weeds growing up in the hole!)

    I would be very careful in the use of Salt: Be careful where you use it (and where it will wash into.) Used frequently salt can render the soil almost lifeless! I would never use it in a garden area, but it may be fine in driveways. There’s my thoughts

    Scott

    [Reply]

  86. Yep the water was boiling. It since split the pump in my sprayer, so now I just fill the 2 gallon jug for the sprayer and pour in on the area. I bought a better sprayer and still use that, but for a large area pouring is faster. There are no signs of new growth for almost 2 months now.

    [Reply]

    shirah bell Reply:

    how much boiling water do i use on a weed? i poured about 1/2 on a weed and it didn’t do anything to it. How much will work? thanks
    .-= shirah bell´s last blog ..Gardener Down! Gardening While Disabled =-.

    [Reply]

    Hanna Reply:

    It only takes a small amount, really just contact will do it. The weed will turn bright green at first (like when you cook spinach or greens) and then will turn brown in a day.

    [Reply]

  87. Thanks for this post. I used it and linked back in one of my posts because I was angry that my neighbor was so insensitive to nature. good information, I usually use newspapers under the mulch, works fine. Some weeds are fine, who cares.

    [Reply]

  88. Thanks for the tips – I’m going to carpet-bomb some areas with bleach this weekend.

    Also – PLEASE DON’T MIX BLEACH AND VINEGAR unless you also want to kill yourself with the resultant chlorine gas that’s produced by the combination…

    [Reply]

    Alison Macdonald Reply:

    Totally agree about dangerous gas! My neighbor was putting lots of bleach down on their patio and it ran onto an area of soil used by all the local dogs and the resultant gas hospitalized her.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    This should be added to the article. It creates a very bad chemical that will kill you if you mix bleach and vinegar

    [Reply]

  89. Annie on

    This is the first year for my gardening attempt, and it is in dire need of weeding. My plants are coming up, and so are the weeds. Your 7 deadly weed killers sound quick, easy and judging from the other posts, effective. But what about their effect on the vegetables? Can I spray everything without fear of losing the garden, or do I need to spray each individual weed?

    [Reply]

  90. Pingback: Seven Deadly Homemade Weedkillers Put To Test: Bleach | Small Homestead

  91. Heather on

    Please don’t spray everything! You may kill your veggies! in a veggie garden you are better off pulling or mulching. I cover weeds in the garden with news paper it smothers them and really only helps the soil.

    [Reply]

  92. thank you, i was going to buy industrial strength weed killer but now will try boiling water on my driveway.

    I know not exactly eco friendly but might add a bit of salt too.

    [Reply]

  93. robroblev on

    Hi thanks for the info needed to kill all weeds and grass
    before new decking went down tried salt and boiling water
    worked a treat great tips keep it up

    [Reply]

  94. Pingback: Seven Deadly Homemade Weedkillers Unmasked: Vinegar | Small Homestead

  95. Eniola Tajudeen on

    Hi,
    Many thanks for the brilliant ways of killing weeds domestically. I want to set up pesticides, herbicides and other agro-allied chemicals manufacturing production in my country (Nigeria, any advise for me?

    Regards

    [Reply]

  96. Ruby on

    Thanks for the information….I thought of bleach and salt but I never considered simple boiling water! I love your site and have added you to my favs.

    [Reply]

  97. Mark Maloney on

    Hana,
    I work at a complex that is so very short of cash it is becoming very rare. I am the maintenance man there and it is my job to rid rocks, flower garden and cracks in the court yard. You reminded me of the salt factor. My repair man is very down on salt because it ruins machinery and and shrubbery. Thanks for the advice and the reminders. I’m sure that I will have great success. Have a great summer. Great tips, sorry I went on and on, I’m just very exicited.

    [Reply]

  98. Pingback: Salt and Vinegar- Not just a tasty potato chip flavor « Go Green For Green

  99. kathy on

    I’m just wondering if using a small steam machine would work as well as boiling water. This way all you would have to do is plug in the machine with an outdoor extension cord instead of carrying hot pots of water back and forth. Has anyone used this method?

    [Reply]

    Alison Macdonald Reply:

    a steam wallpaper stripper, hold the action end over the weeds and they die – move to the next weed same again – whole area done in no time. Did this myself last year

    [Reply]

  100. Carlos Noel on

    Kathy,

    You mentioned using a steam machine instead of boiling water.
    A new tool that is being used is a propane tank with a wand extension to burn the weeds with precision. Fire vs. Steam either way it works.

    However, I would not call it safe or enviromently friendly.

    [Reply]

  101. Nikkii on

    Do not use Round up or Zero in your gardens. It has a chemical in it called GLYPHOSATE which was originally designed to kill humans. They engineered it in germany spraying it on 300 prisoners a week later the grass area where they had been sprayed died. Later they used this in the vietnam war as an ingredient of Agent Orange. It is linked to Non Hodgkins Lymphoma( cancer of the Lymph Glands). Glyphosate is not to be sprayed in a water shed area. Are you sure the fruits that you buy at the supermarket or markets have not had round up used near by??
    The world will have to start growing their own veges in their back yards- to avoid any toxic residues.

    Use alternative natural remedies whereever possible in your lifestle. Add oil to Vinegar Salt weed killer, instead of soap. The oil helps the vinegar bind to the plant if you also mix molassas the blackness will attract heat to the plant burning it.

    [Reply]

    sl farrell Reply:

    Are you talking about vegetable oil, I hope?????

    [Reply]

  102. My backyard is mostly wooded with pines, dogwoods and a couple of other hardwoods. I have a very bad weed problem back there too and it is getting too overgrown for my dogs to be able to use this area to take care of their business. I want to completely eliminate the weeds and I have tried several store bought checmicals over the years and none have worked for more than a couple of weeks. I am thinking about trying salt but I am worried about damaging the trees and I want to make sure it is safe for my dogs as well. Could using salt over a large area damage the roots of my trees?

    [Reply]

  103. Marlene on

    YES!
    Too much salt poisons the land making it unfit to grow anything.

    Check your history. Russia were victorious over the invading French by burning the crops and salting their fields. Thereby starving the French army the deeper into Russia they went.

    Marlene

    [Reply]

  104. There is alot of information about a man in Australia called Peter Andrews.. and soil reguvination..
    The general public who care about these things, are interested to know more. We know many of you are at the stage where everything you have tried has failed, so you are open to any reasonable options.

    NATURAL SEQUENCE FARMING
    http://www.naturalsequencefarming.com/nsfpeter.htm

    [Reply]

  105. jeanene on

    I have a brick and sand (and weed)patio…. We’ve had a lot of rain and just finished weeding it again… Fingers sore and knuckles scraped. I keep avoiding pesticides… Very interested in some of the methods mentioned, especially the salt method…I don’t have any inground plants nearby. Thinking of sprikling first with cornmeal, then brooming rock salt between the bricks… Thought the white would look nice to start, and after it rains the weeds would be taken care of… Would appreciate your thoughts… Many thanks.

    [Reply]

  106. Laurie on

    So glad to here about the 7 weed killers. I have tried many diferent products and with pets and ponds. boiling h2o and a bit of salt should do the trick.

    [Reply]

  107. Step away from the soap box please on

    Great site, great tips!

    To those screaming about the effects of salt on groundwater, you contribute to the problem just by walking, driving or riding the bus to commute. The materials used to pave the roads and sidewalks are harmful to the groundwater as well, but I am willing to bet you use them.

    Further, I bet if you dig deep enough, you will can find a reason internet use harms groundwater or the environment, if so, would you stop using it?

    [Reply]

  108. Great site with lots of help. I have about 2 acres of yard. It has these large bushes that are really weeds, but I don’t know the name. We tried Groundclear and these bushes just laughed at us. I would like to try these natural remedies, but want to make sure it will get the roots which are in a clump and can be anywhere from 2-4 inches across. The landlord had a company come cut them down, but not dig out the roots, so of course they are growing back, and with a vengeance. They can grow up to 6 feet tall and attract wasps. This is indigenous to Arizona. Thanks for any help!!

    [Reply]

  109. scott on

    hey gang, dun mean to sound crude, but store ur piss in a bottle n fill it, place in direct sunlight for 2-3 days then add nail varnish n shake, the strength is incredible, it will kill grass, plants, anything, within days my brambles n thick thistles dried up n have stayed away for nine months! be careful tho, as animals n insects may fall really ill, dont ask how i came about this but i use it all the time, hope it helps, p.s dont boil the water, natural sunlight is fine, good luck

    [Reply]

  110. Hanna,

    Thanks for the tips. I am especially intrigued by the boiling water technique.

    Thanks again!

    [Reply]

  111. Pingback: How can I get rid of weeds in my paving? | Greener Than Ever

  112. I have an area of approximately 1,200 sq. feet that has been overrun by various weeds. I want to kill all of them so I can plant flowers there next spring. Do any of these homemade recipes kill everything now but leaves the area plantable after the winter?

    Thanks

    [Reply]

  113. I found it quite amusing that you mentioned salting someone else’s property is illegal and called vandalism. I had the vision of Bre Vandecamp from Desperate Housewives salting someone’s yard. Hehe.

    Also– I was not aware that boiling water did such a great job at killing plants. Thanks for the idea.
    -Sylvia

    [Reply]

  114. Hotness on

    Use a flamethrower! Quick, easy, fun.
    Use small version if you don’t want to kill everything.
    Make sure your pets don’t run infront of you.
    :)

    [Reply]

  115. Nickoleta on

    When is the best time and the worst time to put these killers down? Before a rain, after a rain, sunny day, hot day, etc… Killing weeds at work, landlord only does county required ground maintenance and weeks in the 5yr old mulch does not count.

    [Reply]

    sl farrell Reply:

    stop blaming the landlord. YOU live there. Have a little pride in where you live no matter who owns it. I am a tenant and when someone drives by my house, they don’t say Oh lookie lookie the land lord is trash. No, dear that reflects on you. Grow up

    [Reply]

  116. nikkii on

    can someone invent some kind of steamer to kill weeds. basic princiap as the bee hive smokers.. could use fire and water..?

    [Reply]

  117. Sameer on

    Comments: Sounds great to kill weeds with what we can find in our home and very effectively. I will definitely try boiling water and salt.
    Question:
    Is it safe to kill weeds by these home made remedies on a grown up lwan? As it might effect the roots of Bermuda grass.

    [Reply]

  118. Sean on

    I have a stone patio, and I’m getting tired of continually pulling weeds out from between the stones.
    I also have a good bit of left over ice melt salt from winter… will this salt work as a weed killer? If so, it will become a year-round commodity around here…

    [Reply]

    Marlene Reply:

    Yes salt will kill plants. Have you heard the biblical story ‘to salt the earth’? The Russians used salt to poison their fields so Napoleon’s invading armies could not grow anything to eat. Salt is a poison in large amounts, even to humans.

    Try boiling water. It will not poison your land.

    When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    If you’re going to talk about salting the earth to kill it, talk about Carthage. The second time the Roman Empire conquered the city of Carthage, they’d had enough – they demolished the city, then spread salt all around. The area that had been the breadbasket of the Mediterranean became a barren desert for centuries. Of course, they used a LOT more salt than we’re talking about to spot-weed our gardens – more, even, than we put on our streets in an icy winter, I expect.

    [Reply]

    sl farrell Reply:

    Reminds me of Lot’s wife that looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Any reasonings on this????

  119. After reading all these comments and scouring the internet for the best solution, I’m here to tell you NOTHING beat the hot water method for making it easy 2 attack the dandelions. I am disabled so I needed a solution that wouldn’t cause more pain and fatigue than necessary (I have Fibromyalgia and already deal with enough of that). I got scared because I was using the vinegar, salt and dishwashing liquid fearing it keep the stuff I WANTED to grow from growing. I didn’t like what was left as I now had a lawn full of burn spots. However, I found that the hot water loosened the soil enough that the whole dandeliion flower, root and all just surrendered. I did pour the vinegar solution (minus the salt) in the holes and now I’m just gonna give my lawn a good round of cornmeal gluten. As far as the dandelions go though, DEATH BY HOT WATER has proven to be the BEST method.

    [Reply]

  120. O btw, as far as the boiling hot water I did give the surrounding soil a dig with a weed digger to channel the water directly around the plant, but the hot water did the rest of the job, leaving a limp plant that was so easy to remove I could pull them out by hand root and ALL!

    [Reply]

  121. srikanth on

    tired of spending 100′s of $ buying stuff from store. going to try this on my driveway next few days and hopefully works. will keep you posted. best site i ever came across. with the money i save lets party. thanks a bunch.

    [Reply]

  122. Pingback: Organic Weed Killers « Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS Blog BETA

  123. Thankyou for this…

    I used to use sodium chlorate but the E.U. banned it across the entire European union so due to a couple of hundred idiots who *might* use it to make bombs, 500 million people apparently can no longer be trusted. Pencil nibbling paper pushing bureaucrats. I do hope they have car accidents.

    Luc – UK.

    [Reply]

  124. Ben Koshkin on

    These are all excellent weed control methods. Another is to over fertilize the weeds which causes their roots to burn up. Unfortunately, virtually none of these methods are advertised because there is a lot more money in selling pesticides.

    Ben Koshkin

    [Reply]

  125. jay on

    i have a motocross track on about a half acre of land and the weeds will never die no matter what i seem to use. ive tried your total vegetation killers like round up and others and there pricey!!! and dont seem to work very long! will using these cheaper household methods work???? and should they be mixed strong?? thanks for any advice willing to try anything!!!!

    [Reply]

  126. Marlene on

    I must be missing some postings. Salt is a great natural weed killer. Use it in your driveway, patio, and if you’re in town, your sidewalk or walkways. Just don’t broadcast it near anything you what to live. I keep it way clear of lawns, flowers, and veggies. Yes it will wash out over time, but considering your type of soil and amount of rain fall it can take decades. Here we have sandy soil and usually rainy Springs and Autumns, but we have a patch of ground that is as bare as a baby’s behind. I tested the soil and it has very high concentrations of salt. I’ve wonder just how bleeping much a former owner put down and why? They must have dumped a salt truck on it. (BTW our area has stopped salting the roads for snow and ice. They use sand.) We’ve been here 10 years and still have this naked bald spot. We use it for pitching horse shoes, but it is in a spot that draws attention. I’d rather have flowers there. We are always fielding questions about why we put a pitch there of all places.

    Personally I don’t react to poison ivy but my mom did and she would break out in winter when the sap was down. My sweetheart also reacts badly. So I suit up (just in case) cut it back hard and dig the roots out. By doing this I’ve almost eliminated a large area in 10 years. We only get 2 or 3 plants a year and they will soon be gone too.

    We have neighbors who spray poison every year on their driveway. They have no idea that both our wells are very near where they put poison down. I understand wanting to keep their white shell driveway clear of green patches but do they realize the potential for poisoning our water? So many folks don’t think that far and all manner of illnesses pop up. If I’m not mistaken cancers are on the increase.

    Boiling water, bleach, and vinegar don’t poison the land long term. Salt used carefully is great but it can have long term problems.

    [Reply]

  127. I have a huge problem with cane poles or bamboo poles. i want to get rid of them. I heard you can use rock salt does anyone know what would work? Please let me know, thanks Misty

    [Reply]

  128. Dawn on

    I have not used the boiling water method yet for the weeds but definitely want to give it a try. I hate using chemicals and pesticides, especially with having animals. I have learned that the boiling water takes care of ants very fast! Just pour it over the mound where ever the infestation is.

    [Reply]

  129. Emma on

    Boiling water! So so simple, yet deliciously effective on my patio weeds, thanks for the tip! I haven’t tried it on the lawns yet, but I like the idea of digging a channel around the dandelions (it’s always dandelions, isn’t it?!) and protecting the grass a little bit.

    Happy gardening, people.

    [Reply]

  130. Marlene on

    I’ve often wonder if people realized that dandelions were edible if they be darn headup to get rid of them. The whole salad thing now is bitter greens.

    [Reply]

    Dawn Reply:

    the greens are high in vitamins, but I was told NOT to eat them once the flower goes to seed then it is bad. Roots also are but I just can’t bring myself to eat them! Too many other tasty herbs to eat. LOL

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    I had so many of them I probably could have harvested them but I live in the city and thought of eating anything people have walked all over… YUCK! Anywho, I reiterate hot water DOES make them surrender.

    [Reply]

  131. Pingback: Killing Weeds for FREE (*almost) | RealLifeDeals

  132. Marie on

    I have been reluctant to use boiling water as I do not wish to kill any earth worms in the process of killing weeds (yes, I know I am a wimp :) ) … does any one know if the vinegar/salt combinations will kill worms? I let my globe thistles go to seed 2 years in a row to let the birds feast on them, and now my back yard is covered in them; my poor dog can hardly go out there for all the prickly plants irritating his paws. I am now going to have to get tough with them, but wish to impact the insects/wild rabbits in my hard as much as possible (I am assuming the rabbits would smell the salt/vinegar and not touch the plants, but I could be wrong about that)

    [Reply]

  133. Mark on

    I’m having a BBQ on Friday 2nd of July and have quite a big garden with a stone pathway, so i have just over a week to get rid of them, any ideas would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    [Reply]

    Hanna Reply:

    Boiling water will do it. It works instantly, turning bright green at first, and the plants are brown within 24 hours.

    [Reply]

  134. Thanks for the great solutions to weed killing. I really like that these are things you have around the house on a regular basis. We have a branch (water) running through our property and the weeds overwhelm us every year, especially since we have gotten alittle older. But I’m going to try this anyway. I have grandson’s who would love to play in the branch and I would love for them to be able to. So any suggestions for large scale weeds email me.

    [Reply]

  135. Pingback: Roman God Worthy Weed And Grass Killer For Your Driveway

  136. rick on

    I have a 1 + acre of gravel I would like to kill weeds for good. boiling water not available what has some one else used
    and worked I have tried commercial ground sterilizers and only works about 6 weeks then everything starts to grow back very quickly I use the gravel area for storing RVs and boats I need something to keep it clean and safe (snakes) looking for my customers any help would be greatly appreciated.

    [Reply]

    jerry gross Reply:

    50# bags of salt from tractor supply @ $7.00 each should solve your problem—-I use a hand held grass seeder and let rain water it into the gravel—good luck!!!

    [Reply]

  137. Todd on

    what about gasoline? What about fire? Milk? These can be dangerous and harmful I know… but with results… fire will usually only clear the path for later weedlings though. I have an idea though… do you think any of your readers could come up with a solution chemical that you could spray onto your weeds that would attract weedeating insects? If we could biologically engineer a chemical to attract a natural enemy of the weeds… hmmmmm… any thoughts on this?

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    Ohh, Todd, I like that bioengineering idea! Hope someone follows through with it. Or maybe we can just find and isolate a natural one, even better! :)

    Milk, you say? just plain, ordinary milk? Seems like a waste, but…maybe milk that’s going sour? How does milk work, do you know?

    [Reply]

  138. Salt serves a s a sterilant for a time, vinegar, alcohol, and bleach are contact type chemicals that will kill only the parts of the plant they come in contact with. If boiling water is hot enough, it can kill the entire plant, root and all. I like to use a sheet of plastic on the area where I garden for a while before anything is planted, allowing the ground to be solarized, which will cause almost all the weed seed in the ground to germinate and die beforehand.

    [Reply]

  139. anthtex81 on

    Well ive tried the vinegar salt and dishsoap on my pathway at the beginning of the summer, it worked for a week or so, then everything came back with a passion, so i was considering using the bleach. I thought that might be expensive considering the pathway is more than fifty feet long. I think i will try the boiling water but i would also like to learn about a natural remedy to kill weeds in the lawn with out harming the grass. i have search the net for this and it seems i have to buy chemicals. yet when i bought weed and feed chemical the active ingrediant was a special kind of salt. so i was thinking a special mixture of salt water might be just as good as buying the weed and feed, yet i havent found anything to help me with this venture on the net yet. I would love to get any feed back on either of these topics. thank you for your time and website.
    Anthony

    [Reply]

    James Reply:

    Any homemade product for killing one kind of plant will kill grass as well. They are all “non selective”. Salts are the base for many commercial chemicals, but they are not the same as the sodium chloride we use for table salt. They are the “salts” of whatever chemical is being used to manufacture the herbicide.

    [Reply]

  140. Pingback: How to get rid of weeds forever???!!!!!

  141. Eleanor on

    After spreading cornmeal to prevent the seed growth of crab grass, how long do we have to wait until we can plant grass seed?

    [Reply]

  142. Pingback: boiling or hot water in roots ON HARVEST DAY??

  143. Pingback: Resources for Kitchen Gardeners | Our Twenty Minute Kitchen Garden

  144. Very early hours in Tasmania, very interesting details on weed murdering!! Mainly wanted details for the killing of the broadleaf weeds and perimiter grass so that it was safe for my dogs. Do not want to poison them (as they tend to have a chew on grass edging etc). And really didn’t want to burn their tootsies with anything harsher than what you would put on your fish and chips. LOL… Thanks for fun and informative reading!!

    [Reply]

  145. I have read a great in the posts regarding salt. I have actually read the benefits of Epsom Salt in planting, and
    even as a fertilization benefit. Thanks Ms. Hanna for all you are doing!
    Sam

    [Reply]

  146. Eric Gallagher on

    Would someone please tell me how much of each to use. I’m doing a science fair and i don’t want to mix them together.

    [Reply]

  147. Hi All,

    First thanks for all the input.

    I was thinking salt would work wonders on my nasty pavers (In a townhouse, surrounded by cement, so not bordering gardens to worry about) but I was concerned about the cost of buying salt from the supermarket.

    TIP- I just went to the local pool shop and got a bag of 20 kg pool salt $9.90!

    I filled a bucket to less then half then used that to distribute the bag over my two courtyards. Approximately 40sqm.

    Here’s hoping!
    Thanks everyone :-)

    [Reply]

  148. Victoria on

    Question re: salting. I have some blackberry bushes in my backyard (well, it’s more like a dirt lawn), and I’m hoping to get rid of them to lay down some gravel or mulch. Problem is, we have a beautiful tree nearby that I’d hate to kill. Can you spot kill bushes using salt, or is one of the other remedies above a better bet? Or, should I just throw down the gravel or mulch and deal with the weeds as they come up?

    I know nothing about lawns or gardening so any help is appreciated.

    [Reply]

  149. peter on

    WARNING DANGER DO NOT UNDER ANY SERCUMSTANCES EVER MIX VINAGER AND BLEACH IT GIVES OFF DEADLY CLORINE GAS

    [Reply]

  150. Ramesh on

    Common everyone
    We are sending rockets outer space and searching for plants and we are trying here to kill the plants

    how selfish we are

    The common cold and grass are very common and can’t be separated unless you want to live elsewhere in Flats or rocks or in other planets

    The grass will keep growing as for as there is land with soil and moisture

    I know we want to make home very beautiful

    The hot water if the land is bigger you need lots of hot which is not best for many

    Combining the bleach with any other chemicals or boiling hot water with anything also don’t do it

    adding the chemicals will spoil the soil as the PH level of soil is not balanced and anything grown on it later will be no good

    why can’t we simply grasp the grass by hand from it’s root and cover the floor with thick plastic sheets available in stores if you don’t want it keep growing

    [Reply]

  151. jonno on

    Lets all get to the point,
    we need or want to remove all the weeds from our gardens etc.So the easiest,cheapest & most enviromentaly freindly way is to use sodium chloride.The only problem with this is, it has been banned by the eu on the grounds of explosive risks, as in terrorist bomb making ingrdient.That and the fact that all of other weed killing manufacturers lobbied the eu,so that they would make bigger profits from there overpriced and frankly useless alternatives.Bring back sodium chloride i say.

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    The EU has banned salt?? What do you cook with? Or have they just banned certain forms, or large quantities?

    [Reply]

    Kathy74868 Reply:

    I think Jonno was referring to sodium chlorate, rather than sodium chloride… Since I use sodium chlorite a lot for a lot of health related stuff (see MMS, if you want to get rid of a cold; or, almost any other pathogen – yes, a shameless plug; but, I don’t sell the stuff; I’m just impressed with it and let everyone know about it…), I’m used to the differences; but, a lot folks confuse the 3…

    [Reply]

  152. Colleen on

    I am NOT a gardener! Would love to be one tho :) . I have a very fierce rosebush (looks to be about as old as dirt with horrific thorns, but so beautiful) and some other bush that I don’t recognize that are being savaged by thistles. I have dug them, sprayed them and cursed them to no avail. How can I get rid of them without hurting my flowers? They have also invaded my daylillies…. :(

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    If you can put down some kind of shield between the thistles and your desired plants, you can spray the weeds. Maybe some pieces of cardboard held between the rose and the thistles, or around the thistles in the daylilies? Then spray with one of the less-toxic weedkillers, but pour it on (I’m thinking vinegar, maybe, not bleach, and definitely not salt or boiling water).

    If repeated applications don’t work, and you want to resort to commercial weedkiller, I saw a nifty tip in the comments of Hanna’s “How to make a soda bottle weed killer spray shield” – put on a plastic glove to protect your skin, then an old cotton glove, then spray the glove with weedkiller and stroke the leaves of the weed. Check it out!

    [Reply]

  153. Vanessa Winkler on

    We moved into our new home in December and had a bunch of trees and black berry bushes cut down and stumps ground and thought that would take care of the blackberry atrocity in the yard. Yeah right! I am really excited to try all of these techniques in hope that they will destroy those nasty buggers in order to try and plant a garden. If anyone has any tips for blackberry bushes removal please help. Got to love the Pacific Northwest natural vegetation!

    [Reply]

  154. I always use hot water to kill the weeds in my garden. I wasn’t aware of the other methods, thank you for sharing this information.

    [Reply]

  155. I like your simple but effective weed control methods. Boiling water… brilliant and dirt cheap. Salting someones yard would be kind of funny too :)

    I deal with aquatic weeds that are usually harder to kill (without damaging the pond ecosystem) but I like your simple and cheap, yet effective methods. Keep thinking outside of the box people!

    Now im gonna try to brainstorm how I can transfer some of these techniques to an aquatic environment without harming other plants.

    [Reply]

  156. Lindy Eastmond on

    Hanna, I got carried away reading and replying to the comments here, and just want to tell you THANK YOU for posting this wonderful list of weedkillers. My teakettle got lost in my last move, but now I have a good reason to replace it: the weeds in the sidewalk cracks, and the ones that have just about taken over our brick sidewalk (yes, we have a 100-year-old sidewalk – now I understand why it’s one of the last ones in town!) I tried a big pot of boiling water, but by the time I carried it out to the sidewalk and then poured it out, it had cooled so much it wasn’t effective. So I’m gonna get me a BIG whistling teakettle and try it again – with vinegar, to prevent hard water deposits!

    [Reply]

  157. Lindy Eastmond on

    I had grass and some kind of wiry, small-leaved spreading bushy little weed coming up in the cracks in my sidewalk. Perfect for experimenting! My results:

    Straight bleach poured on killed overnight.

    Straight vinegar poured on strongly discouraged the weeds, but did not kill them.

    Dilute vinegar, salt water, and vinegar-salt water solutions didn’t particularly bother them.

    So I put some straight bleach in a spray bottle and went to work on my brick sidewalk. I spray a small area, wait a day or two, and pull the dead weeds; then I spray the next area. That way, the rest of it stays an attractive, soft carpet until I’m ready to clear it. (Half the children in town walk down our sidewalk every day, so that’s kind of important to me.)

    Next year, when the weeds start to sprout, I’m gonna have a new teakettle, and I’ll be ready for them!!!

    [Reply]

  158. fire works the best
    but you can use your steam mop or type of steamer to kill them off they will be back as nothing will stop a powerful life loving week.
    They were here before us and they will take over the world when we are going.

    [Reply]

  159. Jonno, (April 27th i think) mistook sodiumchlorIDE for sodium chlorATE. Easy enough to do. I tend to make a mental or jotted note of little things like unusual context/spelling-sometimes it saves a mix-up.
    Take heed readers of the nasty gas from vinegar/bleach. NEVER mix the two!
    Looks like a tree stump hollowed or dished down when fresh-cut could absorb a nice little pile of ordinary salt over time (cover from rain maybe) and slow-release it without harm to even a lowly worm ….
    Ov course water in a barrel can rot down “perennial” tubers such as kahili ginger. Which reminds me- better pull some weeds today ….

    [Reply]

  160. P.S. The ginger takes months to rot -most good things take time. Maybe it would make a bio-fuel on the side?
    I wonder if citric or acetic acid crystals put on a stump to soak in would kill it?
    I think sulphate of potassium salts may be a fertilizer you can intentionally over-use on unwanted plants. Check it out!
    Or maybe I should try all these ideas and report back.
    The sun will whiten most clothes stains in a few days, So I don’t use bleach. It makes pants look bleached and horrible.
    Where we are, the plants like and need a LITTLE sodium chloride. Very important to specify/ quantify a proportion/ratio accurately when querying, or passing along recipes/ ideas, so they are really usable by us out here. Thanks! have a happy one! (HAy-HO!)

    [Reply]

    Jay Anchor Reply:

    (That should be) pLants look bleached …. very unnatural! Now to EDIT my notes ….

    [Reply]

  161. mishael keller on

    how long do these last? will new weeds just pop up next spring from tap-roots?
    thanks!

    [Reply]

  162. This has been gaining comments for quite a while! Nice work! It occurs to me that there is another means of controlling weeds, and even bugs that is really the greenest of all forms of pest control. It requires no energy to gather the components, package and ship them like pesticides, green pesticides, or even the household items we are talking about here. There is 0 environmental risk, and it is something we should all be doing anyway for other reasons. It is prevention. Keep our lawn mowers clean, keep our soil healthy, make good use of mulch, use the proper amount of water and fertility, and weeds are a lot smaller issue.

    [Reply]

  163. great info , thank you so much,,gonna try some things as i have 2 driveways that i wish to keep gravel an dirt as im kinda ol scool that way,,the weeds been makin me ol an tired

    [Reply]

  164. I savor, cause I discovered just what I used to be taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    [Reply]

  165. Pingback: DIY: Homemade Weed Killing Herbicide | ShardsOfBlue

  166. Dolores on

    Hi – enjoyed reading your comments about killing weeds. I have one comment to make about rubbing alcohol. I have used it successfully to kill scale & mealy bug on plants with no detrimental effects on the plant. It makes sense that the alcohol will dry out something, but I have had no problem with killing my plants while killing the insects.

    [Reply]

  167. Pingback: 5 Ways To Kill More Weeds For Less Money « Lake Realty NC

  168. Jake Wasokowski on

    I am looking for a natural or powerful chemical way to kill a standing tree. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  169. Steve on

    Thanks for the ideas here. I have a query though. I’ve got Mare’s Tail (or Horse’s Tail) in my garden. My understanding is that this is a weed that thrives in soils with very poor nutrition (i.e. nothing else will grow in it so Mare’s Tail takes over.)
    If I use the ideas on here on my garden, is it likely to just make my Mare’s Tail infestation worse?
    Thanks in advance

    [Reply]

  170. Kiki young on

    Wonder sometimes how we define “weeds”. Where I live a lawn is supposed to look like a golf course. I am frustrated by the “good” grass vs “bad” grass distinction. I think dandelions are not only lovely in a salad when young greens but provide a burst of yellow spring color. Clover is also beautiful in bloom and gives to the bees without which we would have nothing. Watch the fields, there is nothing more beautiful than their turn from yellow to blue to red in the spring. Why do we have to subscribe to an ideal monoculture of what our nature should look like? That said, I will try boiling water on my brick walk way, only to “keep up with the joness”.

    [Reply]

    Lindy Eastmond Reply:

    I’m with you on that, Kiki! Remember, “a weed is a plant out of place” – if you want it, it’s not a weed! I allow limited amounts of clover in my lawn, and all the poppy mallow I can get to grow. (Not dandelions, though – a few are lovely, but they can quickly take over and become a mess.) As long as I have enough nice soft green grass to get from one part of my yard to another, that’s all I need at my stage in life.

    But I do my best to murder the weeds on my brick walkway (where do you have brick?? not many towns do anymore) because the roots go down between the bricks and are hard to get up; and because the most flourishing weed there is knotweed – which makes a nice soft green carpet all spring, and then in June (when the roots are well established) the stems turn woody and knotty, so it’s impossible to pull and awful to walk on! :P

    [Reply]

  171. Max on

    The salt idea sounds nice to me. I’m trying to kill weeds so that the area is nothing but bare dirt, and the idea that salt prevents growth for years is attractive to me. Plus, salt is relatively cheap.

    The problem is that I’ve got about an 8,000 square foot area that’s nothing but weeds. I’m thinking that would take a LOT of salt. I also have a dog that roams freely in this area.

    At any rate, perhaps I can use the salt in smaller areas of my property. If I were to dilute the salt in water and apply it with a sprayer, what salt/water ratio should I use?

    [Reply]

  172. Milore on

    Just used boiling water. Smelled like cooking greens. What a great idea!

    [Reply]

  173. austin on

    if you till the following into the soil and then place 1lb of salt every 1000 square feet no thing can grow

    [Reply]

  174. thanks for ideas on

    Problem with the ingredients people are using here not everyone is saying what they are using exactly. Would be of help at top of page if could indicate to do so for reply.

    Such as salt was it normal table salt, bleach thick or thin. Vinegar white, malt, barley, wine or other (please say).

    Caustic soda is used safely by many drink and food manufactures for cleaning. Though is dangerous to work with. Has to be mixed correctly so not to burn yourself from it spouting back at you. Maybe it is good but how many would dare use it, maybe better for those really hard tough weeds that are harder to remove (wire weeds, wood weeds, bamboo weeds). Some of those bamboo weeds are on some countries invasive dangerous list with the likes of knot weed. But that is another topic as they are very invasive and harmful to other plants including food crops.

    Someone asked a while ago if could salt by scattering it without water. As history has shown that is what they did centuries ago then would not have used water instead relied on rain water. Though quicker would be to add to cold water even better to hot and dissolve first before applying. Since scatter raw may need more salt than dilution with water first. Since salt can blow away, unless tilled into soil and then raked over to contain it.

    Again please add to post start to mention more exact ingredient details so all countries can follow and use what is suggested by others.

    [Reply]

  175. Pingback: How to Get Rid of Ants; Naturally | Online Holistic Health - Natural Health | Holistic Health

  176. Janite on

    Does any1 kno if I can mix vinegar & salt & put in my old steam cleaner & steam weeds with concoction without damaging the Steam Machine & still kill the weeds? It’s a driveway with no gardens in runoff area so happy of nothing ever grows on it again!! Thanks

    [Reply]

  177. Melissa on

    I’ve been pouring boiling water on my sidewalk weeds. It’s time consuming but worth the effort to avoid chemicals. Love the salt idea, I’ll try that next!

    [Reply]

  178. Pingback: Keep Weeds from Sprouting with Corn Meal | Lifehacker Australia

  179. stop buying GMO foods from the supermarkets… stop taking vaccines and flu shots…. the American and European Government are SICK EVIL WAR CRIMINALS who inject toxic chemicals and poisons into our food supply

    [Reply]

  180. Richard Cranium on

    I was using Limeaway to get rid of the rust on my driveway, then i decided to pour some on the weeds growing along side of the driveway, WOW!!! Works faster than anything i’ve ever used before…now i just get Limeaway & dilute it a little bit….(just wanted to share that it made feel like Mr.Wizard)…lol

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  181. Pingback: How can I get rid of weeds in my paving? – Alan and Bob Maintenance

  182. BEST SITE EVER!!! But will it work on (all) the p-ivy, p-oak etc.. I have covering my yard? And what effect do any of them have on spiders? HELP! Over rum with them all. Really need advice quick, I have 2 grandkids and 1 on the way. Thanks to all for the information.

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  183. I tried the boiling water once and it worked. However, made me feel bad that an earthworm came to the top, half of it boiled and was in terrible pain. After dispatching the earthworm, I never used the boiling water again

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  184. Lindy Eastmond on

    I’m having trouble with the Reply links. Wanted to let people know I found corn gluten meal by the 5-lb bag on Amazon.com. Will report back when I’ve tried it.

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  185. I HAVE ALOT AND I MEAN (ALOT) OF EARTHWORMS IN MY YARD, CAN I USE SALT TO KILL THE WEEDS AND NOT HARM MY EARTHWORMS??? ♥♥

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  186. vanessa on

    I used straight boiling water on my pavers & driveway & the next day NOT a weed in sight. Thanks for the info! ♡

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  187. Pingback: Really. It’s her favourite thing.

  188. Daniel on

    In most cases, salting the earth helps me kill weed. However, people should be careful with this method because it can make ground unsuitable for any plant!

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  189. lekha on

    After getting rid of the weeds, when can you start laying sod?

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  190. Pingback: Frugal and Natural Weed Killer

  191. Betty on

    I mixed 1/2 gallon of apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup of salt and tbs of dish soap and IT WORKS. I will try the boiling water next time so I can get rid of the roots.

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  192. Joan mendoza on

    Thanks hanna for posting it..almost got being crazy thinking how to get rid the weeds..almost 7years after getting married..we spent so much time,effort money on always pulling the weeds..after pulling it after a day or two it starts to grow again and again.pulling it spent more time than to keep it clean after…it really fast to grow.eve ryt now thats why i cant try it so i’l start tomorrow and ihope it will work…and i really owe you for giving the tips…thank you so much..(actually im researchinh for the chemical solution what is the best to buy.but i’ve read this so..thanks a lot..

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  193. Cheryl on

    This is a great resource! Thank you! Question: I really like the boiling water especially for cracks in driveway. I also have a couple of trees, large, each of which has small rocks surrounding it where weeds thrive. Is there any danger of killing tree roots underneath where those weeds are? I saw a post up above somewhere that said that would be a problem. However, I was thinking if I use small amounts in small areas each time that it shouldn’t be an issue. It would seem to me that large roots would not be susceptible to that. Also it would also seem that the water would not be as hot after seeping through the soil. However, I am not a gardener so would like to get others thoughts on this. Thanks!

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  194. Cooks with no Books on

    thank you for pulling together all these great methods. I’ve used boiling water extensively, that and flaming with a propane wand have worked the best. I’m going to try concentrated vinegar (called horticultural vinegar. it’s 20% acetic acid instead of 5% for table vinegar) next with salt in my asphalt driveway.

    A note of Caution: Salt on concrete will damage the concrete surface. Something to keep in mind!

    By the way, my garden is probably illegal, too!

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  195. Aimeerdms on

    I’m trying to kill the weeds in my vegetable garden. I want my garden safe from the chemicals but there are small weeds everywhere that I can’t pull. You can hardly see my plants.. I just dont have that much time. i live in michigan so our growing season is short. What would you recommend for that? Can I spray something on the weeds carefully not getting my vegetables? Any suggestions? It’s not a huge garden but its large enough that the weeds are overwhelming.

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  196. kim terpening on

    I am planning on using the vinegar, orange oil and dish soap weed killer to kill the weeds coming up thru my pine straw. I do not have a yard really, just trees and pine straw. Does anyone know if this mix will kill my trees? If so can you reccomend another weed killer mix?
    thanks
    kim

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  197. Kevin D on

    These are fantastic suggestions. The salt in boiling water with a bit of dish soap is AMAZING!!! I live in San Diego and recently dug up my grass (brown through most of the year) lawn and replaced it with decomposed granite, a few larger boulders and a variety of succulents. And wouldn’t you know it? When I want the grass, it won’t grow. When I don’t want it, I can’t get rid of the *#%$ stuff!

    On the suggestion of a landscaper friend, I used Round-Up and it did not work on the grass, though I suspect some of the other plants I wanted may have met an early death. The boiling water by itself was a great solution, but I found I had to go back a time or two to some of the hardier specimens. Once I added in the salt and dish soap, though, INSTANT DEATH! Seriously. I’d pour the boiling water and salt on the bits of grass popping up that I didn’t want, and poof! A couple hours later, they’re shriveled up brown & dead. Screw you, Monsanto! This is cheaper, more effective, doesn’t require me to go to Home Depot and while I’m pretty sure salt isn’t great for my plants either, I feel way better not supporting a corporate giant.

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  198. June on

    I hope no one took Jeff Bigman seriously about undigested food entering the bloodstream. This is not a possibility. If you have had rudimentary biology, you know that. Surprises me what ludicrous statements are made and no one challenges them. I hope it is because they think that no moderately educated person would pay any attention to them.

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  199. Jenna B on

    Does anyone know if any of these options would be safe to use in a childs play area? I assume the boiling water is. We laid the mulch down assuming we killed off all of the weeds but obviously we didn’t and some of it I assume are plants really (a lot look like those elephant ear plants) and they are popping up everywhere. We don’t want to have to pull all the mulch up lay down the newspaper and then lay it back down but it is also annoying that we keep pulling them and it still isn’t working. Thank you!

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  200. Jody on

    I have noticed that some people have large weed patches to contend with,just an idea but perhaps renting a portable steam cleaner and blasting the whole area with hot steam?

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  201. steve g on

    I’m going to try boiling some gas with some salt mixed in. I think that should do the trick.

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  202. Jessie on

    1 cup of White Vinegar
    1 teaspoon of salt
    Weed and bug killer

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