How to make natural and safe homemade weed killer

How to make natural and safe homemade weed killer

How to make natural and safe homemade weed killer

The content of this article was prepared by The Garden Glove and has been revised and republished by

Weeds can choke out the plants in your yard that you actually want there, stealing nutrients, water and sun. Using natural weed killers whenever possible makes sense for your health, your pets and your kids to prevent exposure to chemicals you spray in the yard.

Check out these tutorials and homemade weed killer recipes and get a jump on weed season.

Vinegar based homemade weed killer

We found this basic homemade weed killer recipe at ‘Saving Cent by Cent‘. Her tutorial is great, and we did a little research on the formula. It’s a well-regarded recipe for killing weeds without chemicals, but a couple of cautions. Using vinegar and dish soap is a great basic weed killer on its own. When you add salt, you can affect the soil and make it difficult to grow things there in the future.

So if you are killing weeds where you want nothing to grow, go ahead and use the salt. But if you want to replant in that spot, either emit the salt or use it sparingly. This homemade weed spray is best used in full sun on a warm day and is most effective on young weeds. Read her tutorial for her recipe and lots of great tips. Otherwise, here is a general formula for making it in larger batches that works!

Recipe For Vinegar Weed Killer

  • 1 Gallon White Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Dish Soap or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Salt (only if you don’t want to replant there)

weed killer

Concrete and driveway weed killer

Using salt has long been known as an effective way to kill weeds in sidewalks. But did you know that using salt and boiling water makes it a one-time good deal?

Remember the cautions above about using salt. Salt and boiling water would kill any plant, so that’s why it makes a good solution for the driveway or sidewalk.

Another tip: Using a tea kettle instead of a round pot will make pouring the boiling water on the weeds much easier and safer, thanks to the spout on the kettle.

  • 2 Quarts Boiling Tap Water
  • Teaspoon- Tablespoon Salt

Borax weed killer recipe

Borax weed killer can be used in lawns, but use cautiously. Anything overused can cause damage to other plants. Most commonly used for killing “Creeping Charlie” or “Ground Ivy”, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends this recipe to cover 1000 square feet of lawn. A borax solution will also kill ants.

  • 1 Cup Powdered Borax
  • 2 Gallons Water

weed killer

Pre-emergent herbicide

If you want to stop weed growth before it happens, you can buy a pre-emergent herbicide such as "Preen", or you can simply sprinkle corn meal in the area to stop weed seed germination.

Keep in mind, pre-emergents natural weed killers do not kill weeds once they have started, so this is best used in early spring. Note: If you decide to use the store-bought version, make sure you get the one for vegetable gardens only if you want the pure cornmeal. Their other varieties include chemical weed killers.

  • Corn Meal
  • That’s It!

Rubbing alcohol weed killer

  • 2 Tablespoons Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1 Quart Water

Other safe weed killers


Some of the best natural weed killers are often forgotten, not to mention definitely safe.

  • Torching – Use a torch to kill weeds in pathways or areas where you don’t want plants to grow.
  • Pulling – The hated but old-fashioned method of weed control. Just pull ’em! Don’t forget to get the roots, especially on perennial weeds that come back every year.
  • Mulching – If you have a lot of weeds, mow them down as short as possible. Cover with mulch 2-3 inches thick. If you really have time to kill off an area, then you can cover the mowed weeds with plastic or newspaper and let them die. This process is pretty permanent, but can take weeks- months. This is a good option if you want to lay sod in an area that has been taken over by weeds, because it kills even the weed seeds, but allows other plants to grow as soon as you remove the mulch.
  • Grow Your Lawn Taller – For lawn weeds, one of the best ways to control them is to let your lawn grow as tall as your mower will allow. This allows the grass plants to shade the soil and help crowd out weed seeds. The lawn will also grow longer roots and therefore a thicker top, allowing it to crowd out new weeds.
  • Use Ground Covers – If you have a large bit of space, use ground cover plants to cover an area to crowd out weeds. Remember, if you are trying to crowd out weeds, you have to give your plants a helping hand at first. The only way that ground cover can win the war is if you hand pull for a while, giving them time to get the upper hand over the weeds.
  • Behead to Prevent Going to Seed – This can be a really good control measure, especially with something like dandelions. The more they are allowed to go to seed, the worse your problem will get. So if you don’t have time to hand pull them from the lawn, at least pick off those flower heads as soon as they appear to prevent spreading!

Image Credits: Saving Cent by CentMoms 4 RealThe Creek Line HouseThe Gardening Cook


Subscribe to our newsletter