How To Prepare Homemade Weed Killers With Vinegar, Salt & Alcohol (4 Tested Recipes)

Homemade Weed Killer

About Weed and Homemade Weed Killer:

A weed is a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, “a plant in the wrong place”. Examples commonly are plants unwanted in human-controlled settings, such as farm fields, gardens, lawns, and parks. Taxonomically, the term “weed” has no botanical significance, because a plant that is a weed in one context is not a weed when growing in a situation where it is wanted, and where one species of plant is a valuable crop plant, another species in the same genus might be a serious weed, such as a wild bramble growing among cultivated loganberries. (Homemade Weed Killer)

In the same way, volunteer crops (plants) are regarded as weeds in a subsequent crop. Many plants that people widely regard as weeds also are intentionally grown in gardens and other cultivated settings, in which case they are sometimes called beneficial weeds. The term weed is also applied to any plant that grows or reproduces aggressively, or is invasive outside its native habitat. More broadly, “weed” is occasionally applied pejoratively to species outside the plant kingdom, species that can survive in diverse environments and reproduce quickly; in this sense it has even been applied to humans. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Weed control is important in agriculture. Methods include hand cultivation with hoes, powered cultivation with cultivators, smothering with mulch or soil solarization, lethal wilting with high heat, burning, or chemical attack with herbicides. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Ecological significance

Certain classes of weeds share adaptations to ruderal environments. That is to say: disturbed environments where soil or natural vegetative cover has been damaged or frequently gets damaged, disturbances that give the weeds advantages over desirable crops, pastures, or ornamental plants. The nature of the habitat and its disturbances will affect or even determine which types of weed communities become dominant. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Examples of such ruderal or pioneer species include plants that are adapted to naturally-occurring disturbed environments such as dunes and other windswept areas with shifting soils, alluvial flood plains, river banks and deltas, and areas that are burned repeatedly. Since human agricultural practices often mimic these natural environments where weedy species have evolved, some weeds are effectively preadapted to grow and proliferate in human-disturbed areas such as agricultural fields, lawns, roadsides, and construction sites. (Homemade Weed Killer)

The weedy nature of these species often gives them an advantage over more desirable crop species because they often grow quickly and reproduce quickly, they commonly have seeds that persist in the soil seed bank for many years, or they may have short lifespans with multiple generations in the same growing season. In contrast, perennial weeds often have underground stems that spread under the soil surface or, like ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), have creeping stems that root and spread out over the ground. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Some plants become dominant when introduced into new environments because the animals in their original environment that compete with them or feed on them are absent; in what is sometimes called the “natural enemies hypothesis”, plants freed from these specialist consumers may become dominant. An example is Klamath weed, that threatened millions of hectares of prime grain and grazing land in North America after it was accidentally introduced, but was reduced to a rare roadside weed within several years after some of its natural enemies were imported during World War II.  (Homemade Weed Killer)

In locations where predation and mutually competitive relationships are absent, weeds have increased resources available for growth and reproduction. The weediness of some species that are introduced into new environments may be caused by their production of allelopathic chemicals which indigenous plants are not yet adapted to, a scenario sometimes called the “novel weapons hypothesis”. These chemicals may limit the growth of established plants or the germination and growth of seeds and seedlings. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Another of the ways in which the ecological role of a plant can make it a weed even if it is in itself inoffensive, is if it harbours a pest that is dependent on it for survival; for example, Berberis species are intermediate hosts for stem rust fungi, so that they promote serious damage to wheat crops when growing near the fields. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Competition with cultivated and endemic plants

A number of native or non-native plants are unwanted in a specific location for a number of reasons. An important one is functional: they interfere with food and fiber production in agriculture, wherein they must be controlled to prevent lost or diminished crop yields. Other important reasons are that they interfere with other cosmetic, decorative, or recreational goals, such as in lawns, landscape architecture, playing fields, and golf courses. Similarly, they can be of concern for environmental reasons whereby introduced species out-compete for resources or space with desired endemic plants. (Homemade Weed Killer)

For all these reasons, horticultural (both functional and cosmetic) and environmental, weeds interfere by:

  • competing with the desired plants for the resources that a plant typically needs, namely, direct sunlight, soil nutrients, water, and (to a lesser extent) space for growth;
  • providing hosts and vectors for plant pathogens, giving them greater opportunity to infect and degrade the quality of the desired plants;
  • providing food or shelter for animal pests such as seed-eating birds and Tephritid fruit flies that otherwise could hardly survive seasonal shortages; (Homemade Weed Killer)
  • offering irritation to the skin or digestive tracts of people or animals, either physical irritation via thorns, prickles, or burs, or chemical irritation via natural poisons or irritants in the weed (for example, the poisons found in Nerium species);
  • causing root damage to engineering works such as drains, road surfaces, and foundations, blocking streams and rivulets. (Homemade Weed Killer)

In weed ecology some authorities speak of the relationship between “the three Ps”: plant, place, perception. These have been very variously defined, but the weed traits listed by H.G. Baker are widely cited. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Weeds have long been a concern, perhaps as long as humans have cultivated plants. They are mentioned in various historic texts, such as the Shakespearean Sonnet 69:

To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds: / But why thy odour matcheth not thy show, / The soil is this, that thou dost common grow. (Homemade Weed Killer)

and the Bible:

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Homemade Weed Killer
A dandelion is a common plant all over the world, especially in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It is a well-known example of a plant that is considered a weed in some contexts (such as lawns) but not a weed in others (such as when it is used as a vegetable or herbal medicine).

Benefits of weed species

While the term “weed” generally has a negative connotation, many plants known as weeds can have beneficial properties. A number of weeds, such as the dandelion (Taraxacum) and lamb’s quarter, are edible, and their leaves or roots may be used for food or herbal medicine. Burdock is common over much of the world, and is sometimes used to make soup and medicine in East Asia. Some weeds attract beneficial insects, which in turn can protect crops from harmful pests. Weeds can also prevent pest insects from finding a crop, because their presence disrupts the incidence of positive cues which pests use to locate their food.

Weeds may also act as a “living mulch”, providing ground cover that reduces moisture loss and prevents erosion. Weeds may also improve soil fertility; dandelions, for example, bring up nutrients like calcium and nitrogen from deep in the soil with their tap root, and clover hosts nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its roots, fertilizing the soil directly. The dandelion is also one of several species which break up hardpan in overly-cultivated fields, helping crops grow deeper root systems.

Some garden flowers originated as weeds in cultivated fields and have been selectively bred for their garden-worthy flowers or foliage. An example of a crop weed that is grown in gardens is the corncockle, (Agrostemma githago), which was a common weed in European wheat fields, but is now sometimes grown as a garden plant.

Homemade Weed Killer
Weeds growing on the edge of two concrete slabs.

What if you could get rid of those nasty fingergrass, dandelions, and snagweeds in 8-24 hours?

And that without buying expensive chemical herbicides.

Wouldn’t it be great?

We will discuss 4 easy homemade weed killer recipes to help you achieve this.

And the relevant precautions and considerations you should take.

So let’s start! (Homemade Weed Killer)

But why you need to worry about weeds?

Homemade Weed Killer

We won’t bore you with botanical terms and idioms. Weeds are unwanted plants in unwanted places.

Plants that are not needed where they grow.

Imagine bunches of hairy crab growing in a stunning blue flowerbed. Wouldn’t it be just disgusting?

It can also be the gaps and crevices of driveways, cobbled paths or garden borders/boundaries.

But why are they undesirable?

  1. Because they absorb nutrients from the soil and leave less of a share for your plants. (Homemade Weed Killer)
  2. Destroy the beauty of the place (think of the green extensions coming out of the voids of your cobblestone pavement)

Homemade Weed Killer Recipes

Here is the good news. You can get rid of these ugly weeds with natural herbicide recipes using common household items.

They are effective and environmentally friendly. So, without going into more details, let’s get straight to the point. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Recipe#1- Salt (Not Epsom Salt), White Vinegar, Soap

Homemade Weed Killer
Vinegar1 gallon
Salt2 cups (1 cup= 16 tablespoons)
Dawn (Dishwashing liquid soap)ÂĽ cup
Instructions 1. Pour the vinegar, measure salt in the container and mix it until dissolved.2. Add the dishwasher soap and mix it but not much that it forms a lather.3. After 2 mins, transfer it on the spray bottle and soak the entire weed with it.

You may have seen recipes containing Epsom salt on the Internet, but this is not true. (Homemade Weed Killer)


Epsom salt actually contains magnesium and sulfate, which are essential plant nutrients. Are you trying to kill the plant or make it bigger?

Salt contains sodium, which is poisonous to weeds. It restricts moisture uptake by the roots, which eventually dries out the weed.

Epsom salt solution may also work, but that’s only because of the other two ingredients. Why not replace it with an ingredient (salt) that enhances its potency?

The recipe above works because the acetic acid in the vinegar draws moisture from the weeds, turning them brown.

Dishwasher soap acts as a surfactant and helps the ingredients stick to the leaves so they’re better absorbed.

This mixture does not reach the roots (and completely destroys them), so weeds can grow back. But it’s super effective.

After all, how much time was spent preparing and applying it? You will see the result in 8-24 hours. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Recipe #2 – Boiling Water & Salt

Homemade Weed Killer
Boiling water½ gallon
Salt1 Tablespoon
Instructions:1. Boil the water after adding salt.2. Shifting the mixture to a sprayer might be dangerous so you can simply pour the mixture over the weeds.

As stated by the University of California Integrated Pest Management Online, the water should be above 200oF. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Now, if the roots of the grass are in the soil, the water may not reach them and they may grow back, but if the boiling water and salt reaches the roots, it will destroy the root tissue and cause the weed to die completely.

So, either way it’s a win-win situation. After all, you are avoiding the use of environmentally harmful chemical herbicides.

This is a great recipe for younger and newer weeds.

If the task at hand is more demanding, it is recommended to follow other recipes with vinegar. Also, use it only on driveways and footpaths, as hot water can be harmful to the soil. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Recipe #3 – Apple Cider Vinegar & Salt (Not Epsom salt)

Homemade Weed Killer
Apple cider vinegar2 ratio
Salt1 ratio
Instructions:1. Add the vinegar in the spray container before pouring salt into it.2. Shake them well.3. Apply on the weeds and brush away the dried remains easily.

Recipe #4 – Rubbing Alcohol & Water

Homemade Weed Killer
Rubbing Alcohol2 Tablespoons
WaterÂĽ gallon
Instructions:1. Dilute the alcohol with water and transfer it in the spray bottle.2. Apply directly on the weeds and see the result in 1 day.

Rubbing alcohol dries out the plant by attracting water. This can work for almost any weed species. (Homemade Weed Killer)

What is the best time to apply these homemade weed killers?

Homemade Weed Killer
Image Source pinterest

You’ll want to apply the solutions after you’ve prepared them, but before that, read these points.

  1. The best days to apply herbicides are dry days; otherwise rainwater may wash the solution from the surface of the leaves.
  2. Do not apply weed killer on a windy day because fast currents will blow away solution droplets. This can also disperse the droplets to other beneficial plants in your garden that you don’t want.
  3. If you are applying the mixture in the summer, do it early in the morning at sunrise because then plant growth (absorption) is rapid. In addition, if it is done in bright sun, the droplets will evaporate and the desired effect may not be achieved.
  4. During the winter, you may want to apply a DIY weed killer solution after the dew has evaporated, otherwise the dewdrops may slide off the droplets with them. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Precautions when applying the weed killer

And what should you pay attention to now?

  1. Let’s be honest about this. The recipes we mentioned above are not specifically for weeds. It also harms all other plants, so you want to keep them out of the spray. (Homemade Weed Killer)

In fact, they are most effective if the weeds you are trying to kill are isolated from other plants.

  1. Vinegar can cause skin inflammation and irritation, so you should always wear your gardening gloves before applying the solution.
  2. If you plan to grow plants where you sprayed herbicides, we recommend not doing all of them. Many plants cannot tolerate such salinity levels, as the salt will stay in the soil long enough and increase salinity levels. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Other ways to get rid of weeds

Natural herbicides are most effective at removing isolated weeds; Even with full care, grown separately from desired plants, some drops may find their way into neighboring leaves. (Homemade Weed Killer)

Homemade Weed Killer
Image Sources pinterest
  1. Weeding by hand is the traditional but safest method, especially if you ask if the weeds are close to the desired plant type.
Homemade Weed Killer
Image Source pinterest

2. A root remover will help you remove different weeds growing in your lawn.

Homemade Weed Killer
Image Sources pinterest

3. Another option for removing weed from a larger area is to use a weeder brush blade. It removes weeds accurately and ensures that the entire place is free of weeds and fungi.

Homemade Weed Killer
Weed Trimmer Brush

4. Mulching is another option. Cover the weeds with 2-3 inches of mulch. They stop the path of sunlight and eventually die.

Homemade Weed Killer
Image Source Pinterest
  1. Another method gardeners recommend, especially when creating a garden edging, is to lay a durable black sheet before placing decorative material on it. This stops the passage of sunlight and the weeds eventually dry up.
  2. We also have a choice of chemical herbicides designed for specific crops and weeds. They are generally made with ingredients that will only affect weeds, not other plants. But they are not environmentally friendly.

Concluding lines

Try these recipes and tell us how they turned out in the comment section. You can also share before and after photos with us.

We tested them ourselves and they work just fine. Keep visiting our blog for more interesting stories.

Also, don’t forget to pin/bookmark and visit our blog for more interesting but original information. (Vodka And Grape Juice)

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