Natural Weed Killer Recipe

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In light of my recent discussion of nasty chemicals on my grass, you can imagine that I was excited to see this simple recipe to make your own, non-toxic weed killer spray:

Dissolve the salt in the vinegar, then add 8 drops of liquid dish detergent. Store in a labeled spray bottle.

I can’t take any credit- it all belongs to Kendra of New Life on a Homestead (formerly of Handprints on the Wall, but this is her fun new blog as she and her family adapt to life on a small homestead, raising animals and growing their own food)!

I can’t wait to try it though and prove that weeds really can be dealt with in a more natural way! Thanks, Kendra!

Does anyone else know of a great recipe for making your own weed killer, au naturel?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

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  1. Hey Stephanie! Glad you were excited about the recipe. Hope it works really well for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for passing it along!

  2. On hot sunny days I’ve used undiluted white vinegar as well and it works great as long as I can hit them at least 2 days in a row.

    I only wonder about this recipe because of the salt. And only because we had to dump some water softener salt out on our dirt driveway at our old house. When the rain came, it washed it into the grass and we had a dead spot for a couple of ‘years’. Of course, it was a much higher concentration of salt! Let me know how this works for you.

  3. What a great blog you have here! Love all the tips and recommendations. I am really getting into natural gardening and many of your posts are just perfect for me!~

  4. I found vinegar also hurt the grass some, so try it in a small area first. Also don’t try hot water. At least not on the grass. It might work better on patios etc.

    Know of any natural ant hill ridding recipes? We have several big ant hills in our yard.

    1. @Nola,

      Your question was how to kill ants.
      A 100% certain, on contact, killer of carpenter ants, and wet wood termites is a combination of:

      1 block chewing tobacco (boil in a big pot of water)
      1 table spoon yellow mustard
      1 squirt of dish-washing liquid (I use Joy)

      So satisfying. Nicotine is a neuro-toxin (paralyses them), the yellow mustard is like microscopic glass, and soap gives diarrhoea and makes it stick to their bodies.

      The action is so quick, this may be over-kill (the proportions) but when ants go for eating your house …. The wood may absorb the liquid explaining why they do not come back for more than one mouthful.

  5. Heather – I’ve heard that planting mint near your doors and windows will keep aunts out of your house – so I wonder if it would do the same for the yard. Mint is a bit invasive though – it will spread everywhere!

  6. Oh, I am jumping up and down with excitement over this recipe. Can’t wait to try it. And I would love an ant hill recipe as well if any one knows of one.

  7. How to kill ants: Mix baking soda and powdered (confectioner’s) sugar and put out in little containers like jar lids. The ants can’t separate out what is the sugar and what is the soda, and they eat it/take it back to the hill. It kills them because the baking soda reacts with the formic acid inside the ants and they explode. ๐Ÿ˜€

    You can also take a kettle of plain boiling water out to the ant hill and pour it over the openings. You might have to do this several days in a row; you can tell you’ve alarmed the ants if they try to rush out holding white things in their mouths–that’s the eggs.

    What can I say… I liked bugs growing up.

  8. Thanks so much I will definately give this a try. How about a recipe for getting the bugs away from eating all those holes in my cabbage? Not sure what kind of animal/bug it is as I cant see any. I only want to use a friendly pest control.

  9. I have used a similar recipe (1 cup table salt, 1 gallon white vinegar, 1 Tbs. dish soap) for years with great success, but it is true that you don’t want to put this where you want other things to grow. It is great along our weedy fence row and for the weeds that grow in the cracks of the driveway and sidewalk.

    For lots of natural garden tips and remedies, check out the “tips and tonics” at http://www.jerrybaker.com We have used many of his recipes over the years with great success.

  10. I have just recently been thinking that I need to do some research on how to kill poisen ivy naturally. I am hoping this works!!

  11. OK, so this isn’t a weed recipe, and it’s not a “killing” recipe, and it’s not even a recipe. (Guess who’s report cards said “doesn’t follow direction”?)

    To keep brown sugar ants out of the house I sprinkle a solid line of cinnamon across the base of my doorway outside. I’ve been doing it for 3 years and the ants have left us completely alone since then!

    Now I’m off to boil some water in my teakettle for pouring over the brick patio, and poison the ants with the sugar/soda combo….


  12. Oh this is happening when I get home! Pesky weeds that grow between bricks and I can’t pull them out… they’re all going down!

  13. I will have to try the ant hill thing!!! We tried boiling water last year and it left huge yellow patches on the grass. The ants also came back. However, they were gone a while. And I really could care less about yellow grass. I just want the ants gone! Thanks!

  14. I am so excited about this. We have a brick patio that drives me crazy with weeds and I really don’t want to use chemicals…

  15. The bugs eating your cabbage are probably the larvae that become those white cabbage moths. I’m not sure what you could put on them, but you can pick the caterpillars off the cabbages one by one and either squish ’em, drop ’em in soapy water, or feed them to chickens. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I don’t have a weed spray, but I have a great diy organic bug control spray!

    2-3 garlic bulbs (about 6-10 cloves per bulb)
    6 large or 12 smaller hot chilli peppers (any variety will do, or if unavailable try 1-2 tablespoon hot chili powder)
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    3 squirts of liquid detergent (approximately 1 dessertspoonful)
    7 cups water. (Use about 2-3 cups in the blender, and top up with the rest later)
    Put the whole lot into a blender and vitamize well, then strain through muslin, a coffee filter or similar. Pour what you need into a spray bottle for use and keep the rest in jars with lids on in a cupboard or on a shelf somewhere, well labeled.

    Taken from the site below. They have lots more, too!

  17. Try using Epsom salt in your grass with whatever mixture your using, It never burnt my lawn yet. Test spot, of course.

    1. I’ ve found the best ant control is borax. In house, put some in a small container where ants are. They’ll take it back to the nest and works very well.

  18. Hello! Nice to visit your blog.
    I have found a very natural weed killer: boiling water.
    I clean alot this way!(gravel lane patio ground etc … but not flower beds!) Quite a lot of work at the beginning but I am very pleased by the result, I just check around every so often.
    Each time I boil water for a drink I go out with the left over water.
    I have been told that the hot water in which you cooked your potatoes is even better… But I steam cook them so I haven’t tested.

  19. We have a large brick patio right off of our back door. I usually spend a whole day pulling weeds from between the bricks! I can’t wait to try your vinegar idea. Hope it works! Thanks!

  20. I see the lovely picture of a dandelion as the “weed” picture and can’t help but comment on its wonderful nutritional values, especially in the spring. If you get a local feild guide to your area you might be surised at what is already growing naturaly in your yard. Once you find the name, google it and see if it’s eatable.
    I do agree that sometimes “weeds” get out of control, or non eatable plants will grow where you don’t want them, so it is best to use this solution or vinegar which I have had luck with in the cracks of my sidewalk.
    So before you go spraying your garden, use your first line of defense…. fight back by eating them!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. !!! I was going to comment on eating dandelions too! They are so good! My 4 1/2 year old daughter (and husband) love it when I batter and fry the blooms. I’ve never had any nice greens in my yard to try though. ๐Ÿ™ I’m thinking of finding a patch to cultivate them though. Maybe as long as I keep the blooms eaten they won’t spread too much!

  21. I would like to try this weed killing recipe but will I be able to plant flowers in the area afterward and how long would I have to wait?

  22. ooooo! I’m so excited about this! My landlord has our front yard all MULCH and weeds are TERRIBLE. But I’m uncomfortable using regular weed killers and I HATE pulling them! Hopefully this will help!!

  23. Does anyone know if this will kill Canadian Thistle, the devil of all weeds? Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ I would be extremely happy if this works on it! I’m so anti-Round Up.

  24. You have to be very careful using salt to kill the weeds, as it will make the soil sterile and nothing will grow in if after the weed is gone. I suggest using a much small amount than 1 lb! A tablespoon or two in a gallon should work just as well. Vinegar will kill the Canadian Thistle…you can get a stronger concentration of vinegar up to 20%. If you do use this, remember, it is an acid, and you need to wear gloves and eye protection. You can find out many different sites on how to use the vinegar, just be careful if you do try it.

  25. Thank you so much for this! Our beautiful circle driveway has become an eyesore with the amount of weeds it has. I’m a so excited to try this out! It will be an awesome contribution for my parents (they hate pulling weeds)! Thanks again.

  26. Use 1 tspn of honey and 1 tspn of borax mixed together to kill sugar ants coming into the house. It works! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. This works great. Sprayed it on my gravel driveway and within 2 hours the weeds started to die. Love this solution. Thanks so much.

  28. I tried this recipe, testing it on a small patch of my lawn, fortunately as it killed not only the weeks but the GRASS as well.

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