How to Spray Herbicides


Herbicides are chemicals used to kill unwanted plants such as weeds. But, while generally effective, herbicides are also potentially dangerous. These toxic chemicals can cause everything from skin rashes to poisoning, if ingested. When using herbicides, keep them away from children and pets and follow the label directions correctly. With a few protective measures in place, herbicide application is an easy process. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and closed-toe shoes to protect your skin from exposure. Also wear goggles and a mask that covers the nose and mouth to provide further protection.

Step 1

Fill the garden sprayer halfway with water. Place a funnel on top of the sprayer opening and place a hose inside the funnel. Turn on the faucet and let the water flow into the sprayer until it is half full. Screw the sprayer top containing the hose and trigger on to the top of the sprayer. Tighten the sprayer top until it is secure.

Step 2

Test the sprayer to determine if it is working properly and adjust the nozzle stream. Choose an area of your yard without plants or grass that could be harmed to test the sprayer. Grip and release the trigger on the hose located on the top of the sprayer to spray a stream of water. Water should spray easily from the nozzle. Continue spraying while tightening or loosening the nozzle until the sprayer steam is concentrated to a small area as opposed to spraying a wide stream.

Step 3

Empty the water from the garden sprayer once it is working properly. Remove the top from the sprayer. Turn over the sprayer, emptying the water into an area of your yard where there are no plants or grass. There may be a small amount of herbicides left from previous use that could harm existing plants.

Step 4

Fill the garden sprayer with herbicide and water, if requested. Unscrew the top from the garden sprayer. Place a funnel on top of the garden sprayer opening. Follow the manufacturer's directions to determine how much herbicide and water to add to the garden sprayer. Mix the herbicide and water in a two gallon bucket. Use a paint stirrer to mix the solution. Pour the solution slowly into the sprayer through the funnel.

Step 5

Spray weeded areas, making sure to apply the solution directly to weeds. Apply only a small amount on the area to prevent the solution from spreading to surrounding areas. You may need to reapply the solution a few days later if the amount of herbicide applied was not successful in killing the weeds.

Step 6

Pour the remaining herbicide solution into a storage container for later use.

Step 7

Fill the garden sprayer with water. Spray water through the nozzle a few times to release any herbicide from the nozzle. Empty the water into an area of soil where there are no plants or grass that could be harmed. Refill the sprayer with water again to guarantee all the herbicide residue has been removed. Repeat emptying the water into the soil.

Step 8

Fill the 2-gallon bucket with water to clean the herbicide solution from the inside of the bucket. Empty the water from the bucket into an area of soil where no plants or grass could be harmed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always store herbicides where children or pets cannot access them.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden sprayer
  • Funnel
  • 2-gallon bucket
  • Paint stirrer


  • The Daily Green: Is 2,4-D, A Common Lawn Weed Killer, Too Toxic?
  • PVCC Puma Press: Home Pesticide Use Harmful to Urban Wildlife
  • University of Florida Extension: Using Herbicides Safely and Herbicide Toxicity
Keywords: spraying herbicides, weed removel, herbicide safety

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.