How to Make Grass Killer


One fact of a homeowner's life is the encroaching grass at garden edges and blades popping up between concrete cracks. Commercial grass killers contain chemicals that are both harmful to humans and pets as well as any surrounding plants. The expense of these products as well as the potential for damaging the soil requires the choice of some viable alternative for grass killer. Learning how to make homemade grass killer requires simple ingredients.

Step 1

Create the grass-killer mixture by purchasing a large bottle of herbicide-grade vinegar. Both apple-cider and white vinegar work well as grass killers but remember that these solutions don't contain enough acidic content to burn the roots. Pour out 2 cups of vinegar to leave plenty of room in the container for adding ingredients and shaking the mixture. You can purchase stronger vinegar solutions of 11 percent acetic-acid solution at garden centers or home-supply stores.

Step 2

Add 2 tablespoons of dish detergent and 1 cup of table salt to the vinegar bottle. Attach the cap securely, point the bottle away from your face and shake the container vigorously to disperse the salt and detergent. The dish detergent helps the grass killer bond to individual blades. Vinegar and salt work to actually burn the grass blades and roots.

Step 3

Pour the solution into a spray container and apply directly to grass on a bright sunny day. Schedule this application when little chance of rain exists for a few days and wind is minimal to limit over-spray on nearby plants.

Step 4

Wearing gloves and eye protection apply the grass killer until all blades are soaking wet. This product will damage nearby plants so apply carefully. Grass will begin browning with 24 hours. Revisit the spot the following day to check progress and apply another round of spray if required.

Tips and Warnings

  • Label the outside of the vinegar bottle to prevent the contents from being used for something other than killing grass. As with any dangerous solution, store in a cool, dry place out of reach of children.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Dish detergent
  • Table salt
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • Black Sharpie marker


  • Natural Herbicides
  • Environment Friendly: Homemade Weed Killers
Keywords: making grass killer, homemade grass killer, homemade weed spray

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.