How to Kill Crabgrass With Vinegar


Crabgrass is an invasive weed that can grow in nearly any yard. Its wide, thick leaves and fast growth rate make it easily distinguishable from from the rest of the grass in your lawn. If crabgrass is a problem in your yard, horticultural vinegar is an effective solution. Vinegar is an alternative to chemical herbicides as it doesn't harm the environment or pose substantial health risks to humans or animals.

Step 1

Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from the vinegar. Vinegar with a high acid content is capable of burning skin.

Step 2

Fill a spray bottle with 10 to 20 percent vinegar. This type of vinegar is much more effective than common 5 percent cooking vinegar. A 2005 report from U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service forund that vinegar with only 5 percent acetic acid will only kill the top growth of a plant, without damaging it roots.

Step 3

Spray the vinegar directly on the crab grass. Do your best to keep it off other plants as any plant life that comes in contact with the vinegar will likely also die.

Step 4

Check the affected areas every three days as it may take more than one vinegar application to kill the crabgrass roots. Reapply the vinegar as needed. According to the USDA report 20 percent vinegar provided "optimal and total grass and crabgrass weed control."

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • 10 to 20 percent vinegar
  • Spray bottle


  • USDA Agricultural Research Service: Organic Weed Control with Vinegar
  • Garden-Counselor-Lawn-Care: How to Kill Crabgrass

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University Extension: Fact Sheet for Vinegar (PDF)
Keywords: kill crabgrass naturally, vinegar crabgrass killer, organic crabgrass herbicide

About this Author

Kenneth Coppens is a part-time freelance writer and has been for one year. He currently writes for Demand Studios, eHow, Associated Content and is the Indianapolis Craft Beer Expert for Examiner.