How to Kill English Ivy With Dawn Detergent


As an evergreen climbing plant, English ivy (Hedera helix) can grow as tall as 100 feet. It is commonly seen growing up trees and on the sides of houses. You can recognize English ivy by its dark green leaves and white veins. If you are not partial to the look of English ivy on your property, you will want to kill it. You can use a vinegar and salt solution to kill the ivy, with Dawn detergent added to get the solution to stick to the ivy until it begins to work.

Step 1

Cut back as much of the English ivy as you can. You can then focus on killing the remaining English ivy and its roots with your homemade ivy killer.

Step 2

Bring 1 gallon of 20 percent vinegar to a boil. You will not find this in your grocery store. If your local gardening center does not carry it, you can order it online.

Step 3

Add a cup of salt and stir with a spoon until it is completely dissolved.

Step 4

Remove the vinegar/salt solution from the heat and add 2 tbsp. of Dawn detergent. Stir again.

Step 5

Transfer the vinegar/salt ivy killer to a watering can while it is still hot.

Step 6

Pour over your English ivy and its roots. You may need to repeat this once every four to five days until the English ivy is completely destroyed.

Tips and Warnings

  • The 20 percent vinegar and salt will kill any vegetation it touches. Be careful to get the solution only on your English ivy.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • 1 gallon 20 percent vinegar
  • Large pot
  • 1 cup salt
  • Spoon
  • Watering can


  • Plant Conservation Alliance: English Ivy
  • This Garden is Illegal: The 7 Deadly Homemade Weed Killers
  • Care2: Vinegar for Poison Ivy
Keywords: killing English Ivy, Dawn detergent, homemade ivy killer

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.