Weeds are remarkable resilient, and plucking them doesn’t guarantee that they’ll go away. Quite often they will come back in the same spot, growing again from the roots. Killing the weeds completely may require several applications of weed killer. Several common, safe household liquids are effective weed killers. Using them in a consistent manner should soon bring your weed problem under control.
Straight vinegar with an acid solution of 10 to 20 percent kills plant leaves on contact, without harming the roots. Used on young weeds that do not have an established root system, it is effective. Add 1 part lemon juice to 8 parts vinegar to make it more effective. Most vinegar bought at retail is around 5 percent acid. Making your own and adjusting the acid level to what you need is actually fairly easy and requires little skill or special equipment. See winemakermag.com, below, for instructions.
A bleach solution with at least 4 percent active ingredient can spot-treat weeds. Common household bleach contains about 5 to 7 percent active solution and will work fine. Bleach breaks down into common table salt, so use it sparingly around other plants.
Adding liquid soap to vinegar is often recommended. Normally only 1 oz. of soap per gallon is needed. The advantage is that it helps break down the waxy coating on some plants, allowing the vinegar to have better affect, and it makes it easier to see which plants have been treated.
Rubbing alcohol contains almost 100 percent pure, concentrated ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. It evaporates very fast, drawing the water right out of a weed and drying it out. Use with care and only when ventilation is good.
Human urine is a free and powerful organic weed killer. It’s high concentration of nitrogen burns the roots of most plants it comes into contact with.