How to Use Atrazine


Atrazine is a controlled-use herbicide that is a water-soluble white powder that is odorless. With proper use and application, it can be an effective control for annual and broad-leaf weeds and many perennial grass weeds. Proper personal protective equipment, such as long sleeved shirts and pants, socks and water-resistant shoes and gloves must be worn. Spraying a solution of atrazine directly onto weeds results in their demise, as the chemical disrupts the photosynthesis that creates food within the weed.

Step 1

Put on appropriate personal protective equipment as advised on the atrazine product label. A long-sleeved shirt, long pants and socks must be worn. Wear shoes that repel water and latex or thicker rubber gloves to protect your skin from coming in contact with the herbicide.

Step 2

Mix the herbicide with water in a clean container, such as a spray tank or bottle. Follow dosage and procedures outlined on the product label. Agitate the solution with a stir-stick to ensure the powder herbicide is well-dissolved into the water.

Step 3

Close the container in which the atrazine solution is housed and prepare to spray apply the herbicide to the weedy area. Again make sure your personal protective equipment is on.

Step 4

Spray the atrazine solution onto the foliage of the weeds. Avoid spraying on windy days so no drifting mist from the spray accidentally falls upon nearby non-weedy, ornamental or crop plants. Do not overlap your spraying, meaning do not spray over foliage that has already been coated with the atrazine solution.

Step 5

Rinse your gloves with water before removing them. Remove your protective clothing and wash them in hot water with detergent. Do not place atrazine-soaked clothing with other household laundry.

Tips and Warnings

  • Atrazine, if over-used and misapplied, can infiltrate groundwater supplies. Prolonged exposure to this herbicide poses substantial health risks. It is a herbicide that requires appropriate protective clothing and equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Full-length pants
  • Socks
  • Water-resistant shoes
  • Water-resistant gloves


  • Atrazine
  • Atrazine 4L Product Label

Who Can Help

  • ToxFAQs for Atrazine, 2003.
  • Atrazine Fact Sheet
Keywords: herbicides, atrazine, weed killer

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for The Public Garden, Docent Educator, numerous non-profit newsletters and for's comprehensive plant database. He holds a Master's degree in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne's Burnley College.