Homemade Formula for Weed Killer


According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a product that is found in nearly every household is an effective, natural weed killer. Vinegar, which most people keep in the pantry as a cooking product, can be used to kill weeds because it contains acetic acid. In a 2002 study conducted by the USDA, vinegar with a 10 percent to 20 percent concentration of acetic acid killed most common weeds. However, most household vinegar contains only 5 percent acetic acid. When using household vinegar, be aware that results can vary.

Step 1

Pull on kitchen gloves before handling salt, detergent and vinegar.

Step 2

Pour vinegar into a stock pot. Add salt and stir while simmering until salt is dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent.

Step 3

Pour liquid herbicide into a spray bottle. Spray onto the leaves of weeds until the leaves are saturated.

Step 4

Wait for the plant to die. Signs of plant death include brown, dry and crumbling leaves. Remove vegetation.

Step 5

Observe the ground for signs that the plant is re-emerging. Reapply the herbicide as needed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Salt and vinegar can damage the soil by killing organisms and changing the soil's composition. After long-term use, plants may not grow in soil that has been treated with this homemade solution. You may wish to protect the soil by placing a barrier between the spray and the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-gallon stock pot
  • Stirring rod
  • Kitchen gloves
  • 1 gallon vinegar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons liquid dish detergent
  • Spray bottle


  • United States Department of Agriculture: Spray Weeds With Vinegar?
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension: What's Cooking with Vinegar Recommendations? Acetic Acid as Herbicide
  • TheGarden Counselor: Home Made Weed Killer: A Good Idea... Sometimes

Who Can Help

  • Thrifty Fun: Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe
Keywords: homemade herbicide, natural weed killer, vinegar herbicide

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."