How to Make Eco-Safe Weed Killer


According to an August 2009 New York Times article, commercial herbicides such as atrazine are one of the most common pollutants in our drinking water. If you are concerned about spraying commercial weed killer on your lawn every time a dandelion pops up, consider a homemade weed killer. Make an eco-safe weed killer in your kitchen using common items found in your pantry.

Step 1

Pour 1 gallon of white vinegar into a 2-gallon stock pot. Bring to a boil on a stove.

Step 2

Pour 1 cup of salt into the boiling vinegar. Reduce to simmer and stir until the salt is dissolved.

Step 3

Add 2 Tbsp. dish washing detergent to the mixture. Turn off the stove and allow the mixture to cool.

Step 4

Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Step 5

Arrange a plastic painter's drop cloth around the weed so that over-spray from the herbicide will not kill surrounding vegetation.

Step 6

Spray the weed, coating the leaves and stem with the herbicide.

Step 7

Allow the leaves and stem to die, and pull the weed out of the ground. Leaves and stem will turn brown and brittle when they die.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always use a drop cloth when spraying herbicide. Salt from the herbicide can cause sodium buildup in the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp. dishwashing detergent
  • 2-gallon stock pot
  • Stirring rod
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic drop cloth


  • USDA Agricultural Research Service: Spray Weeds With Vinegar?
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison: Vinegar for Weed Control
  • New York Times: Debating How Much Weed Killer Is Safe in Your Water Glass

Who Can Help

  • The Garden Counselor: Home Made Weed Killer: A Good Idea... Sometimes
Keywords: homemade weed killer, vinegar herbicide, diy weed killer

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."