Weeds are a reality for many property owners. Also a reality: Commercial weedkillers contain toxic chemicals many people want to avoid. The solution? Use effective, nontoxic, DIY weedkillers. Below are some tried-and-true options. (Avoid using these DIY solutions for weeds embedded in your lawn to avoid destroying the grass.) While some DIY remedies may start to show early results within an hour or two, depending on how stubborn your weeds are and the size of area needing treated, remember to give these DIY weedkiller solutions up to a week to completely kill the weeds and their roots.
One of the easiest nontoxic methods for removing weeds from the garden is using boiling water. Simply pour boiling water on paths and pavement to immediately kill the weeds. Note: Be careful not to splash any boiling water on the plants you want to keep!
Lemon juice can easily kill weeds as it contains citric acid which causes them to shrivel and die. Juice as much as needed to get rid of the weeds on your property. Start with around five lemons and pour into spray bottle. Note: While you would not want to use it for food prep (it frequently contains unwanted food additives like sodium benzoate) you can also get a bottle of ready-squeezed juice just for killing weeds.
Salt is an effective weedkiller and can be very harmful to plants if applied in high enough doses as it dehydrates them. To work as a weed killer, salt must be dissolved in water. Mix salt and water together before pouring the solution on the weeds.
Baking soda and vinegar:
Create an effective weed killing solution by mixing one part baking soda with two parts vinegar. You can also add in lemon juice if you have particularly stubborn weeds. Note: This mixture is best for young or annual weeds in paved areas.
Vinegar, Salt + Dish washing liquid:
How to make a weed killer with white vinegar
White vinegar: Using five percent household vinegar is ideal for this method. (For quicker results you can opt for higher concentration vinegar such as 10 or 20 percent, however, this can be costly.)
You will need:
- 1 liter of white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of salt
- 3 tablespoons of dish washing liquid
- Spray bottle
Add the salt to the vinegar in a jug and stir until the salt has dissolved. Then add the dish washing liquid and mix once more. Pour the mixture into your spray bottle and you are ready to get spraying. To get rid of dandelions and small weeds spritz your white vinegar solution directly onto the leaves.
Note: Gardening experts say for the best results, spray any weeds at noon, when the sun is at its highest. Be careful where you spray because if the mixture gets on regular plants, it can destroy them too. This mixture can also turn your soil acidic, so it may be best to use on weeds between paving stones rather than amongst flowerbeds or in your lawn. For bigger weeds which have set roots, spray the leaves and pour onto the plant to target the roots. You should see weeds shrinking away with this mixture within an hour.