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Last updated on January 21st, 2020

If you are having trouble with weeds, you need a weed killer. The problem is many commercial weed killers are full of toxic by-products that you don’t necessarily want growing into any nearby plant especially if you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees. You also simply might not want to put those chemical by-products into the atmosphere. Thankfully there are plenty of homemade weed killers that you can apply to your garden and best of all many are very effective.

First things first, most homemade weed killers are not as good as commercial products but they have been used for hundreds of years and do work so are worth trying.

Think about safety first and what tools you need – ie sprayer

When you are using weed killing products it is still advisable that you have safety gloves and possibly goggles depending on the product you are using, especially if you using a sprayer. When mixing and spraying, exercise caution and do so outside being careful not to contaminate any area with spillages, especially lawns and borders. 

Some of the best homemade weed killers are still not things you want to haphazardly slosh about in your garden.

You will also need a garden sprayer in most cases. While you are boiling and mixing your weed killers, think about how you are going to apply the weed killer.

Are you only getting rid of weeds in the cracks between your pavers? Are you spraying the cracks in your driveway? If that’s the case, most of these homemade weed killer can be mixed with boiled water and simply poured directly onto the weeds with a watering can. 

But if you are targeting smaller sets of weeds inside your bigger garden, or if you are covering a large area and applying the weed killer preventively every spring, you will need to use a sprayer. You can buy these at any Nursery or garden centre and just fill them with your product and spray according to the directions.

Check out top recommended garden sprayers in this review roundup with recently did

4 Homemade weed killers that are easy to make and actually work

Homemade vinegar weedkiller

The second homemade weed killer uses vinegar and can be very effective. The same mixture of one part vinegar for two parts water will kill weeds in your garden and can be sprayed. You can mix the vinegar with warm water, you do not have to bring it to a boil-like salt, and then spray it accordingly or pour it directly into the weeds are most problematic.

How to make weedkiller using vinegar, salt and washing up liquid

1. A bottle of 5 litre white vinegar
2. Two handfuls of salt
3. A cup of washing up liquid

Use a sprayer then you can simply pump and spray the weeds. Add the salt and the fairy liquid first. Then add the 5 litres white vinegar and shake well.

Simply spray weeds and you should see results in 24 hours.

Golden Swan White Vinegar, 5 Litre, Pack of 4
  • White vinegar
  • Shelf life: unopened: 24 months
  • Store out of direct sunlight
  • From Golden Swan

Salt mixed with water weed killer

The second homemade weed killer is made using just salt. A mixture of 1 cup of salt in two cups of boiling water can be sprayed onto weeds and around your garden. This is a mixture that you want to mix with boiling water until the salt has dissipated and then spray using your commercial sprayer. In fact, boiling water can kill weeds that are growing in cracks along paths or in your driveway so you can try that first.

You can also simply pour salt onto weeds but this can look unsightly and be a little wasteful.

Baking soda weedkiller

The third homemade weed killer uses baking soda. Baking soda you don’t have to mix and spray but instead can simply leave handfuls of baking soda across your paved surface and then sweep it into all of the cracks. Baking soda will make the cracks in your driveway or along your patio blocks inhospitable and you can use this as a preventative measure by simply filling the areas with baking soda before weeds have a chance to grow every year. 

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Bleach – use with caution

The fourth uses bleach. Now, this is significantly better than the chemicals you will find in harsh herbicides and weed killer products but it’s still something you should use in a well-ventilated, outdoor space with the proper safety gloves and goggles. For this, you want to dilute bleach with 1 cup of bleach for 3 cups of water. Once that is mixed, spray it directly onto the plants you want to kill but be careful not to use this on plants you want to survive and especially not on plants that will bear fruit or vegetables for you to eat in future. Bleach is not a natural product so we would recommend trying this as a last resort.

With these four methods, you can prevent weeds from ruining your well-landscaped garden without damaging the environment but be cautious with using bleach as mentioned and try other homemade weedkillers first as its not a natural product.

Last update on 2021-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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