Best ways to kill weeds using homemade ingredients

What are homemade weed killers?

Homemade weed killers are made from already available ingredients at home like salt, water, vinegar, and so on. Homemade weed killers have gained popularity among conscious consumers due to the exorbitant prices of industrial herbicides and their long-lasting, irreversible damage done to the soil, pets, and humans surrounding the soil. Homemade weed killers have similar efficacy in the eradication of plant weeds with a major difference of being non-selective when compared to industrial-grade Herbicides.

Why shouldn’t you use round-up and Glyphosate products?

Several pieces of research on round-up and Glyphosate previously indicated the chemicals being probable carcinogens, as classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Although the earlier speculations regarding Glyphosate being carcinogenic have been dismissed, the chemical has a high chance of causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the world-famous herbicide Round-up, is also linked with the development of Parkinson’s disease over prolonged contact. Researchers and doctors advise against these chemicals and suggest an organic approach as these chemicals are also detrimental to soil health and the environment.  

Top 6 natural ways to kill weeds

The 6 top homemade ways of replacing detrimental herbicides are as follows:

1.   Vinegar spray

Though non-specific to weeds, both red and white vinegar shows potent herbicidal activity and is popularly used along with dish soap in mild quantities. The acetic acid content in vinegar is sufficiently acidic to burn leaves. Lower concentrations kill weeds within 2-4 days whereas higher concentrations are effective in a single application. This is an environmentally safe method and does not severely affect soil health although it may lower the soil pH. However, vinegar is not specific to destroying only weeds and can even damage crop plants on careless application.

2.   Boiling water

Pouring boiling water over the weeds is a highly efficient herbicidal method as boiling water instantly kills plants. However, individuals frequently combine this step with table salt to increase the potency which is necessary in the case of stubborn and mature weeds. However, table salt affects soil health and may make the area unfit for further cultivation. This method is non-specific to weeds and may even destroy healthy crop plants on careless application. Boiling water does not kill weeds from their roots and does not ward off regrowth permanently.

3.   Baking soda

A blend of 1:1 ratio of baking soda and vinegar is a highly efficacious herbicide. The alkaline nature of this ingredient causes severe damage to weeds that eventually die after a few applications. Consequently, the alkalinity often raises soil pH on prolonged or heavy use.

4.   Mulch

Laying mulch over herbs is widely employed during germination season to prevent weed growth. The covering of ground by mulch is detrimental to the growth of weeds due to a lack of adequate sunlight. This starving of weed is an ideal method used by horticulture specialists.

5.   Manual weed pulling

Manual weed pulling is the best method as it ensures removal of the roots from where regrowth cannot occur. No matter how less harmful homemade weedicides are, they still pose some risk of affecting the soil pH, nutrients, or harming the skin on accidental spillage. Hence, manual weed pulling remains the best solution if the garden is spread over a smaller area.

6.   Lemon juice

Lemon juice extract has high acid content that can eradicate weeds. The process is tedious and takes time but the high amount of citric acid in lemon is high enough to kill weeds. It burns the area when applied without dilution. Lemon juice application is mostly suggested on a hot, dry day for best results. However, such an extremely acidic application often lowers soil pH that needs further intervention.


While Round-up had gained much popularity in the past as the best herbicide worldwide, the first instance of Hodgkins’s lymphoma caused by a U.S couple threw light on its highly toxic effect. It has now been banned by several countries and is now being actively replaced by homemade herbicides. Extremely acidic or alkaline elements like lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda are extensively used as homemade weedicides for their high safety index, efficacy, and environment-friendly nature. For more content on weed killers, then visit the weed killers and herbicide page.

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