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DIY Weed Killers That Work

Weeds, almost every garden has them. The problem with weeds is that they are a stubborn lot. If you’d rather not use chemicals to get rid of weeds, chances are, you are tired of pulling weeds one by one. Apart from stealing nutrients from your plants, masses of weeds make a yard appear untended, messy. A chemical-free route may take more effort but it will make your garden space safe for people, pets, and the local wildlife alike. If that's what you strive for, we're happy to report that there are amazing alternatives to chemical herbicides:

White Vinegar

One of the most effective natural weed killers happens to be a kitchen staple so it’s widely accessible anywhere: white vinegar! Vinegar is packed with acetic acid that kills even the most stubborn weeds. In fact, acetic acid will kill most vegetation so be careful with the application.

We recommend using the vinegar's full strength to kill weeds. Use 18% acidity vinegar. You could also create a concoction of vinegar and soap then transfer the solution to a spray bottle. This concoction pulls double duty as an insecticide. Apply on weedy areas; the weeds should die in no time at all. It’s best to time the application at a period when your region gets several days of sunshine. This way, the rain won’t wash the vinegar away.

Rubbing Alcohol

No first aid kit is complete without rubbing alcohol and this stuff makes a potent weed killer. Rubbing alcohol works so well as a weed killer because it draws moisture away from the weed foliage. As the foliage dries out, the weeds become weaker and eventually, they die.

To make your own weed killer using rubbing alcohol, mix two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol in a quart of plain water. Transfer in a spray bottle and spritz away. Again, be sure to apply the solution when you get several sunny days in a week. Spray the solution directly on the weeds, try not to spray the vegetation near the weeds so your plants won’t be affected.

rubbing alcohol

Boiling Water

What could be simpler than plain, boiling water to kill weeds? This homemade weed killing solution does not require mixing at all. You can apply it any time of the day, even in the pouring rain. As long as the weed roots are exposed to high temps, they will die.

Just bring a pot of water to a boil. Pour directly into a patch of weeds. The key to making this solution effective is the precision of the pouring. This goes especially if the weeds are growing near the plants. You don’t want to harm the vegetation near the weeds! In addition, be sure that you boiled enough water so that the liquid will seep deep into the roots.

boiling water

Table Salt

Another kitchen staple that makes an effective weed killer is table salt. Salting the earth has been used for millennia to punish serious crimes in some countries. That’s because any vegetation that salt touches will die almost instantly. Its effects are so long lasting that the salted soil will be unsuitable for future plant growth for a long time.

Just a sprinkle of salt on any unwanted plant is enough to kill it. But if you are covering a large expanse of space, try diluting the salt in water and then spraying the solution directly on the weeds. Once the rain comes, it will wash away the excess salt.


Bleach is an excellent stain remover but it’s an even more efficient weed killer. No preparation needed to rid the yard of weeds using bleach. Just transfer the bleach in a spray bottle and give any weedy spots a spritz.

Weed will kill any vegetation it touches so be sure to spray only in places where you want to remove the weeds. The great thing about using bleach as a weed killer is that the chemicals will evaporate within a day or two. This means the treated area will be safe for planting as soon as the chemical dissipates.



That’s right, even old newspaper makes a mean solution for pesky weeds! As a mulch material, newspaper blocks sunlight and air, effectively killing weeds. No special prep needed, just lay the old newspaper on your weedy yard. Add a layer of mulch on top of the newspaper, making sure that the weeds are completely covered.

The newspaper should be at least 4 sheets thick (or thicker if you have extra stacks of newspaper). When done right, the weeds won’t sprout again because the seeds won’t have access to sunlight at all. The best part? There is absolutely no clean up because the newspaper will break down into the soil.


Baking Soda

Isn’t it amazing that some of the best natural weed killers in the world are found in your kitchen? Baking soda makes an incredible weed killer especially when it is mixed with other kitchen staples, like vinegar or lemon juice. Just dissolve 1 ½ cup of baking soda and a tablespoon or two of vinegar in a gallon of water. Transfer the concoction in a spray bottle and spritz away!

This solution works better as a preventive treatment so spray away on areas that are prone to weeds at weekly intervals for best results. This concoction could be used on areas with plants but be sure to cover the foliage and base of the plants so these won’t dry out.

Lemon Juice

Any type of acidic compound is a natural enemy of weeds. Lemon juice kill weeds so effectively that it’s considered as one of the best natural weed killers there is. The citric acid in lemon juice dries out weed foliage until the weeds shrivel up and die in just a matter of a day or two.

You could use fresh lemon juice or buy a bottle of lemon juice drink. Just pour the juice directly on the weedy spots and you’re done. If you want to make the juice even more potent, mix a little white vinegar. Be sure to avoid the nearby vegetation when spraying or pouring the juice on the weedy spots.

Glass of lemon juice

Garlic Juice

Garlic is incredibly beneficial to the garden. It helps deter pests, prevents the spread of diseases, and improve the health of your outdoor space. Garlic is also a potent weed killer. To use garlic as a weed killer, blend 3 cloves of garlic with a little water in the blender until nice and smooth. Strain the processed garlic (set this aside) and pour the essence in a spray bottle.

The strained garlic bits could be mixed with a gallon of water for later use. To make the mixture extra sticky, add a tablespoon or two of molasses. This way, the solution will adhere to the weeds and won’t be washed away easily. Apply on any weedy areas of the yard, starting from the base to the foliage.

Try any of these weed killing solutions and you will never use chemical herbicides again. Tune in for more gardening tips by subscribing to our weekly newsletter today!

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