Does It Work: Vinegar Weed Killer

You go to the hardware store, pickup some weed killer and you see the labels where it can cause cancer (what doesn’t anymore?). There have been lawsuits with Monsanto/Bayer over their products, and that it has caused cancer. We all want something safer, especially if we are trying to spray some weeds around the garden. Looking on the internet, I’ve seen a lot about Vinegar Weed Killer.

We Want Something Safer

If you spray Roundup or some other weed killer, it’s going to get in the soil and get into your food. It might only be a small amount, but that small amount can have some impacts on your body. I’m not going to make it sound like you will get cancer from it if you get a little bit in your system. I don’t think there is enough research to say for sure that it specifically causes cancer in individuals who use it and get small doses. I do think it may help turn on the genes in your body that allow cancer to grow more easily. That’s only going off of my knowledge of chemistry and impacts it can have on the body.

So I decided to try to see if I could make weed killer out of vinegar. The most prevalent recipe is 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1 cup of epson salt, and 2 tablespoons of dish soap. That is what I did and then mixed it together and put it in a spray bottle.

In my garden and yard, I have issues with chickweed and ivy. I went around and sprayed different areas of the yard/garden with my concoction to see how it would do. The first time I sprayed the weeds, it was in the evening. A few days later the weeds didn’t look healthy, but by no means were they dead.

Then I tried spraying some new areas around lunchtime when it was hot and sunny. The impacts were much better.

This is some of the Ivy before I sprayed
A couple of days after I sprayed

Does It Work?

I would say somewhat. It works great for chickweed. Within a couple of hours it was killing the chickweed and after 24 hours it was dead and crunchy. For the top top two pics of ivy, I would say it work pretty well. That stuff is hard to kill and it was killing the stem, which is the hardest part. For the last two pics, of a different type of ivy, it didn’t work too well. The problem is that kind of ivy grows way too fast and has an extensive root system.

Not shown in any of the pictures is grass. I used it on some grass along the fence line and it killed it pretty well too.

Warnings and How To Apply

Warning: This stuff does not discriminate. It will kill everything or at least damage it.

To apply, putting the vinegar weed killer in a spray bottle like you would use for cleaners or more of a gallon lawn sprayer. Then spray the areas you want the weeds killed. Just be careful not to spray it on any vegetation you want to live. The lawn sprayer does better in controlling where you want to spray and not misting onto other plants, from my experience. Apply this on a sunny day preferably in the late morning or early afternoon.

For some of the tougher weeds you may need to spray twice to really kill the weeds.

Big Question. . . Will I Continue To Use This?

Simple answer. . . yes. Does this work as well as Roundup? No, that stuff is more potent and different formulas can be selective in what it kills. However, vinegar weed killer is far more safe to use, especially around your garden, where you don’t want your vegetables picking up the roundup from the ground.

I really do want to mess with the formula for the weed killer made from vinegar. I think there are some ways to improve it and to make it work a little bit better.


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