Homemade Vinegar Weed Killer

I hate pulling weeds. Aside from my mother, I’m sure no one enjoys the chore. When I found this idea on Pinterest, I knew we had to give it a shot. (You can see our Household Crafts and DYI boards here)

Homemade Vinegar Weed Killer

The original recipe is as follows:

Homemade Vinegar Weed Killer

1/2 Gallon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 c table salt
1/2 tsp Liquid Dish Soap (such as Dawn)

Add all ingredients together, pour into spray bottle. Safe to use around pets and kids.


We decided this formula was a keeper after putting it through some pretty tough tests. Instead of exact measurements, we add mostly vinegar, then salt and soap.  It’s best applied to small, hard to pull weeds. Larger weeds take more applications, but will eventually die. We also noticed sun was a factor in speeding up the killing process. The hotter and sunnier the spot, the better.

Here’s the before and after results of our tests:

Sunny spot, before spraying.

Sunny spot, before spraying.


Two days after, with two applications

Two days after, with two applications


You’ll notice the smaller plants were easier to kill off, while the bigger plant was still hanging on. Yes, at this point it would have been easier to pull the weed instead of spraying it daily, but I left it alone for the sake of our test.

Much smaller weeds in tiny cracks were easier to kill off…

Smaller weeds in a crack.

Smaller weeds in a crack.


The day after spraying once.

The day after spraying once.

You can see this works well on roots, and even better on “prevention” of weeds in small crevices. Our driveway, for example, is a prime spot for applying our homemade weed killer. Weeds in the cracks tend to be too small to pull properly, so we have taken to spraying once every few weeks.

The only place we didn’t test this out was in the garden. While it was possible we could have only targeted weeds around our veggies, it just wasn’t worth the risk of losing our plants. In the garden, I tend to stick to pulling weeds by hand.

Finding this recipe has inspired us to use vinegar in other household products such as window cleaner, flea shampoo, and all purpose cleaner. The additional ingredients change slightly, but the active ingredient stays the same: Vinegar! It’s a must-have staple in your natural cleaning arsenal.





2 thoughts on “Homemade Vinegar Weed Killer

  1. Yes, vinegar (of all types!) is a great weed killer. To make your recipe completely safe for kids and pets, use a chemical-fre, vegetable-based soap that doesn’t have questionable chemicals hidden behind the word “fragrance.” In the US, any chemical that can be considered “cosmetic” doesn’t have to be disclosed, and doesn’t have to be tested for safety. (The US Senate is having hearings about this issue right now.) Planet, Dr. Bronner’s and whole host of other chemical-free soaps will be a good substitute.


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