Make Your Own Weed Killer With Vinegar & Soap

I hate weeds.

Don’t you?

If you walk down the gardening aisle at your local nursery or big box store, you will see all sorts of weed killers to choose from.

But, what if you could kill weeds using natural ingredients without having to run to buy one of one of those expensive weed killers.

Did you know that you probably have a perfectly good weed killer in your cupboard?


Yes, it’s true…vinegar does kill weeds, especially when used along with dish soap.

(Dish soap, vinegar and a spray bottle – all you need for making your own weed killer.)

The acetic acid in vinegar “sucks out the water” from the weed, which dries it up.  The dish soap helps to break down the outer coat of the plant (cuticle), which helps that vinegar to work best.


Below, are two examples from my own landscape of how it worked:

Just 24 hours later….

Here is another example:

24 hours later….

I must admit, that I am really impressed with the results.

Here is the formula for making your own vinegar/soap weed killer:

1-gallon vinegar (with 5% acetic acid)

1 oz. dish soap

Plastic spray bottle.

Directions: Mix the vinegar and soap together and pour into a spray bottle and spray onto weeds.

**Before you apply this weed killer in your garden, here are some guidelines:

– Vinegar/soap weed killer is non-selective, which means that it will also damage/kill your desirable plants. So be careful when applying to weeds.

– Apply on a sunny day with NO wind.  The sun helps the vinegar to dry out the weed.  You also want to wait for a windless day so that your spray won’t inadvertently spray onto other plants.

– Your vinegar weed killer may or may not kill the root of the weed.  You may need to reapply it if green growth shows up afterward or pour a little of the weed killer over the root zone to thoroughly kill large weeds

– Vinegar/soap weed killer will not kill all types of weeds.  Experiment in your own garden to see which types of weeds it works on.

So, next time you need to kill weeds, simply open your cupboard and make your own with vinegar and soap.  It’s natural, effective and cheap!

  1. Katy Crookston says

    I like the alternative to harsh chemical weed killers but I think it is usually a lot easier to just pull the weed.

    • Chris says

      Not always. Where I have my paving stones, if you only just pulled the weed they would keep re-growing in the cracks. Use this solution with some salt and nothing will grow in between your paving stones for years.

  2. pat hamilton says

    do you know anything to kill moles ,and get rid off them out of your yard.Any help would be appreciated.Thanks

    • Noelle says

      Hello Pat,

      While I don’t have any personal experience with moles – the experts at Birds & Blooms do. Visit their website and enter the search term “moles”. You will find a list of articles about gestting rid of moles that should help.

      Good Luck!

  3. Bridgette says

    So this concoction will kill grass too, then? Sounds like you’re saying it will. If that’s the case, do you have any other suggestions for a natural way to kill weeds that are in my grass?

    • Noelle says

      Hi Bridgette. This will kill and/or damage your grass, which does not make a good solution for killing weeds in your grass.

      You could pull the weeds (preferably after watering or a rain storm, which makes it easier for them to pull out).

      The other solution involves using a selective herbicide, which kills weeds but not the grass.

      I hope this helps :-)


  4. Cheery Chickadee says

    This is interesting! We have a garden plot that had strawberry and rhubarb in it, but now that I have cut them back the weeds are there. Is it safe to spray this on the plot even though the roots of the perennials are in the ground?

    • Noelle says


      I would hesitate to use the vinegar weed-killer in your garden plot. When using any type of weed-killer, you can’t be too careful. Your best option is to hand pull the weeds, I’m afraid :-)


  5. Catherine Box says

    Hi Noelle,
    I’ve been using a formula very similar to yours for years. The only difference is that I add salt. Plain old table salt.
    Mix 1 liter (4 cups or 1 quart) white vinegar
    1/4 cup table salt
    2 tbsp liquid dish soap
    Put in spray bottle and use on breeze less, sunny day
    I’ve tried using small funnels to direct the spray on the base of the weeds in the lawn with some success, but if you are lawn proud I think pulling the weed is perhaps the safest and the greenest.

  6. Marie Luther says

    I applied this concoction: 1 gallon vinegar; 2 cups Epson Salt; 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap. Waiting for results! (it’s only 2:12 pm yet) If it works – I will use it on many other areas!!! Love natural products!

  7. Wendy Malone says

    I am going to try this on my garden spot, that I have no active plants in the ground. My concern is how long will it take to be able to replant my garden after using?

  8. David Dennis says

    I really hope that this works. I live in central Pennsylvania, and there is nothing but what I call “creepy vine” in the side yard where we entertain. I am thinking of trying to rent a goat. I will let you know if this works.

  9. Sara D says

    Do you know if this is safe to use where some bird seed has dropped? So the birds peck around in the area but there are some weeds that I can’t seem to pull all the time.

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