A Better Weed Killer

Over the last few years I have been working our family toward a better more healthy and organic way of living. I have learned a lot and been changing a lot of things we do and eat.  This season I am trying a different and hopefully better weed killer.

In the past I have always used a Roundup or Spectracide product to kill vegetation.  I have to admit that when it comes to mowing the yard I am lazy.  I do not own a push lawn mower  so I spray weed killer 8″-10″ around everything so I can do all the mowing on a riding lawn mower and not have to weed wack.

I always worried about when I sprayed.  Are the kids outside or going to be out side soon?  Was there very much wind at the time I was spraying?  What kind of residue would I have to worry about later on; on my clothes, on the dirt, on whatever surfaces people and animals touch?

I was tired of worrying, so this year I did something about it.  I found a recipe that I wanted to try.  It is made up of 3 ingredients,   VINEGAR, SALT, and DISH SOAP.

I used 5% acidity vinegar (like this kind).

I used table salt (like this kind).

And organic dish soap (like this kind).

To apply it I used a 4 gallon back pack sprayer (like this one).

I mixed the weed killer in a 5 gallon bucket (like this one).

I mixed the weed killer with a paint mixer (like this one).

I recommended using a strong drill to mix it (like one of these).


The recipe that I found used:

1 gallon of vinegar

1 cup of salt

1 table spoon of dish soap


I was mixing a double batch each time.  I put 2 cups of salt in the bucket. Added the 2 table spoons of dish soap, then poured in the 2 gallons of vinegar. Using a drill and the paint mixer I stirred the mixture until all the salt was dissolved. To my surprise the dish soap did not bubble up as much as it would have if mixed with water.  The reason for the dish soap, as several websites all said, was to make the mixture a little thicker and it will stick to the plants better.  This makes it work more effectively. I sure that if you poured dish soap alone on weeds it would probably work as a weed killer also, but that would be expensive.  After the weed killer is thoroughly mixed carefully pour it into your sprayer and your ready to go.  It took about 10 minuets to mix and pour into the sprayer.

I noticed that there was not a very strong smell when spraying.  You can smell the vinegar and dish soap, but as soon as it dried the smell was gone.  I have noticed in the past with weed killers like Roundup that even a few days later I could sometimes smell it.  I have also had trouble in the past of my skin breaking out after using Roundup.  I never want that to happen again, it seems everyday I see something new in the news about the effects that are believed to be connected to Roundup type of chemicals.

I hope that this home made weed killer works as well as I have read that it does.  It cost me less the half the cost of store bought sprays like Roundup, and I feel that it is a much MUCH safer and better weed killer to use.  If this works I will be using it from now on until I find somethings better.


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The good new;

-This mixture worked on some forms of clover.

-The vegetation turned brown and crispy in 24-48 hours.

– It is easy to mix.

– The smell is gone as soon as it dries.

The bad news;

-It did not kill the roots of most plants.

– Regrowth was seen after the next time it rained.

-Reapply was needed.


I like this weed kill because it is much safer to spray around the family and pets, the problem is that it does not really kill most plants. it killed the tops of the plants, but not the roots of the plants.

I talked with several other people that have also used this formula and they all had the same results, it did not work well.  When this formula was sprayed heavy in shaded areas it did work longer, but eventually most of the weeds grew back.

If anyone readying this has a better formula please leave a comment to help us all out.