Strong Homemade Weed Killer – 8 Recipes That Really Work

Every gardener hates weeds and the thought of having to pick them out one by one is enough to make you move into a flat, depending on the size of your garden it can be some truly backbreaking work.

It sounds too good to be true to be able to make your own DIY weed killer at home? Surely you have the purchase a commercial weed killer from a shop for it to be any good?

Well actually you don’t, you can make weed killer from household items that are just as effective as commercial weed killers, gardeners have been using homemade weed killers for hundreds of years and they work just as well.

The benefit of home-made weed killers is that you know exactly what’s in them because your the one making them.

We have created 8 easy and efficient weed killer recipes for you to try out below.

1 – White Vinegar Weed Killer

That’s right you can use vinegar as a weed killer, vinegar is effective as a DIY homemade weed killer because it contains acetic acid. It’s best to use 5% acetic acid white vinegar, you can get 10%, 20% or even 30% acetic acid white vinegar but these are a lot more expensive.

What do you need for this home made weed killer?

  • 5% White Vinegar

How to use

Well, just simply pour the vinegar directly onto the weed or pour the vinegar directly into a spray bottle and spray the desired weeds.

Depending on what weeds you’re trying to eradicate, you may see die off straight away, whilst some weeds may take 14 days before you notice die off. We suggest waiting 21 days before reapplying this weed killer.

Using apple cider vinegar won’t work.

Other Uses

If you make a mixture of half vinegar and half water you can use it as a general purpose household cleaner, and you can also use it to get rid of common household ants (Odorous ants).

It works on Odorous ants because they use pheromones to communicate, they place trails of different scents, by using this vinegar mixture you disrupt these trails, stopping the ants marching into your home.

If your looking to purchase 5% White Vinegar then we recommend the following item: 

5% White Vinegar

• Perfect For Cooking
• Use As Fabric Softner
• 5 Litre Bottle
• For Gardening

• Multiple Use’s
• 20% Acetic Acid

CAUTION: 20% and above acetic acid white vinegar is considered an industrial herbicide and can cause chemical burns and even blindness if gets into your eyes. 

• 30% Acetic Acid – Super Strong
• Dilute to use as household cleaner
• 5 Litres
• For Gardening

2 – Homemade salt and vinegar weed killer recipe

This is the vinegar weed killer that I use all the time, again it uses 5% white vinegar.

For this simple 3-ingredient homemade weed killer you will need the following

  • 1 L white vinegar
  • three large spoons of table salt
  • three large tablespoon of dish soap or washing up liquid
  • spray bottle

how to use

Add the vinegar and salt into a spray bottle and give it a shake, once the salt has dissolved, add the washing-up liquid and give it another shake.

This DIY homemade recipe kills any garden weeds or plants indiscriminately and may turn your soil slightly acidic for a bit. For best results apply on a dry day when the sun is shining, before midday.

This is a natural weed killer that one can use in the UK and also the best homemade weed killer that kills any unwanted plants

CAUTION: 20% and above acetic acid white vinegar is considered an industrial herbicide and can cause chemical burns and even blindness if gets into your eyes. 

3 – Salt Homemade Weed Killer

In Spain and Portugal before the 1800’s convicted traitors would have their lands salted as to make them infertile stopping anything from growing, starving their families.

For this salt weed killer recipe you need

  • 2 parts salt (table sale – sodium chloride) to 1 part water as the minimum effective ratio.
  • Spray bottle

How to use

Just add the salt and water to the spray bottle give it a good mix, wait until its well combined, then spray the salt solution onto desired weeds or area. Now you can sit back and watch them weeds die. You can also just pour salt onto your weeds directly (We don’t recommend this).

This recipe is perfect for driveways and patios

salt homemade weed killer on driveway

CAUTION: Salt can be easily absorbed into the soil and if happens, it can prevent future growth in that area and sometimes, for quite a long time, this is why it needs to be diluted with water if your not using it on your patio, drive or garden path.

4 – Baking Soda

This one is fantastic keeping your drive way, patio or path clear of any weeds and grasses

What do you need for this home made weed killer?

  • Baking Soda

How to use?

Just walk along and sprinkle baking soda where ever you want to eradicate those pesky weeds.

You can even sweep it into the cracks between paving slabs.

Baking Soda makes the area inhospitable for those annoying weeds.

If your looking to buy baking soda otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate then we recommend:

packaged baking soda

• 100% Food Grade
• Use For Food / Bath Bombs & Cleaning
• Aluminium & Gluten Free

5 – Borax

This is the same as above only difference is that your using borax, please note that it is now illegal to sell Borax in the UK and Europe. You can purchase this Borax substitute in the UK.

6 – Boiling Water A 100% Natural Weed Killer

 This homemade weed killer will kill anything it touches.

What you need?

  • Boiling Water, not hot water must be boiling. A kettle or pot of water will do

How To Use

Simply get a kettle pr pot fill it with tap water and boil the water, then go and pour this boiling water on those unwanted weeds you want eradicating. A simple alternative to using harsh chemicals whilst still being an effective weed killer.

It may take several applications to kill the desired weeds and they may not stay dead for long, it’s more effective on small weeds and seedlings.

This is also a totally pet safe weed killer option.

7 – News Paper and Cardboard

All plants need photosynthesis to grow, and if you disrupt this process, you will eventually kill the plants. In this case this is done by blocking out sunlight.

What do you need for this DIY homemade weed killer ?

  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • You can use either one or both

How to use?

Well, you just lay done cardboard over the weed or lay down 4 sheets thick newspaper over the area that you want to treat.

This method is like mulching, eventually the cardboard and newspaper will break down and provide the ground with nutrients.

You will need to apply another round of cardboard or newspaper once the original layer breaks down.

Newspaper mulch homemade weed killer

Here is a helpful videos showing you how to use newspaper as a homemade weed killer

8 – Bleach

Yes, that’s right, bleach isn’t just for cleaning things now, its also a fantastic weed killer that will just stomp on any weeds killing them swiftly.

What do you need for this homemade weed killer?

  • Bleach
  • Spray Bottle

How to use?

Just add some bleach to a spray bottle and your ready to rumble. Bleach is highly effective as a weed killer but it isn’t a natural product. Bleach will kill anything that it touches, so be careful when applying around ornamental plants, otherwise you risk losing them. 

CAUTION: Bleach is not a natural product and is designed as a chemical cleaning agent. It can be easily absorbed into the soil and if it happens, it can prevent future growth in that area and sometimes, for quite a long time. 

It is included on this list as a DIY homemade weed Killer.

Best Time To Use These Weed Killers

Wait until it’s bright and clear for the mixture to be truly effective. After a few hours, you should be able to see the effects of the weed killer on a sunny day. It is likely that you will notice the weeds’ leaves turning a brownish colour. This coloration will continue until the leaves finally wither away.

Be Safe

Even though this list is composed of DIY homemade weed killers, please make sure that you wear the appropriate protective equipment.

Some of the items above can cause:

What Are The Alternatives

If after reading this guide and you feel that the homemade weed killer route is not for you then check out our guide on the best commercial weed killers available in the UK.