Got Vinegar? You Have A Cheap and Easy Weed Killer!

killing weeds with vinegar

Got Weeds? Who DOESN’T this time of year!?!? I am growing an especially fine crop of them in the cracks of my backyard patio! So I decided it was time to take action and bring out my big bottle of HERBICIDE! (Better known as the jug of vinegar under my sink!!) Yep…that cheap, undiluted, store-brand white vinegar that you buy at the grocery store for less than $3 a gallon is a POWERFUL all-natural herbicide. (So be careful not to accidentally splash it on plants you want to keep around!)

All you need to do to use this powerful herbicide is grab a spray bottle, fill it with vinegar and take aim!
killing weeds with vinegar

I actually read on a couple of different websites that if you add a teaspoon of dish soap it helps the solution to “cling” to the foliage better, so I decided to add that too. THEN I went outside and took aim at all the nasty weeds that were invading my backyard paradise. :-)

Take a look at this bugger! I really DESPISE dandelions!

killing weeds with vinegar

This was Mr. Dandelion first thing this morning.  NOTE:  vinegar works best when the evil weeds are nice and dry and the sun is out. Make your application on a warm, sunny, calm (not windy) day. Don’t use on a cool, cloudy or wet day.

killing weeds with vinegar

And this was Mr. Dandelion after a nice blast of my “special” weed terminator…and several hours in the sun.    muwahahahahahahahaha!  (my best attempt at typing out my “evil laugh”)

Need MORE proof?  Here are some more victims of my early morning killing spree.

killing weeds with vinegar


killing weeds with vinegar


Those are some DEAD weeds! Just the way I like them.

If you’re like me and like to know WHY something works…here’s a little gardening lesson: The acetic acid in the vinegar does two things: it burns the weed on contact and it lowers the pH of the soil (at least temporarily), making it hard for the weed to make a comeback. Double-whammy!

The benefits I think are self-explanatory…but just for fun…I’ll spell a few of them out for you.

  • It’s cheap.
  • It’s non-toxic.
  • It’s fast-acting.
  • It’s easy-to-use.

To be honest, by the end of my “weed-killing spree” I was just pouring it straight out of the bottle onto the weeds in the patio cracks. I probably wouldn’t recommend that if you were pouring near plants that you didn’t WANT dead….but for sidewalk cracks, it worked just dandy!

And just so you know….SOME weeds are more persistent than others, and may need to be treated more than once, but so far a one-time application has been all I’ve needed to get rid of even the most NOXIOUS weeds! (Yeah…I’m talkin to YOU Mr. Dandelion!)

I leave you today with a couple more beauty shots of my deader-than-dead weeds. They truly are exquisite aren’t they? :-)

killing weeds with vinegar

killing weeds with vinegar




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  1. says

    I found this out by mistake last year when I used a mixture of vinegar and water to clean out our large compost bin – on the middle of our back lawn! Hubby wasn’t too impressed with the rather large dead patch of grass the next day. Oops!

  2. Sherlene says

    Dandelions is good meds – i too use vinegar and it does work and much cheaper than store bought weed killer & safe around children & pets. thanks

  3. Chris in FL says

    If you don’t have dish soap, laundry soap works too, not the homemade but the store bought type.

    I use to work for Department of Environmental Protection for the State of Florida and I was the Accountant who paid the State Lands contracts. We have a lot of invasive plants here in Florida and therefore we have to employee private businesses to destroy them. One of the companies we contracted with turned out to be a young man that I grew up with and he gave me a big jug of the stuff they use. He told me to mix laundry detergent in with it to help it stick to the plants. I’ve never used the stuff he gave me as I’m afraid of what might be in it, but I do use vinegar with laundry detergent. I do however use more than a teaspoon when I mix it up. I probably use about a laundry cap full and mix it in with no more than a half gallon of vinegar.

    I have a chain link fence in my back yard and have weed vines that grow on it and therefore I need my mixture to be a little thicker so as to not just drip off on to the ground and I probably use more laundry soap than would be needed for weeds that are on the ground. But this does work and I don’t have to worry about it being a danger to my dogs.

    • Terri says

      why did you tell us the whole bang about where you worked and who you hired when you never used the mixture you were given and don’t even know what was in it? The point was?

      • Rachel says

        I think the point was that the company the state paid buckets of money to kill invasive plants was mixing their (probably expensive and very chemical-laden) product with laundry detergent to help it stick to the plants. This is relevant because Jillee suggested in the post that we mix dish soap with the vinegar to help it stick to plants. Chris was saying, yes, mix in some soap because that’s what experts do too.

        Or maybe Chris just likes to tell stories from the ol’ accounting days. No harm done.

  4. Stacey says

    I’ve heard that this works. Here’s a problem though. What if your property looks like you planted fields of dandelions like mine? Does anyone know of an application or method that works for literally hundreds of dandelions? We have a major invasion of them.

    • Davi says

      I have heard bleach will kill the dandelions but not the grass, never tried it though.

    • Teri S says

      Stacey, I have been taking an area per day and going after these pretty yellow “flowers”!!! We too have hundreds!!! Where on earth did they all come from???? Anyway, I have been on my knees, plucking out the dandelion, then spraying a little vinegar down in the hole. This way, I am (hopefully…) assured it will kill the root that inevitably gets left behind to spring up yet another pretty “flower”. Why am I plucking them out first? WELL, if left behind, that little flower turns into dozens and DOZENS of seeds for them to propagate! I’d rather do a little extra work now in hopes of reducing the next generation! Good luck!

    • silverdust says

      We used to have neighbors who were OBSESSED with their lawn. Granted, it looked better than a golf course, but they were constantly working at it. Not only would the lady of the house totally remove the offending dandelion with a small garden trowel, she would then BURN the patch of grass immediately surround the hole. I don’t know what she used to burn the grass with, though.

  5. Beckie says

    I used a mixture of vinegar, dish soap & salt that i found on pinterest last summer, and it worked very well. I used a big yard sprayer instead of a spray bottle because dandelions had taken over my yard. Just be careful to only spray the weed. My yard was covered in dead patches because I was a bit too aggressive with the sprayer. LOL

    • Beckie says

      Oh! And be careful not to get it on your skin. I got a few drops on my finger without realizing it, and it burned my skin for awhile.

  6. Diane says

    Thanks for the idea! We built a couple raised beds to grow veggies, & they stand right on the lawn. A nurseryman friend want us to kill the grass first w/a popular herbicide, but I didn’t want to use it under where my veggies will grow, even w/landscape cloth under the planter dirt. (We’re mostly chemical-free on our property anyway.) Now I’ll dose it w/vinegar, & maybe some boiling water, too. Btw, I usually just pour boiling water right out of the kettle onto my weeds-in-cracks. It also works beautifully.

  7. Sara says

    I’ve tried last spring and a couple of times during summer, but it didn’t work. I suppose Australian weeds are tougher :(

    • sage_brush says

      Sara – try plain old boiling water! I don’t live in Australia, but I do live in the woods. Keeping nature somewhat subdued requires constant attention here. The benefit of pouring boiling water is that it is absolutely free, and does the job in any weather or sun conditions. It also kills any hiding pests or larvae that are under the weeds or grass you want to kill. I use a large stainless kettle, which gives great “pouring control.”

      • Sara says

        Hey Sage, thanks for the tip! I’ll certainly try that after the vinegar epic fail. I’ll wait until spring though…now weeds can go free and enjoy their last months of life :)

      • lisa says

        I use boiling water as well. I use it in the spring between the cracks in my driveway and sidewalk and often only have to use it once during the summer for no weeds in those spots. I walk around and spot treat weeds in my front garden bed which is well mulched, but has a few sprouters. Perfectly natural.

  8. says

    Brilliant stuff! I can attest to the ‘use it on a sunny day’ advice. I know from experience that cloudy days are not effective.

  9. Lyn says

    Wonder if it would work for the grass around my chain link fence line … Might have to use more than just a spray … I usually just let the grow there cause I refuse to use a “weed killer” that’s chemical laden cause my dogs tend to “munch” the grass there.. (at the moment the grass is like a foot high all along at the fence line lol)..and it (the fence) wrecks my weed wacker so I just have always left the grass (even though i hate it there lol)… Will have to try this out and see ..

    • Marla says

      Lyn, it should work on the grass too. My husband found out about what a great weed and grass killer vinegar is when he poured a bucket of it out in our back yard. There was a huge brown spot there for a very long time. It has since come back, but it took a while.

    • Davi says

      It works well with the grass, I used it around where the goats are. Can’t have chemicals around goats! Killed the grass quickly and worked well. I was pleased, and it won’t hurt the critters!

    • Tracey says

      Lyn ,

      Im with you i HATE the grass along my fence line let me know if it works for you please :)

      Good Luck im hoping it works –

    • shawna says

      I used a version of vinegar+Dawn+salt all along my fenceline and was very happy with the results. You definitely need to have an adjustable sprayer to narrow the application area, but the results lasted at least 6 months for me. I live in NC and have a creeping type grass overseeded with Kentucky Bluegrass.

  10. LouAnn Masters says

    Got me a brand new bottle of vinegar and some weeds that are going to meet their death. I get so tired of having to retreat weeds after using products that say “weeds are gone for up to four months or up to a full year.” Can we say sometimes NOT at all! Expensive name-brand products too.

    Thanks for all your hints Jillee. I forward them on to family and friends. :)

    • Wesley says

      Will the vinegar do any harm to my inground swimming pool if I used it to kill weeds between the brick pavers on the patio and pool?