DIY Weed Killer Using Vinegar Epsom Salt and Dawn

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If you have a garden, weeds are inevitable. There are many chemical weed killers on the market. But if you want to stay away from toxic poisons, yet control weeds, this easy 3-ingredient homemade weed killer will help.

For this DIY weed killer, all you need are 3 simple ingredients you may already have in your kitchen and bathroom cupboard. Vinegar, Epsom Salts and Dish Soap.

DIY Weed Killer Recipe

vinegar and epsom salt weed killer

This eco-friendly, effective homemade weed killer will probably cost you less than 4 dollars! All you need to make this weed killer are:

  • A gallon of vinegar (apply cider vinegar will be more beneficial)
  • 2 cups of Epsom salt (you can also use your regular salt if you do not have Epsom salt)
  • 1/4 cup of dawn (dish soap)
  • A spray bottle

You do not necessarily need apple cider vinegar for this DIY weed killer mixture as white vinegar will work too. We recommend apple cider vinegar as it tends to work faster than white vinegar. Horticultural vinegar is 20% acetic acid and should be diluted. Use half as much if you have horticultural vinegar.

You need the liquid dish soap to bind the vinegar and salt solution to the weeds. If you don’t have Dawn, try any other concentrated dish soap.

You can also use regular salt if you don’t have Epsom salts, however, use Epsom salts if you can for the best results. Salt is much harsher on your soil and surrounding plants.

How to Mix Vinegar and Epsom Salt Weed Killer

Once you have all the ingredients together, follow these steps:

  1. Pour the Epsom Salts into the spray bottle.
  2. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar into the spray bottle.
  3. Give the bottle a shake and leave it to sit until the Epsom salts has dissolved.
  4. Add the dish soap to the vinegar and epsom salt mixture.
  5. Put the lid on the spray bottle and give it a shake to combine.

You will want to use a clean and empty bottle. Make sure it does not have any chemical remnants if you are making use of a recycled commercial bottle (such as a window cleaner). However it is better if you transfer the prepared mixture into an unused or a new spray bottle for this if you can.

Once you have made this homemade weed killer recipe head on out to your garden, driveway, lawn or anywhere weeds are a problem for you. We recommend using rubber gloves and a face mask for personal protection. Although this is a natural weed killer recipe, the acetic acid in vinegar can irritate skin and lungs when breathed in, and vinegar has a strong smell.

Also, keep your pets and children away as you are spraying. Dish soap can be harmful if ingested or gets in your pets or children’s eyes. Pets can return to the lawn and yard area after spraying. Our post on pet safe weed killers has more ideas on natural weed killing methods if you have pets.

Spray the salt and vinegar solution directly onto the weed. Please keep in mind, this homemade weed killer isn’t selective, it will kill grass, and other plants and flowers as well.

If you have weeds in your lawn, this DIY weed killer will cause brown spots in your lawn as it kills the weeds. Read our post on how and when to apply weed killer to your lawn for more information about lawn weeds.

The Effectiveness of a Vinegar Weed Killer

diy weed killer

Simply put, a natural homemade solution isn’t likely to be as effective as a herbicide, especially when it comes to killing the roots of the weeds. If you have perennial weeds in your lawn or garden (like dandelions) make sure you pull out the weeds and the root system as well.

There are a lot of arguments on the internet as to whether a vinegar solution will kill weeds, and also the use of Epsom salts – which is actually an excellent fertilizer for your garden. The Epsom salts help to deposit much needed magnesium and sulfur into the soil, as the vinegar will dry out the weeds.

You can also buy horticultural vinegar – this contains up to 20% acetic acid. Household vinegar contains 5-10% acetic acid. If you use horticultural vinegar, use only half a gallon, and the other half gallon of water. Horticultural vinegar is much stronger, and will kill anything around it as well.

Tips for the Best Results

For best results, make sure to implement this treatment on a sunny day. Wait until any overnight moisture has dried from the ground, otherwise this will contribute to diluting the solution and may not get rid of weeds on the first try.

If you live in a cold environment, getting the sun can be quite difficult. Hence, for those living in cold and cloudy environments, you should work when the soil is slightly moist. Unless there is enough sunlight exposure, you will want to make sure that the weed killer penetrates the ground one way or the other.

The best thing about this vinegar and Epsom salt weed killer is that it takes no longer than a day to show great results. Small weeds will die within the first few hours of the day while bigger weeds might take 5 to 6 hours only.

You can also use this weed killer recipe on the unwanted weeds that grow on the sidewalks of your lawn, in between your patio pavers, or in your driveway. Those weeds tend to be harder to pull out, but this weed killer works just fine in eliminating them!

How Quickly Can I Plant After Using White Vinegar Epsom Salt and Dawn Weed Killer?

vinegar and epsom salt weed killer recipe

Vinegar breaks down relatively quickly in soil, even more so if water is added to it through rain, dew or regular watering of your garden. You can safely plant in your garden 2-3 days after using vinegar.

If you experience rain, heavy frosts and morning dew, you may need to reapply the salt and vinegar weed killer again to keep weeds at bay.

Say Goodbye to Weeds With This Effective Vinegar and Epsom Salt Weed Killer

So there you have it! Before you head out to buy a synthetic weed killer, try this homemade weed control method first.

Thank you so much for reading this article and we hope it proved to be of help to you. Say goodbye to chemically induced weed killers and opt for this safe, ergonomic and eco-friendly weed killer created with simple ingredients found in every pantry!

8 thoughts on “DIY Weed Killer Using Vinegar Epsom Salt and Dawn”

  1. Thanks.. I didn’t remember the formula.. & I can’t stand the weeds.. & they are blooming.. My neighbor.. full of them & thistle weeds.. Can’t stand it. But when I look out there.. there are a lot more yards.. that have them too.. Terrible.. People don’t take care of their yards..

    Thank you so much for the Formula..

  2. I have a landscape project this year and a lot of grass that shouldn’t be growing where it is. Due to chance of rain today 5/16/21… I only made up the above mentioned weed/grass killer. I also heard the use of rubbing alcohol in the mix to help dry out the plants.

    Total cost of products $6.99.
    Total amount made 1/2 Gallon.

    Only repeat purchase…. If I need more… $2.00 – Vinegar.
    If I attempt it with the Rubbing Alcohol… I will update.

  3. Patricia E. Downes

    It really works! I have been using it about 5-6 years now. It does exactly what it is meant to do, it is cheaper, and people and animal friendly.
    Give it a try. Mix exactly as directed and use the same!

  4. Use ONLY Epsom Salt.
    (Regular household salt will prevent anything from growing in the sprayed area.)

  5. Fantastic idea and simple i remember dad doing this, will n ow doo it for my house

  6. Blackthumbgardener

    I used this recipe successfully to kill plantain weedss in a yard that I didn’t want toxic sprays in. I had tried to pull them first, but they happily grew back in greater numbers. I applied it to the plants in full sun and it worked quickly, but the plants I applied it to in full shade ALSO died. It took a few days longer to see results, and dry weather during that time, but every single one of them died. YAY!!! No digging, no pulling. This was in clay soil in the midwest. I used a tank style sprayer and was careful to apply only to the leaves of the plantain plants. Very little grass was lost.

    1. Arielle Fabella

      Yes, but make sure the solution only comes into contact with the weeds. It isn’t selective and will kill flowers and plants too.

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