How to Use a Homemade Weed Killer With Vinegar


To make your homemade weed killer, you will need:

  • White or apple cider vinegar – this gives the weed killer its acidity to burn and dry out weed leaves. Use undiluted, 5% acetic acid vinegar.
  • Dish soap – this helps the vinegar stick to the weed leaves rather than run off. Any liquid dish soap will work.
  • Water – to dilute the vinegar mixture.
  • Spray bottle – to apply the weed killer efficiently.

Mixing the Weed Killer

Follow this simple recipe:

  • Fill your spray bottle halfway with undiluted white or apple cider vinegar.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake well to mix.

The dish soap allows the vinegar to cling to the weed leaves rather than run off the plants.

How to Apply

Using your homemade weed killer is easy:

  • Shake the bottle thoroughly before each use to mix the ingredients.
  • Spray weeds you wish to kill until they are completely saturated with the vinegar mixture. Focus on the leaves and avoid the surrounding soil.
  • Repeat applications may be needed for mature weeds. Spray weeds once per week over several weeks until they die off.
  • For best results, apply on a hot, sunny day when weeds are actively growing. The sun helps the vinegar solution burn the weeds.
  • Avoid windy days or the vinegar may drift onto wanted plants.

Tips for Effective Use

Follow these tips to get the most out of your homemade vinegar weed killer:

  • Directly spray weeds rather than randomly spraying everything. Focusing on weeds saves your solution.
  • Combine with mulch or cardboard to smother weeds after treating with vinegar.
  • Wear gloves, long sleeves, and closed toe shoes to protect yourself from splashes. Rinse any skin or clothes the weed killer gets on.
  • Use a funnel when refilling your spray bottle to avoid spills.
  • Store your vinegar weed killer in a cool, dark place between uses. It will remain potent for several weeks.
  • Make a new batch each growing season for maximum effectiveness.

What Weeds Can It Kill?

Homemade vinegar weed killers are effective against a variety of common garden and lawn weeds, including:

  • Crabgrass
  • Dandelions
  • Chickweed
  • Oxalis
  • Plantain
  • Clover
  • Thistle
  • Bindweed
  • Wild violet

It works best on young, actively growing weeds and may take several applications to kill established or mature weeds. Vinegar weed killer is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill any plant it comes into contact with, so avoid spraying desired plants.

Benefits of Vinegar Weed Killer

Using a homemade vinegar weed killer has these advantages:

  • Natural and non-toxic – vinegar breaks down into harmless compounds and won’t harm pets, kids, or the environment like chemical weed killers can.
  • Inexpensive – white vinegar is cheap and accessible at any grocery store.
  • Fast acting – you’ll see results in hours as the acid burns weed leaves.
  • Selective control – you can directly target the weeds you want gone.
  • Works on contact – no residues in soil so you can replant shortly after treating.

So if you want an easy, natural way to get rid of lawn and garden weeds, whip up a homemade vinegar weed killer. With a few cheap ingredients and a little time, you can easily make and use this effective DIY solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for vinegar to kill weeds?

Vinegar weed killer begins working within hours of application but can take a few days to fully kill established weeds. Small seedlings or young weeds will die off faster than mature weeds with extensive root systems.

Does vinegar keep killing weeds?

Vinegar provides control and burndown of emerged weeds, but it does not provide residual activity to continue killing weeds after the initial application. New weeds may germinate in the area after using vinegar weed killer.

Is vinegar bad for your lawn?

Vinegar can potentially kill grass and harm wanted plants if it comes into direct contact with them. Avoid spraying vinegar weed killer indiscriminately over the lawn or garden. Instead, directly spray only the weeds you want to kill while avoiding contact with desired plants.

What ratio of vinegar to water kills weeds?

A typical mix is 1 part undiluted vinegar to 1-2 parts water. The higher concentration of vinegar provides more effective weed control. Dilute with more water for sensitive applications. Always use undiluted, 5% acetic acid vinegar.

Can I reuse vinegar weed killer?

It’s best to make a fresh batch each time you want to spray weeds. Over time, the vinegar may lose acidity and effectiveness when stored after mixing. For best results, mix only what you need at the time of spraying weeds.


Vinegar makes an excellent natural alternative to chemical weed killers. With minimal effort and cheap ingredients, you can whip up a simple but powerful DIY vinegar weed killer. Just be cautious when applying to avoid damage to wanted plants. Used properly, this homemade solution offers an easy, effective way to knock out lawn and garden weeds. Give vinegar weed killer a try for eco-friendly weed control.