Will Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Grass?

Established grass won’t be killed by household vinegar. The roots won’t be killed, even though the blades might be burned. Without any difficulty, the grass simply develops new blades. However, young seedlings under two weeks old will perish. Particularly with regard to broadleaf seedlings like St. Augustine, this is true.

Do weeds and grass get killed by apple cider vinegar?

Do you aware that weeds may be killed with vinegar? Strange, but real. The same vinegar that you use in vinaigrettes has a surprising ability to destroy weeds outside. It’s the best non-toxic weed killer available that doesn’t involve chemicals.

Traditional weed killers include a lot of toxic chemicals that not only kill living plants but also have the potential to be harmful to your health. These harmful substances don’t just remain where you spray them outside. If your kids have been playing in an area where weed killers have been used, they may find their way into your home on your shoes, your pets, or even on them.

Use vinegar to get rid of weeds for a healthy home. After all, food uses it. As a result, you need not worry about what is within.

Here are some tips on using vinegar to destroy weeds:

  • Any plant that vinegar is treated to will die due to its acidity, including weeds. It should only be applied as a spot treatment. Because vinegar is a non-selective weed killer, it will also destroy grass in addition to weeds.
  • It’s ideal for those pesky weeds that appear between brick patios and walks where there isn’t any other flora.
  • You can use regular white vinegar, which has an acidity level of roughly 5%, from the grocery store.
  • Typically, white vinegar is used. Although apple cider vinegar can be used in a pinch, some people worry that it will discolor surfaces. How much vinegar to use for cleaning is shown here.
  • When it’s hot outside, spray vinegar on the weeds to really bake them. Because of the strength of the sun, vinegar’s acid is able to effectively kill weeds. Without any sun exposure, applying doesn’t really work.
  • The surface-layer weed will be killed by vinegar. Any hazardous or non-toxic weed killer will leave behind dead parts that will ultimately decompose.
  • Applying vinegar to surfaces that are vulnerable to stains or acid damage should be done with caution. Paving bricks that I treated with vinegar started to fade in color. But after a couple of days, the surface looked normal once more.

Think of vinegar with a higher acidity, perhaps 20%. You can purchase these unique vinegars online or at specialist shops (I found some in a German food store). You DO need to be cautious while applying it and when exposing your skin, eyes, and respiratory system to it because of the greater acidity. It’s a very concentrated acid, yet it’s still natural. But this thing really does work well. It is four times as effective as kitchen vinegar.

Apply a spray using a similar tool to a weed killer. I filled a brand-new, clean weed sprayer with vinegar to spray down a rock driveway. This sprayer has never held any other liquids or substances that can react poorly when residues are combined together.

This DIY weed killer recipe is a good alternative if you don’t want to use pure vinegar. In order to make an efficient herbicide, white vinegar is combined with additional chemicals.

Which vinegar—white vinegar or apple cider vinegar—kills weeds more effectively?

The simplest method for making vinegar weed killer is to use vinegar straight, at full strength. Any vinegar will serve for this purpose, though white vinegar is most frequently used. Additionally, vinegar is typically a safe weed killer for pets.

Is it okay to spray vinegar on grass?

One of the most prevalent liquids in kitchens, vinegar seems to have unlimited applications. A fast internet search will turn up thousands of uses for vinegar. People use vinegar for almost everything, from hair care to all-purpose cleaning, from medicine to disinfection. Therefore, it is not surprising that individuals are utilizing vinegar as a non-toxic substitute for conventional herbicides in their lawns and gardens. Household vinegar, which comes from the fermentation of alcohol, is non-toxic to humans, animals, and the environment. Where organic certification criteria are followed, it is very helpful.

Vinegar as a Natural Herbicide

While vinegar has been used as a herbicide for a very long time, the scientific evidence supporting vinegar’s effectiveness as a weed-killer has just recently come to light. Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service tested vinegar on some of the most prevalent weeds in 2002. They discovered that the weeds were eliminated within their first two weeks of life when vinegar was applied at average household strength concentrations (about 5 percent). Vinegar produced an 85 to 100% mortality rate at all growth stages at stronger doses (about 20%). Be cautious that solutions more than 11 percent can cause skin burns and should only be administered with proper clothes. Solutions higher than 5 percent vinegar should be handled carefully.

How to Use Vinegar as a Weed-Killer

Any form of vinegar will kill weeds, though white vinegar is typically the least expensive. Fill a spray bottle or pump sprayer with undiluted vinegar and use it freely on large weed patches. For areas like driveways, sidewalks, and other places where no vegetation is wanted, this spraying technique works well. Due to vinegar’s non-selective nature, it may harm any plant it comes into touch with, including grass and other desired plants like garden flowers. Use a paint brush to spot-spray weeds on your yard. Use an old brush to “paint the vinegar on the leaves and stems” of the weed you want to get rid of.

Other Tips for Using Vinegar

Vine works best on small, annual weeds with weak root systems, according to gardeners. It can take a few treatments to completely kill larger, perennial weeds. Apply on a sunny day with no breeze for optimal results. You will need to reapply if it rains within a day or two of your initial application. Although vinegar is an acid, it decomposes swiftly in the soil and is unlikely to have an impact on the pH values of the soil. Some gardeners think that increasing the amount of liquid dishwashing detergent in a gallon of vinegar will boost the vinegar’s ability to destroy weeds.

After vinegar, will grass grow back?

Broadleaf weeds are more easily controlled by regular kitchen vinegar than grass and grassy weeds. Although the grass may at first go to seed, it frequently grows back fast. If you wanted to kill grass with vinegar, you would need to keep spraying the grassy plant or clump every time it grew back until it was gone. Acetic acid is more effective at eradicating established perennial weeds and may also be more effective on grass.

However, you might want to give a commercial treatment that combines vinegar with extra herbicidal components a shot. Clove oil and thyme oil are two examples of plant-based herbicides that are occasionally used with vinegar in commercial weedkillers. The effectiveness of the goods may be increased by the addition of a substance that makes the herbicide adhere to plant leaves.

Can vinegar compete with Roundup?

Rain produces grain. is a proverb that has been around for years that you might hear whenever two or more farmers are together and a midsummer shower appears. Although that proverb may be accurate, it’s also a fact that rain causes weeds.

Due to this year’s record-breaking rains, the landscape is full of highly robust, quickly spreading weeds. Homeowners are calling in to ask for “safe” ways to control those weeds as well. Vinegar is one product that is usually recommended for weed control in landscaping. A simple inquiry about vinegar frequently leads to a discussion on pesticides, toxins, the legality of its use, and what exactly “safer” implies.

Let’s start by stating that vinegar does, in fact, have some weed-controlling capabilities. In Ohio, there are currently three vinegar products with labels. The fact that they are labeled indicates that using them to manage pests is allowed, but only one of the three in Ohio is classified as a herbicide. Common household vinegar is neither “labeled” nor “authorized for use as a herbicide in Ohio,” which may be difficult for some people to comprehend.

In any case, when we see what happens to weeds when vinegar is applied, we see that the acetic acid in the vinegar “burns” through the wax coating on the surface of the leaves and kills those leaves. Annual weeds like foxtail, crabgrass, and ragweed may only require one application of the specified 20% acetic acid vinegar to eradicate them if they are little at the time of application. In contrast, household vinegar contains only 5% acetic acid. It can require more than one application if the annuals get larger before the treatment. It should be noted that when vinegar is sprayed on perpetual weeds like ground ivy, the leaves may burn and the plant will probably develop new leaves. Although vinegar can ‘manage’ perennial weeds, it seldom kills them.

We have already discussed vinegar’s acetic “acid” and the plants it “kills” in previous discussions. It’s vital to note that a product certainly has harmful effects if it kills a plant—in this example, what some would term a “natural” herbicide like vinegar! So, is it safe, or can it be “safer” than a commercial herbicide made from synthetic materials? I’ll let you make that decision as we go.

We must comprehend toxicity while we reflect on that query. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) undertakes research to ascertain the toxicity, or Lethal Dosage (LD50) Values, of all pesticides and many other goods we frequently use, including what many people prefer to refer to as “natural” things like vinegar. The benchmark test for acute toxicity used to compare all the evaluated goods is called an LD50. The LD50 is expressed as the individual dose necessary to kill 50% of a population of test animals and is expressed in milligrams (mg) of pesticide per kilogram (kg) of body weight (e.g., rats, fish, mice, cockroaches).

Most people who inquire about using vinegar as a herbicide want to know how it compares to glyphosate, which is frequently marketed under the trade name Roundup. EPA tested glyphosate, just like it does with all pesticides, and assigned it an LD50 value. Similarly, the EPA tested and assigned an LD50 to acetic acid, which is exactly the same as the acid found in vinegar. The LD50 values for glyphosate and acetic acid, respectively, were 5600 and 3310 when rats were the test subjects.

An LD50 figure tells us how much of an individual dose is needed to kill 50% of the test population, and the lower the number, the more deadly the substance is. In a lab test, acetic acid killed rats more quickly than glyphosate did when administered orally in identical amounts. Even common vinegar was more hazardous than Roundup due of its acetic acid content.

Going one step further, it is irrelevant to compare application rates in this situation. Most annual weeds indicated on the label can be killed with a 1% solution of glyphosate, as can most perennial weeds. The annual weeds we find in the landscape may require more than one application of a 20% acetic acid product in order to completely eradicate them.

This discussion does not imply that vinegar is a bad herbicide. The goal is to raise awareness that a substance is toxic whether it is considered “natural” or synthetically produced, as long as it has the power to kill plants or insects. Each poison should be handled carefully, used for the intended purpose specified on the label, and applied at the rate deemed to be acceptable. Both organic and synthetic herbicides can be secure and efficient when handled appropriately.


The acetic acid content of regular white vinegar is 5%. Stems and leaves are soon turned brown by this acid, which removes the moisture from them. However, spraying it on a plant has no effect on the roots. It only works against annual weeds with shallow roots that can’t withstand having their foliage burned off.

You must apply horticultural vinegar on perennial weeds in order to kill them with vinegar. This contains 20% acetic acid. This could have four significant issues. This vinegar is not selective, to start. Be careful because it will harm or destroy any plants that come in contact with it. You may expect a lot of dead, brown grass if you use it on the lawn. In addition to killing plants, horticultural vinegar also destroys useful soil organisms like earthworms and helpful microorganisms. Third, if you use the extremely acidic vinegar to eliminate weeds in your driveway or sidewalk, it will eat away at the concrete. And finally, folks should avoid horticultural vinegar. Blisters will form if you get any on your skin. You risk losing your sight if you get any in your eyes. If I were you, I would stay away from this material.

Epsom Salts

For the sole reason that many people confuse epsom salts for table salt, they are included in this recipe. They are distinct from one another. Magnesium sulfate makes up epsom salts. People have used them for countless years to feed plants like roses, tomatoes, and peppers because they provide the two important plant nutrients, magnesium and sulfur. Plants are not killed by them. They help them improve. Why would a weed pesticide contain Epsom salts? to hasten the growth of your weeds?

Okay, let’s just use sodium chloride, or table salt, in place of Epsom salts. Doesn’t that destroy plants, though? If they aren’t salt-tolerant, like many seashore plants, that is. Additionally, it poisons the soil, preventing any regrowth (recall what Rome did to Carthage?). Additionally, it disrupts soil structure, preventing soil from draining. Simply said, it is not a good idea to use table salt in the garden.

Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

Let me start by clarifying that Dawn is not required. Dish soap in liquid form can be of any brand. The same recipe is constantly being shared online, which is why Dawn is so frequently recommended.

Dish soap in liquid form is a surfactant. It aids in the adhesion of salt and vinegar to weed leaves. It is mostly harmless on its own. Remember that it might burn if sprayed in the hot sun and that it dries out foliage. Because of this, the label of insecticidal soap issues a caution against doing so.

How can you effectively prevent weeds from growing?

Weeds are not completely eliminated by vinegar. If you use a mixture to cure weeds that also contains vinegar, the damage will only last a short while. This is so that the acetic acid in vinegar, which otherwise burns weeds’ leaves, is offset by the soil. This implies that the weeds’ roots won’t be affected. You could think you’ve successfully destroyed weeds by damaging their leaves, but the weeds will eventually grow back from the roots.

  • Vinegar doesn’t kill the roots; it only harms the leaves’ stems and leaves’ leaves.
  • The likelihood of a weed returning after being sprayed with a solution containing horticultural vinegar is very high.
  • To permanently inhibit weed growth, hand pluck them or apply a potent herbicide.

Weeds need to be pulled up by the roots or treated with a systemic herbicide if you want to kill them permanently. A weed can’t re-grow if the roots are pulled out. Systemic pesticides damage plants at the root by entering them. These two alternatives are both far more efficient than the homemade weed killer prepared with white vinegar.