Will Vinegar Kill Weeds But Not Grass?

Use vinegar in your yard sparingly because it will kill both weeds and grass.

Can weeds be killed by vinegar but not grass?

Strong chemical pesticides can contaminate water in addition to possibly endangering kids and pets who are playing outside. These substances may end up washing away during heavy rainfall, contaminating the groundwater and sewage system.

Try these non-toxic techniques if you want to get rid of weeds without using commercial herbicides.

Pull Them

Although it may seem obvious, you can always use a tiny trowel to manually pull the weeds. This is a fantastic method for getting rid of weeds that sporadically appear in your vegetable garden.

Pull the weed after watering the area to soften the soil. I really enjoy using this water-powered weeder to get rid of dandelions and other weeds with long taproots. It connects to your hose and releases a little jet of water straight down into the ground, loosening the dirt right up to the taproot’s base. The soil around the root can also be loosen by inserting a butter knife or screwdriver into the ground nearby.

If you compost, place the weeds outside to dry before throwing them in the bin. If you’re interested in building your own DIY compost bin, I offer free designs for one that is incredibly strong and simple to open.

Boiling Water

The weed will wither due to the heat from boiling water. This is particularly helpful for weeds that grow in cracks in the driveway or sidewalk. You can either boil a new kettle or reuse water that has already been used to cook pasta or potatoes. The heat will cause the weeds’ leaves and stems to wither if you cover them with boiling water. You may remove the weed by pulling it up once it dries out and turns yellow.


Using salt to eradicate weeds is quite effective, but you must be cautious because it also has the potential to destroy other plants. Use salt to kill weeds along lawn edges, in gaps in sidewalks and driveways, but avoid using it to kill weeds in your grass or garden beds. Just keep in mind that salt can degrade concrete, so use it sparingly.

Mixing 1 part salt to 6 parts hot water is the ideal ratio for using salt as a weed killer. Spray the prepared liquid directly onto the leaves and stems of the unwanted weeds after stirring until the salt has completely dissolved. If you want the mixture to stick to the plant’s leaves, you might also include a few drops of liquid dish soap. You may remove the weed with little difficulty once it turns yellow and dies.


Vinegar works as a herbicide because it contains acetic acid. Most grocery store vinegar has 5% acetic acid, which should be sufficient to kill most weeds. Spray the leaves and stems of the weeds you wish to get rid of after putting it in a spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap to assist the vinegar stick to the plant.

In most garden stores, you can also get vinegar that has up to 20% or even 30% acetic acid. Wear gloves and a respirator mask if you’re using the stronger version!


Because it will dry up the undesirable plant, alcohol is an excellent herbicide. Both rubbing alcohol and inexpensive vodka will work for this. In a spray bottle, combine 2 oz of alcohol with 2 cups of water. Spray the mixture on the weeds’ leaves and stems after incorporating a few drops of dish soap to aid in the mixture’s adhesion to the plant.

Because the light evaporates the alcohol and dries up the plant, this method only really works on weeds that are exposed to the sun. Because the light can’t assist the alcohol evaporate, it doesn’t work as effectively on weeds that are growing in the shade.

Overpower Weeds With Healthy Grass

The strongest plants will thrive as a healthy lawn or garden competes with weeds for water and nutrients in the soil. The weeds in your lawn will be kept at bay if you maintain a lush, healthy grass. Plant flowers and other garden plants that will naturally compete with weeds in your garden and eventually supplant them.

Smother Them

To suffocate weeds, cover them with with newspaper or mulch. Weeds need sunlight to thrive just like any other plant, thus this will keep them from receiving any. Low-growing weeds are the ideal candidates for this strategy; anything that grows up a tall stalk, such as a dandelion, will just grow up above the newspaper or mulch.

When preparing a garden bed but aren’t quite ready to plant, cover the bed with mulch or newspaper to stop any new weeds from growing before you start planting.

Corn Gluten Meal

The byproduct of the milling of corn is corn gluten meal, which stops the germination of weed seeds. You can’t use it to combat weeds that have already germinated, though. Fortunately, this means it’s completely safe to use in your lawn and garden bed because it won’t harm existing plants; instead, it will only stop new weeds from emerging.

It might be purchased online or at your neighborhood garden center.


Depending on how you define “toxic,” there are valid arguments for and against the claim that borax is “non-toxic.” I use borax outside and in our garden to get rid of ants, but I don’t use it in my homemade borax-free laundry detergent mix. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is a highly powerful weed killer.

For this technique, mix 2.5 gallons of water with 10 oz of borax before putting the mixture in a spray bottle. Once more, a few drops of dish soap can be added to the mixture to aid in adhesion to the plants. Spray the stems and leaves, but take care not to get any of the mixture on you or on the ground.


Without some fire, what list would be complete? You can still use a flame to destroy weeds since living plants don’t burn; they need to be dead and dried out in order to catch fire. The weeds will begin to wilt after one pass with a flame weeder, which is just a little propane torch with a long handle, and they will be dead in a day or two.

Of course, using this technology requires extreme caution! You shouldn’t use this close to any dry brush since you risk starting a fire. Also be cautious around sandboxes, garden beds, and wooden decks.

Utilize Them!

Okay, I’ll admit that last approach doesn’t work “remove the weeds; instead, it makes use of them! Although weeds are just unwanted plants in your garden, that doesn’t necessarily indicate they’re “poor plants Many weeds are edible, and some of them can even be used to produce tea. And because they grow, die, and are reabsorbed into the surrounding soil, weeds can reveal a lot to you about the state of your soil and even contribute to its fortification. For additional information, check out this excellent post about weeds in your garden.

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After vinegar, will grass grow back?

Can Grass Regrow After Vinegar Treatment? Yes, barring grass seedlings that are younger than two weeks old. In that situation, the roots are not sufficiently established to produce new blades. The roots of broadleaf grasses will still produce new leaf blades even though they are more prone to die back to the soil.

Spread Pre-Emergent to Prevent New Weeds from Sprouting

A smart technique to stop weeds without damaging your grass is with pre-emergent herbicide. Pre-emergent herbicide spreads into the soil and stays there for a few weeks or months. Pre-emergent kills weed seeds as they grow so long as it is present in the soil. Pre-emergent won’t harm mature plants, which means you won’t hurt your lawn.

Is vinegar sufficient to destroy weeds on its own?

I abhor weeds. You do not? There are many different weed killers to pick from if you visit the gardening section of your neighborhood nursery or large box retailer. But what if there was a natural way to get rid of weeds without needing to buy one of those pricey weed killers? Did you realize that your cabinets likely contain a perfectly fine weed killer? Vinegar, that is! Yes, it is true that vinegar kills weeds, particularly when used in conjunction with dish soap.

You only need a spray bottle, dish soap, and vinegar to make your own weed killer. The vinegar’s acetic acid “sucks out the water from the weed, drying it out.” The vinegar works best when the cuticle, the plant’s outer covering, is broken down by the dish soap. See how to spot weeds in your garden below.

I have to say that I am quite pleased with the outcomes. The recipe for manufacturing your own vinegar/soap weed killer is as follows:

DIY Weed Killer Recipe

  • 1 gallon of 5% acetic acid vinegar
  • Dish soap, 1 ounce
  • bottle of plastic spray.

Spray the mixture onto weeds after combining the vinegar and soap in a spray bottle.

Application Tips

Here are some recommendations before using this weed killer in your garden:

  • Because vinegar/soap weed killer is non-selective, it will also harm or destroy your prized plants. So use caution when spraying weeds.
  • Apply on a wind-free, sunny day. The sun aids in the vinegar’s ability to dry the weed. Additionally, you should wait for a windless day to avoid accidentally spraying other plants with your spray.
  • The root of the weed may or may not be killed by your vinegar weed killer. If green growth begins to appear thereafter, you might need to reapply it. You can also spray some weed killer over the root zone to completely eliminate huge weeds.
  • Not all weed varieties will be eliminated with the vinegar/soap weed killer. Try it out in your garden to see what kinds of weeds it kills.

So the next time you need to get rid of weeds, just go to your pantry and get some vinegar and soap to manufacture your own weed killer. It’s organic, efficient, and affordable! Seek out more strategies for weed control.

Is vinegar just as effective as 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.