Gardening Tips and Tricks – Vinegar as a Natural Weed Killer

Did you know you can use vinegar as a natural weed killer?  Next time you spot weeds popping up through your mulch, head to the kitchen and grab the vinegar. Rather than shelling out big bucks for chemicals, simply spray a few squirts of vinegar directly on your weeds. The acetic acid in the vinegar will kill anything it comes in contact with by temporarily lowering the pH of the soil.

Not only is vinegar cheap and non-toxic, it doesn’t do any long term damage to the soil and it is fast acting. But be careful not to squirt vinegar of your vegetable plants or they will die.

For best results spay your weeds with vinegar on a sunny day and keep in mind that some weeds have really long roots and may need to be sprayed more than once.

Did you know vinegar is a health remedy, a neutralizer, a cleaner, a condiment, and a preservative? It can kill bacteria, mold, and germs, yet it is environmentally safe. Want to learn more?  Check out the book Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of by Vicki Lansky.  Amazon currently has it on sale for only $8.95

The comprehensive guide covers all types and uses of vinegar, including how to make flavored varieties and using it as the basis for kids’ science projects.

* Amazon prices can change at anytime.


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  1. Jenn says

    We use vinegar for our weeds as well :-) It’s much cheaper and it’s not harmful to our 2 year old or our dog :-)

  2. Page M says

    Vinegar is also good to have in a squirt bottle if you are a runner and encounter mean dogs! They don’t like it, but it won’t hurt them!

  3. Tali says

    Mavis, are those ‘weed pictures’ yours? I am asking because I read in another blog the same thing about a month ago. I tried it and it didn’t do anything to the weeds.

  4. Tracie says

    Any ideas on slugs? Tried coffee grounds and egg shells and salt. Needs to be organic. Any ideas?
    @Tali it has to be a hot sunny day when you do it is my understanding.

    • Sarah says

      Try Neptune’s Harvest Crab Shell. They claim it works great for slugs, nematodes, and other pests. Plus, it also fertilizes your plants too! And it’s organic!

  5. says

    I’ve tried vinegar and it didn’t work well for me :-(. Maybe I wasn’t doing it on a hot day.

    What works best for us (although you have to be real careful), is to use boiling water. I empty my canner after canning directly onto weeds outside on our brick patio and walkway and it does the job every time. It’s cheaper still! Just watch your toes, kids and animals:-).

    Tracie, we’ve had lots of trouble with slugs this year, too :-(.

    Mavis, your blog is awesome. Have I told you that recently? 😉

    • Lauren says

      A hot pot with a pour spout is perfect for killing weeds with boiling water. Also one of those electric tea kettles if you have that. We have a hot pot still kicking around from college days.

  6. SC says

    If those were dandelion weeds you can eat the leaves. It’s has a slightly bitter taste. NEVER eat the stem.

  7. junquejules says

    I was going to try salt water around the play set, but this may work better! I am just wondering about the Ph idea though, the siol is alreay quite acidic from all of the oaks.

  8. rita says

    hydrogen peroxide cleans tile grout just great —
    cheap vodka cleans mold in a bathroom and it usually won’t come back either :)

  9. Constance of Olalla says

    Hi Mavis,

    Thank you so much for your weed killing idea. I am a beginner beekeeper and don’t want to use any chemicals on my property. Your website is delightful – great info and wonderful color! I love it! I am wanting to start a similar website and not sure where to start. Can you give advise on where to begin? Thank you again for sharing your inspiring life and ideas,

    Constance of Olalla

  10. Samantha says

    Do you think that vinegar would work on english ivy too? I don’t want to use harsh chemicals, but I want it gone!

  11. Edwin J. Losiewicz says

    You need tp add 4 ounces of dish derergent tp 1gallon of vinegar so it will stick to the weeds, For long term use on driveways or sidewalks, add a cup of salt, Don’t use salt where tou want anyrhing to grow.

  12. Melanie says

    My amazing vinegar story! I pay for a small, 1/2 plot, community garden and the manager discovered poison ivy in it and emailed me to say the City workers would be there to spray Round Up and I was not to go near it til it died! I was horrified at that crap being spraying in my garden, on my veggies and near my compost so I asked her if I took care of it, would they have to spray? She said as long as I took full responsibility, they would not!
    So . . . . got a couple gallons of vinegar and a spray bottle and went to work. Thoroughly soaked the vines, leaves and everything around them with the vinegar and let it sit all day in the sun. The next morning EVERYTHING was brown and dying!!! I was so happy :) I continue to spray the area if I see the littlest 3 leaved plant popping up, but when I went today, there was nothing but dried up leaves. I have a question tho! Can I put all the dried leaves with the vinegar in my compost? Or use it for mulch? Will it harm any veggie/flower plants? Thanks! Melanie

  13. Edwin says

    I have been using the mix for a few years and it does indeed work. I bought a 2 gallon sprayer. Just remember to rinse your sprayer out after using it.

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