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Vinegar to Kill Weeds

Updated on February 7, 2016
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

Does Vinegar Kill Weeds?

Yes, vinegar will kill weeds. See the pictures below that show weeds before being sprayed, and the same weeds 24 hours later, after being sprayed lightly with 100 percent distilled white vinegar.

There are a variety of weed-killing recipes on the web. The items used in these recipes include dish detergent, baking soda, vinegar, and salt. The dish soap is said to help strip the weeds of their natural oils, allowing the vinegar to work more effectively. Vinegar solutions have also been shown to work best on hot days. Based on numerous comments, people who have tried a simple 100 percent vinegar spray, haved found it to be successful.

Many have commented that it was found to be more effective than Roundup, a popular herbicide. According to Organic Consumers, "...studies done by Dr. Leonard Hardell and Dr. Mikael Eriksson of Sweden, has revealed clear links between one of the world’s biggest selling herbicide, glyphosate (commonly known as Roundup, marketed by Monsanto), to non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer - NHL."

A word of caution: Vinegar will also kill other plants besides weeds. While it is fantastic for sidewalks, driveways, and rock beds, you will want to stay clear of all other plants.

Before and After Pictures

BEFORE | Source
AFTER | Source

Other Uses For Vinegar

  • Household cleaning agent
  • Dissolves mineral build-up in coffee makers, humidifiers and vaporizers
  • Removes rust
  • Effective in removing mold up to 90%
  • Will kill bacteria up to 99.9%
  • Cleans windows
  • Polished silvers
  • Unclogs drains

Source: Wikipedia

Why You Should Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds

  • Vinegar is biodegradable. It is not harmful to the environment, our water system, or animals.
  • Vinegar is very inexpensive. You can buy a large container of it for less than two dollars.
  • Vinegar is a natural substance that is safe for consumption.
  • Vinegar will keep for a very long time without spoiling.

Items You Will Need

I keep the following items handy so that I can create vinegar solutions as needed.

  • Commercial-strength spray bottles.
  • Funnel to pour vinegar into bottles.
  • Large containers of white distilled vinegar.
  • Sharpie markers to label containers.

Masking the Smell of Vinegar

Personally I like the smell of vinegar. It reminds me of German potato salad and I love all things with potatoes. Even though the smell of vinegar is strong, it quickly dissipates as it dries. However, if the smell of vinegar is not to your liking, I've found that adding about 1/4 cup of lemon juice to a regular-sized spray bottle of 100 percent vinegar, greatly helps to reduce the strong smell of vinegar.

Bug Busting

According to 501 Hints & Tips With Vinegar, published by igloobooks, vinegar is effective at keeping a whole host of bugs away.

  • Keep fruit flies away by washing fruit with a diluted solution of water and 1/3 vinegar.
  • Spray houseflies with undiluted vinegar.
  • Attract wasps to a jar mixed with detergent, honey and vinegar by placing wholes in the lid.
  • Repel mosquitos by spraying items with vinegar, such as a tent or lawn furniture.
  • Deter ants and spiders by wiping surfaces with vinegar and spraying corners with vinegar.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      It will stain older sidewalks and concrete that has been weathered by rain.. Heinz pickle perfect is the strongest of the bunch

      Just sayin be careful what you use it on.. it's basically a acid and you'll see it bubble and consume the top layer on older concrete

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for reading thumbi7 and Cyndi10. We used vinegar in our laundry recently to get rid of a bad smell from towels that had stayed damp too long. We had already washed them once and the smell remained. We add about 1/2 cup vinegar the 2nd time and the smell is gone. Vinegar is so very useful (and cheap).

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      4 years ago from Georgia

      What wonderful uses for vinegar! I was familiar with a lot of the uses, but you have thrown in some very timely uses. I can't wait to try spraying the deck furniture for repelling mosquito. Our very wet summer has increased the mosquitoes what seems like a thousand times. Even with all the traditional treatments, they are just proliferating and the deck is practically unusable.

      I've always used vinegar for cleaning,including cleaning the drains and will now use it for repelling those nasty mosquitoes. Voted up!

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      4 years ago from India

      Good to know that vinegar is good for bug busting.

      Voted up and shared

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      AliciaC, I've gone vinegar crazy ever since my sister game me a book describing so many uses for it. I keep it stocked in my pantry and use it for almost every cleaning purpose. It works!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for this very useful information, Rosie. I love using natural products in my garden!

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      I'm finding that some weeds are stubborn and need a couple of applications. :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Very helpful! I'm going to try this for the grass in the cracks of my sidewalk!

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for stopping by rebeccamealey and jericho911! I keep lots of vinegar on hand - it is one of the most useful substances.

    • jericho911 profile image

      Kenneth Claude 

      5 years ago from Parts Unknown

      I have used it to repel mosquitos ! Nice hub !

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have used vinegar to kill weeds....didn't know about the bug busting. Tkanks!


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