- Boiling Water – Yep, that’s right. Plain old H2O can be used as an extremely effective weed killer. As a matter of fact, boiling water is more effective than many of your store bought weed killers in wiping out unwanted vegetation. Easy-peasy to do. Put a kettle of tap water on the stove and heat till boiling, then pour on the weeds you wish to kill.You are effectively cooking the plant in the ground. Boiling water is a great way to clear out vegetation on a wholesale basis, like driveways and sidewalks. But be warned, boiling water is not selective. It will cook and instantly kill any plant that it comes in contact with and this includes underground roots of nearby plants.
- Bleach – Not only is bleach a spot remover, it is a weed remover as well. Place some bleach in a spray bottle and spray on the weed you wish to remove. The bleach chemicals will evaporate or dissipate in about two days (or less but better safe than sorry), making the area safe for planting. Again, bleach will kill anything but if you do get some on a plant you want to keep, just wash the plant off.
- Vinegar – Vinegar is a great organic homemade weed killer. Either white or cider vinegar will work. The acetic acid in the vinegar works to kill the leaves on the plant but not the root. Vinegar will kill back (kill the leaves but not the root) any plant but works best on young plants because they do not have enough energy stored in the roots to regrow their leaves. If vinegar is applied to more established weeds enough times, the plant will eventually deplete its stored energy reserves and die.
- Salt – It was once a known war tactic to salt the fields of enemies. Salting the earth was also used as punishment for severe crimes in several countries throughout history. The reason is because salt will kill plants and will make the ground unsuitable for future plant growth. On a small scale, you can drop a small pinch of table salt at the base of the undesirable plants. It will kill the plant but will dilute down to harmless in the next few rainfalls. On a larger scale, you can cover your gravel driveway or your ex’s yard with a good amount of salt and nothing will grow there for months. (FYI, it is illegal to salt another person’s property. It’s called vandalism.)
- Rubbing Alcohol – Rubbing alcohol is used around the house because it draws water out and helps to evaporate it quickly. Guess what? If you put it on a plant, it will do the same thing. You will be basically sucking the life blood out of the weed. Makes you want to run right out and try it, huh? But again, rubbing alcohol is non-selective. It will kill any vegetation it comes contact with.
- Corn Meal – Corn meal doesn’t really kill weeds, it just stops the weed seeds from ever developing. Corn Gluten is a pre-emergent, which is a fancy way of saying that is it is a seed birth-control. Corn meal scattered around an area will keep any seed in that area from growing into a plant. This means a weed seed or a desirable seed. This method is a good option for areas that you plan on planting grown plants in.
- Newspaper – If murdering your weeds with chemicals is not your style, you can always smother them. Laying down a layer of newspaper at least 4 sheets thick (the more the better) will go a long way towards killing the weeds underneath. The weeds that are already there will die from lack of sun and the weed seeds will not be able to sprout because they are not getting any sun to start with.
As an added bonus, many of these 7 homemade weed killers can be combined to produce super results. For example, the boiling water can be mixed with the salt or the vinegar (or both) for a super weed killer. Use common sense when combining chemicals and make sure that there are no adverse reactions.
You can also add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the liquid homemade weed killers for added effectiveness. The soap is not harmful to the weeds but the soap acts as a sort of bonding agent and will help the weed killers to stick to the weed more effectively.
Since most of these homemade weed killers are all-or-nothing weed killers, you may want to use a weed killer shield with them to prevent sprays and splashes on desirable plants.
So, go forth and cleanse thy garden of its weedy sins.