How To Use White Vinegar as A Weed Killer in The Best Way

One day, while browsing gardening forums online, I came across a post about using white vinegar as a natural weed killer. Delighted, I decided to give it a try. I carefully sprayed the mixture on the weeds, ensuring I did not accidentally spray any of my beloved plants. Over the next few days, I noticed a significant difference. The weeds were noticeably dying off, and my garden looked more vibrant. I continued using the white vinegar solution on weeds, and soon they were gone.

Today, I’ll share my experience on how to use white vinegar as a weed killer or, how to make weed killer using white vinegar. You know, vinegar combines to make pickles, favourite recipes, and more as an efficient window cleaner, stain remover, disinfectant, and so on. But did you know it works as a weed killer? It carries the ability to kill weeds, working less severe on the environment than synthetic herbicides. However, you couldn’t apply this acidic liquid in all areas of your garden because it might harm any plant where it touches. 

Vinegar contains 4-6% acetic acid is a workable natural weed killer. It is supported by most gardeners because it creates less harmful effects than herbicides. You may use a pump sprayer for spraying vinegar directly into any weeds, leaving the plants you want to keep. You may purchase powerful horticulture vinegar for stronger weeds, adding salt or dish soap with vinegar before spraying on weeds. Here we will provide a complete guide about vinegar as a weed killer, how you will mix it, how to apply it, and how it kills weeds. 

How to use white vinegar as a weed killer?

How to make weed killer using white vinegar

Usually, white vinegar is 5% acetic acid and 95% water. While it is used as a weed killer, it has pretty some limitations. It can work properly with small annual weeds that are around two weeks aged. At the same time, it will need some ingredients to succeed in the field. Additionally, you can increase its efficiency by adding a tablespoon of liquid soap, a cup of table salt, with a gallon of white vinegar. Usually, this mixture destroys the tops of the target weeds and keeps avoiding the roots that may regrow new shoots. 

Household vinegar can’t work expectedly while applied on older weeds, grasses, or perennials. Killing older weeds, perennials, and grasses 20% vinegar solution is appropriate, called horticulture vinegar, may be found at garden centers, horticulture centers, farm stores, and online.                                                                                      

The safest place to apply vinegar on weeds is concrete seams such as footways, driveways, mulch, or gravel paths. Spraying vinegar in these areas is usually easy because you haven’t got contact with other plants. Like any weed killer, choose a warm and sunny day to spray it. Be aware that wind can flow the vinegar to the areas you don’t want to use. Further, the rain minimizes and dilutes its effectiveness. 

When applying a high concentration of vinegar, ensure the safety precautions like other herbicides. Please keep away from touching it on your skin or eyes and never ingest it. This higher concentrated vinegar may burn skin, damage eyes, as well as cause bronchitis if inhaled. 

Vinegar is a non-selective pesticide, which means that it will harm not only weeds but also any plants and turfgrass it gets. As a result, before spraying onto weeds, be aware that it doesn’t touch the other plants. If it isn’t possible, use a brush to paint the vinegar onto the weeds. Meantime, ensure the vinegar gets in contact with all the foliage. The acetic acid assists in burning and fading out the leaves. 

How to make weed killer using white vinegar?

You can kill normal weeds and tough weeds using white vinegar.

Method 1: Using vinegar as a weed killer

1. Buying white vinegar

Buy a vinegar bottle from your local garden center or grocery store or online, theoretically 6-10% concentration of acetic acid. If you want to kill many weeds, you might need to purchase more than one gallon, though one gallon will cover a vast area. Otherwise, less than one gallon will be appropriate. White vinegar is the most recommended and possibly the cheapest pesticide. However, you may apply apple cider as well. 

white vinegar

2. Mix the vinegar with 2 teaspoons (9.9 ml) of soap

A little bit of dish soap will assist in increasing its action on the weeds—affix 2 teaspoons of dish soap per 1-gallon vinegar. Shake the mixture in a bucket or bottle.

3. Pour the mixture into a garden sprayer

Fill up the sprayer along with vinegar and dish soap mixture according to your need. Then choose a pump sprayer with an extended nozzle and hose for spraying large areas. Another option is to take the mixture into an empty spray bottle. You can buy it or use a window cleaner bottle or another household cleaner. Before using these types of bottles, ensure you have rinsed them properly. If you want to use horticultural vinegar, dilute it with water. You won’t require to dilute it if you use regular white vinegar. 

4. Pick a sunny day to spray weeds

Before applying vinegar on a day, ensure it will get at least a few hours of direct sunlight for hastening the drying strength of vinegar. Apply it after the morning so that the weeds may get maximum sunlight. If the rain unexpectedly falls after your application mostly, you will have to apply it for the second time.

5. Spray directly onto the weeds

By using a spray bottle or pump sprayer, completely douse the weeds that you want to destroy. Cover the foliage parts and spray around the roots area. After 24 hours, if you can’t satisfy, respray a second time. 

6. Avoid applying vinegar to desirable plants

Before spraying vinegar on weeds, make sure it doesn’t fall to your desirable plants because it also kills flowers and ornamental plants. Spraying vinegar isn’t the right option for applying to the garden or flower beds. 

7. Clean the sprayer out after you end

If you keep the sprayer for a long time without cleaning it, it can erode your sprayer. Make sure to rinse your sprayer carefully every time after use. Remove the excess vinegar and fill up the sprayer with water for cleaning the hose and nozzle, pump and spray the water. 

Method 2: Killing the tough weeds

1. Buy 20% concentrated horticulture vinegar. Buy horticulture vinegar from the garden center or pesticide shops in your local area. Ensure extra caution, such as wearing gloves, masks, and goggles before spraying stronger vinegar.

  • Apply horticulture vinegar if regular doesn’t work. 
  • Be aware of falling it on your skin as it causes burn due to the higher concentration of acetic acid.

2. Add dish soap. Add around a teaspoon (5ml) per litre of vinegar to your pump sprayer or bottle. The dish soap will assist the vinegar in attaching to the weed and shorten runoff. 

  • Smoothly stir the soap into the vinegar, but avoid shaking the bottle too much.
  • It isn’t essential to accurately measure the dish soap; take an amount close to a teaspoon per litre.

3. Affix 2 cups of table salt to a gallon of vinegar. Though salt can’t affect all weeds, it may dry out some weeds quicker than ordinary vinegar. Add 2 cups (473 ml) of salt per gallon (3.8 L) of vinegar. You may add it to the mixture that contains dish soap before. Use inexpensive table salt instead of Epsom salt, rock salt, or sea salt.

  • Salt usually remains in the soil for a few days and creates a long-term effect on healthy plant life. So, before applying to the desired area where you want to plant again, it would be better to skip the salt.
  • On the other hand, where you want to impede future growth, the salt will help you do that. 
  • It is really urgent to rinse the sprayer you used to add salt as it can clog up the parts and corrode the sprayer. 

Recipes for Vinegar As A Weed Killer

There are various recipes applied by gardeners to kill the weed. It relies on your own opinion and experience, which will be better for you according to your requirement. Some of the recipes are given below. 

  • Vinegar alone- undiluted 10% containing vinegar can be an efficient weed killer. 
  • Vinegar and soap- Add one teaspoon of soap per gallon of vinegar to get full strength. This mixture can double the reaction of pesticides. Before being aware of it doesn’t fall on your desirable plants as it can also kill them. 
  • Vinegar, soap, and salt- Mix one cut of table salt, one teaspoon of liquid soap per gallon of vinegar. Be careful about its dangerous effect. 
  • Vinegar and lemon juice- Many people think mixing lemon juice in vinegar increases its effectiveness for killing weeds as it boosts up its acidity levels. Add one teaspoon to one cup lemon juice per gallon vinegar to make an effective recipe.
  • Vinegar and an essential oil-One tablespoon of essential oil of clove and orange mix with full-strength vinegar. Gardeners say that these oils assist in attaching the oil into the weeds and do the best job.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Do You Mix With White Vinegar to Kill Weeds?

A cup of table salt and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap to a gallon of white vinegar.

Does White Vinegar Kill Weeds Permanently?

The straight answer is no. Vinegar kills most broadleaf weeds. However, it kills the leaves before they reach the roots, so they may return rapidly.

What Is the Ratio of Vinegar to Water for Killing Weeds?

Four parts vinegar to one part water.

What Is the Formula for Weed Killer Using Vinegar?

1 cup of salt. 1 tablespoon of dish soap. 1 gallon of vinegar.

Can I Pour Straight Vinegar on Weeds?

Yes, you can, but it works best along with dish soap.

How Does Vinegar Kill Weeds?

Vinegar causes a rapid burn to weed tissue of susceptible species.

How Many Days Does It Take Vinegar to Kill Weeds?

5- and 10-per cent dosages destroyed weeds in their first two weeks.

How Long Does Vinegar Last in Soil?

Vinegar is an acid that breaks down quickly in soil and won’t change pH for more than a few days. Pouring high-concentration vinegar on soil could last more than a month.

Does White Vinegar Damage Soil?

The straight answer is no. It could last a few days to a month.

Final Thought

Hopefully, your journey has become enjoyable and informative about what you are expecting from this article. Use vinegar as a natural and effective pesticide according to your requirement. For killing tiny, annual weeds, use regular vinegar, and use horticulture vinegar for tough weeds. Before spraying, ensure your own safety and follow the instructions, primarily when you use horticulture vinegar.

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Jeffrey Bromley
Jeffrey Bromley

Jeffrey Bromley is an experienced lawn care professional with over 13 years in the industry. He is the owner of The Lawn & Landscape Company and the founder of Lawn Gardeners Blog. His passion for lawn care extends beyond his business ventures, with a personal commitment to helping individuals take better care of their yards.

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