When looking for a natural alternative to herbicides, a vinegar cocktail along with other ingredients has all the necessary properties to quickly kill weeds. Next you will learn how to create a natural homemade herbicide that saves money and improves the health and quality of plants.

Spring is a busy season for home gardeners. It’s time to start sweeping up clumps of leaves, removing protective winter wraps, inspecting plants for damage, fertilizing trees and plants, pruning shrubs, and of course pulling weeds.

Once the seeds to produce or the flowers have been chosen and planted, maintenance begins. This involves watering, harvesting, and naturally fighting those weeds. The battle against herbs doesn’t really end. Therefore, it is important to choose your weapon wisely.

Much of the appeal of homegrown products is that they are hormone and chemical free, but that could depend on the herbicide used.

Strong chemical herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides can contribute to water pollution. Commercial herbicides can contaminate not only groundwater but also soil, as well as garden insects, pollinators, and other wildlife around the garden.

This can also adversely affect pets and children. Other problems may be that they are irritating to the respiratory tract, skin and eyes. A common ingredient in these herbicides is glyphosate, which is supposedly linked to causing cancer.

How to use a natural herbicide based on vinegar

Vinegar-based herbicides work by drawing out moisture and essentially drying out weeds. These can successfully kill weeds, including:

  • Dandelion 
  • Canadian thistle
  • Chickweed
  • Greater plantain
  • Grama
  • Ash (Texas sage)
  • Digital
  • Amaranth)
  • Creeper (perennial morning glory)

One of the ways vinegar works is by lowering the pH of the soil, so be aware that it can also harm healthy plants. That is the main disadvantage of some natural herbicides like this one. To avoid destroying the greenery and flowers that you do want, here are some tips:

  • Use tarps to protect plants you don’t want to damage
  • Avoid using this natural herbicide when it is raining or windy outside
  • It may be necessary to apply the herbicide several times in case the weeds continue to grow
  • Not all homemade herbicides are the same. You may need to try different versions to get the desired effect.

The ingredients in this homemade herbicide are inexpensive and can even be in your own pantry. If you don’t have them, the total will still be cheaper than another herbicide bought in a natural store.

Plus, this natural homemade herbicide is completely toxin-free and safe to spray around pets and children without worrying about harsh chemicals being inhaled.

All-natural homemade herbicide


  • 1 gallon or 3.8 liters of white vinegar (5% acetic acid)
  • ¼ cup natural dish soap
  • 2 cups Epsom salt (can be substituted with regular salt)


  1. Prepare a gallon container and spray bottle to apply the herbicide.
  2. Pour the salt into the container.
  3. Add the vinegar and mix together with the salt. Let it sit for about an hour for the salt to dissolve.
  4. Add the dish soap and mix until all the ingredients are combined and pour the mixture into the spray bottle.

A little note about dish soap

You will often find dish soap in herbicides like this one. While the soap itself doesn’t kill weeds, it is used in the formula as a binder to help the active ingredients adhere to their targets.

Acetic acid and salt are responsible for drying the leaves, which makes the plant unable to produce food. This is what causes weeds to die.

Additional tips:

  • Weeds can take up to 24 hours to completely die, and larger weeds may require more sprays than smaller ones.
  • Be careful not to spray the grass or plants around the weeds as this herbicide will also kill them. 
  • It is best to use this homemade herbicide on sunny days, as the sun helps accelerate weed death once sprayed.

You don’t need potentially toxic chemicals to have a weed-free garden. This homemade herbicide is effective and inexpensive. Give him an oportunity!

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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