Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

How to Make 3-Ingredient Natural Weed Killer

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Do you hate having weeds pop up in your pathways, but also hate using harsh chemicals? Well, worry no more! We have found an easy Homemade Weed Killer that works like a charm and is so simple to make. All you need are 3 simple pantry ingredients!

A bottle of white vinegar, a small container of dish detergent, and a large bag of epsom salt are arranged side by side on an outdoor table. Shrubbery and a cast-iron outdoor chair are in the background.

An Easy Homemade Weed Killer with No Harsh Chemicals

Caring for a yard and garden can be extremely satisfying—but it can also be a lot of work. If you have sidewalks, garden pathways, or other areas that are prone to pesky little weeds, this post is for you! Say goodbye to harsh, smelly, and toxic weed sprays: this one uses ordinary kitchen ingredients and is perfectly safe to use around children and pets. You don’t have to worry about fumes, either, or about polluting the ground or water supply!

The easiest way to use homemade weed killer is to put it in a large spray bottle or even a pump sprayer. From there, you can use it to spritz any annoying weeds that are popping up in the wrong place. However, keep in mind that it’s non-selective, meaning that it will kill flowers and veggies as well as weeds! So while it’s great for keeping the grasses out of your gravel walkway, it’s not a good candidate for killing weeds in your flower border, herb garden, or anywhere else with plants you want to keep.

What You’ll Need

This 3-ingredient homemade weed killer is very easy to make and use. The best part is that it truly works! And there are no harsh chemicals or toxic ingredients. All you need are three simple items:

  • Vinegar: For one batch of weed killer, you’ll need a gallon container of white vinegar.
  • Dish Soap: Any ordinary dish detergent (not dishwasher detergent or tabs) will do.
  • Salt: You can use regular table salt, or use Epsom salt. Either one will work!
The ingredients (vinegar, dish soap, salt) for natural weed killer.

How to Make Homemade Weed Killer

You can mix this weed killer directly in the spray bottle you plan to use it in, or just in a large glass or plastic container with a lid.

Dissolve the Salt in the Vinegar. First, pour the salt into your container, and add the vinegar. Shake the salt and vinegar together. It’s best to let this mixture sit for an hour or so, to let the salt completely dissolve.

Add the Dish Soap. Next, add the dish soap. Shake again, gently. Once all the ingredients are combined, you are ready to spray your weeds!

Does Natural Weed Killer Really Work?

It really does! Essentially, this homemade weed killer is excellent at drying up the weeds’ foliage. Both vinegar and salt go to work drying up the moisture in the weeds, while the dish soap acts as a surfactant, preventing the plants’ natural barriers from repelling the weed killer.

For best results, make sure to use this natural weed killer on a sunny day. Sun helps dry out the weeds, while a rainy or damp day would decrease the weed killer’s effectiveness.

After you spray the weeds, it may take up to 24 hours for them to completely die. Bigger weeds may need multiple treatments.

Bonus Tip: Cornmeal Gluten for Weed Prevention!

According to Friendly Organics Canada, there appears to be good evidence showing that cornmeal gluten works well as a weed preventer. So while it won’t kill existing weeds, it may be a great, natural way to prevent weeds from sprouting up, without the threat of toxic chemicals!

The ingredients (vinegar, dish soap, salt) for natural weed killer.

Homemade Weed Killer

Published By Jill
Do you hate weeds, but also hate harsh chemicals? Worry no more! This natural, toxin-free weed killer actually works, and it's made with just 3 simple ingredients.
5 from 220 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Rest Time (to Dissolve Salt) 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Servings 1 gallon


  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dish soap
  • 2 cups Epsom salt or regular salt


  • Pour salt into your container.
  • Add the vinegar.
  • Shake the salt and vinegar together. (It is best to let it sit for an hour or so, to let the salt completely dissolve.)
  • Add the dish soap.
  • Shake again until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Pour into a spray bottle.


It may take up to 24 hours to see the weeds completely die. Bigger weeds may need multiple treatments.
This spray is best for gravel areas, walkways, etc. Avoid using in flower beds, herb and vegetable gardens, and other areas with plants you want to protect, because the spray will kill the plants as well as the weeds.
For best results, use the spray on a sunny day. The sun will help to dry out the weeds, while a damp or rainy day will make the spray less effective.
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenfunwithmy3sons or tag #kitchenfunwithmy3sons!

about me


I am a mom of 3 awesome boys that love to get crafty with me in the kitchen. Our blog is full of all sorts creative food ideas for the Holidays, Party Ideas, Free Printables, Featured DIY Ideas, Recipes, & Kids Craft Ideas! Read more...

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Has to be used in direct sunlight about 80

Do you mean it needs to be 80 degrees out?  How low can the temps be for this to work?  Can I spray now when temps get very low at night?

use this recipe every year works great for killing weeds. will try the cornmeal in the flower bed this year.5 stars

Excited to try this, thanks.

I have used this recipe for several years because of my grandchildren and pets that are outside. It works very well. I’ve seen post saying it doesn’t work, that’s never been the Case for me. I sometimes have only sprayed twice in a whole summer and the weeds will be gone until almost early summer the following yr. Do that tomorrow I live on a small farm and I have a lot of weeds5 stars

Will it kill shrubs

It works but be patient.  It may take more than one or two applications5 stars

How soon after weeds die can I put plants in that spot ? Or can I ever make a flower bed in that spot ?


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