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.
5 from 238 votes

Homemade Weed Killer

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.
Servings: 1 gallon
Prep: 5 minutes
Rest Time (to Dissolve Salt): 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 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.

Last Step:

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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.


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60 comments on “How to Make 3-Ingredient Natural Weed Killer”

    1. Thanks Janet. I would say yes you could experiment with diluting somewhat, but over diluting with water will make it less effective.

  1. 5 stars
    This really worked. I actually heated the vinegar up on the stove until it was luke warm and the Epsom salt dissolved quickly. Then I added the soap to the spray bottle and went to work. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Linda. While I wouldn’t think it would be safe for them to eat, it is safer than store bought chemical weed killer.

  2. 5 stars
    OMG!!! Weeds were DEAD in hours! I saw this recipe and lived that i had everything on hand already. I had been thinking about killing weeds on my little DIY patio but didn’t want to go with chemicals. I made it up, luckily i had saved an empty Mrs. Meyers spray bottle…. Sprayed the weeds in the cracks after breakfast. It was a sunny warm day here in Western Washington. I checked on them in the afternoon and couldn’t believe my . DEAD snd dried out. I did a happy dance and then bragged to my hubby!! Sharing it with everyone! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Big hugs and God Bless!

  3. 4 stars
    It has to be applied a couple times to kill the roots if the have a good root system. It amazes me how quickly weeds can return. At least this mixture isn’t going to cause us cancer.

  4. 5 stars
    The best weed DIY killer. My son owns his own landscape company with multi million dollar homes & this is what he also uses on his clients homes. It’s the best!!

  5. Avatar photo
    Becky Klepper

    Ever since I found this recipe, I can’t stop using it. It does the job till Monson comes in but that’s okay, it still works. 

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

  6. Avatar photo
    C. Houdeshell

    5 stars
    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 weeds

  7. 5 stars
    use this recipe every year works great for killing weeds. will try the cornmeal in the flower bed this year.

    1. 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?

  8. Avatar photo
    Jason T DUNLAP

    5 stars
    I have all these gradients and some grass along the fence I need to kill without killing the neighbors dog thank you very much