Did you know that you can use vinegar to kill weeds? Weird but true. The acidity in vinegar (the same kind you use in your vinaigrettes) can miraculously kill weeds outside, too. It’s the ultimate non-toxic weed killer without chemical exposure.
Traditional weed killers are full of really nasty chemicals that not only kill living plants, but can harm your health, too. (See related post – Three Free Ways to a Healthy Home) These nasty products don’t just stay outside where you spray them. They can venture into your home on your shoes, your pets and even on your children if they’ve been playing where weed killers have been applied.
For a healthy home, use vinegar to kill weeds. After all, it’s used in food. So you don’t have to worry about what’s in it.
Here’s some helpful hints on how to use vinegar to kill weeds:
The acidity in vinegar will kill weeds and any other plant it’s applied to. You want to use it as just a spot treatment. Vinegar is not a selective weed killer, meaning that it won’t just kill weeds but leaves grass living.
It’s perfect for those annoying weeds that pop up among brick patios and walkways where no other vegetation exists.
You can use traditional white vinegar from the grocery store which has an acidity level of about 5%.
Most people use white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can be used in a pinch, but some are concerned about it staining surfaces.
Apply vinegar in the heat of the day to really bake those weeds. The power of the sun is what makes vinegar’s acid really work to kill weeds. Applying with no sun exposure doesn’t really work well.
Vinegar will kill the weed on the surface. The dead part – as with any weed killer toxic or non-toxic – will remain behind to eventually disintegrate.
Be careful about applying vinegar to surfaces that might stain or be damaged by acid. I have applied vinegar to paving bricks and noticed a lightening of the brick surface. However, after a day or two the surface looked normal again.
Consider stronger vinegar – such as 20% acidity. These specialty vinegars can be bought online or in specialty stores (I found some in a German food store). With the higher acidity, you DO have to be careful about applying it and exposure to skin, eyes and inhalation. It’s still natural, but it’s a super concentrated acid. This stuff works great, though. It’s 4X more effective than the kitchen vinegar.
Use a spray applicator just like you would a weed killer. I have poured the vinegar inside a clean weed sprayer (a brand new one that has never housed other liquids or substances which might have an adverse effect when residues are mixed together) to spray down a rock driveway.