Can You Use Vinegar and Salt to Kill Weeds?

Published on: June 26, 2022
Bottles of vinegar on a table in the garden.

The nemesis of anyone who wants to a grow a lush lawn or healthy garden is weeds. Whether its dandelions or crab grass, weeds can quickly take over a yard and ruin a beautiful lawn or garden. If you want to kill weeds naturally, you can use both vinegar and salt to kill weeds instead of using herbicides.

How to Kill Weeds with Salt

If you have heard the saying, “Salt of the Earth,” it refers to one of the basic properties of salt. While salt is a natural mineral, it can be deadly to plants. Sodium chloride is the common form of salt that is used for cooking in both iodized and non-iodized forms, and both can be used for killing weeds.

It is important to understand that sodium chloride will kill weeds, but it can also kill your grass, flowers or other plants. When learning how to kill weeds with salt, you must remember that the same solution that kills weeds may destroy other plants you want to thrive. Here are the steps to using salt to kill weeds:

  • Mix a solution of one part salt and two part water into a spray bottle
  • Spray the solution directly on the leaves of the weeds, not the roots
  • Avoid spraying surrounding plants or soil
  • Rinse surrounding ground with water to prevent salt from harming nearby plants

You can make the solution stronger if the area you are treating does not have plants nearby. You can make a thicker solution for placement between pavers to eliminate weeds or grass – if strong enough, it can prevent future growth of weeds as well.

How Long Does It Take for Salt to Kill Weeds?

Many weeds can be killed with one application. A strong dose of salt mixed in water can kill weeds in about 10 days. If you are using a weaker solution to avoid harming nearby plants, you may need to apply the saltwater two or three times, waiting several days between applications.

When using sodium chloride or table salt to kill weeds, you do run the risk of harming other plants. It may not be a good solution for weeds in the yard or in full gardens, as the salt may kill your grass or other plants. There are other options, like rock salt to kill weeds, Epsom salt and vinegar that can be effective.

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Rock Salt to Kill Weeds

Rock salt is similar to table salt, just not refined into crystals. The larger chunks of rock salt are usually grayish in appearance and this form of sodium chloride can be cost-effective when bought in bulk. Like table salt, rock salt is effective at killing weeds, but it can also be detrimental to surrounding plants.

When using rock salt to kill weeds, you can sprinkle the salt directly on the weeds or use a water solution. Rock salt can be sprinkled in between pavers or cracks in concrete to kills weeds and prevent new weeds from forming. It can also be dissolved in water with a 1:2 ratio and sprayed on weeds like table salt.

Epsom Salt to Kill Weeds

Epsom salt is a different chemical than rock or table salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, which is used for fertilizer and medical treatment. It may seem odd to use Epsom salt to kill weeds when it is also used to feed plants, but that is one of the benefits of using Epsom salt versus sodium chloride or table salt.

Epsom salt can be mixed with vinegar, water and dish soap to make an effective weed killer. Epsom salt and water alone are not nearly as effective as some weeds may flourish from the fertilizing effects. However, when used as a mixture, it can kill weeds while offering fertilization benefits for the nearby plants.

Vinegar and Salt to Kill Weeds

Vinegar is another non-chemical option for killing weeds. Vinegar, either household or horticultural, can be sprayed on the leaves of weeds for elimination. When used alone, vinegar works best to kill weeds during the summer months, as it dries out the weeds in the sun. However, it can also be used with salt.

When you mix vinegar and salt to kill weeds, you get a powerful, non-chemical herbicide. You can add two cups of salt to a gallon of vinegar to create your solution. Adding a tablespoon of dish soap is helpful to make the solution stick to the weeds when you spray them.
A person spraying plants with a eco-friendly weed killer.
Like salt alone, when you use vinegar and salt to kill weeds, it can also kill nearby plants. It should be used sparingly in gardens or lawns as the salt and vinegar can harm the Ph balance of the soil.

If you want to use vinegar and salt to kill weeds, it can be a cost-effective option without the danger of harmful chemicals. However, beware of overusing near your lawn or garden to avoid affecting your landscaped areas.

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