How To Make your Own Weed Killer

How To Make Your Own Weed Killer -

Over the last few months I have had an unbelievable response to the Weed Killer I posted using Vinegar, and Dawn Dish Soap. 

I wanted to remind you that not only can you fight soap scum in your bathroom with Vinegar, you can also use it to kill those weeds in your front yard.  We have use this, and it WORKS for us. 

Some of you have mentioned it not working – I sprayed my driveway and front yard (the NON-Grassy parts) before we left for Minnesota on the 3rd of April – I sprayed that night before we left, at 7 or 8 pm, and the weeds are GONE right now – 2 weeks later.  

So we have been successful with it – I give my kids the assignment of sprinkling the salt (just because they are always bored) and then I go back behind them and spray with the sprayer.

Homemade Weed Killer can be made with a variety of combinations:

  • ONLY Vinegar
  • Vinegar + Blue Dawn Dish Soap
  • Vinegar + Lemon (great if you have a lemon tree)
  • Vinegar + Essential Oil

Using Vinegar ALONE is just as effective as using it with Dish Soap; however, if you wish to combine with Dish Soap use 1 Tbsp (1 oz) per Gallon of Vinegar… I prefer blue Dawn, you might feel like the purple strikes a chord with you.

I find that Costco & Fry’s are the best places to buy Vinegar – 1 Gallon is $2.29 at Fry’s (Versus $5.50 at Safeway for the generic brand).

You can use any multipurpose spray bottles but some will be better than others, we used an inexpensive version from a local hardware store.

Alternatively, combine Vinegar with Lemon Juice (as lemon increases acidity so it’ll thus increase the effectiveness of the solution).

OR, you can combine Vinegar with Clove Essential Oil (see my post HERE on how to get started on Essential Oil) – it makes it a little easier to stick to the plants.  Some questions we had:

Can I use Apple Cider Vinegar

Yes – I have, in a pinch and yes it works just fine. 

How long does it keep?

I would suggest making enough to spray your yard – I haven’t ever kept large amounts for a long period of time to be able to tell you how long it lasts.

Does it Kill Grass?

Yes – so try to avoid spraying it on grass, and on places you wish to grow a garden because it will sterilize the soil.

Does it Affect Pets

As with anything you spray around your home, keep your pets away. 

What is the purpose of Table Salt?

The Table Salt works to provide a surface for the liquid to “stick” to. You are not required to sprinkle salt – but if you are anxiously worried that the solution isn’t “sticking” and sprinkling it makes you less anxious than go for it. Or, if you have kids, and you want to give them something to fight the “boredom” you can give them a container of Table Salt and tell them to go at it.

Can I Use Epsom Salt

I haven’t tried Epsom Salt, but salt in general is not a necessity. You can give it a try, let me know how it works. 


  • Peggy Johnston

    If this sterilizes the soil, then this is not good if I plan to sow grass seed?

  • Shelly Wooten

    salt kills grass too so I dissolve some in hot water and add it to my mix. Bleach is good for poison ivy but also kills any other vegetation so be careful where you put that as well.

    • Betty Whitmarsh

      thank you very much for this tip since my son is very sensitive to the poison ivy

  • Eileen

    Peggy, if you wait a period of time the soil will be good for planting flowers, grass, etc.

  • Virginia Ann Ullrich-Serna

    Epsom salt diluted is a fertilizer so do not use it to kill weeds.

  • Aaron Dunn

    I don’t need to spray my entire yard, just around my front porch. Any suggestions on how I should mix the vinegar and dawn?

  • Ray

    I use 1 gallon of white vinegar and 2 cups of Epsom salts and 1/4 cup of blue dawn dishwashing liquid. Weeds will be dead in 2 hours. a friend uses house salt and says it works just as well and is cheaper.

  • Gary Mustain

    I don’t know who wrote this but they are an idiot. The salt is NOT to “provide a surface for the vinegar to stick to”. Salt kills vegetation. The dish soap is a Surfacant and helps the vinegar stick to vegetation. The dish soap does nothing to actually kill vegetation, just a surfacant. Have you not ever heard of “Salting the earth”?