7 Homemade Weed Killers That are Safe Around Children & Pets

Homemade weed killer: If gardening is something that you enjoy, then there’s a good chance that you hate weeds as much as the next guy! After all, who wants those creepy crawlers ruining the beauty of your garden. The worst thing about them is they spread quickly, with no way to inhibit their growth. While commercial weed killers do exist, most of them come packed with strong chemicals that could harm your plants. This is where the need for safe, homemade weed killer arise.

Most of the common weeds can be either food, medicine or unwanted visitors, depending on the varieties and how you choose to look at them.  Strong chemical herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides end up doing more harm than good, specifically to our drinking water, groundwater and surface water. Thus, it is important to take into consideration the long-term effects of them before using them in our gardens.  

Homemade weed killer
Homemade weed killer

Pulling weeds by hand is not always easy or practical, as they’re pesky and determined to pop back up, spreading in no time. If you’re looking for more natural ways to control them that don’t include harsh chemicals and are safer with children and pets, here is a list of homemade weed killer recipes for you to try out.

7 Homemade Weed Killers That are Safe Around Children & Pets

1. Dihydrogen monoxide (Water)

This homemade herbicide is by far one of the simplest to prepare. Also, it is the least harmful to both people and the environment. Dihydrogen monoxide is essentially water and the use of boiling water is a highly effective method to get rid of weeds. This is especially legit if you’re looking to kill weeds in places such as the sidewalk or driveway or any larger area.

For this remedy:

  • Bring a big pot of water and boil it on your stove.
  • Pour this over the leaves and stems of the weeds you wish to get rid of.

Caution: Keep in mind that you need to use this only on the plants that you wish to get rid of, lest you end up with no garden at all!

Related: How to get rid of gophers from your garden?

2. Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride, or common table salt as we know it, is an effective homemade weed killer. It’s important to understand that salt can have a detrimental effect in the soil. So, be careful when you use it because if you apply it to your plants, you’re going to be sorry! Apply it directly onto the weeds and not on the soil or garden beds.

For this remedy:

  • Dissolve 1 part salt in 8 parts hot water.
  • Add a small amount of liquid dish soap to this.
  • Pour this into a spray bottle.
  • Cover or tie back any nearby plants you don’t want to get rid of.
  • Spray the leaves of the weeds with the solution.
  • Be careful to not soak the soil.
  • Multiple applications may be necessary.

Related: How to get rid of chipmunks without killing them?

3. Vinegar

Applying white vinegar to weed leaves kills them immediately, making room in your yard for more desirable plants. The white vinegar that is available in grocery stores is about 5% acetic acid, which is strong enough for a majority of the weeds, although an industrial strength version (up to 20% acetic acid) is also available in many garden supply stores.

For this remedy

  • Spray the vinegar onto the leaves of the weeds.
  • Be careful that you do not apply it on the plants you wish to keep as well as the soil.

Note: Repeated applications might be necessary. The addition of a little liquid dish detergent might improve the effectiveness of this homemade herbicide.

Related: Easy ways to get rid of ladybugs without harming them

4. Bleach

Bleach is excellent for not only removing stains but also as a natural weed killer. The chemicals present in bleach destroys weeds.  Be sure to spray on only the weeds and nothing else as you could end up doing more harm than good. Try to use the bleach as soon as you procure it as it loses potency with time.

For this remedy:

  • Pour some bleach into a spray bottle.
  • Spray this on the weeds you wish to eradicate.

Note: The major drawback of using bleach as a weed killer is that you won’t be able to grow any other plant in the treated area as it increases the pH level of the soil for some time to come.

Related: How to get rid of crickets naturally?

5. Orange oil

Orange oil is another great way to eliminate the weeds that are lurking around every nook and cranny of your beautiful garden.

For this remedy:

  • Pour a gallon of white vinegar in a large pail.
  • Add two ounces of liquid dishwashing detergent to this.
  • Also, add orange oil to this solution.
  • Mix well and pour this into a spray bottle.
  • Ensure that you spray the weeds completely with this solution.
  • Repeat this process every two or three days to get rid of weeds completely.

Remedy II

  • Add a tablespoon of citrus oil to full strength vinegar.
  • Spray this on the weeds.

Related: Get rid of termites with easy home remedies

6. Dish soap

Dish soap is another popular homemade weed killer. It has the ability to somewhat block the pores of the wings and kill them in return. Follow these remedies to get rid of weed fast. 

Remedy I

  • Mix equal parts of dish soap and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray this solution in order to prevent the weed growth in your garden.

Remedy II

  • Mix dish soap liquid with vinegar.
  • Spray this mixture on the weeds during the hottest part of the day.

Remedy III

  • To one-quarter of vinegar, add two tablespoons of dish detergent and one-quarter salt.
  • Pour this into a spray bottle.
  • Spray this onto the weeds to get rid of them.

Related: Home remedies to get rid of wasps

7. Borax Powder

Who would have ever though? Apparently you can also use the cleaning agent borax to kill the weeds in your garden. However, while using this remedy, make sure that the soil doesn’t soak in on this solution, as this will make the soil infertile. Also, avoid skin contact with the solution.

For this remedy:

  • Dilute borax powder with water.
  • Spray the solution on the leaves of weed to destroy them.

Hopefully, these home remedies come in handy the next time you want to zap those pesky weeds. Keep in mind that you want to use the homemade weed killer on the weeds, and not your wonderful plants.

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