Weeds are the enemy in almost any yard or flower bed. However, methods of dealing with them differ from household to household. Because of the harm manufactured chemicals may cause, many homeowners use recipes they can assemble at home to make their own weed killer spray to use in the yard. A number of household products will do the trick, but sometimes, safely combining a few methods will yield better results than one single recipe can provide.
Homemade Weed Killers
A number of products you probably have in your house can be used to take care of weed problems. In fact, even boiling water can take care of stubborn weeds growing in the cracks of sidewalks or driveways. The most popular ingredients to use to kill weeds are salt, vinegar and bleach.
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Salt will kill plants through dehydration and can make the soil in that area unsuitable for use depending on how much you use. Small amounts should deal with weeds and wash away after rain or with the use of a hose, with little to no permanent impact. Vinegar, which is an acid, can be sprayed onto weeds to kill their leaves, which makes the plants easier to permanently remove. Bleach, which is a base, will kill any plant on which it's sprayed within a matter of days.
Recipe for Weed Killer With Bleach
You can create a weed killer spray that uses bleach, salt and dish soap. If you choose to use salt, bleach and dish soap, first dissolve the salt in water at a ratio of 1 cup salt to 2 cups water. If you're using 2 cups of water, add anywhere from 1/2 cup to 2 cups of bleach depending on the number of weeds.
Be careful adding the bleach and protect yourself from accidental exposure. This mixture can then be added to a spray bottle for easy application. This mixture can kill plants surrounding your weeds in addition to the weeds, however, so be sure to limit the area of application.
If at all possible, use barrier and removal methods before applying chemicals, even ones you can find at home, like bleach. Keeping a garden free of harsh chemicals is better for surrounding plants and for the animals that live nearby.
Important Safety Considerations for Bleach
It's extremely important to never mix vinegar and bleach or bleach and ammonia together. If combined, they create a toxic gas that can make you severely ill or can even kill you. If you're thinking about mixing products to create the ultimate weed killer, always avoid that combination.
In addition, you must understand that bleach is a toxic, dangerous chemical. Many people seem to prefer bleach as a more natural alternative to manufactured products sold in stores, but even household products can be dangerous to users and to the environment. If you use too much of any one of these household alternatives, you will scorch your yard and garden.
A small amount of dish soap can be added to any homemade weed-killing cocktail. Dish soap alone will not kill weeds. Its job is to help the mixture adhere to weeds, which makes it more effective. A few drops added to a spray bottle will keep your solution of choice where it needs to be.
Salt, Vinegar and Dish Soap
Though technically all substances are chemicals, using salt, vinegar and dish soap may seem like a nonchemical weed killer. In a recipe like this, proportions are relative, but some generalizations can be made.
A bulk recipe can be made from a gallon of vinegar, 2 cups of salt and about 1/4 cup of Dawn dish soap or a similar product. However, if you're having trouble getting the salt to dissolve, you may want to boil some water first and dissolve the salt in that. For every cup of salt, boil 2 cups of water and stir well until the salt dissolves.
You can then add vinegar at a ratio of 1:1 vinegar to water (or even 2:1 or higher depending on the size of the container you have). The dish soap's measurement doesn't have to be accurate. Shake the mixture (when cooled) in a spray bottle and apply as needed.