Finding the Best Weed Killer without worrying about that long ingredient list can be daunting. See my DIY Weed Killer mix here.
We are in full swing with gardening here in Oklahoma. We usually have to wait till after Easter- per the old gardening advice- to plant flowers and veggies.
Prior to that we run the risk of a late spring freeze. When we finally are able to plant, we spend a lot of our time outdoors. One of the first things on the to-do list is rid the yard of those weeds.
Why Do You Need A Weed Killer?
Of course weeds are a nuisance to lawns, flower beds and vegetable gardens alike, so we had to share our Best Weed Killer DIY that WORKS!
There are a lot of mixes and “recipes” online, but finding one that works can be a lot of trial and error. Unfortunately with gardening, we don’t have a lot of extra time to wait on those weeds to die off. It’s important to have a weed killer that works within 1-2 treatments.
Weed killer can save you a lot of time in the garden, if you have a working product.
If you are not able to spend a lot of time in the garden for physical reasons, or are just busy with daily life, weed killer can make this part of gardening so much easier.
As I mentioned, we have a large vegetable garden and due to my husband’s health, it’s not possible to spend hours upon hours weeding and cleaning by hand. However, if we go over the yard with a weed killer first, pulling weeds is quicker and a much more tolerable chore.
One word of caution, since we are talking about a garden here. Be careful to use weed killers prior to planting. Just like when the landscapers come along and pre-treat lawns, ideally you are going to be killing weeds long before your beautiful plants show up.
If you already have plants in the garden, target the weeds with your weed killer closely to ensure no extra mix lands on the plants. The last thing you want to do is kill part of a plant too!
Another tip is to actually use this weed killer prior to mowing. It’s very tempted to mow these weeds down to the ground before dealing with them, but using a weed killer first can be much more effective.
How to Make the Best Weed Killer
There is a lot of information out there on commercial weed killers. You can look up where many commercial products rate on how they affect the environment here. To each their own on this one- but at home we prefer to use non-toxic and all natural products when possible. Not only for us, but to try to do our best to take care of our local environment.
As always, you will also need a spray bottle and label. Even if the ingredients are not necessarily toxic by themselves, ANY time you make a household product you should label for safety reasons. We do not have kids at home, but always lock up your DIY mixes and treat just as other household and lawn care products, if there is any chance kids or pets could reach them. This weed killer can be put in a large 1 gallon Sprayer if that’s what you use.
Best Weed Killer- Step 1:
When you are ready to mix up your recipe, heat up the vinegar. It does not have to be boiling.
Disclaimer: Depending upon your sensitivity to chemicals and scents, you may also want to take a moment to don some plastic gloves and a face mask before prepping this recipe. You will be heating up the vinegar on the stove, so the odor can be very strong. Do this ideally with lots of ventilation, like open windows and your vent hood turned on. Use protective eye-wear to prevent the steam from irritating your eyes, if you are prone to irritation.
You are going to add the Epsom salt and dissolve by stirring. The vinegar just needs to be a light simmer, not a full boil.
If you make a lot of Homemade cleaners, mixes and more, you probably already have Epsom Salt in the house. If not, try to invest in a large bag since most DIY natural product recipes call for a large amount of salt.
Also, if this is the first time you’ve made this, a good word of advice is to not substitute for any other kinds of salt you might have around. Salt crystals vary a lot, and another product will give you completely differing results.
After the salt is dissolved, remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Then, add the Dawn Dish Detergent.
You will need the original Dawn Dish soap -or an off brand like I have here. There is not a difference brand-wise, so you can use what you already have available. I do recommend avoiding scented dish detergents here.
Adding to Sprayers:
You will need to allow this mixture to cool a lot before using a funnel and adding to your spray bottle. If you are accustomed to making your own homemade cleaners, you probably already have a glass spray bottle.
I use these when possible but it’s not entirely necessary. You can mix up three recipes and add to a one-gallon sprayer if that’s what you use.
I did not actually use these glass bottles for this DIY Weed Killer- but here is a picture of what I have on hand at the house to add mixes to. I thoroughly wash it out between uses of course.
The tops are actually disposable, and you can order them on Amazon.
The Finished Product!
As you can see, this weed killer worked great! Yes the lawn is a bit shorter too, the lawn people actually showed up to mow right in the middle of us doing this post- so disregard the amount of grass.
You can see where the weeds are, and all are looking sickly or have already died. Much better than that yard full of clover we had going on! Check out the recipe and print blow to keep it handy.
Print Your DIY Instructions Here
- 4 cups White Vinegar
- 2 cups Epsom Salt
- 1/4 cup Dawn Dish soap
- Sauce Pan
- Measuring Pitcher
- Large Spray Bottle or Weed Sprayer Container, clean and dry.
- Rubber Gloves
Heat vinegar on stove in a sauce pan, over medium heat. No need to come to a boil.
Add 2 cups of Epsom Salt
Whisk over heat until salt is fully dissolved.
Add Dawn Dish Soap to your sprayer or spray bottle.
After cooled, SLOWLY pour in the vinegar mixture into the spray bottle, on top of the Dawn detergent.
Pour slowly to avoid suds from the Dawn dish detergent.
After you are done adding the Vinegar and Salt mixture, close lid and gently rotate the bottle to help mix the products. Do not shake.
Allow to sit to let suds dissipate before spraying on weeds.
Label product and keep away from pets and children. Apply close to weeds, avoiding surrounding grass and plants. It's best to apply prior to mowing.