Homemade Weed Killer!

DIY Weed Killer Trick at TheFrugalGirls.com

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This fun gardening tip comes from frugal friend Julie, who shared it on The Frugal Girls Facebook page!

If you’ve been wanting a way to kill those pesky weeds without paying big bucks for harsh chemicals… here’s a great frugal alternative:  White Vinegar!

That’s it!  Simply fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, and spray generously on all parts of the weed ~ leaves and root area.

Don’t dillute ~ use full-strength vinegar, and spray earlier in the day when the weeds are in full sun.  {the hotter the day, the better!}  The combination of the vinegar, heat, and sunshine will make those stinky weeds shrivel up!

Be careful to spray only on the weeds you want to kill, and keep away from your grass and plants that you want to live! 😉

I put this to the test, and it really works!!

Here is a weed near my driveway…

Here is the weed near my driveway 1 minute after spraying with vinegar… {buh-bye, weed}

Here is the weed near my driveway 1 day after spraying with vinegar…

Wow ~ what a simple and thrifty Homemade Weed Killer!

And, the best part is… even my boys can spray weeds now {which, at least for now, they’re excited about this new duty!}  😉

Got a thrifty tip??

Leave a comment & share!!

See Also:
Easy Gardening Tips


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    • Becky says

      Heidi – love your helpful tips. Will the vinegar work on crabgrass? Are there any DIY cures for crabgrass? Thanks!

  1. says

    I am going to go try this right now! Got any home grown tips for killing slugs and earwigs? The slugs out here in WA are flippen huge..and they’re everywhere! And they are literally destroying my flower bed… any home grown tips for getting rid of them?

    • Dawn says

      I have heard, but don’t have a problem with slugs, that a water and salt mixture will kill them…but you would have to spray each one individually I would think. Not sure if that is helpful or not…but the salt causes them to dry up.

      • Chris says

        You can put dry salt directly on them. I used to get them at a house I lived at several years ago. I would go out with a handful of table salt and sprinkle it right on them (ok, more like making a frenzied toss…I hate slugs! ew!) and they would shrivel up before my eyes. Gross, but effective!

      • Mahala says

        To get rid of slugs all you need is salt! Just sprinkle a little on their backs and that’s it. You can even sprinkle some where they lay or common areas they are seen too.

      • Dee says

        You can also place crushed egg shells around the beds. When they try to slither in they get cut and die or they just stay away altogether. Or, I just thought of this… Try crushed egg shells mixed with salt! Hehehe that seems really devious.

        The sprinkling salt alone trick works well too, but that requires you to stand guard 24/7. Too high maintenance for me. :-)

    • Jewelly Shetka says

      Put out a flower pot dish with high sides and
      fill with beer. Put it where you see the most
      slugs and wait. Slugs love the smell of beer
      and will fall in and drowned…maybe they get
      drunk on the smell, fall in and drowned,
      don’t know. A slug will almost literly melt
      if sprinkled with salt.

    • says

      Plant some plants in your garden or flower bed that do not attract slugs. There are lots of flowers and bulbs that do not attract slugs and bugs/

    • marlena says

      I throw my used coffee grounds in the flowerbed. I cant see them, it helps the plants, and the best part…..slugs hate the grainy feeling! Win Win!

    • Barbara Narcis says

      For destroying slugs, pour some beer in a jar lid and leave it overnight where you see evidence of the slugs.The slugs will consume the beer and it stops them in their tracks. It works for me.

    • debby tyrrell says

      I hear that soapy water will kill earwigs and pennys are good to keep away slugs. Crushed egg shells in the garden will also help with slugs. I have not done it myself, but heard from others that they work. Good luck

    • Mary frame says

      If you have not tried putting beer out, try it. Slugs are bad in SC. Take a can of the cheapest beer you can find and pour it into several old shallow pie pan. The slugs are attracted to the beer like it is a magnet. They crawl into the pan and die. Let me know how you you do with it!

    • Stephanie says

      I lived in WA from 1977-1983….Pour salt directly on the slugs, they almost instantly dry up and die…..

    • says

      My father used to put out metal pie plates with beer in them — slugs dry out in the alcohol. He never had a drink in his life and bought beer for the first time for slugs.

    • Kristie says

      I use a mixture of ammonia, Murphy’s oil soap and water to kill slugs. Kills them in seconds and does no harm to my grass or plants. I just put about a cup of ammonia, couple tablespoons of the soap in a spray bottle and fill the rest of the way to the top with water. Go out in the morning when the slugs are heaviest and spray away. Couple of sprays, slug is dead. After I started doing this my slug population is not so huge. Love it!!

    • Julie says

      I’ve always heard to use beer, put in a dish & cover loosely with a clay pot, they smell the yeast & want it but drown instead. They like cool damp places!

    • Shari says

      I know this is a very late post but if you still need help with the slugs…..
      Diamatious earth is the very best thing to use for slugs…you sprinkle it under your plants and the slugs got through it and they are gonners. Diamatious earth is simply ground up shells so it is very safe to use.

    • Jill Arruda says

      save your eggshells. rinse them, then crush them and sprinkle around the plant base. good for the soil, and its slices those little buggers right up!

    • says

      Hi Melissa, I live in western PA, I have had a problem with slugs, UGH!…and I found that using any one of these works well to chase them away from your plants: table salt, ashes from any wood, sand. They cannot cross any of these, it burns their tummy! Keeps them away, re-apply as needed, the sand will stay longer, won’t dissolve with watering.

    • Liz says

      Make a cornmeal trap. Put a tablespoon or two of cornmeal in a jar and lay it on its side wherever there is slug activity. The slugs will be attracted to the scent, but the texture of the meal is too harsh and will kill them. Leave the jar out overnight or for several hours; when you spot the slugs in the jar, you can dispose of them permanently to remove them from your garden.

    • Danielle says

      If you use the suggested beer tip be sure to use deep slippery sided containers. One spring evening, my friend Marisa set out çontainers of beer to attract the slugs. It worked a charm! When she came out in the morning on her way to work there were dozens of slugs in the pots. Grossed out, Marisa decided to deal with the slugs when she got home later in the day. But when she returned from work the pots were dry. No beer and the slugs were all gone. Apparently they’d had their beer fest, crawled out of the containers that were to shallow, and gone home to sleep of hangovers.

    • says

      Killing slugs is easy – sprinkle a little salt on them. They will shrivel in front of your eyes! My grandma and I used to do it in her garden for a “fun time!” . . . Snails – all you have to do is break their shell. . .

      I saw a pin the other day about putting ground up eggshells around your plants to keep the slugs away, because they don’t like to climb over the rough eggshell. I put it out, and the birds came and ate the eggshells! Too funny!

  2. Binny says

    beer will kill slugs and snails.
    Just put a shallow dish near the plants, fill it with beer and they go in an drown themselves. It works!

    Salt works too but is yuckier

  3. Cheryl says

    I know salt works on slugs, but make sure you don’t put too much, I used to live where we had TONS of snails and I just sprinkled salt on them and they kinda foam up and die and it’s cheap too. I’m excited to try this out on my weeds, thanks so much for the tips!

  4. Lauren says

    One of my favorites; cleaning the bathroom Shower/tub:
    1/3 Your favorite laundry soap
    1/3 Water
    1/3 Vinegar

    in spray bottle

    I use this every few days in the shower before I get out, does a great job on cleaning and keeping the hard water gone!

    • Susie says

      I have been trying everything on my bat/shower and can’t get the hard water stains out. I am going to try this! Thanks!

  5. Danielle says

    Be careful. Vinegar will kill any plant. So use it sparingly around other desirable plants and where soil fertility is important (especially if you add salt to the mix).

  6. Nancy says

    I tried the vinegar on several different kind of weeds in my yard, spraying liberally. I waited several days. It did not kill any of them. I wasted the vinegar. Then got out some old Round Up and sprayed the same weeds, and they were dead the next day.

    • Sherry says

      I’ve used stronger vinegar in these instances – the 10-15% that you buy at the garden store, not the grocery. It isn’t inexpensive, but we didn’t use is to save money. We lived on a lake and the chemical run off into the lake wasn’t something that we wanted to contribute to.

      • TJ Brown-Armstrong says

        You can intensify cheaper white vinegar through evaporation if you’d desire to plan for it. Cover a tray with screening when filled with vinegar and let the liquid evaporate which concentrates the strength, but be careful about marking the container clearly if you store it.

  7. karen boggs says

    If you have slugs around your hostis plants you put sand around them and they wont bother them

  8. pat matheny says

    u just reminded me of a little magic trick i used to show the kids, pour a paperplate with whole milk, add two drops of food coloring to the middle, each a different color, then rightaway, add a drop of dishwashing liquid to the middle also, are you waiting? im not going to spoil it for u just know its awesome to watch and wont hurt anyone

      • Marti says

        I told my daughter about the milk, even evaporated milk, or 2% milk works, just needs some milk-fat in it…with the food coloring and Dawn dish soap, or any type dish soap, and she did it at home for my grand-daughter. It happened my Grand-daughter used it in a science project that week, back when she was in 4th grade!
        She had a good results, and won 1st place!

  9. Barbara Marcis says

    I have killed weeds with Coca Cola, add a few drops of dishwashin liquid to the cola so it will adhere the pland and spray it liberally

  10. Francie says

    If you’re a gardener and you plant crops like corn, green beans, squash..etc..will this vinegar weed killer be safe for the crops?

    • says

      If you have a small garden this will work. Pour regular black pepper around the plant, not too close , and wa-la.

      Also, for roses, I save banana peelings-outside. When they are stiff I put them in my blender (works better that food processor) and grind them until they look like pepper. Spread them around the roses and cover lightly with soil. Roses LOVE banana peelings.

      • Marti says

        Can also put banana peels without drying and grinding them, around base of your roses, mixed in or covered with dirt or compost and let them rot and decompose and they help the roses just as well.
        I did chop the peels into pieces making them easier to mix in the dirt.

  11. Rhonda E says

    Earwig Trap: put rolled newspaper in your garden, earwigs love tight, dark spaces, then pick up the newspaper and toss it in a deep bucket of water to drown the earwigs.

  12. Becky says

    What about killing weeds in my lawn? We have a healthy patch of dandelions–taking orders for Mother’s Day! LOL. With two little girls and a dog, I am concerned about treating with harmful chemicals. Wouldn’t the vinegar kill the grass, too?

    • Tina says

      Yes, vinegar will kill the grass. Just spray the vinegar in a straight stream (not spray mode) into the center of the dandelion. You have to do it on a sunny day too. It is the combination sun and vinegar that kills the dandelions. I have small children too and the vinegar works great.

    • Heidi says

      Hi Ana ~ this will also kill the grass, so only spray on areas with weeds… away from grass or plants you want to keep alive. 😉

      ~ Heidi

  13. Lalia H says

    My neighbors grew the best moss the following year. It was 4″ thick! So if you do this in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to put lime on your grass in the fall to neutralize the acid. Moss loves an acid environment.

  14. MaryInMinnesota says

    I have over 300 large patio blocks making up a patio and a sidewalk and even with using heavy duty plastic under neath the patio blocks, every weed possible grows up between the patio blocks. I used pure vinegar on an area around my flower pots, and then I used pure bleach on another area, and both killed the grass and weeds… but the vinegar worked faster. A gallon of vinegar costs more than a generic brand gallon of bleach, so you might want to try using bleach, pure strength. The bleach also killed the mold growing on some of the patio blocks that were in the shade.

  15. Stacy says

    I would only use this in driveways and such. Vinegar will ruin soil so that nothing will grow there. Boiling water will work with out ruining the soil.

  16. Mary Lou Cox says

    I tried the beer, it worked a little but it tips over and they enjoy the drink anyway, then to clean it up made me sick. I save my egg shells, break them a bit and toss them in the garden. The slugs get cut with the shells so they stay away. Gives lots of calcium to the soil also.

  17. says

    I used this in the past because it was safer for pets… I found it works best if you remove the leaves and just spray the roots, making sure it is in the sunlight. Even then it was a 50/50, some it worked on and some it did nothing!

  18. Bill lupton says

    Earwigs n ants n spiders
    My barn used to have thousands of earwigs. Reduce the population by pouring some beer or sweet drink on the grass near the structure and cover with any flat object, I use a small square of plywood @a square foot. Lift it up next day n get ready to do the earwig stomp. Yuukk.
    Every spring we have an antapalooza period, I put a couple drops of honey where they are coming in. A couple times a day just wipe them up with a wet paper towel.
    Spider control, in the spring and especially the fall do a super vacuum in every nook and cranny inside and out of your dwelling, garage n porch too. Keep on the lookout for the next weeks they will be looking for a new place to live cause you’ve ruined their hideouts. Squish the ones you see and sprinkle diamatious earth around areas they are seen. It’s not a poison its crushed stone that cuts and dehydrates all crawling insects. Gardening stores carry it. Poisons, any kind, are not allowed where we live so we have to accept some critters but you can reduce the population by just making your space not so pest friendly. Thank you frugal girls for all your hints. [email protected]

  19. Sylvia says

    Here’s a different approach for slugs. I had a sick box turtle that had a badly cut front leg. I had to keep her inside to heal. She didn’t like the dry box turtle food from the pet store so I was trying to think of what she would be eating outside. I went out after dark and since we had tons of slugs, thought I would try one. Well, she went crazy. She gulped it down so fast, I went back out and got a couple more. I started catching 2 or 3 every night. She was a little box turtle. After about 5 nights, suddenly I couldn’t find any more. We had way more than 15 on any given night and now there were none! I think those little critters sent out the word and they all skedaddled out of our yard.

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