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3 Non-Toxic Ways to Control Weeds

Patrick Bogans

Weed control is an annual struggle for many gardeners, farmers, property managers, and everyday homeowners. As much as you want to get rid of pesky weeds, you don't want to rely on dangerous chemicals for the job.

Certain pesticides and herbicides (*cough* glyphosate) can persist in the soil for up to six months, depending on the climate, contaminating groundwater and local waterways. 

Thankfully, using glyphosate isn't your only option, and controlling weeds organically isn't as hard as you might think. Here’s how you can control weeds naturally without using toxic chemicals.

Get down and dirty.

The effective way to keep weeds from spreading is by pulling off their heads and digging up their roots. Sounds very Game of Thrones, we know. It's not the most elegant or time-effective method, but getting down and dirty is the most reliable way to get rid of weeds for good. If you don’t have a large area to cover, try getting down and dirty and pull the weeds out by hand. 

Use white vinegar.

If you didn't know, now you know: vinegar can be used to kill weeds! It really is the perfect all-purpose product. White vinegar is derived directly from corn, so it’s all-natural. No VOCs, no toxic chemicals; it's just vinegar. Simple right?

Although vinegar is the perfect weed killer, you'll need vinegar with at least 20% acetic acid. The 5% white vinegar at your local supermarket won't be powerful enough to destroy older perennial weeds.  

Finding 20% vinegar is easy. Make a quick search for horticultural vinegar on Amazon or Google, and you’ll find more than a few vinegar-based weed killers with some stellar reviews

After spraying the vinegar, you should start to see weeds shrink and shrivel within a few hours. Expect full desiccation within a day. Remember: vinegar is a non-selective herbicide, so aim carefully. Use a piece of cardboard to shield vinegar from the plants and grasses that you like.

Use salt and water.

Got a few weeds coming through the cracks in your sidewalk? Try using salt water. Salt has proven itself time and time again to be more than just a food ingredient. To kill small weeds with salt, all you have to do is wet the weed, add a little salt, and spray it again with water. You should start to see results in a few hours.

If weeds are taking over your garden, grab your sword and shield (well, maybe just a spray bottle and vinegar) and tackle those weeds head-on. Do you have any organic weed killing tips? Let us know.

Searching for vinegar weed killer? 

You can purchase 20% horticultural vinegar on Factory Direct Chemicals for $29.99.

If you own a home or a small commercial property, you may want to use vinegar to control weeds around your property—not glyphosate. 20% Vinegar Weed Killer quickly eliminates all types of weeds, including crabgrass, white clover, musk thistle, oxalis, dandelions, and more! This weed killer is approved for organic use, so you can put an end to annoying weeds once and for all, without using glyphosate or other dangerous chemicals. 

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  • Mike Mayhak on

    Can I buy this concentrated or is it only 1 gallon 20% and I will need spray at 100% rate?
    So this will this work in lawn similar to amine-24d on dandelions and clover?
    Or does this kill everything it touches?

  • Lyneil Vandermolen on

    What should the concentration of salt be and will it build up in the soil over time and wreck it?

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