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Does Vinegar Weed Killer Work?

Lawn Care
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People who don't like putting harsh chemicals on their lawns often look for an organic alternative, like vinegar weed killer. Yes, that's true, you can actually use a vinegar weed killer to get rid of weeds naturally. Vinegar has been used for many years to kill weeds, and some families have passed down recipes for generations.

The acetic acid in vinegar is what gives it the power to kill weeds. Common household vinegar is 5 percent acetic acid. However, you can buy vinegar with much higher concentrations of acetic acid - up to 30 percent in some cases. Studies have been inconclusive about whether the stronger concentrations are any more effective than the common household vinegar.

Here are some advantages to using vinegar weed killer.

  • It's natural. Vinegar is a natural product, produced from alcohol-containing liquids such as wine, beer, or fermented fruit juice. Thus, you don't have to worry about using toxic chemicals on your lawn that are bad for the environment.
  • It's inexpensive. Vinegar weed killer is made from household vinegar and other common products, such as dish soap, that are inexpensive and easy to obtain.

Here are some disadvantages:

  • It has to be applied more than once. In most cases the vinegar weed killer will have to be applied more than once before weeds will be killed for good. Vinegar does not travel down the plant's stem to the roots, so a single application will usually only kill the weeds for a few weeks before they grow back.
  • It's better for isolated areas than a broad application. Because vinegar weed killer does not discriminate between weeds and grass or flowers, you have to be careful how you use it. Rather than using it on a broad area of your lawn, it's better to apply vinegar weed killer to isolated areas, like the cracks between patio stones. You also may want to apply the vinegar weed killer with a brush, to avoid affecting nearby plants.

The best conditions for applying vinegar weed killer are when the sun is out and there is no rain in the forecast (the acid in vinegar degrades easily in water). Also, vinegar works best on weeds that are exposed to full sunlight.

You can buy special vinegar weed killer applications at a garden store, or you can make a batch yourself. Most recipes use vinegar and dish soap, with about one ounce of dish soap per gallon of vinegar.

Vinegar weed killer is worth considering if you're looking for an organic way to deal with weeds in your lawn or garden.

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