(Blue-)Green Weed Spray - from household ingredients.

Picture of (Blue-)Green Weed Spray - from household ingredients.
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This stuff is cheap*, effective, and works fast. It could be the new Roundup [TM], though it does not necessarily kill the roots of a weed. I find it is just as effective as the high priced brand, and it does not require a thousand words of warnings, nor leave harmful by-products.

My yard is "organic", meaning I avoid using petroleum-based pesticides and herbicides and other toxic stuff.

I don't like pulling weeds out of cracks in the pavement, be it those lousy pink pavers, or the antique concrete driveway. (It used to have a strip of grass down the middle. I'd like it better if it still did!)

My brothers are big fans of Roundup, which I understand is made of things that can cause cancer, etc. A horticulture expert I know says that it breaks down over time, (my brother's justification for using it), but nobody knows exactly what it breaks down into!

A little web searching turned up various recipes. This is my variation. See the before and after photos below.

  • (I'm told that Roundup is cheaper by the gallon, but at what cost to the environment?)
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Step 1: Rob the kitchen...

Picture of Rob the kitchen...
Chances are you have most of this stuff in your kitchen already.
If you don't have a gallon of white vinegar, most grocery stores carry it; even the Dollar, 99 cent, etc. stores usually have it for, well, a dollar, a Euro, etc.

The shopping list:

- 1 gallon (about 3.8 litres) of white vinegar
- 1 cup (?, 2 big hands full ;-) of table salt. Don't use fancy sea salt, or risk punishment from the head chef!!
- 2 Tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. The kind used for hand washing dishes. (Not the the kind you put in dish washing machines.)

- A sprayer, like the yellow one here. Or a smaller, trigger-pump bottle.

- A permanent marker, for labeling the brew.

Optional: About 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol. (not shown)
EJMans1 year ago
Does this mixture kill dandelions? I have a lot of those!
dselestial2 years ago
Don't forget to consider the bees. Any pesticide is VERY destructive to them!
jaybravo5 years ago
I suspect that salt and vinegar are not used as commercial weedkillers because it will linger in the soil, leech and be a long-term hazard to any growing plants - which is not good if you want a nice garden
Marcos (author)  jaybravo5 years ago
No doubt. And petro-chemicals are probably cheaper. You may have noticed that I've only used my weed spray in cracks between concrete pieces, not in open areas. I think I'll try a salt-free version, and see how it works. I know that vinegar alone is not very effective.
odiekokee5 years ago
Nice instructable. I very much like to see this kind of thing. Be careful with will also destroy most masonry (Concrete, bricks, mortar, etc) BTW, don't get carried away by everything being labeled carcinogens.....pure water is an amazing mutagen/carcinogen, an oxygen is among the most biotoxic chemicals. There is no such thing as "not natural" since we don't quite have the omnipresence to 'create' our own matter yet ;)
odiekokee, I think you should go down in the record books for one of the best quotes ever! I've thought the same thing before about natural vs. unnatural, but you summed it up perfectly. People focus too much on all this 'green' bandwagon BS and fail to understand their world for what it really is. Thank you for your insight...
Welcome :) "......said He to the scientist "You may think you can invent life from the inert elements, and so you may be able. Prove it I say." The scientist replied to Him "it is quite simple, I merely take these elements and invent life" "Ahh, yes, but you see," He said, "To invent it as 'your' life, you muts also invent 'your' elements first. From what will you invent these??" flame away ;)
maruawe5 years ago
Disolved salt will kill weeds ,will also kill all plants , Table salt ,use 2ounces to a gallon.. Harmful to grass ,But on a driveway it would be fine. We used to do this in high school to spell out the HS name on competitors school yards, PS I think it's against the law now.........