Looking for an organic weed killer? Look no further. We have a list of alternatives to keep the nasty plants out of your way while keeping chemicals from touching the ground.

Strong chemical herbicides end up polluting the drinking, ground and surface waters. Instead, we should use homemade herbicides that won’t contribute to water contamination.

The least Earth-damaging way to get rid of weeds is to pull them up and dig out the roots. However, this method takes time, and you might need to kill them faster. That’s where homemade herbicides come in to do the “dirty work”.


Here are the 13 most efficient organic weed killers

1.      Boiling water

organic weed killer - boiling water

It might seem too good to be true, but something as simple as boiling water can act as an effective weed killer. In fact, it is even more efficient than the non-organic herbicides that you pay a significant amount of money on. Put a pot of tap water on the stove and wait until it boils. Then carefully pour it over the unwanted weeds. But have in mind that if the boiling water touches your beloved plants, it will kill them also. And we’re not talking only on the surface. The roots of your plants will be affected if the boiling waters expand onto them as well.

2.      Vinegar

Acetic acid removes moisture. This means that when you spray vinegar on the plant foliage, the leaves begin to dry out, and the top growth of the weed is killed. The roots, however, may still remain alive. Pour undiluted vinegar on the weed while careful not to spill on the plants that you wish to keep.

3.      Alcohol

Alcohol acts out just like vinegar. It dehydrates the upper part of the weed until it dies.

4.      Salt

Used on a larger scale, salt can prevent vegetation growth for months. In the ancient times, it was used by warriors to salt the fields of the enemies. Because it has such a devastating effect on the soil, use it moderately.

Here is an organic weed killer recipe you can make. Put one part (or even more) of salt to eight parts of boiling water and a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Pour it in a spray bottle and then spray the leaves of the weeds you wish to kill.

It can also act as an organic weed killer for lawns. Just pour large amounts of salt on your lawn and nothing will grow for months if that’s what you want.

5.      Paper

Another way to kill the herbs is to smother them. Lay down thick layers of newspaper, paper or cardboard, and wait. The lack of sun will cause the plants to die, and the seeds won’t be able to sprout.

6.      Bleach

Put bleach in a spray bottle and spray the plant foliage.  The chemicals will evaporate in a few days, and you can then start planting. It may not be entirely organic, but it is still safer than store-bought herbicides. If you get it on a plant you want to keep, just rinse the leaves with water.

man spraying

7.      Cornmeal

Although it doesn’t actually kill the weed, corn meal stops the seeds from developing. Just scatter cornmeal around the area in early spring or late summer. Wait six weeks until you start sowing desirable seeds.

8.      Citrus, orange, and lemon oils

These oils have the same effect as vinegar. They are more expensive, but it is believed that they work better.

9.      Fire

Invest in a flame-weeder tool and you will get rid of weeds quickly without risking to set the whole garden on fire. The application of direct heat on the leaves will cause the plants to wilt immediately. However, be extra careful with this tool if you live in a fire-prone area.

10. Eat them

Many weeds are edible. This means chicory, young greens of dandelions, dock. You can eat them raw in a salad or cook them the same way you do with spinach. Look for recipes online and turn an undesirable plant into a delicious meal.


11. Other plants

Other plants can act as weed killers. Plant flowers, ground covers, garden crops and whatever you can think of. They will kill the weed by taking all the sunlight, nutrients, and water from them.

12. Steam

Get a steam machine and start cooking those weeds. Wear shoes and cover your skin so that you don’t harm yourself in the process. To protect the surrounding plants, cover them with a bucket, for example, so that the steam doesn’t touch them.

13. Soap

Add soap to the liquids presented above. Soap breaks down the cuticle and waxy surface and vinegar, for example, is absorbed more efficiently. Liquid dish detergent is the best.

These are the most common and reliable organic weed killers you can get right out of your home. Some of these suggestions can be combined so that you can even make a homemade organic weed killer recipe. These alternatives to chemical herbicides are both cheaper and safer. The damage to the soil and water is almost inexistent and all the while you get rid of any unwanted plants.

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