Vinegar Weed Killer

Lately, I’ve been seeing Pinterest boards and blogs with tutorials on how to make a vinegar weed killer.  Friends, I’m here to tell you that their information is faulty and their vinegar weed killer will not work.

Most of the blogs that show vinegar weed killer recipes, show household vinegar with 5% acidity.

This.Will.NOT.Work.  I repeat, This.Will.NOT.Work.

Learn how to get rid of weeds naturally and effectively.I see all types of recipes for killing weeds. Many can destroy healthy soil organisms that plants need to thrive. Follow my recipe and keep your soil healthy while getting rid of weeds.What makes me Mrs.-Know-It-All-About-Natural-Weed-Killers?  I don’t mention this much, but I am a Master Gardener and even when it was considered unscientific by the gardening set, I was using natural and organic methods in my garden. I’ve sat through numerous seminars by leading organic gardeners in Texas. They will back me up on this one ~ I assure you.

All that aside, I have tried {and occasionally failed} numerous concoctions and methods to get rid of weeds. My knowledge comes from years of trial and error (more like trowel and error) in the garden.

Household vinegar will not kill weeds, even if you add Dawn dish soap. It will cause the weeds to shrivel some, but that’s about it. Noxious weeds need something stronger.

There is good news. A stronger solution of vinegar mixed with orange oil will kill weeds and kill them for good. But, it has to be done correctly or the weeds will come back.

You need a vinegar that has AT LEAST 10% acidity* PLUS a horticultural citrus oil*. There is some controversy within the organic gardening community regarding vinegar strength. Several respected gardeners say that 10% acidity mixed with citrus oil will kill weeds. (*affiliate links)

For at least 10 years I have been using a 20% vinegar for my weed control. I have not tried 10% vinegar ~ but I trust the gardeners who say it will work. Many of them are diluting their 20% vinegar by cutting it in half and adding water. Doing this will give you two gallons of 10% vinegar.

WARNING:  This 10% – 20% vinegar is potent.  You need to wear goggles, rubber gloves, long sleeves, and shoes when working with 20% vinegar. It will burn your skin if any splashes. I have experienced this first hand ~ it can be very painful.

Learn how to get rid of weeds naturally and effectively.I see all types of recipes for killing weeds. Many can destroy healthy soil organisms that plants need to thrive. Follow my recipe and keep your soil healthy while getting rid of weeds.

While the vinegar alone will work well at getting rid of weeds, it’s the orange oil that nails the coffin shut on weeds. However, none of this will kill weeds if it isn’t properly applied. That is the real secret to killing weeds and killing them for good.

If you want to kill weeds naturally, then here’s what you do:

The correct ratio for weed killing is:  1 gallon of 10-20% vinegar to 1 C. of orange (or citrus) oil.  Mix well. (see my Warning above) Then, add to either a spray bottle like this one.* I highly recommend heavy duty rubber glove* when applying with this type of bottle ~ it does tend to drip. (*affiliate links)

Learn how to get rid of weeds naturally and effectively.I see all types of recipes for killing weeds. Many can destroy healthy soil organisms that plants need to thrive. Follow my recipe and keep your soil healthy while getting rid of weeds.

If you have a lot of weeds, this type of sprayer* will cover more area.  Again, wear rubber gloves when applying. I would use this if I want to go after a lot of the weeds at once. I’d have it all ready and then wait for the right time day to kill weeds. (*affiliate)

Learn how to get rid of weeds naturally and effectively.I see all types of recipes for killing weeds. Many can destroy healthy soil organisms that plants need to thrive. Follow my recipe and keep your soil healthy while getting rid of weeds.

The 20% vinegar costs around $20 which means you want to apply this correctly.  Now here is THE KEY to effective weed killing.

This ONLY WORKS when applied at full strength, in sunlight, during the heat of the day. That means, if it rained yesterday, then don’t apply it.  If rain is in the forecast within 24 hours, don’t apply it.

Wait until the soil is dried out a bit, the sun is bright, and it’s the middle of the day. It must be at least 70-degrees for maximum efficacy. The weed will think you are giving it some good food. Down the hatch, little weed.

Keep in mind that this brew does not discriminate. Be careful where you spray. It will kill your flowers, grass, and plants just as effectively. Obviously, avoid application on windy days. Another effective way to apply is with a paintbrush.

Also, keep pets away for a few hours. The product will dissipate quickly, but small pets could still feel the effects if they come in contact too soon.

Now, I may be willing to blend, mix, and brew concoctions in my garage, but maybe that’s not your thing. The good news is a company has created a blend* for you. Just add to a spray bottle and start killing weeds. (*affiliate)

Learn how to get rid of weeds naturally and effectively.I see all types of recipes for killing weeds. Many can destroy healthy soil organisms that plants need to thrive. Follow my recipe and keep your soil healthy while getting rid of weeds.It is also very important to wash out whatever spray bottle you use or the vinegar will corrode the working parts. Empty any unused vinegar/orange oil mixture back into a suitable container. Be sure the container is non-corrosive and heavy duty. Remember, you will be storing a very strong vinegar.  Empty paint cans and milk jugs are not suitable. It must be a heavy grade plastic bottle ~similar to the type that the vinegar comes in.

Where to get 20% vinegar and orange oil. I am able to purchase mine at Lowe’s. My organic garden center also carries these products. They are also available on Amazon. If you know of another place where these products can be purchased, please share ~ especially international readers.

Gardening naturally is so much more rewarding ~


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  1. says

    Thank you for this wonderful information! I was going to try what I saw on Pinterest, but thanks to you, you saved me a lot of time and money.

      • Lori says

        Is there a way to kill grass growing up through my rose bushes? I think they came with it. I can’t get it out and it has already choked one of the bushes to death…any suggestion would be appreciated!

        • Leslie says

          When a plant has a serious problem (like choking vines!) I am never afraid to remove the plant and replace it with a healthy one.

  2. Bryonna says

    Thanks so much Leslie. I have tried the 5% solution, and like you mention, it does not work and I had to go back to hand digging. Is it the leaves that take the vinegar in, or could I just use a turkey baster (kept for weed-killing only) to squirt a few drops into the centre of the plant? I don’t want to spray since the weeds are among the flowers.

    • Leslie says

      When it is warm and sunny, leaves are thirsty and will absorb liquid quickly. The turkey baster on the stem should be equally as effective. If you try this, I’d love an update on how effective it was.

        • Lori says

          Terri, I had that problem too. What I had to do was drain most of the pond and clean it out. After that I add new water and new filters in my system; then I put in several water-loving plants. That has helped tremendously and now I can see my koi. You need to make sure the filtration system fits the size of your pond…

  3. Shari says

    Is the 10% or 20% vinegar readily available? I have tried for 15 years to get rid of weeds and NOTHING has worked for any period of time. I can’t wait to try this!

    • Leslie says

      I get mine at Lowes. But many garden centers and farm stores will carry it. This is something that has been used for a long time.

    • Leslie says

      Remember, it’s the vinegar PLUS the orange oil. Straight vinegar will wither my weeds, but not kill them.

      • says

        I weed on a volunteer basis for the Medal of Honor grove near valley forge pa. So interested to hear vinegar and citrus combination. If we weed first and then put the combo down will it help keep new weeds from growing? How long before we need to reapply. Thanks so much for the advice. Weed killers are too expensive and toxic for our purposes

        • Leslie says

          Be sure to use either 10% or 20% vinegar and put it out in the hottest part of the day. One or two applications should do the trick. Some weeds are more stubborn and may need a little more ‘encouraging’.

      • Sheridan says

        Sounds like it would not be something to use in an area where dogs go out. Or will letting it dry before letting them out be adequate? I’ve got an acre of woods with thorny vines & English ivy that I’d like to try it on.

        • Leslie says

          At full strength, I’d be careful around any pet – however, in the heat of the day a plant would quickly take it in. Just be very cautious with your precious pet.

    • Leslie says

      I can get 20% vinegar and orange oil at Lowes. However, garden centers that practice safe and natural gardening should carry it (except in Canada???). They also sell it on Amazon.

    • Leslie says

      Clover, hmmm. Here in Austin clover will die in the high heat. I usually hand pull the small amount I get. I would try the vinegar/orange oil. If it can’t survive the Texas heat, then 10-20% vinegar should take care of it.

  4. Terry Thomas / Atlanta says

    Almost every product has a bar code on it for scanners at stores to read. It would be quite useful if you supplied the bar code numbers for the 20% vinegar and orange oil.

    I have to wonder what is going on chemically. Would any 20% acid work? What does the orange oil do? Very interesting stuff.

    I just bought a gallon of grocery store vinegar. Fortunately I have not opened it yet and can return it.

    Thank you for the information.

    Terry Thomas
    Dunwoody Organic Gardens
    Atlanta, Georgia USA

    • Leslie says

      Adding bar codes in – what an excellent idea. All of my products are in storage while we have a home built. I will try to snatch the bar code on a cell phone and put that up as an update.

      I WOULD NOT recommend anything called 20% acid. That sounds dangerous. Stay away from the acid, please.

      Orange oil helps bake and suffocate the offensive weed.

  5. Sheena says

    Is it bad that my whole yard is so full of weeds that spraying all of it and letting it kill the grass and starting over has crossed my mind? My husband out some weed killer on our grass about a month or so ago and I think it fertilized our weeds instead of killing them.

    • Leslie says

      Weeds can be a sign of weak soil. I would only use natural methods to kill the weeds (vinegar recipe, solarization, etc.) and then add 1/4″ of compost. This will begin the process of strengthening your soil. This is a slow process, but done correctly will decrease the need for water and lawn-destroying infestations. Of course, I have no idea where your lawn is ~ but these are methods that have been used for years.

  6. says

    Wow. I’ve seen vinegar weed killer recipes all over Pinterest. I had no idea they were ineffective since I haven’t gotten around to trying them out yet. Thanks for this information. Now I know what will really work.

  7. Patricia Williams says

    Will this also work on poison oak and poison ivy? I have weeds but I also have a lot of the aforementioned ones. Need to really get rid of them. Don’t want my pom to get into them…they seem to grow profusely in the foothills of North Carolina. Thanks, Patricia

    • Leslie says

      I am not sure about the poison ivy/oak. I would cautiously try it. If applied properly, it should do some damage. Check with your county ag agent’s office. They would know the answer.

  8. says

    I just tried last week the version you were talking about not working! And your right all they did was shrivel! So glad I found this post……….I am now going to try this! New follower from weekend wrap up party!

  9. says

    I’ve often wondered about the usefulness of vinegar but never tried it. I was skeptical and stuck with store bought chemicals. I’m pinning this so I can try it. Do you know if it works on quack grass?

  10. says

    I have tried several different vinegar weed killer recipes from Pinterest and none of them worked! So glad it’s not just me. Kept thinking I was doing something wrong :)

  11. says

    Hi, I’m stopping by from Nifty Thrifty Sunday. I am a new follower.

    Yesterday, I dug up my dandelions and my granddaughter squirt vinegar down in the hole. She thought it was fun and I was hoping to kill the bit of root that I had missed. I was hoping this would work. What do you think? – will it work?

  12. Irene says

    Thank you for the great info. I am so tired of using chemicals. I think the chemicals do harm to the soil. I’ve been using my hula hoe a lot lately and pulling by hand.
    I do want to try the venegar and orange oil. Some where along the way while reading I saw that you reccomend using eye protection as well as gloves ( would that be rubbermaid gloves?) and wear shoes. While I usually go barefoot out side and inside, I will break down and wear shoes. LOL
    Do you know if this will kill crab grass?

    • Leslie says

      If applied correctly, it will kill crab grass. And, yes, I recommend heavy duty rubber gloves. They sell them at places like Home Depot and Lowes.

    • Leslie says

      I would suggest letting the weed die down to the root. When that happens, the plant releases nitrogen back into the soil. This way, any traces of vinegar and orange oil are now depleted and the soil is refreshed with nitrogen.

  13. susan allen says

    so thanks for telling us about this but my question is about black spot on roses I ask a local master gardner about getting rid of it and she said dig them up and throw away and then start working on the soil etc. but honestly is there really nothing other than these drastic measures. I have a small fortune invested in my roses and only now after years of trying every summer to get rid of it am I willing to do just that, I mean why do they even sell roses here in the deep south if we have to deal with this terrible disease. also is it really associated with humidity levels? PLEASE HELP!!!!

    • Leslie says

      I think the first question should be what is the variety of roses with black spot. If it is not an antique rose, then you may be fighting a losing battle. Over-bred, hybrid roses are very susceptible to black spot ~ combined with too much water, humidity, and heat ~ it can be a losing battle. All common problems in the South.

      I’m not a rose expert, but I believe that once a rose bush has problems with this fungus, it can be an ongoing battle. However, healing your soil will go a long way towards preventing fungus and disease on any plant. Healthy soil = Healthy plant. I suggest you visit a garden center in your area that specializes in natural remedies. I also highly recommend amending the soil with an organic compost from a reliable, sustainable compost company.

      I found this article online that uses natural remedies. I would advise caution – I’ve never used these methods, but I’ve never had black spot because I only plant antique roses.

      If you end up replanting, I highly recommend buying your new roses from The Antique Rose Emporium I have been to their nursery numerous times and spoken with them on the phone. They are knowledgeable about the best roses for your climate.

      Good luck.

      • says

        I would like to leave this for the lady with the trouble of black spots on her roses,My mom is the rose queen she has close to seventy five if not more rose bushes she uses this trick and believe it or not it works. Get a five gallon bucket fill it almost full of water then put a good healthy plop of pine sol in ,,,pour it over the whole rose bush ,,she uses this mixture on a lot of her plants, I don’t think I consider this organic though.,,Oh by the way my Mom is eighty four years old she still mows her rather large lawn dose all her yard work and prunes all her bushes,, she has a green thumb ,lol’puts me to shame don’t know how scientific this is but it works,,I would try it before getting rid of your roses ,, please let me me know if it helps.

        • Leslie says

          I am reluctant to approve this comment because it includes the use of Pine Sol. However, a woman who has successfully grown roses for 75 years must know something. Personally, I would not use this on any plant because it will likely harm beneficial microorganisms in the soil. That said, has anyone else ever heard of this. If so, point me in that direction.

  14. says

    I have pinned this and hope to give it a try. Do you know if this vinegar/orange oil combination will kill Japanese Knot Weed. We are being overrun by this nasty invasive plant and have tried just about everything and it keeps coming back.
    Would appreciate any suggestions you could offer,

    • Leslie says

      I have no idea ~ I’ve never heard of Japanese Knot Weed – but it looks like it qualifies as a noxious weed. I would try it using the directions. You may try pulling larger weeds and using the vinegar/orange oil on any new sprouts.

  15. Maxine says

    I join in with the others who thank you for this information. I had attempted to use the regular vinegar to no avail.

  16. says

    There are weeds in certain areas of my garden that drive me crazy, so I’m VERY eager to try this. Thanks so much for the tip!

  17. says

    I went to Lowes & found the vinegar, could not find anything labeled orange oil. They had several cleaners that listed citrus (orange) as ingredients, is that what I am looking for? Thank you! Jeri

    • Leslie says

      The Orange Oil is made by Medina Products of Hondo, TX. You can order directly from them or through Amazon.

  18. says

    Orange Oil !? Who would have guessed ! Thank you for this great tip {we are badly in need of a good weed killer !} Thank you also for sharing this at the WEDNESDAYS ADORNED FROM ABOVE Blog Hop :-)

  19. says

    Great information … I just saw a pin about killing weeds with household vinegar. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time! Thank you for setting the record straight and I’ll pin this for the future and hopefully for everyone else that was misled.

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  20. Joanie says

    Hi Leslie! I saw your reply to Jeri on May 27th suggesting she wait until the root dies out before replanting, but at the risk of sounding stupid, how will I know when the root (and not just the stem/leaves) is actually dead? Is there an approximate time frame you can give me? I have a small area that I would like to plant vegetables in, but it’s currently filled with grass and weeds. Thanks so much for this post. I’m another one you saved from using the ineffective version that’s been spreading like a weed (pun intended) on Pinterest!

    • Leslie says

      When I spray weed with Vinegar and Orange Oil, I let them sit for a few days. Then, I go and pull them. They come out of the ground with dry, dead roots. That’s when I know they are dead. If you try scratching slightly below the surface after the top of the weed had died, you should be able to tell. There is no life in them at all!

  21. Carrie says

    Hi –
    I can’t find the Orange Medina Oil locally. Would Orange TKO work as well?

    Thanks for all your great tips – so appreciated. I love thoroughness.

    • Leslie says

      I’ve never heard of Orange TKO, but it looks like it would work. You can get Medina Orange Oil on Amazon.

  22. Jan says

    Thanks Leslie for the information. I have a plot in a community garden that is all organic. No commercial fertilizer or pesticides. I look forward to trying out your recipe for weed control. I have a commercial pesticide applicators license and know about the precautions to take. I want to add something to your precautions list, be careful after applying not to walk on any sprayed areas and then walking across the grass or any desirable ground cover. You leave dead foot prints where ever you walk! I’ve seen people walk backwards spraying an area, then walk over it to put stuff away or whatever, and then not thinking about it, walk across the grass.

  23. chris says

    I have used a Maestro Gro product called 20% Vinegar – works well. they also make a little stronger product -Blackjack21. It’s 21% vinegar and it includes orange oil, and molasses which help it stick to weeds – it kills better than 20% vinegar. Sells on Amazon.

  24. abz malik says

    i live in the UK and i have searched the internet day in day out looking for 20% vinegar but cannot find it anywhere i have also asked all my local garden centres and they also have no idea where to buy it from.
    could anyone help me please really need them weeds out of my garden.
    thank you

      • Margaret says

        Well thanks so much for the info. I live in South Texas where all kinds of weeds grow. I have the 20% , just need the Orange oil. What is your sugestion for making soil stronger. I have black clay

  25. says

    Hi Everyone,
    I’ve used 5% straight undiluted vinegar with a squirt or two of soap, and it kills most weeds under 2″, the smaller the more effective as long as it has leaves, some grasses being more resistant, and some other plant types, but most die, the smaller they are the more effective,.. and very effective at that.
    So, Leslie, why have I been able to kill weeds, and you haven’t with that simplistic commoner’s spray,..the layman’s spray? Were the weeds you sprayed over 2″?,.. – and it can even kill some over 2″, depending on the weed type, and some weeds of course can’t be killed by sprays, such as Oxalis pes caprae unless you dig it up and smash the bulb.
    Get ’em when they’re tiny.

    • Leslie says

      I think it might have something to do with clay soil. The structure of clay soil is similar to stacked plates. If a tiny weed root settles between the clay plates then the moisture from the clay will aid the weed. 5% vinegar isn’t strong enough to penetrate this structure and still kill a weed. At least, that’s what I think ~ I have no science to back this up:)

  26. Donnie says

    How long does it take for the grass to grow back where you have killed the weeds with this mix?

    I ask because I would usually burn off my yard at the beginning of each year. Then I would begin fertilizing about 3 weeks after for solid grass to grow back. However the weeds are getting worse every year.

    Also what is the best organic fertilizer to use on Texas bermuda? (for good thick green grass; if there is an organic one)

    • Leslie says

      I believe the best way to have a healthy lawn is to have healthy soil. To do this I add a 1/2″ layer of organic compost every Spring and Fall.

      • Donnie says

        So what about my first question?

        “How long does it take for the grass to grow back where you have killed the weeds with this mix?”

      • Donnie says


        I just bought the vinegar and orange oil. My last question is based on the ratio that you mentioned earlier.

        The correct ratio for weed killing is: 1 gallon of 10-20% vinegar to 1 C. of orange (or citrus) oil.

        Am I just simply mixing one full gallon of the the vinegar to one full bottle of the orange oil?

  27. says

    Thank you, thank you! I am beginning my first spring in our sort of new home and last summer, the yard was completely over-run with some of the nastiest, largest weeds imaginable. I normally get very excited about spring gardening, but this year, my enthusiasm is tempered by my inevitable confrontation with tons of weeds. I know RoundUp works, but I just do not want to sell my soul to Satan (aka Monsanto) to have a nicer landscape, nor do I want that stuff drifting over to my organic vegetable garden. I’m going to give this a try.

  28. Cathleen says

    Sooo glad for this confirmation. I had heard about 20% vinegar and orange oil before. I have a whole row of 3 year old red raspberry plants that are mulched heavily. Every year we spend hours pulling DOCK plants out, never really getting the entire taproot out. They come back. Also, we have a big thistle problem. If we spray each dock with the vinegar solution, how do we avoid killing the raspberry bushes, as the dock grows closely to the roots? Any suggestions?

  29. Jennifer Jackson says

    Hi, Leslie:

    I know this post is almost a year old, but I’m hoping you’ll catch my comment.

    I live in northeast Texas, and I have a berm house. The hill (berm) is on the south side of my house. I can walk 8-10 steps up this incline and touch my first floor roof. Originally, my mom just covered the berm with white landscaping rock, and had a few creeping junipers in the berm bed. Now, the junipers have died back, and the bed is full of weeds.

    My question is, if I use the vinegar and citrus oil solution, will it affect the soil? My grandiose plan is to kill the weeds, pull the dead weeds, remove the old rock, and then try to plant a ground cover. Can I plant the ground cover as soon as I have the berm weed-free, or do I need to wait any specific period of time?

    Best regards,

  30. Annah says

    Thanks, Leslie! Do you know how long it would take the vinegar/orange oil mix to leave the soil? We have a very weedy lawn and so I’m thinking of spraying it all over the lawn and then adding compost and/or corn gluten. Do you know how long I should wait after spraying the vinegar/orange oil to add compost and/or corn gluten?

    Also, is it a good idea to add both compost and corn gluten or should I just add one or the other? We seem to have every weed imaginable–clover, dandelion, bindweeds, velvetleaf, quickweed, some spiky weed and some with huge leaves that look almost like a vegetable, but that I guess might be burdock. Needless to say, we need help!

    • Leslie says

      Ah, the joys of Spring! #1 – Don’t spray this mixture over your entire lawn. 2. You will need to check with a local nursery to find out the when and what of compost/corn gluten. For instance, corn gluten is a no-no in places along the Gulf Coast. It will cause lawn disease. But compost in the Spring is always excellent. 3. Use a weed popper like this one ( and pull the weeds. That’s what we did, along with adding compost. We had missed the window for corn gluten.

      Bottom line, to get rid of weeds you need healthy soil. You build healthy soil with things like compost. Commercial fertilizers will only weaken the soil and cause the weed to re-emerge, no matter how much corn gluten you apply. The old ways take a little longer, but will save you in the long run.

  31. MK says

    Small point of disagreement – 5% vinegar WILL work, you just have to be more persistent. I’ve used it successfully for the past 14 years. You have to 1) spray it as close to the base of the plant as you can get, 2) soak it liberally and 3) REPEAT daily for 3-4 days, sometimes more. That’s the part no one does. No question 10%-20% vinegar is better.

  32. Justin says

    Hello, my dad is putting up a 32x40ft garden on his farm and it is full of crab grass. He isn’t planning on planting for at least a couple weeks. Would this method be safe to apply without risk to future vegetables and such? The soil is a sandy mix at the top and all sand below if that matters (the area was a compost pile for some time).

    If it would be unwise to use this vinegar solution, what would you suggest? He plans to just put down weed barrier over the whole thing.

  33. says

    Leslie – I too live in Austin and I have just moved into a home on the east side where my back yard has an empty lot behind it. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get rid of the weeds in the back yard but they always return. I think its partly because the empty lot has nothing but weeds in it and this allows for the weeds seeds to fly into the yard – I only have a chain link fence.

    I will be headed over to Lowes to purchase the products you mention and with any luck, my weed issue will no longer be a concern. I understand that this will kill anything it comes in contact with so I will be careful.

    Again, thanks for sharing this natural remedy for killing those pesky weeds.

  34. Les says

    There had been a post circulating around facebook about a homemade weed killer containing Heinz vinegar, Epsom Salt, and Dawn dish soap. I mixed some up the other day, and sprayed it on some weeds that I have in a stone pathway early in the morning as it suggested. The weeds weren’t dead by dinner time as the post claimed. In fact they still aren’t dead. I wish I would have read your blog first.

  35. says

    I already bought several gallons of regular vinegar, to use for this. BUT, I can still use it around the house. So need to return it. I use it in the dleaning of my tolets, glass doors, and windows of the car. I use a newspaper with the vinegar, and it doesnt leave any streaks!

  36. Lori Kinahan says

    Hi, will the vinegar and orange oil harm my tulip bulbs? I have sticker weeds growing in my tulip bed, the tulips have died down. Sure hope this works. Thank you

  37. Lynn says

    I have been spraying a bed of weeds for a little over a week now with just 5% vinegar and a tsp of dawn. I sprayed an area along my patio near the pool where weeds were growing up through the seam also. This solution killed the weeds dead. I took before during and after pictures. The larger area has required repeated spraying and I think I’ve used 4 gallons of the vinegar solution. I also have before and after pictures. There are new weeds popping up almost faster than I can spray then. Some sort of tall skinny leaf that shoots up over night. Long story short, I thought I would get the 10 or 20 % solution to finish that area off. Well I went to Lowes first, NOPE, never heard of either of those, Then I went to Home Depot and Ace hardware, all in Orange Park and Middleburg Fl. No one has even heard of this vinegar or Orange Oil. Frustrated. I guess I’ll try to order on line.
    Thanks for all of your helpful information.

    • Leslie says

      I find my products a Lowes. Home Depot in Austin, TX doesn’t carry them. There should be links to purchase on Amazon.:)

  38. Julesie says

    I’m sure the 20% vinegar works well, but I learned many years ago, after throwing out buckets of diluted vinegar water used to wash my kitchen floor, that weeds didn’t grow where the water was dumped. It took some time for this to happen, but the point is that even diluted household vinegar can be effective over time.

  39. says

    I guess I am going to throw a wrench in the works here. I use 5% vinegar, dawn dish soap, and epsom salt… works like a charm. Weeds gone in a days time. I spray in the morning after the dew is gone, go back in the evening – dead weeds. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. LOL

    • says

      We used a gallon of a store bought vinegar 5%, 1 cup of salt, and a tablespoon of Dawn dish washing liquid. We mixed it in a gallon sprayer we paid all of $14.97 for a Lowes. The one we bought was the D.B. Smith Bleach Sprayer. We bought that one because if the sprayer is tough enough to handle bleach (not our intention on using bleach in it) it should handle vinegar just fine. We sprayed and I kid you not, within hours, our weeds on our gravel driveway were history! They were remarkably shriveled up and it was obvious they were dying. So not counting the initial 14.97 we paid for the sprayer, our weed killer cost us about $3.50 for a weed killer that will not be harmful to wildlife. You can’t beat that! Just be careful though with allowing the spray to blow onto other plants. It will kill them!

  40. JEK says

    This sounds awesome and I will try it behind my fence by the alley. BUT I need something that will kill the sticker grass and NOT my lawn grass. Any suggestions?

  41. Michelle says

    Thank you for this! I am wondering if I can use this to get rid of the Common Purslane that has taken over my freshly plowed yard before I plant the grass seed? How long should I wait before planting the grass seed after I have sprayed all the weeds? Thank you!

  42. says

    Thanks for the great info about vinegar weed killer. I have never used it, but with all the info floating around, it is nice to know what really works,

  43. says

    Great tip! I have tried plain white vinegar on weeds with no luck, and now I know why. I’ll have to pick up some of that orange oil. In the meantime, I’m pinning it. :)
    Found you at Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

  44. says

    Great info! I had no idea there were different strengths of vinegar. Now … onto a tougher question … do you know how to get rid of chickweed and clover organically?!

  45. says

    This is great info, Leslie! I love the natural solution ~ perfect for a pet mama like me.

    Thank you for sharing your post this week at Brag About It Link Party on VMG206. I’m featuring you at Next Weeks Brag About It Link Party, Monday at midnight!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  46. says

    This is great info, we recently purchased a home with one acre of property and there is so many weeds it has been hard to keep up with them all. So I will have to try this method. Thanks for sharing!

  47. says

    Our weeds are so tough here, the store bought weed killer doesn’t seem to phase them one bit. I have pinned your post, and will be sharing it with my hubby for sure! I hope you will join us today, our Anything Goes linky just restarted for the week.

  48. says

    OMG you are so right! I tried the Pinterest recipes for weed killer. I actually think I heard my weeds yell “Is that all you got?” It didn’t work. :( Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  49. Peter Scott says

    Same question as Gail. I rescue dogs, have quite a few at any given time. They like my Bermuda grass as a snack if I don’t keep it cut close. If this increased strength of vinegar will burn a human’s skin, I suspect it could really hurt a dogs tongue or feet pads. Most chemicals state they are safe after they dry. Won’t dew or the tongue saliva activate the vinegar again?

  50. says

    Alert,… the vinegar-soap spray does kill weeds that are freshly sprouted, under 2″, the smaller the better, grasses being a little more resistant,… so get ’em good.

  51. says

    Hi Leslie! I ran across your link at the Party Junk Linky, and I just subscribed to your newsletter. I’ve only got to look around on your blog a little bit so far. But I see lots of great information that I will have to go back to. As for the 20% vinegar I’ve been using it for years and it works great! Years ago before I found the strong stuff I tried the vinegar from the grocery store and you are so right, it does not work, I’ve even seen a volka recipe, it didn’t work either. I haven’t heard of adding orange oil before. I do have some orange oil but I’m stingy with it because it is expensive. If you live in the Fort Worth, Tx. area you can buy both at Marshall Grain Company. Last year when I bought more 20% vinegar I think I paid around $14. I didn’t realize Lowes sold it now, I will have to look there, it’s closer for me. Thanks for sharing, I’m looking forward in exploring your blog and see what other great information and tips you have to share.

  52. Michael says

    We are planing to use the 20% vinegar / orange oil mixture to keep some English Ivy we had cut & rolled up last fall from coming back. The treatment area lies among some well established loblolly pine trees (75ft. to 90ft. high). Are there any concerns if the mixture gets onto the tree’s exposed roots? Or will its bark provide a sufficient defense to the vinegar / orange oil mixture?

    • Leslie says

      I wouldn’t be too concerned about the mixture damaging the tree as long as you don’t pour gallons into the soil and limit it to spraying onto leaves.

  53. Melissa says

    Hi Leslie!
    Thank you so much for this information!! I have a quick question – can this solution kill woody vines such as wisteria and smilax, as well as other smooth leaves vines? My husband and I have recently had some land cleared to build on and it is completely overrun with these vines!! :/ I really don’t want to use roundup or anything like it!!

    • Leslie says

      Wisteria and other woody vines are so difficult to kill. When we had to get rid of invasive fig vine we first started with physically removing the vines, then we used this to kill anything new that sprouted. It worked pretty well, but we had to stay on top of it.

  54. Abby says

    10% vinegar alone works for me. I use a child’s medicine syringe and inject a syringe full into the base of the plant. It does kill the grass too in about a 4 inch radius. I use it on really big dandelions because I have clay soil and they are impossible to pull out.

  55. Deb says

    I use normal white kitchen vinegar, salt and a small amount of dishwashing liquid and spray it on weeds. It kills them. Some huge weeds I had needed a second spraying but they are all dead now. It does not cost much to try it for yourself. It does work.

    • Leslie says

      I am sorry to disagree with you. I never recommend using salt to kill weeds. It stays in the soil and can continue to kill anything that would grow around it.

  56. Debbie says

    I am wondering how long your sprayers last? I am on my third and I haven’t sprayed all of my first gallon of vinegar. What am I doing wrong?

  57. Rose says

    Can you tell me if this solution would work on weeds that are in the shade under a pine tree? You mentioned it has to be a sunny/hot day so would it not work in shade? Thanks.

  58. Judy says

    I have a raised bed inside our dog’s large fenced yard. I would like to try the vinegar treatment around the edge of the bed, but am concerned about our dog. She sometimes eats grass. If we keep her out of the yard for 24 hours after spraying, would it then be safe for her?

    Second question – how heavily do you spray?

    Thank you!

    • Leslie says

      I don’t have pets so I cannot really say. However, check with a local organic nursery – they will know the answer.

  59. Joan Angwin says

    Thanks for the recipe. I have the extra strength vinegar and the orange oil. Question on the orange oil, mine is concentrated. Do I dilute per the bottles instructions? Or use it concentrated.

    Thanks, ready to mix and destroy.


  60. john wagman says

    Would would a herbicide helper (crop oil concentrate) do the same as the orange oil? wasn’t sure if it was serving the same purpose? Hard to find vinegar above 5% strength. Rather than pay shipping, could lemon juice be added to to achieve the same result?

    • Leslie says

      I don’t think I can comment on this because I’ve never heard of crop oil concentrate. If someone knows about this, please share.

  61. Linda says

    I have killed weeds with 5% vinegar. Granted, it was during a dry spell and I poured a LOT at the base of the plant (not sprayed.) Dandelions came back. But grass and other obscure weedy type things haven’t. I have orange oil so I’m going to try it on the tougher weeds!

  62. Mary C says

    I can’t help but wonder if the first posting of the “vinegar+oil weed killer” wasn’t actually a “killer salad dressing” recipe, and it just got miscopied so many times (like a kindergarten game of telephone) that the ‘pick the dandelions because they’re delicious in a light dressing’ got lost.

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