Vinegar Weed Killer

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Inside: 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.

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.


Why, You Ask?

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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 two things:

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.

For over 10 years I have been using either a 20% or 30% 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% – 30% vinegar is potent. You need to wear goggles, rubber gloves, long sleeves, and shoes when working with 20% or stronger vinegar. It will burn your skin if any splashes. I have experienced this first hand, and it can be very painful.

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.


Kill Weeds Once and for All

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 cup 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 gloves when applying with this type of bottle ~ it does tend to drip.

Vinegar Weed Killer

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)

Vinegar Weed Killer

For Best Results

The 20% – 30% 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.


Clean Up

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 high concentrate 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. Wouldn’t you agree?


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322 Comments

  1. 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.

      1. 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!

        1. 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.

          1. Any chance this vinegar mix can kill the common orange wild roadside day lily that has invaded my garden. All among my hedges but now creeping into my rose area. Help !!!

          2. If applied correctly, it’s very powerful. I’m not familiar wth wild day lilies so I can’t comment from personal experience.

          3. HI Leslie,

            Can I use this on Bermuda runners which have invaded my mulch from my nearby lawn (as long as I protect the lawn)? I just want to make sure it won’t travel through the roots back to the lawn itself… Thanks!

          1. Not all Lowes carry 20% vinegar. I went yesterday and all they had was the 6% cleaning vinegar. The gardening section had no idea of what I was asking for and the customer service center was not helpful either. 🙁

          2. True, that is why I have some Amazon links. It depends on where you live. I believe 20% vinegar isn’t available in Canada.

          3. Although they don’t stock it, you can order the more potent vinegar on-line through Home Depot. It will be delivered free at your local store within a few days. I just picked up a gallon of 30% that I ordered last week.

          4. factorydirectvinegar.com sells 5 gallon buckets of 30% vinegar, and website has dilution calculator so you can add water to cut to 20% or 10%.

        1. Also 20% gardening vinegar is available at FactoryDirectChemicals.com
          I am using it to kill my grass to make a wildflower meadow!

        1. I do not recommend salt in the soil, ever. It kills everything good and takes forever for the soil to restore.

          1. I’ve been researching vinegar solutions to get rid of pesky dandelion weeds on a patio. You e mentioned not to use salt bc it will kill the soil. However if I’m treating a paved patio where I wouldn’t want any plants in the ground anyway is it ok to add salt?

          2. Personally, I would never put salt close to any plant life. It gets in the soil and stays there for a long time. It could affect nearby plants over time.

          3. Yes but you ONLY spray on weeds! I gallon Apple cider vinegar, 1 cup Epsom salt and 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap. It works wonderfully BUT you need to do it on a hot sunny day only, it does not work well when it’s cool or cloudy!!!

      2. I have forgotten or perhaps you have not said: Does your recipe keep grass from growing back this summer season? I used your recipe using Flo Master Sprayer. This sprayer was so easy to use compared to others. I tried Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart trying to get the 20% vinegar and orange oil. No luck. At last I called a nursery well known in our area, and they had both. I am so glad I found your website. I ask questions under reply, because I cannot find where I am suppose to ask questions on your site. Thank you for all of your help.

        1. It’s hit or miss on vinegar at the big box stores. We’ve been getting ours at Amazon lately. You can even get a 30% solution which will knock out the weeds faster.

          1. I have been using 30% vinegar, one gallon with 2 cups of Edson salts and 1/4 cup of dawn. It works very well on weeds. My big problem is white little onions that fell out of a pot into a flower bed. I’ve been using the above to try to control them and kill them out. I’ll try your version with the orange oil.
            Or would you have any suggestions for killings the onions. Driving me crazy! Thanks so much , Pebbie

          2. I’ve never added Epsom salts or dawn to my mixture. The orange oil clings to the leaf and allows the vinegar to travel to the root system. It cuts off the photosynthesis process and aids in killing the plant Also, onions have a fairly thick leaf system which is why you’re probably having a hard time killing them.

          3. Thank you so much, I’ll switch to the orange oil. Just purchased at a local nursery. Thanks for onion advice. Should I keep respraying every 72 hours? And I have been attempting to keep the water off that particular bed, we threw a tarp over so the sprinkler would not rinse it off.

            I just had a wonderful going around the yard spraying the bind weed and other stuff coming up Thru my pecan bark mulch. I’m excited to see the results. Thanks again! So glad I found your blog.

      3. Will this work on tumble weeds. My local cemetery is overgrown. When could i plant grass seed after this is applied? Thank you
        Kristy

    1. There is a way to kill weeds without using vinegar. I use water salt and dawn dish soap mixing to where salt is dissolved and then spraying weeds. Will even kill poison ivy I’ve done this and it works use a gallon of water two cups salt and two tablespoons soap. Remember it will kill any plant life and does have to be used on a sunny day

      1. I DO NOT recommend adding salt to the soil. Ever! It kills the soil and will build up over time. Yes, it kills nuisance plants, but salt also can permanently destroy the soil and make it impossible for anything to grow. Here is your best way to remember this: When Rome conquered Jerusalem they sowed salt into the soil surrounding the city. This made growing impossible for generations. Generations! Don’t put salt in your soil. Ever!

        1. Will this vinegar and orange oil disapate and not be around when I plant my garden about the end of May ? 45 days

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

        1. 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. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. Leslie, Thank you for your information. I have a questions. 1. Is Orange Oil bad for the environment? Thank yo..

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

      1. 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

        1. 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’.

        1. I say, give it a try. It might work on your weeds. I don’t think it would work here in Central Texas, though.

    3. I just applied vinegar at 30%, on my vine that has spread all over the right half of my backyard. Here’s
      Hoping?? I hope it works!

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. Hi I mix 2.5 L of white vinegar to 3 tablespoons of Epsom salts and a large squirt of washing up liquid and this works will even kill ragwart

  5. 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.

      1. Yes, it should work fine. But you really want the plant to drink in the vinegar and orange oil. That’s what kills the roots.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. So can I do this to my entire weedy lawn, then expect to be able to seed after adding compost? Good grass will grow again from seed in the area that had vinegar and orange oil applied?

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    1. 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.

    2. I have never try this solution but am sick of pulling weeds in some areas. After spraying, will the weeds grow back or is this final for the weeds??

  9. 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. 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. 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?

    1. I have a very large area of spruce trees that have tons of weeds under them. Will this solution harm the trees?

  12. 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?

    1. 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.

    1. 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. 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!!!!

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. A book titled, Carrots love Tomatoes, is a companion planting book. It stated to plant your tomatoes next to your roses to avoid the black spot. I did and never get the blackspot for years. I also read recently, that roses should only be watered at ground level.

          1. I’ve never heard about the tomatoes/roses thing, but it makes sense. I did, however, know about watering roses at ground level. Doing this prevents black spot fungus on the leaves. When the leaves drop, they put the soil into the ground and it’s almost impossible to get rid of unless you pick up every fallen rose leaf and put it in a plastic bag before tossing.

    2. I am an organic gardener and have found much success with many fungal and pest issues by using garlic. I put a whole bulb into the blender and fine chop it. Then just cover it with water and a loose cap and let it ferment for a week. I then strain it. Then I take about 1/4 cup and add it to a gallon of water with two tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of dish soap. shake well and put this mix in a spray bottle and spritz your plants every few days. Not only the fungal spots go away but the bugs too. (Smell dissipates after a couple of hours.) I even spritz it on my hat and shirt to work in the garden to keep away mosquitoes while I work. Lasts about four hours.. I also dab it on the top of my dogs ears to keep the biting flies away.I used the part that was left over after straining by mixing it with more water and watering the base of my crab apple that had scab. They were completely infected and defoliated this year so I figured it couldn’t hurt. Now they have new leaf growth with no scab. Good luck!

  14. 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,
    Suzanne

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

  16. 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. 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

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

  18. 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!

    1. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

    1. It’s possible they don’t sell it in such a strength in the UK. Have you tried Amazon? Also, 10% vinegar can be just as effective.

      1. 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
        Thanks

  23. 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.

    1. 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:)

  24. 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)

    1. 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.

      1. 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?”

      2. Leslie,

        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?

        1. T would think the “C” means cup. If you have 1 quart of oil, you would only use 1/4 of it to a gallon of vinegar.That is if I am guessing right and C = cup?

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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,
    Jennifer

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

    1. Unfortunately 5% vinegar will not work on Central Texas weeds. My weeds would just think it was a sour drink.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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

  35. 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.

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

  36. 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.

  37. 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

    1. 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!

  38. 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?

  39. 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!

  40. 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,
    Bev

  41. 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!

  42. 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?!

  43. 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

  44. 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!

  45. 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.

  46. 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?

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

    1. Hi Linda, I’m also in Ft. Worth. Any experience with using it on Trumpet Vine? I think it is going to be a long, consistent battle as it is a woody vine like the wisteria. DON’T plant it near any structure and that means 50-60 feet! AT least. Better for the open range. It will smother trees also.
      Thanks

      1. A mature trumpet vine will need a clippers, a shovel, and a strong back. The Vinegar Weed Killer will work on the little bits that try to spring up.

  49. 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?

    1. 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.

  50. 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!!

    1. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

    1. 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.

  53. 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?

  54. 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.

    1. The grass around my pines is dying. There are some weeds that grow.I have been pulling them by hand. Will try vinegar formula. Thinking of raking up pine spines and using as mulch to control weeds in other areas??

  55. 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!

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

  56. 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.

    Joan

  57. 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?

    1. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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.

  60. I am here to tell you that this does work indeed. cheap vinegar cooking salt and cheapest dish liquid. works wonderfully for paving weeds

    1. Personally, I do not recommend using salt to remove weeds. It can get into the soil and render it unusable. The citrus oil is just as effective and does not destroy the soil.

      1. Jason and you have confirmed that C = cup. You can choose.not post my earlier question about it.
        Would suggest to put the word cup in the article instead of just C.

  61. I was thinking of planting wildflowers on my slopes. I’d read a post to use roundup fall and spring to kill grass and then scratch it. Plant the seeds as directed. I was hoping to try your solution now. Then plant at the end of May when there won’t be any frost. So how long does this last before you can plant where you have sprayed?

  62. Dear Leslie,

    I followed your recipe and it worked very well. Now I have probably a silly question: what do I do with all the dead weeds? Just pull them?

    1. Yep, just pull them and toss them on the compost heap. Since you’ve used vinegar and not a chemical the dying weed will aid the compost.

  63. I am wondering if this solution will harm the soil at all? I’d like to use this to kill the weeds in an area that is will be used as a vegetable garden. Would that be okay? Would you suggest amending the soil after with anything in particular? Thanks!

    1. This does not harm the soil in any way and you should be fine planting a veggie garden. I would give it a few days to kill the weeds, first.

  64. Interesting stating regular viniger will not work. For 30 plus years regular viniger 1gal, 2 cups epson salt and 6 oz dawn blue dish soap kills al weeds I have come across in the northwest. There have been a couple weeds/plant that are problemmatic such as black berry and schotchbroom.

    Dave

    1. I imagine that this would work in the Northwest, but in Texas and other Southern states that don’t see freezes, our weeds need something more powerful.

  65. How does this leave the soil after killing off the weeds with vinegar/citrus combo? Is it safe to plant veggies after the weeds are dead?

  66. Leslie, glad I found your site. I’ve been helping a neighbor as she tries to get rid of a large area of horehound that has gotten into a horse paddock. We are hand pulling every plant (after some heavy rains which made it so much easier)Another site recommended the vinegar and orange oil on horehound but NOT until November. Any thoughts on that? By the way I have successfully used the 20% vinegar and orange oil on the edges of my gardens where invasive weeds/grasses were getting in. Worked very well. Thanks,

    1. On the November thing, I can only assume it has to do with weather patterns. Here in Texas, we spray when it’s hot and dry. That should really be your guideline.

  67. Hi Leslie, we have a massive problem with paper thorns. We live on a small holding and have wild life who graze the grass, i.e. Nyala, Impala, porcupine, zebra, wildebeeste. Will your above mixture affect them as we dont want to harm the animals.

  68. Thanks so much for this article. I’ve got an allotment and as you can imagine weeds run rampant and like yourselves I refuse to use chemical weed killers for the sake of both myself, my family and the environment.

    I would love to use this method, however I live in the UK and can’t find a supplier for horticultural citrus oil. I’ve found an article on how to make some homemade horticultural oil, http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_7666745_homemade-horticultural-oil.html but not sure what type of citrus oil I should use in the recipe – so far I’ve only managed to come across lemon flavouring oil for baking and essential oils which I don’t think will have the required properties. If anyone out there can help, I’d very much appreciate it. Thanks and happy gardening fellow lady gardeners!

  69. Leslie: Does your vinegar/ oil work on thistle It has invaded our flower beds in Indiana.. Also will it harm free ranging chickens.

  70. Leslie, will this work on Wisteria? It’s taking over everything. We cut out what we can but it pops up and chokes out other plants. We’ve never seen it flower and desperately want to get rid of it. Help!

  71. Tip: If you add enough orange oil and/or clove oil (and salt, and dish soap) to your full strength vinegar carrier, the regular 5% vinegar is good enough.

  72. Hi Leslie, is this safe to do on mulch. We planted viburnum about a month ago and are getting ready to apply mulch around. Unfortunately, there has been a significant amount of weed growth. I’m looking to apply the weed killer and then apply the mulch. Should I wait a certain amount of time after spraying before a put the mulch down, and can I continue to use it once the mulch is down. Thanks!

  73. I added apple cider vinegar to my pets’ water, at about 1 Tbs per gallon. Recently, I decided to refresh the water, replace it with fresh water. I accidently threw some of the water on some ornamental foliage, a type of grass. It killed them dead. The whole was about three gallons of water with about 3 Tbs ACV. I threw only a small amount before realizing what I was doing.

  74. How long will the vinegar stay in the ground and continue to kill? I have several Sandbur weeds in my yard I want to kill but I want the grass to grow over these spots.

      1. Thank you Leslie. And, I was giving it more thought, in my actual garden, the weeds are spotty so I wouldn’t be dousing the whole area, just where the weeds are, so there should be room for it to dissipate before we start planting. And, we treated the soil with lye last year, so that should help as well.

  75. Hi Leslie!
    I’m getting my vegetable garden ready. Last year my dear husband tilled ALOT of top soil (I call it raw top soil) into my garden. I had MORE weeds than I could handle. I want to avoid a repeat of last year 🙂 If I spray this mixture into the soil, will I be able to plant my garden by May. I’m also a beekeeper and I have hives that are approximately 60 feet from my garden. I realize this mixture would hurt my bees. I figure I’d spray on a day that isn’t wind and spray close to the ground. Thank you!

  76. Thanks for the advice & will try it this summer in my driveway…… Can you use this product to kill weeds on your lawn

  77. I want to kill weeds that are coming up in or gravel path. Will this mixture be OK in the gravel without discoloring or degrading the gravel in any way?

  78. Leslie, this works for me w/o killing the St. Augustine grass. We waiting 2 days then used the watering system. The weeds are gone while the St. Augustine is coming back up. What a surprise – maybe not perfectly, but 80 percent.

    My question is Storage. We are buying a glass gallon jar to store, but what type of cap to use for storage – metal or plastic.

    1. It’s really difficult to store for any period of time. The vinegar destroys plastic parts. I would try to mix and use during one setting.

  79. I have used the vinegar, salt and dishwashing liquid and it worked to kill weeds. I bought regular old distilled vinegar (store brand) and Dawn dish soap. It’s the only thing I use. Your article telling people it will not work isn’t false….

    1. It is NEVER recommended that you put salt into the soil. It can destroy everything good and takes forever to restore.

  80. Hi Leslie, I am an organic gardener and literally just came in from spraying a massive patch of Canadian Thistle that I’ve been pulling over and over again. I hesitantly bought and sprayed with Round Up because I just got so frustrated. I only sprayed each Thistle individually and didn’t have enough to get all of the Thistle. I will go buy the Orange oil and 20% Vibegar tomorrow and use this concoction from now on. I wish I would have found this blog 30 mins ago. Oy. My question… Will it kill Canadian Thistle??

      1. We live in the mountains of NC. Just squeaked out of drought conditions from last year. But temps are up in the 80’s now. The English Ivy is under the tree canopy of our yard and doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight even when it is hot and dry.

  81. Hi Leslie! We have giant clover patches in our front & backyard. We live in Southern Ohio. Our house is newly built – 1 year old. My husband is a cancer scientist and does not want to use chemicals in the yard … we have 1 year old twins who literally will eat our grass! Our HOA sent us a letter about the clover. The home builder did a very poor job of watering the sod in the front yard and seed in the backyard for the month before we moved in (last Spring). We think that may be whybtje clover is so bad. What should we do to kill it, but not have giant bare patches of no grass (our HOA would flip out). Thank you so very much!

    1. The absolute key to getting rid of clover is to improve your soil. Compost and Medina Soil Activator are going to be your best way to do this. I recommend you contact a local Master Gardener Assoc. or your county agent and find out the best times and practices for organically improving soil in your area. It does take time and patience, but once the soil is healthy, the grass will put down dense roots that prevent weeds and clover from getting through.

  82. is the ground sterile after applying this solution? Will grass grow there? We have a lot of creeping charlie/ground ivy on the east side of our house.

    1. It will kill grass if you get over-spray. But it doesn’t make the soil sterile. It’s very safe and disappears quickly.

  83. Hi Leslie!

    I have a HUGE problem in both my front and back yards with crab grass or quack grass (whatever it’s calles)…the kind whose roots can wind down and around everywhere. They don’t seem to be in my lawn, but they ARE in my garden beds and landscapes areas. Will this concoction work on those as well?

    1. Everyone’s soil is different, but waiting until the soil is dry and the temperature is about 80+ should net you good results.

  84. I read your comment about replanting. You said, “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.”

    I have two questions. My yard is ALL weeds. I have having some goats over to eat them down as far as they will, and then planning on following your directions here to kill them dead. I have some uneven ground, holes, etc, so was going to till then plant a clover/grass mix.

    Question 1:
    Do you recommend against tilling in a situation where the ground needs leveling? Should I simply fill in the holes and not worry about the lumpy ground?

    Question 2:
    How long does it take for the weed to die down to the root before I can seed my yard? Am I looking at days? A week? A month?

  85. Greetings……. I am excited to try this on my dirt walkway but am wondering if you can suggest a more efficient less intensive way of spraying it on my long……long dirt walkway………I fear my hand will give out pumping away the amount I would need to cover the whole walkway with just a pump spray bottle and I fear I will pour more, hence waste a lot of the solution if I just pour it out from the jug…….any suggestions for an efficient way to spray it over a large area??? ……thank you so much 🙂
    Kim

  86. Leslie you have given me lots of insite in using the vinegar and oil to kill weeds. I have lots of crabgrass and weeds PRESENTLY growing in my bermunda grass. If I spray this solution on my bermunda grass to get rids of the weeds, how long will it take for the rest of the bermunda grass that was not sprayed to grow again in the area where I sprayed. Thanks for your response in answering all my questions. I am about to tacle a large area and want it to be effective and grass growing again.

    1. The amount of time to recover will depend on the health of your Bermuda grass and the amount of water and light it receives daily. Remember, the weed killer can’t tell the weed from the grass. Spray small areas at a time so your lawn won’t look splotchy. You should be able to see when new grass begins growing. Remember, the best way to stop weeds is with a healthy lawn. Thick grass won’t let weeds through.

  87. Leslie – About 10 years ago years ago my wife put in a few hydrangea plants. She died a few years after that and since then the plants have taken over and nearly ruined the Japanese garden (an area about 10×10). I have tried in vain to get this plant under control or eliminate it. I’ve tried Round-Up and other herbicides and none of them work. What I have learned is that the flowers above the ground are creating huge numbers of small root balls below the ground and they will be the next years plants. Nothing seems to penetrate down to kill or destroy the root balls. These root balls are 4-5 inches below the top of the soil and to dig them out would be almost impossible because of the tree roots and one could not be sure that all of the root balls were removed. There is a large Japanese Maple growing very close to the mass of the hydrangea plants and it seems like the Round up I’ve sprayed has not affected the tree. From what have observed the herbicides have not impeded the growth of the hydrangeas. Any suggestions on how to destroy these invasive plants?

    1. I would strongly encourage you to no longer use Roundup on anything. It is terrible for the soil and humans. I’ve never dealt with hydrangeas in Texas, but I have managed to uproot many invasive plants. It takes time and patience. Just keep digging and eventually they will stop coming back.

  88. Working on trying to eliminate Japanese Honeysuckle from the yard. I have a front hillside full of it. I really don’t want much of anything growing on this hillside as it is steep. If I was to use this weed killer should I add salt to never have anything grow here. Just very frustrated as poison ivy has also starting to show in places. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    1. I never recommend salt because it destroys the soil and being on a hill it will destroy soil in lower areas. I only recommend vinegar/citrus oil. However, you can get 30% vinegar on Amazon and it’s very powerful. Be sure to use heavy duty gloves.

  89. I have a very large amount of chickweed in my yard. It is in a couple of flower beds and surrounding several large trees in my backyard. I want to use the vinegar/citrus oil you suggest but I am concerned whether the trees.’ roots might be damaged in the process. Should I just avoid using the mixture anywhere near exposed roots? Would that be sufficient to keep the trees safe?

    1. As long as you’re using it on the nuisance plants you’ll be fine. If you dump a gallon of undiluted vinegar on the tree roots it would cause damage.

  90. OMG! Thank you so much for this weed recipe!! I never found the ingredients in any stores, but ordered online. I just sprayed an hour ago (nasty purple thistle that NO animal will eat) and they are already shriveled up and dark brown. YOU. MADE. MY. YEAR! Thanks for sharing!!

  91. How does the vinegar and citrus oil stay mixed? I’m concerned that like salad dressing, the two ingredients will separate. Looking forward to giving it a try!

  92. Hi Leslie,
    I used the recipe on pinterest.. It does kill for a little while but it always comes back. I am trying to get rid of what we call nut grass but I think it is actually called nut sedge. My issue is it is growing in my asparagus and in my berry patch. Can I spray this in those beds without hurting the asparagus and berry bushes? I would put cardboard between the weeds and the plants while spraying. Should I leave it so the asparagus ferns don’t touch them after?

    1. Nut grass is really, really, really, really hard to get rid of. The minute you break a “nut” it turns into more! So, don’t try digging it out. Yes, this works on nut grass, but it’s not easy to kill this way. Make sure you are spraying when the ground is very dry and the air is very warm (80-degrees plus). Then spray the leaves every day or so. Eventually it will take care of it, but it will be a battle. Be careful around the other plants, it doesn’t know the difference.

      1. I also have nut sedge that grows through the thickest mulch. You suggest applying the potion every day or so on hot, dry days. Might you estimate how any days this would take? Should I taper off after a while? Thank you!

        1. Nut sedge is extremely hard to get rid of – depending on rain amounts, etc. So there is no real estimate – but you can use it consistently without damaging your soil.

  93. Hi Leslie,
    Thanks for your article. I purchased the 20% acetic acid and orange oil from Amazon after calling all the garden centers and nurseries around without luck of finding them locally (there is a local landscaper in Phoenix with a brand named the Garden Guy that sells his own 10% product to the local stores but it’s out of stock near me).

    I will try them out tomorrow. I have seen quite a few posts on Amazon from people only using 1-2 oz of orange oil per gallon of 20-30% acetic acid (and some use 2 oz dish washing liquid too). I am tempted to try that lower dose of orange oil because it was quite pricey. Have you had any luck using a lower concentration of orange oil?

    1. You will always have the best luck if you use at least 20% vinegar with at least 1 oz. of orange oil per gallon. Straight up 30% vinegar can work for a bit, but the orange oil is the “secret sauce.”

  94. Wonderful info! Thank you for sharing!

    I’ve read the comments section and saw that you said salt will kill the soil for generations. I’m actually needing a complete and long-term natural weed killer. If I use the 20-30% vinegar, orange oil and add salt would that be an acceptable and effective use of the vinegar, orange oil, salt mixture? If so, how much salt should I add per gallon of vinegar/orange oil?

    Thanks! Will be buying the ingredients via your links. I’d love to do what I can to support your blog and show my appreciation for your thoughts.

    1. I NEVER recommend putting salt into the soil. So my answer is zero amount of salt. Salt is devastating to soil microbes which prevent lawn and plant diseases and allow for nutrient transfer to plants. These microbes could be killed and never come back in your generation. Dead soil = dead plants.

  95. I have poison ivy growing under a large mature white pine tree, is the vinegar and orange oil solution safe to use on the poison ivy without harming the tree?

  96. You may have mentioned this in previously comments, but you are so popular there are too many to read through! I have a backyard full of grass and clovers I want to kill so we can replant a different kind of grass. Would spraying this solution all over be your recommendation? And how long would we wait to replant? Thanks!!

    1. It is a daunting task to remove a yard full of grass. When we have large areas we cover in black plastic, cardboard, weed cloth…basically anything that will slowly kill the grass. Then, it’s easy to till under and replant.

  97. So I bought my orange oil and 20% vinegar from an online source and I am good to go on the next dry day! This idea (and the guarantee on the bottle of vinegar) has convinced my husband to abandon the awful commercial product the garden store recommended. I’ll be using it only on a few shrub beds where the stone mulch is ineffective. Luckily he’s not so worried about the odd dandelion or wild violet. I am optimistic that “RU” will be replaced by this method. Thanks for this great post!

  98. Will this work on wild trumpet vine? It gets on the siding then under it. I have sprayed RoundUp on it for years. It kills it until next spring and we start over again. I also have monkey grass I want to get rid of. RoundUp doesn’t kill it. Will this work on it?

    1. I would recommend you stop using Roundup. It’s poisoning our soil and people. Try this instead, it should be as effective.

  99. Leslie, great info! I’ve had good luck with vinegar on weeds where there is full sun. Wanting to try the orange oil, but it’s expensive. Have you ever tried (or know of) making it yourself from orange peels? Guessing too many oranges would be required and a whole lot work, but curious…

  100. I am confused on one thing. I used your links for the vinegar and oil, which led to Amazon. Reading more, I think I see where you mean that you can buy the product already mixed, but the link carries me back to the original vinegar on Amazon (that does not seem to have the oil in it). Am I missing something? Thanks so much!

    1. It’s likely a broken link that Amazon has redirected. I can find this product locally during hot months.

  101. I want to plant creeping junipers on a slope in my back yard. After killing the weeds with vinegar and orange oil, how long do you have to wait before planting?

    After a day or more of sun, will the runoff water from a heavy rain kill blueberry bushes that are 1-2 feet away?

    1. I have no idea about blueberry bushes. I live in Texas. All our blueberries are at the grocery store. The vinegar/orange oil mixture should be fine to plant after 48 hours. It works on killing the plant, but doesn’t destroy the surrounding soil.

  102. We have a lot of crabgrass, various weeds and very little bermuda left in our back yard. Are we going to have to kill off the weeds before we can lay sod?

    1. We had similar issues when we purchased our home. We killed the weeds with vinegar/orange oil and then put down a heavy duty weed cloth and then laid the sod over it. Never really had any issues with the weeds.

  103. I have English ivy growing close to some trees in my back yard. Would using this mixture on the ivy work it’s way to the trees and do them any harm ?

    1. I shouldn’t harm your trees, but getting it on foliage might cause a localized leaf drop.

  104. Have you used 20% and 1 cup orange oil added to one gallon on poison ivy, honeysuckle, wire grass, or pasture weeds like dock and horse nettle? I tried it on poison ivy 3 days ago and it has had some effect. Some of the leaves are dying. I think I have to use more and set my sprayer closer to squirt than mist. I have not tried honey suckle yet. Is it best to mow it down / cut it down and then spray the newer growth? Will spraying the vines without leaves do anything? If this won’t get these weeds, do you have any other ideas? Should I increase concentration. It was 80 degrees and had not rained for 48 hours. (It is pretty hot in my long sleeves and pants, goggles and rubber gloves here in VA. I am sure glad I am not doing this in Texas)
    Thanks, MImi

    1. I haven’t used this for these types of plants. All I can suggest is try it and see how it works.

    1. No a stupid question. Yes, once they’re dead, we “pull” them. We use a hula hoe and that gets them up by the roots.

  105. THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE! We have been over run with bermuda grass in our yard and a half an acre field now. Its in all our flower beds, including my heirloom bulb garden, as high as my knees. We cannot kill it or pull it as it breaks off and makes more shoots. We live in central Missouri. I have spoke with local and college horticulture depts and they only can suggest Roundup and no other solution besides tilling the entire yard and field and laying plastic down over it during August to let the heat kill it! Would you suggest this method of vinegar and oil or do you have another suggestion? We are not going to use Roundup.

    1. We have Bermuda and use this all the time. It will kill it off, but we still have to remove the dead grass.

  106. Can I use this to kill crabgrass in my Kentucky Blue grass? If I spot treat (crabgrass is bad this year) will my lawn be OK?

    1. Yes, but you will have a dead patch where you spray. The mixture doesn’t know if something is a lawn or a weed.

    1. If applied under the right circumstances, it’s likely. But I’ve never tried….although I did zap some poison ivy.

  107. I love the organic approach and just purchased 20% Vinegar and the Orange Oil through Amazon. Just to be clear, how does this mixture impact birds that burrow through the dirt and also turtles who wonder up from the pond?

  108. Great information thank you for sharing. I have a question, does this work for ornamental grasses? I have an ornamental grass that has gotten out of control and is encroaching on other trees and shrubs. I don’t want to harm them and I don’t want anything toxic. Will this concoction work?

    1. It depends. We use it for this very thing. Just don’t over do it and things should be fine.

  109. Thank you so much for your information, Leslie.
    Can you please comment on the effectiveness of a solution like this on bulb-type weeds like oxalis? I’m going to mix this up for the bermuda grass sneaking through to the sidewalk cracks, but before I mix a large amount for the oxalis patch, I hoped for your input. Do you know if with multiple applications, the mixture makes it down to kill the bulb (and the variously-named parts)? Thank you.

    1. The real key is highly concentrated vinegar (20-30%), dry soil, and high temperatures. You may want to wait for a hot, dry spell before applying and then you’ll see success.

  110. Thank you for your reply, Leslie!
    Part of the issue is that we are in the CA Bay Area, and it won’t get hot until months from now. I was thinking that it would be best to spray the oxalis while it is green, and taking in nutrients (or in this case, toxins!) into the bulbs, to kill them off. The area where I want to spray is mostly in shade, and won’t get very hot and dry until months from now. So, I guess the next-step question is whether it is better to use this weed killer while the plants are green and active but the soil may still be kind of moist and cool; or, to use it once it is warm and dry, but the plants have finished their spring cycle. If you have further clarification, I am grateful! Thanks.

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