Eco-Friendly, Kid-Friendly Weed Killer

Vinegar makes a good eco-friendly, kid-friendly weed killer
This weed killer is eco and kid friendly.
Are you after a cheap, eco-friendly, kid-friendly weed killer that uses common ingredients from your kitchen AND works fast? If so, read on…
I hate weeding, I really do. I wish I could wave a magic wand and all the weeds in our garden would disappear. In the past I’ve resorted to buying commercial weed killer but it never sat comfortably with me and now I have kids I don’t want them to be around it. A few years ago I bought an eco-friendly weed killer from a garden show. I got home and realised it was basically a mixture of salt and vinegar. I paid around $6 for 500ml and as I had quite a few weeds to fight, I decided I could definitely make it myself cheaper. I mentioned this to an old gardening friend and they informed me I could indeed and all I would need to add to the concoction was a dash of dishwashing liquid to help break down the waxy coating found on many weeds. Simple!
So today, like many days since, I found myself mixing up a batch of this eco-friendly kid-friendly weed killer to use in the garden. Little Miss B had a wonderful time pumping and spraying the mixture over the broadleaf weeds growing in the white pebbles beside our driveway and the best part was knowing that my little girl was safe from toxic ingredients.
If you would like to make your own eco-friendly, kid-friendly weed killer you will need:

  • 2 litres vinegar
  • 2 quick squirts of liquid soap (dishwashing or hand is ideal)
  • 1 cup salt*
  • A spray or pump bottle
  • A funnel (optional)
  1. Pour the vinegar, liquid soap and salt into the bottle (using the funnel if desired).
  2. Shake thoroughly to combine.
  3. Head outside and spray on weeds in your garden.

This recipe is great for kids at home and at school. They can make it themselves which will help with their measuring and maths skills and the application out in the garden is easy. Be careful though that they in fact only spray weeds as this mixture is lethal and non-discriminatory when it comes to killing vegetation (just ask my husband who lost his much-loved bonsai Japanese maple).
*Salt can leech into the soil around the plant you are spraying which can cause the area to become unfit for growing plants for some time. If you are concerned, you can omit the salt and simply use the vinegar and soap though the results may vary.

15 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly, Kid-Friendly Weed Killer

  1. Cass says:

    Thanks for this. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. My 18 month old grabs any random thing he can get his hands on in the garden & puts it in his mouth, so, I’ve not been game to use a weed spray, & we have weeds EVERYWHERE!
    One question….how long will it take for the weeds to die once sprayed?

    • Erica Lovel says:

      This weed killer shouldn’t take the colour from paving, however vinegar is a weak acid, so it may be best to try in a hidden part of the garden first.

  2. Francis Sprudd says:

    I’ve made a playground out my garden for the kids. Laid fabric membrane down and covered in bark. However grass has started to grow through it at a rapid rate recently.
    Would this recipe affect the bark at all if I sprayed it?

    • Erica Lovel says:

      Hi Francis, absolutely this weed killer will work on the grass that has appeared. Use it on a sunny day when no rain has been forecast for best results.
      Happy gardening

  3. says:

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found
    a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and
    screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but
    I had to tell someone!

  4. JASON NOBLETT says:

    Hi will this mixture need dilution with water to make 5ltr spray pak??? Also will this mix work for ivy creeper & common aussie burr( bindie) too??? Thanks

  5. Jill Llewelyn-Smith says:

    We live on acres west of Coffs Harbour and have a considerable amount of weeds to control. We recently purchased an organic product at great expense that was touted to be wonderful, and used by schools and councils. We’ve not been overly impressed with the results thus far.
    Being a teacher at our local valley school, I am also very focused on healthy gardens. for our students to play in.
    Can you please advise whether you can buy vinegar in large quantities to be practical, and if this would suit our purposes. I have a feeling my husband mixed up a brew some time ago, but did not really get a strike. HELP!

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