Trio of household ingredients will kill pesky weeds within hours ‘without affecting the soil or nearby plants’

Trio of household ingredients will kill pesky weeds within hours ‘without affecting the soil or nearby plants’

Royal Horticultural Society

Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 26/03/2024

- 22:58

The most effective weed killers may already be sitting in your kitchen cabinet

As our favourite plants emerge from dormancy in the early weeks of Spring, so will the pesky weeds that compete with them for essential nutrients.

Over time, these unwanted plants rob moisture from the soil before surrounding flowers have had their fix.

Fortunately, some of the most effective weed killers derive from products you most likely have in your home, according to experts.

Neil McKenzie, a gardening professional from Halton Stairlifts, said: “A solution of vinegar, water and a drop of dish soap can be an effective herbicide for pesky weeds.

soap and vinegar

Dish soap and vinegar are highly effective in killing weeds


“Spray it directly onto the leaves of unwanted plants to curb their growth without affecting the soil or nearby plants.”

Mixing a gallon of vinegar, 1.2 cups of salt, and 1.4 cups of dish soap, will result in a powerful solution.

The hack has been shared countless times on social media, including by content creator Melissa Jane, who described the product as a “cost-efficient and environmentally friend weed and grass killer”.

Taking to her TikTok channel, Melissa explained: “I like to thoroughly soak my plants. The reason you add dish soap is so it attaches to the plant.”

In her demonstration, the green-thumbed enthusiast applied the product at around eight to nine o’clock in the morning. Within seven to eight hours, it had already killed the majority of weeds.

“You can see it does such an amazing job. We really like using this product. On a warm day, it kills [weeds] pretty well.

The Royal Horticultural Society endorses the use of natural ingredients to control weeds. It says: “Weeds can be controlled without resorting to weedkillers.

“Cultural or organic control measures rely on killing or restricting the weeds by physical actions, from manual removal to smothering, burning and using weed barriers.”

David Denyer, a two-time Florist of the Year and six-time Chelsea Gold Medalist at Eflorist recommends mulching soil as an alternative weed control method.

“Apply a fresh layer of mulch - a layer of material like bark chippings or compost - around your plants,” he said. “This helps retain moisture, keep the soil cool and keep weeds away - perfect conditions for healthy blooms.”



Weeds can compete with surrounding plants for nutrients and moisture


It comes as gardeners hoping to add a splash of colour to their Spring display have been encouraged to plant flowering bulbs in March.

“Cornflowers, borage or Californian poppies are among the easiest to grow and some of the most colourful,” pointed out Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at

“The flowers and leaves of borage are edible, the blooms make a great decoration for a jug of Pimm’s and the bristly leaves can be wilted like spinach.

“A good indication that the ground is warm enough to plant hardy annuals is when you see weed seedlings appear.”

You may like