Does Vinegar Kill Weeds to the Root

Does Vinegar Kill Weeds to the Root?

Weeds are the bane of every gardener’s existence; they emerge out of nowhere and strangle the life out of your lawn. When you want to get rid of weeds as soon as possible, buying a bottle of commercial weed killer and spraying it on your lawn or garden appears enticing.

But if the harsh chemicals put you off, why not try vinegar?

Vinegar is a chemical-free weed killer that is widely used. It’s a superior method to weed control, but how does it compare to chemical weed killers to prevent weed growth in our gardens and lawns?

We all know that attacking the roots is the most effective approach to eliminating weeds, which begs the question, does vinegar kill weeds to the root?

Continue reading to learn more about using vinegar to kill weeds.

Does Vinegar Kill Weeds to the Root

Does Vinegar Kill Weeds to the Root?

How does vinegar kill weeds?

Filling a pickle jar or simply flavoring your food are not the only purposes vinegar has; it adds more to the table. Certainly, vinegar will kill weeds.

To determine whether vinegar successfully kills weeds at the root, we must first understand how vinegar works.

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which acts as a non-selective herbicide. The acidity of the vinegar burns any plants it lands on by destroying the plant’s cell membrane.

The acetic acid sucks out the water from the weed’s leaves and kills them before reaching the root.

After 24 hours, the leaves turn brown, tricking most gardeners into thinking the plant is dead. Only to be startled when the plants return with a fury.

Acetic acid, which burns off any organic material it comes into contact with, is the fatal weed-killing element in vinegar. As a result, you will see browning of the leaves within 24 hours of applying it.

However, unlike commercial weed killers, acetic acid is not absorbed in the plant’s system. It is also swiftly broken down into harmless acetate salts in the soil.

This is not to say that vinegar does not kill the roots of some weeds. It is particularly successful in killing the root system of weeds that are less than two weeks old, but it can be challenging to kill the weeds to the roots once they have matured.

Mature plants have robust root systems, but vinegar will only be effective after a few reapplications to keep the weeds at bay.

The advantages of using vinegar as a weedkiller

It is simple to get vinegar from your cupboard. As a result, vinegar is a cost-effective weed killer that is relatively easy to buy.

Vinegar is a natural weed killer; therefore, it is free of poisonous chemicals harmful to the environment. Acetic acid, the active element in vinegar, is created spontaneously by bacterial fermentation.

Because vinegar is a contact herbicide, it is effective against broadleaf and tiny delicate weeds. However, it can also be used to manage ancient weeds, perennials, and grass stickers when combined with other chemicals such as salt and dish soap and reapplied several times.

The disadvantage of vinegar as a weedkiller

Although vinegar is an effective natural weedkiller, it does have a few downsides. Most significantly, vinegar is a non-selective contact weed killer.

It means it will destroy any plant it comes into contact with, including your prized plants. Furthermore, highly concentrated horticultural vinegar can cause skin burns and severe eye injuries when sprayed without protective clothing.

Vinegar has only been shown to successfully destroy the part of the plant above ground, which implies that it will need to be used in conjunction with other weed control programs to kill weeds with deep roots, such as dandelion, efficiently. Otherwise, the weeds will return the following year.

Also read: Natural weed killer with vinegar and dawn

Multiple vinegar applications will kill the weed, but you risk compromising the pH balance of your soil owing to the accumulation of acetic acid in the soil.

However, depending on how long you have been applying the vinegar, this will resolve within a few days. As a result, use vinegar with caution.

How does vinegar kill weeds

Will 20 percent acetic acid kills weeds

To effectively eliminate the weeds, you must destroy their entire system, most notably their roots. Vinegar kills weeds exclusively through contact instead of commercial weed killers, which systematically destroy weeds.

Also read: Effective dandelion killers that don’t harm grass

Because of this, even highly concentrated kinds of vinegar, such as horticultural vinegar, will not successfully kill weeds unless administered several times.

In addition, even when concentrated on the soil, vinegar does not penetrate the roots. Since acetic acid is broken down into acetate salt, which is not toxic, if you are serious about weed control using vinegar, go for one with a higher percentage.

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FAQs: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds to the Root?

Does vinegar kill weeds permanently?

Yes, vinegar is an efficient weed killer, but it only works after several reapplications. The higher the acetic acid content, the more effectively it acts.

How do you mix vinegar to kill weeds?

A homemade weed killer recipe of vinegar combined with salt and dish soap is the best for killing weeds. Use 1 gallon of vinegar mixed with a cup of salt and two tablespoons of dish soap.

Is vinegar as good as Roundup?

Because acetic acid is a contact weed killer and Roundup is a systemic weed killer, Roundup is more effective than vinegar. Still, it is more lethal and toxic than vinegar because it contains glyphosate.

Also read: Weed killers that eliminate everything but Bermuda

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Don’t be left behind as organic gardening takes over, with vinegar and other elements leading the way. Vinegar has long been used for various purposes.

However, before you pour that vinegar bottle on your patio to kill weeds, make sure you grasp everything there is to know about vinegar as a weedkiller.

The main question you should ask to determine whether vinegar is a good weed killer is, does vinegar kill weeds to the root? Because of this question, some may say that vinegar is ineffective as a weedkiller. However, you will never know unless you try.

This article demonstrated that vinegar does not reach the roots of weeds but still successfully manages them.


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. K Beatrice

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