Five Non-Toxic Ways to Kill Weeds Naturally

As weeds start to pop up in your garden beds, paths, sidewalks, lawns and more, people want easy ways to kill weeds without chemicals. 

I have five easy ways to help you naturally kill weeds without resorting to a synthetic weed killer like RoundUp.

These methods are easy to do at home and will let you kill weeds in an organic way that won't hurt your local pollinators (or your local humans!)

Looking for more non-toxic weed killer recipes?

Get started killing weeds organically with these other articles:

Why is RoundUp Bad? Why shouldn't I use glyphosate?

RoundUp and other synthetic pesticides that use glyphosate hurt both humans and friendly native pollinators. 

A 2018 study from the University of Texas suggests that exposure to glyphosate makes bees more susceptible to infection and death.

Glyphosate is also bad for human health. Glyphosate is a known endocrine disruptor (it negatively affects your hormones). In 2018 and 2019, Bayer (the makers of glyphosate-containing herbicide, RoundUp) lost several lawsuits alleging it caused cancer in people who used it routinely.

With so many easy ways to kill weeds without resorting to glyphosate, why would anyone want to mess with using this particular chemical just to get rid of some unwanted plants?

Non-Toxic Ways to Kill Weeds Naturally
without synthetic herbicides

Five different nontoxic ways to kill weeds without RoundUp or other herbicide poisons. Includes easy DIY homemade weed killer spray recipe, ideas for getting rid of large amounts of weeds and how to kill weeds growing in the cracks of your sidewalk or driveway. #weedkiller #howtokillweeds #gardening #nontoxicgardening #organicgardening

Homemade Weed Killer Spray

I have a go-to easy weed killer spray that will kill weeds faster than RoundUp (really!) and doesn't come with any of the adverse effects on humans or wildlife.

This weed killer recipe combines vinegar, soap and salt to make an effective weed killer that also prevents weed from growing back later.

The soap helps the vinegar stick to the leaves while the acid in the vinegar works together with the sun to kill the weed. The salt helps keep new plants from sprouting in the same spot any time soon.

This non-toxic weed killer is best for killing weeds in sidewalks, pathways and other places you never want weeds to grow.

If you want to plant a different kind of plant where the weeds are, choose one of the other methods below.

Boiling Water

If you have weeds growing someplace that you want plants to grow again - like in your lawn, garden or a flower bed, the boiling water method is easy.

Simply boil some water in a kettle and pour on the offending weed.

The water cooks the roots and kills the plant.

Kill large areas of weeds with suffocation

If you have a large swath of weeds or grass that you want to kill, suffocating them is a great way to knock them out with minimal work. 

Water the area with weeds you want to kill. Then lay large pieces of cardboard down on top of them. Weigh them down with rocks or pots.

To help make this extra effective, you can even water the cardboard to help it really stick to the weeds.

Leave the cardboard in place for at least 2 weeks (up to 4 for more stubborn weeds). When the process is done, the weeds will have decomposed back into the soil and your area will be ready for planting!

Get all the details for using this method: How to Kill Grass or Big Patches of Weeds the NonToxic Way

Burn them

My friends who have bought weed burners report that killing weeds with fire in incredibly therapeutic. Many also reported that their spouses suddenly became more interested in weeding once they could kill them with fire!

Weed burner kits attach to a propane tank to allow you to destroy unwanted weeds with heat instead of chemicals

Where to buy weed burners:

Home Depot sells several weed burning sets this propane weed torch kit has push-button ignition and and easy-to-use control valve. 

Pro tip: Order online on the Home Depot website and use their curbside pick up service. You can also get most items sent to you at home with FREE SHIPPING on orders over $45

Manual weed poppers

Pulling weeds by hand is also an effective way to get rid of weeds in your lawn or flower beds. This method works great for weeds that have a deep tap root like dandelions.

These step-down weeders are my favorite because they don't involve bending over every time you want to pop out a weed. Just center the spikes over the center of your weed, step down, twist and pull straight up. 

Pop the weed out into a bucket and keep going.

I hope you found a new nontoxic way to kill your weeds without RoundUp!

Do you have a different technique that works? Please leave me a comment. I would love to know about it. 

Five different DIY weed killer ideas. Includes the recipe for the best DIY weed killer spray, how to kill weeds with heat, how to kill weeds in driveways and sidewalks and more! These ideas really work even in your lawn, rocks and barked areas. #safeweedkiller #nontoxicweedkiller

Carissa Bonham

About the Author:

Carissa Bonham is a green lifestyle advocate and mom of two creative boys. Her goal is to empower families to make easy projects and healthier choices that are beautiful and delicious! 

The owner and lead writer at Creative Green Living, she is an award-winning blogger and most recently won the ShiftCon Media "Best Green Lifestyle Blogger" award in 2019.

She is also the author of several books including Beautiful Smoothie Bowls (Skyhorse, 2017), Proven Techniques for Keeping Healthy Chickens (Skyhorse, 2018) and The Little Green Book of Mothers' Wisdom (Skyhorse, 2020).

Her projects have been featured in magazines like Kids Crafts 1-2-3, Capper's Farmer and Urban Farm Magazine. Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living Tribe.
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  1. Dandelions aren't weeds! They are the first food source for bees every year.

    1. This is a legitimate point! I leave the dandelions in my yard for this reason. Or at least wait until they are done blooming to pull them.

  2. I've used straight salt on the weeds in the cracks of pavers. Kills them quick but I prefer the salt, vinager and dish soup mix in my sprayer. Salt is good in a pinch.

  3. I've used just salt on weeds between my pavers it kills them quick.


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