Does vinegar kill grass if used to kill weeds? Many of you have been emailing us asking how to use this common kitchen ingredient for lawn care purposes. In this guide, we will strive to answer all your queries regarding vinegar and its many uses and dangers.

Does Vingegar Kill Grass

By jumping below, please find out how to best use it for weed eradication and much more.

Does Vinegar Kill Grass?

Vinegar will burn the grass’s blades immediately but will not completely kill the grass. It will temporarily eliminate grass and weeds, but they will soon grow back up. Sowed seedlings less than two weeks old will be killed by vinegar.

– How Does Vinegar Kill Your Grass?

Vinegar is an acid that quickly burns the leaves of grass and weeds as soon as it comes in contact with them. On a microscopic level, vinegar tends to rupture the cell walls of grass cells. The cells that are not killed immediately get dehydrated and die eventually.

Common household vinegar is acetic acid, with a concentration of around five percent. This vinegar can kill weeds and grass within the first two weeks of their life cycle. Vinegar of concentration higher than this will kill grass and weed in all stages of their life.

Take care when handling vinegar of a concentration higher than five percent. It tends to be corrosive to the skin and can cause severe burns. Wear the thickest rubber gloves you can find and also don protective eye goggles.

– Vinegar Is An Effective Weed Killer

White vinegar at concentrations five percent or higher can burn broadleaf grass blades as soon as it touches them. It is a non-selective herbicide that will indiscriminately kill all plant life. Using vinegar of higher concentrations will be more potent in killing grass blades.

However, this vinegar rarely gets to the plant’s roots and is not a permanent grass and weed killer. It would be best if you had a permanent solution that is more potent than plain white vinegar.

Vinegar Weed Killer

Our time-tested DIY weed killer recipe comprises one gallon of vinegar, one cup of table salt, and a tablespoon of dish soap. Salt will draw water out from the root system of the grass, and vinegar will burn the grass blades.

You can also use Epsom salt instead of table salt because of its higher potency. The dish soap acts as a surfactant that prolongs the duration of contact between the vinegar and salt with grass. It will also dissolve the protective wax coating from the plants, which enables the solution to reach the inner cells quickly.

– Applying Vinegar Spray To Kill Grass and Weed

There is a proper way to apply the vinegar solution to your lawn. Keep in mind that it is a non-selective herbicide that will kill all plants and trees it comes in contact with. This solution will also corrode metal and discolor concrete after an accidental spill.

Go for a spray bottle with a nozzle that releases the solution as a stream form. This will give you better control over where to apply your DIY solution and which areas to protect.

Choose a day when the sun is bright, with no prediction of rain or strong winds. You don’t want the weed-killing solution swept away by wind or rain into other plants or the eyes of humans and pets. If it rains immediately or the day after you spray the vinegar solution on the lawn, you will have to reapply it once the grass dries up again.

The rain will also wash away the salt and vinegar into the soil and the nearest streams of water. Although salt increases the potency of vinegar, we urge you to use it with caution. Repeated use will leach salt into the soil, altering its chemistry and making it difficult to plant anything viable.

– How To Save Grass in Case of Accidental Spill

Say you were using vinegar for weed control on your lawn and accidentally spilled this natural weed killer all over the grass. Don’t panic; take a deep breath and get to work as fast as possible.

Use a generous volume of water to wash the spilled-over area right away. The more water you use and the more time you take pouring this water, the more diluted the vinegar will get. Your grass blades will be prevented from incurring serious damage.

Even if some blades get burned or damaged, there is no need to be seriously concerned. Pull them off by hand and wait for the new blades to grow within one week.

Vinegar Grass Benefit

– Some Beneficial Uses of Vinegar on The Lawn

Besides making DIY vinegar weed killers, this common pantry ingredient also has several other uses in lawn care. If any plant or grass patch suffers from a fungal or pest infestation, a vinegar solution can help eliminate both.

Weekly application of a diluted solution to the affected area will solve the problem without you having to resort to chemical insecticides and fungicides. Vinegar is also a strong deterrent; you can place soaked cotton balls in areas where you don’t want ants or pests to visit anymore.

Are you having trouble with gardening tools getting rust and stains? Vinegar is going to help you with these as well. Just soak them in kitchen vinegar overnight to dissolve all build-up impurities.

– Alternatives to Vinegar That Are Safer

We suggest you use a selective chemical herbicide to kill weeds permanently. These herbicides not only work effectively after just one to two applications but will also spare your grass from dying.

Many of you might be skeptical about preferring chemical formulations over natural and homemade weed killers. However, if you stick to the instructions given on the label, your grass and other lawn plants will be kept safe.

As far as other natural solutions are concerned, baking soda mixed with water is also an effective weed and grass killer. A few tablespoons of baking soda in a gallon of water with dishwashing liquid as the surfactant is all you will need in this case.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Vinegar Last In The Soil?

Vinegar does not last very long in the soil and barely takes two to three days to break down and become ineffective. When poured over the soil, very little vinegar can seep deep into the soil anyways. This is why vinegar does not remove weeds permanently, as it cannot reach the roots in significant enough quantities. 

Vinegar Tree Protection

Does Vinegar Kill Trees?

No, vinegar usually does not kill trees, even if the weeds in its vicinity are sprayed with it. The older and more well-established the tree, the better it will tolerate occasionally sprayed with vinegar solution.

However, we still do not recommend pouring vinegar or vinegar-based DIY products near trees unnecessarily and more than needed. 

Does Baking Soda Kill Grass?

Yes, baking soda is another kitchen staple used to kill the grass. It does not burn the grass the same way as vinegar but desiccates it by drawing water out from leaves and grass seeds. It is considered a useful non-selective herbicide in the gardening world.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Grass?

Yes, apple cider vinegar kills weeds and grass but only above the ground. It cannot penetrate the ground to reach the roots of plants. The result is that while the grass leaves die and turn yellow for a while, they regrow back eventually. 

Remember that cider and normal vinegar may appear similar and have the same properties but are made differently. Cider is made by fermenting apples, whereas ordinary vinegar is made by fermenting various things such as molasses, corn, wheat, and potatoes.

How Do You Stop Weeds From Growing Permanently?

Bleach will permanently kill grass after just one use. The more potent it is, the stronger and quicker you will get the results. All you have to do is to pour bleach into the lawn area from where you want to remove the grass. 

After a few hours or a day, you will see that the grass in that area has all turned wispy, yellow, or brown. Pulling it up by hand will come up without resistance, along with the roots. This means the grass is dead to the roots, and you must rake it from the ground.


This comprehensive guide taught you that vinegar burns grass blades but does not kill them permanently. Here are some other pertinent points to keep in mind.

  • Vinegar kills grass and weeds by dehydrating them and producing burns to their leaves.
  • Mixing salt and dishwashing soap in vinegar creates the most effective homemade spray against weeds and grass.
  • Vinegar normally present in our homes is only five percent acetic acid. Using industrial-grade acetic acid of higher concentration is going to be more effective.
  • If you accidentally spill vinegar over a grass patch on the lawn, wash it off using a lot of water.

We think you can use vinegar to eliminate an invasive type of grass as a one-time solution. However, it would be best to stick to a selective herbicide for regular weed eradication.

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