Experts say baking soda could be the solution to your garden weed problems – here's how to use this everyday item in your yard

The solution to perennial garden weeds might just be sitting in your kitchen cupboard

Does baking soda kill weeds
(Image credit: Helin Loik-Tomson via Getty Images)

There are few things more frustrating than those weeds that keep coming back after you attempt to remove them.

Knowing how to get rid of weeds is essential if you want to remove unwanted planting from your yard. But have you considered that everyday items could be the answer to your problem? Using baking soda could help you kill the weeds in your yard and bring your weeding mistakes to an end.

We've spoken to experts to find out if baking soda kills weeds and how to use it effectively.

Does baking soda kill weeds

(Image credit: Helin Loik-Tomson via Getty Images)

Does baking soda kill weeds?

Baking soda

(Image credit: seng kui Lim / 500px via Getty Images)

According to experts, you can indeed use baking soda to quickly kill the weeds in your backyard.

'Baking soda can be used to kill weeds but you have to be careful how you use it because it can kill other plants it comes in contact with,' says Annette Hird, expert gardener at Easy Urban Gardens.

The sodium content of baking soda makes it an effective weed killer, however it can also kill other plants so it's key to know how to kill weeds not plants when using it.

'Baking soda, when used for weed control, would be considered a non-selective type of weed control. This means that no matter if it is a weedy plant or a grass plant for example, baking soda will have similar effects on both the desirable and non-desirable plant species,' says Rob Palmer, lawn expert at Lawn Squad.

'Baking soda works to kill plants due to the salt content in the baking soda. The salt dries out the plant, making it difficult for that plant to uptake moisture, resulting in death,' he adds.

Annette Hird
Annette Hird

Annette Hird has an Associate Diploma in Horticulture and is an urban gardening expert. She has worked as a professional propagator and managed, maintained and improved many urban and rural gardens. She also enjoys growing her own fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers as well as many different types of ornamental plants.

Rob Palmer
Rob Palmer

Rob Palmer has been a part of the lawn care industry for over a decade, launching his own Ohio-based lawn care company WeedPro, now Lawn Squad, back in 2001. Rob advises on comprehensive lawn care, including fertilization and weed control to aeration, seeding, and insect control.

How to use baking soda on weeds

Weeds growing in gravel

(Image credit: Getty/PaulMaguire)

You can use baking soda to remove weeds from gravel and lawn, although be careful to kill weeds not grass when doing this.

'It's perfect for use on paths and driveways. You just sprinkle the baking soda in a thick layer and then sweep it into the cracks.,' says Annette. 'It should kill any small weeds already there and prevent new ones from coming up,' she adds.

Using this method, you can easily remove weeds from pavers with baking soda, placing the product directly on the weeds and in cracks and gaps where weeds may emerge.

'Another method would be to mix the baking soda in water to create a solution that can be applied by spray bottle to the weeds,' says Rob. 'This method will help the baking soda to stick to the leaves of the target plant,' he adds.

You can make weed killer with baking soda to spray on weeds or areas where you would like to prevent weeds coming up. Other ingredients that work for sprays include using vinegar to kill weeds and dish soap.

'Vinegar is acidic, which can also aid in drying out the target plants. Adding dish soap to the mixture can help to better adhere the spray mix to the weeds,' says Rob.

Whether you are applying baking soda directly to weeds or using a spray solution, you should wait to use baking soda to kill weeds until the weather is dry to ensure the product is effective and doesn't get washed away.

Once dead, you can use your essential gardening tools, like a garden weeder, to remove the weed and prevent new ones sprouting.

Remove weeds from your yard


How much baking soda do you need to kill weeds?

For small weeds, you don't need much baking soda to kill them and will see results from just sprinkling baking soda on top of them.

'For larger, harder to control weeds, reapplication may also be necessary to completely kill larger weed specimens,' says Rob Palmer, lawn expert at Lawn Squad.

'If you are making a solution to be sprayed onto the weeds, using roughly one cup of baking soda per one gallon of water should make a mixture potent enough for weed control,' he adds.

Getting rid of weeds can be challenging, but baking soda can make it a lot easier. There are lots of other household items that can help you with weeds in your backyard, including using boiling water to kill weeds and using vodka to kill weeds.

Tenielle Jordison
News Writer (Gardens)

Tenielle is a News Writer in the Gardens team at Homes & Gardens with five years of journalistic experience. She studied BA Journalism, Media and English Literature and MA Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Before coming to Homes & Gardens, Tenielle was in the editorial department at the Royal Horticultural Society and worked on The Garden magazine. She is passionate about sustainable living and likes to encourage gardeners to make greener choices to help tackle the effects of climate change with a trowel in hand. Tenielle is also a houseplant lover who is slowly running out of room for her ever-growing collection.