Weed killer using vinegar and Epsom salts – what you need to know before using this method

Do vinegar and Epsom salts belong in the garden? Experts discuss the powerful, homemade solution to weeds

Epsom salts on a wooden background
(Image credit: Alamy)

Have you considered making weed killer using vinegar and Epsom salts? At a glance, knowing how to get rid of weeds with this method may seem faultless. After all, it uses accessible, nontoxic ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen or bathroom cupboard. However, there are some things to note before experimenting in the garden.

If you've already mastered how to fertilize with Epsom salts, you would be forgiven for believing that this organic ingredient can do no wrong. Though, when paired with vinegar, the method becomes a controversial debate among experts. 

Should you make weed killer using vinegar and Epsom salts? Here's everything you need to know about the disputed garden idea

Weed killer using vinegar and Epsom salts – what do experts think?

You can make an effective weed killer using vinegar and Epsom salts – but this solution does come with caution.

Epsom salts on a wooden background

(Image credit: GettyImages)

'Vinegar and salt are the agents that attack the weeds the most (vinegar is a common weed killer and salt is dehydrating), while the soap actually improves the vinegar’s effectiveness,' says  Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love.'When these ingredients are combined, weeds don’t stand a chance.'

However, while the solution will destroy weeds, it will also harm any other plant it touches (much like using salt to kill weeds). Therefore, this method can do more harm than good when used incorrectly. The expert, therefore, urges you to ensure you are careful with your application if you opt for the method. 

And Melody Estes, a landscape design gardening supervisor and consultant at The Project Girl agrees. 'Vinegar kills by making the soil more acidic, which is bad news for most plants but great news for your garden,' she adds. 

Weeds in a garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

If you're careful with this vinegar and Epsom salt combination, you can enjoy benefits beyond weed-prevention, too. 

You may have heard about using Epsom salts to deter groundhogs, but Melody also suggests using the two as a fungicide – to help prevent diseases from spreading through your garden. 'It helps stop fungi from growing on your plants' roots by creating an environment that's too acidic for them to thrive in,' she says. 

If you're looking to give the solution a try, the experts have shared their method below. 

What is the mixture of vinegar and Epsom salt for weed killer?

To create the solution, you should mix equal parts of Epsom salt and white vinegar in a spray bottle [such as this one from Amazon]. You can then spray on the areas where you want to kill weeds.

'You'll need to treat the area every few days for about three weeks before all signs of the weed have been eradicated,' Melody says. Then, once everything is dry, you can pull the dead stems from the ground or throw them away (if they're still too fresh to break off easily). 

Instead of white vinegar, Jeremy uses apple cider vinegar, paired with ounce of dish soap alongside for every one tablespoon of Epsom salt – a powerful alternative if you already have apple cider vinegar in your cupboard.  

Which vinegar is best for weed killing?

You may know how to clean with vinegar inside the home, but this solution has its uses beyond your four walls, too. Many garden experts choose white vinegar to remove weeds, but apple cider vinegar is also approved by those who use it to fight weeds effectively. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.