How to Kill Weeds Using Salt

A weed killer being sprayed on dandelions.
What You'll Need
Dish soap
Spray bottle
Plastic milk jug

If you keep a garden, you probably spend more time than you would like thinking about and dealing with weeds. They can be a serious problem in any garden and are a lot of work to remove manually, one at a time. You can also spray to prevent weeds, or kill existing ones with weed killer, but do you really want to use harsh chemicals that can kill your other plants or contaminate food you might be growing to eat? It may seem as if there is no easy, effective, natural way to kill weeds. However, there is a solution to be found in simple, ordinary table salt. Salt is an excellent weed killer because it will kill weeds, but will dilute away to harmless levels naturally with water.

What follows should help anyone attempting to wipe out these pesky plants for good without using too much effort, breaking the bank, or using harmful chemicals.

Step 1 - Mix Solution

First, you will need to put your weed killing mixture together. Gather your ingredients, and then mix together eight cups of water, one tablespoon of dish soap, and one cup of salt. Stir the mixture until the salt dissolves, and pour the whole thing into your spray bottle.

Step 2 - Make a Spray Guard

Creating a spray guard ensures that your spray will hit its mark and not any plants you want to remain healthy. First, cut the bottom off of the milk jug using a pair of scissors. Cut a small hole in the top—big enough to easily fit the nozzle of your spray bottle, but not too much bigger—and secure it around the sprayer.

Step 3 - Apply

Once you find a weed, place your spray guard over the nozzle and give the plant a few good sprays. The mixture will then go to work—the salt killing the weed, and the dish soap helping the mixture stay in one place.
Using this method is better for isolated weeds than it is for weeds that are mixed in with other small plants, such as grass, as it will kill all plants that it encounters indiscriminately, until it is washed away naturally by rain or watering, of course.

Step 4 - Maintain

Maintaining your garden with this method is a lot easier than killing a lot of weeds that have built up for the first time. Don't put it off, as weeds become harder to kill the longer you allow them to grow. Young weeds are weaker than fully grown ones, and more importantly, killing weeds early prevents them from going to seed, saving you the trouble of killing the next generation. So if you spray any weeds you find as soon as they show themselves, you will be able to keep your garden completely weed-free with a minimum amount of effort.

(For more information on weeding, visit our Weed Control page.)