The ingredients that make the best organic weed killers have been around for a long time. They were used before chemical herbicides were made.
Using organic herbicides is the best way to kill weeds and prevent them from returning. But there are many things to think about before you choose an herbicide. Some people worry about whether or not organic herbicides are effective. And some people might prefer to use a chemical herbicide like Roundup, even if it's not the best choice for the environment.
Each product has been thoroughly examined to determine which is the most effective. This way, if you are faced with a circumstance, you will know what to do. After having all of the required information, finding the best non-toxic herbicide for your needs will be simple.
Table of Contents
Risks Of Toxic Weed Killers
Many of the chemicals in weed killers, such as glyphosate and paraquat, can be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment if not used correctly.
Weed killers can be very harmful to people, animals, and the environment if they are not used correctly. That is why it is critical to thoroughly read and follow the directions.
Risks To Humans And Children
Herbicides can be dangerous to humans. They can cause skin irritation, eye irritation, and lung irritation. They can also cause severe illness or death if ingested.
Two of the most commonly used herbicide ingredients, glyphosate, and paraquat, can be harmful to adults and children.
Glyphosate is an ingredient in weed killers. It is popular, but organic farmers avoid it because it can cause chemical burns and irritation. Be sure to avoid breathing it in, and don't expose your skin or eyes to it.
Paraquat is a toxic chemical found in weed killers. Exposure to or ingestion of paraquat can lead to a variety of chronic illnesses and symptoms, including:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Lung damage
- Heart arrhythmia and failure
Risks To Dogs, Cats, And Wildlife
While humans can avoid exposure to toxic weed killers, most pets and wildlife do not have that luxury.
The active ingredients in herbicides can be very harmful to pets and animals. Pets and animals can get sick from much smaller doses of herbicide than humans. If a pet or animal eats a plant that has been treated with a toxic herbicide, that pet or animal could die a painful and inhumane death.
Herbicides often contain oil that helps them stick to the plants they are meant to kill. But this same oil can be harmful to fish, algae, and other aquatic life.
Chemicals and toxic weed killers can go into the soil and groundwater. This is a danger to our environment because the runoff from these chemicals can pollute bigger bodies of water. It can kill aquatic organisms and poison our water supply when this happens.
Using chemical herbicides on plants can make them resistant to the chemicals. This means that the plants become altered and can spread quickly.
Continuous use of toxic herbicides can damage the microorganisms in the soil. These microorganisms are important because they help keep the soil healthy and fertile. If they are killed or damaged, the soil will not be able to support life for a long time.
What Is The Safest Herbicide?
People have been using ingredients in organic and non-toxic herbicides for a long time without any problems. This is because they are often naturally occurring and safe. They are also organic, which means they are good for the earth.
With today's technology, herbicide production has increased. Some of it is not organic, but it might be non-toxic and safe for humans and our environment.
Non-Toxic Weed Killer Active Ingredients
Here are some of the most prevalent ingredients found in organic weed killers.
- Acetic Acid
The most prevalent active ingredient in non-toxic weed killers is vinegar.
Typically, household vinegar has a 5 percent content. However, it is known that concentrations of 15% or higher are more effective in killing targeted weeds.
When dealing with high concentrations of vinegar, it is important to wear gloves and avoid breathing in the chemical. This is to protect your safety since high levels of vinegar can be harmful.
- Citric Acid
Citric acid is a weed killer that can kill any plant it comes into contact with. It is most effective when combined with another acid, acetic acid.
You can find citric acid in the form of lemon juice. If you mix lemon juice with household vinegar, it can be an effective herbicide. But don't use it to kill weeds on your lawn because the vinegar will also kill the grass.
- Clove Oil
Clove oil is a type of oil that comes from plants. It can be used to kill weeds that have broad leaves. Clove oil works by making the leaf's outer layer weak. This makes the cells inside the leaf leak out and die.
Not many commercial herbicides contain clove oil. Still, you may produce a clove oil herbicide solution at home by combining 10 to 20 drops of clove oil with water or white vinegar in an empty spray container.
- Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon oil can be used to kill weeds and repel pests. It is most effective when adding 15 to 20 drops of the oil to a spray bottle filled with vinegar.
Apply this solution to any weeds you want to get rid of. Cinnamon oil is very strong, so be careful not to apply it to plants you want to keep around.
- Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil is effective as both a pre-emergent herbicide and a post-emergent herbicide. It is most effective at targeting perennial broadleaf and grassy weeds.
Lemongrass oil is effective against fungi and bacteria. This makes it a great herbicide for plants. Lemongrass oil's antimicrobial properties also make it a very effective weed killer.
To use lemongrass oil as an herbicide, add 20 drops of the oil to either water or vinegar. Apply the solution to the ground before weeds have sprouted or directly to the weeds themselves.
Eugenol is a chemical used more and more as an ingredient in weed killers.
Eugenol is a weed killer that works by being absorbed into the leaf's skin. This kills the weed. Eugenol can also get inside the weed's cell walls, making the weed die.
Eugenol is a great natural herbicide that can also help to repel pests like fleas, ticks, aphids, and other common garden insects.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Each product has undergone extensive testing to determine which is the most effective. It is not an organic option, but it is a non-toxic option.
When sodium lauryl sulfate is used to get rid of weeds, it takes away the plant's natural wax. This makes the plant vulnerable to the wind and rain, which leads to the plant's death.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is most effective when used on smaller areas and as a spot treatment. You may spend more time focusing on specific weeds than accidentally poisoning beneficial plants.
Non-Toxic Vs. Organic Weed Killer
There is a big difference between weed killers that are non-toxic and organic.
Some weed killers don't contain harmful chemicals. These weed killers have ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, acetic acid, or citric acid. But these ingredients are safe and won't hurt humans or the environment.
Organic weed killers are those that come from nature. For example, clove, cinnamon, lemongrass, and eugenol can all be used as herbicides in essential oil form. Organic weed killers are non-toxic too.
Best Non-Toxic Weed Killer Reviews
We weighed the advantages and disadvantages of harmful herbicides and organic component alternatives. Here is a list of the best non-toxic weed killers available today.
1. Natural Elements Weed Killer
This weed killer from Natural Elements is biodegradable and non-toxic. It uses water, vinegar, salt, and sodium lauryl sulfate to help keep your yard weed-free. The company claims that this product is less harmful to the environment. Still, you should always consult a professional before using any weed killer.
This weed killer can eliminate both broadleaf weeds and invasive or unwanted grasses. It starts working very quickly, usually within 24 hours.
This is a non-selective post-emergent herbicide. Use it in areas you want to clear, but avoid applying it to areas with grasses or plants you want to keep.
If you have children or pets, this product is a wonderful choice. It is safe for them to touch, and it will not harm them if they smell it or eat it. However, you must be careful when storing this product because it is not safe to consume. An allergic reaction may occur if it touches your skin or eye.
- Not harmful to the environment
- This choice is preferable if you have children or pets.
- Avoid using it around plants, trees, and shrubs that you want to maintain because it's only suited as a non-selective herbicide.
2. Just For Pets Weed Killer Spray
Just for Pets is a great company for taking care of pets. Their weed killer spray comprises solely natural and organic components, such as acetic acid, citric acid, salt, clove oil, and lemon juice.
Weedkiller that doesn't have any chemicals is safe for pets. Pets can go over the area where it has been applied as soon as it dries. They also give money to pet charities.
This is a herbicide that kills weeds. You should avoid spraying it on your entire lawn. Still, it can be useful for clearing specific areas or as a spot treatment on driveways, pathways, and pavers.
This weed killer is non-toxic and doesn't require any pre-mixing or diluting. It also comes with a spray nozzle attachment that makes it easy to apply.
- Natural and organic ingredients make this product environmentally and animal-friendly.
- As soon as the product dries, it is safe to walk on.
- Non-selective, so unsuitable for use on lawns and borders.
3. Green Gobbler 20 % Vinegar Weed And Grass Killer
Green Gobbler 20 percent vinegar weed killer is a potent herbicide containing 20 percent acetic acid. This herbicide is manufactured from maize extract and is organic.
This bottle of Green Gobbler includes a trigger sprayer. It is ready to use and is an herbicide. This herbicide is non-selective and post-emergent. You mustn't apply it to your entire lawn or garden. This herbicide works best as a spot treatment weed killer for weeds that grow in the cracks in the driveway or through gravel.
Green Gobbler is a weed killer that works quickly. In 24 hours or less, you will see the results. Make sure to avoid applying it when it is going to rain. This way, the weed killer can soak into the plant and dry it up without water getting in the way.
- Effective spot treatment for numerous common broadleaf weeds and grasses.
- Ready-to-use and appropriate for modest spaces
- Only applicable in dry conditions
4. Organic Carolina Vinegar Weed Killer for Pets
The Energen Carolina weed killer is a vinegar-based herbicide that is particularly effective against broadleaf weeds and grasses, such as crabgrass, clover, dandelion, and ivy. Organic and certified organic, it is made from corn. So that you need not worry about harmful chemicals damaging your yard or garden.
Energen Carolina is a herbicide that can be used safely in residential, commercial, and agricultural areas. It is safe to use around children and pets if you follow the manufacturer's instructions.
This weed killer contains acetic acid, which helps dry target weeds within 24 hours.
- Because it is organically certified, it is free of harmful chemicals.
- It doesn't need to be diluted before usage.
- Plants and trees you want to preserve are not safe for use with this product.
5. Natural Armor Weed And Grass Killer Concentrate
Natural Armor is a well-known and trusted brand in the weed killer community. They produce weed killers that contain toxic chemicals, but they have also created non-toxic weed and grass killers.
This weed killer starts working quickly and kills weeds within 24 hours. It comes in a ready-to-use formula, so you don't have to mix or dilute it.
You should apply this when it's sunny outside and has little or no wind to get the best results. The ground should be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also need to ensure that it does not rain in the next few days.
- Available in a variety of sizes to accommodate varying coverage areas
- Complete with spray nozzle attachment to facilitate use.
- An excellent option and one of the best weed killers for lawns.
- Needs specific weather conditions to be effective
6. Organic Weed And Grass Killer Harris Vinegar
Harris is a known and trusted brand name for herbicides and pesticides. This weed killer contains organic and non-toxic ingredients like acetic acid, which is 4 times stronger than household vinegar.
The reviewers liked how the targetted weeds dried up and browned in 24 hours or less. However, stubborn weeds may need a second application. Some people felt that the vinegar odor was strong, but it is a good deterrent for cats and dogs.
This herbicide will kill any plants it comes into contact with, so be careful while using it.
- Does not contain glyphosate
- Results in as little as 24 hours
- The strong smell of vinegar
7. Calyptus 45% Pure Super-Concentrated Vinegar
This all-purpose vinegar-based product is said to be very effective. It can remove dirt and limescale and help to get rid of weeds. The product is made from Calyptus, and it is a super-concentrated mixture. It is 9 times stronger than regular vinegar.
This product is versatile. It can be used purely as a cleaning agent or diluted with salt and a surfactant to eliminate weeds.
The results of using this weed killer were impressive. In just 24 hours, the dandelions wilted and turned brown. However, stubborn and persistent weeds may need more applications to completely remove the roots. Remember that this weed killer kills everything, so be careful not to apply it to areas you want to keep alive.
- Both garden and household applications.
- Enhanced efficacy through a highly concentrated formula
- Must be mixed with other household chemicals for optimal weed-killing efficiency.
8. Espoma Weed Preventer Plus Lawn Food
This weed killer is like the others because it is non-toxic and organic. It also works to kill dandelions as well as other common weeds. The difference is that it includes 100% corn gluten meal, which helps prevent the development of dandelion roots.
This product helps you sell your home and helps to fertilize your lawn. The product includes slow-release nitrogen, which helps to keep your lawn healthy and looking great.
You should apply the granular mixture twice a year, once in the early spring and early fall. After applying the product, you should thoroughly water your lawn. It's safe for pets and children to play in the yard right after applying it.
- Effective as a pre-emergent
- Also fertilizes lawns
- Not suited for use on weeds that have already emerged.
When To Use Non-Toxic Weed Killer
You can use non-toxic herbicides as needed year-round. Still, it is recommended that you wait until the soil is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and there is no rain in the forecast for a few days.
How To Use Non-Toxic Weed Killer
Applying a non-toxic weed killer to your lawn is easy to do. Almost all weed killers are pre-mixed and diluted, so you must add the substance to a sprayer or attach the spray nozzle and apply it to your yard.
Apply post-emergent herbicides on a warm, sunny day with no rain in the forecast. This will help the product work better and not get washed away.
Applying non-toxic pre-emergent weed killers can be more difficult than conventional ones, but it is still not difficult. To reach the seeds and hinder their growth, pre-emergents must be soaked into the soil.
Spread the product throughout the desired area to apply a non-toxic pre-emergent to your lawn. You can either use a grass seeder or do it manually. After that, you will need to water your yard.
Types Of Weed Killer
To choose the best herbicide for you, it is important to understand the different types of weed killers.
There are different types of weed killers. Some kill specific weeds, while others kill any weed in the area. There are also pre-emergent and post-emergent weed killers.
Selective Vs. Non-Selective Weed Killer
The term selective or non-selective refers to the weed killer's ability to target specific weeds. Manufacturers' labels always provide information on what types of weeds can be killed with a selective herbicide. Non-selective herbicides kill anything they come into contact with.
- Selective Herbicide
Selective herbicides kill specific weeds while not harming any other plants in the area.
- Non-Selective Herbicide
Herbicides that are not selective harm every plant in the sprayed area, even desirable species. This is why they are also called "broad-spectrum" herbicides.
Pre-Emergent Vs. Post-Emergent Weed Killers
Herbicides are chemicals that kill weeds. Some kill the weed before it grows, while others kill it after it has already grown. It is essential to grasp the distinction between these two types of herbicides to choose the correct one for your needs.
- Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Pre-emergent herbicides are a great way to stop weeds from growing.
Pre-emergent herbicides are chemicals put on the ground to kill weeds before they have a chance to grow.
Pre-emergent herbicides stop seeds from growing. They can do this by coating the seed's protective layer or stopping the production of enzymes in the sprout.
- Post-Emergent Herbicide
Post-emergent herbicides are special herbicides meant to kill weeds that have already started growing.
Post-emergent herbicides usually work by damaging the leaf's surface or entering the leaf's cells and causing them to leak, both fatal for the plant.
Alternative Homemade Weed Killers
You don't need to buy an expensive herbicide to get rid of weeds in your lawn and garden. You can use many things around your house that are non-toxic.
Salt is a weed killer that you can make at home. It's non-selective, kills most weeds, and is non-toxic, so it's safe to use.
Applying salt to weeds will make them poisonous and cause them to die.
Plants can be killed using a solution of three parts water and one part table salt. Apply this solution daily to the affected area and adjust the salt concentration.
If you see weeds starting to show damage, stop applying salt. If you keep applying salt over time, it can damage the soil.
Cornmeal is a herbicide that can be used to prevent plants from growing in your home.
Cornmeal gluten can be used to stop seeds from growing in your lawn or garden. The cornmeal dries out the seed's protective coating, killing the seed before it has a chance to grow.
Cornmeal is a great way to control pests, especially ants.
Rubbing alcohol is a great way to kill bacteria and viruses. It can also be used to eliminate weeds in pots and plants. It is not recommended to use rubbing alcohol on your lawn or in-ground garden because it can contaminate the soil.
To use rubbing alcohol as an herbicide, mix two tablespoons of alcohol with a quart of water. Then spray it on the unwanted weeds. The alcohol will dry and wither the plant's leaves, killing the plant.
Another household herbicide is vinegar. The active ingredient in vinegar is the same as in some of the most popular non-toxic herbicides: acetic acid.
The vinegar will kill the weed because its acid attacks the weed's cells. The cells will burst and leak, which will kill the plant.
Vinegar is an affordable and accessible weed killer that you can make yourself. All you need to do is mix vinegar with water at a ratio of 5%. You don't need to dilute it further as you would store-bought weed killers.
To get rid of the ants, spray vinegar onto the target area. Repeat every few days as necessary.
Baking soda is an affordable and effective weed killer that can be used pre-emergently or post-emergently.
There are two ways to utilize baking soda as a herbicide. You can mix it with water and spray it on the target area or sprinkle it over the target area.
Baking soda essentially dries out the weed by extracting water from its cells. This method is both quick and effective.
Boiling water can be used to eradicate weeds. This is a cost-effective and long-lasting approach.
To use boiling water as a weed killer, pour boiling water over the target area. This will kill both the weed's seeds and roots, which can help get rid of your weed problem for good.
Read more: Make Your Own Natural Weed Killer
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Organic Weed Killer
Does Organic Weed Killer Work?
Organic herbicides kill weeds that have already grown, but they don't keep killing new weeds that grow. These herbicides can also burn the top of perennial weeds, but they will grow back quickly.
What Is the Best Natural Weed and Grass Killer?
Green Gobbler Organic 20% Vinegar Weed and Grass Killer is a good choice if you want to use a natural weed killer. This product does not contain harsh chemicals, and it is glyphosate-free.
What's the Safest Weed Killer?
This weed and grass killer made from vinegar by Green Gobbler is completely risk-free. It contains 20% acetic acid, making it four times stronger than traditional table vinegar. The product is void of harmful additives and is made from ethanol distilled completely from corn grain.
How Long Does Organic Weed Killer Last?
Weed killers are designed to kill the plant's root system. If the weed killer is still in the soil, you won't be able to grow anything. That's why most weed killers evaporate within 24 to 78 hours.
How Do You Make Homemade Weed Killers?
To make a healthy supply of this man-made concoction, mix a gallon of white vinegar, one cup of salt, and one tablespoon of dish soap. Make sure it is properly stirred, then put the mixture in a spray bottle for easy use. You can store the spray bottle in your house for repeated use.
Are Salt and Vinegar a Good Weed Killer?
Salt improves the effectiveness of vinegar solutions. Vinegar is an acid and will kill most broadleaf weeds over time. However, the acid may kill the leaves before reaching the root system, and the weed may grow back quickly. To get longer-lasting results, mix 1 cup of table salt with 1 gallon of vinegar.
Can You Use Vinegar as a Weed Killer?
Organic gardening sometimes uses vinegar to kill weeds. Vinegar has a chemical in it called acetic acid. The more acetic acid there is in the vinegar, the more it can kill weeds.
What Is a Natural Alternative to Roundup Weed Killer?
Adding salt and vinegar to your weed killer will make it stronger. Weed killers usually work by breaking down the leaves of the weed. But some weeds produce a natural coating that protects their leaves. Adding oil or soap to your mixture will better help the vinegar and salt penetrate the weed.
Is Epsom Salt Better Than Table Salt for Weed Killer?
Using Epsom salts can be helpful, but using too much can be harmful. Epsom salts' excess magnesium can inhibit phosphorus absorption in plants. This means that your plants might not get the nutrients to grow properly.