Print This Page

Vinegar - The Organic Herbicide

The best choice for herbicide use is 10% white vinegar made from grain alcohol. It should be used full strength. There is also an acceptable 20% white vinegar that is EPA registered for weed control. Avoid products that are made from 99% glacial acetic acid. This material is a petroleum derivative. Natural vinegars such those made from fermenting apples have little herbicidal value. They are used in irrigation water and as an ingredient in Garrett Juice.


Ozark White Distilled Vinegar 10%- 1 gal.


Herbicide Formula:


Shake well before each spraying and spot spray weeds. Keep the spray off desirable plants. This spray will injure any plants it touches. This natural spray works best on warm to hot days.


Vinegar sprayed the bases of trees and other woody plants will not hurt the plant at all. This technique was first learned about by spraying the suckers and weeds growing around the bases of grapevines. Avoid all vinegar products made from glacial acetic acid.


  • 1 gallon of 10% (100 grain) vinegar
  • Add 1 ounce orange oil or d-limonene
  • Add 1 tablespoon molasses (optional - some say it doesn't help)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap or other surfactant 
  • Do not add water


Note from a listener: ALWAYS add high-percentage acetic acid (or any strong acid) to water to prevent the possibility of dangerous spattering, NEVER the reverse. Likely a good idea to wear eye protection as well. This was stressed frequently in organic chemistry lab when I was in college. --Terri B





  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns