Nothing ruins a pristine yard faster than a bunch of crabgrass, but store-bought weed killers can pack a serious chemical punch! This spring, try killing weeds with household products – you’ll save some cash and avoid harmful toxins.
Newspaper. If weeds have popped up on your lawn, smother them with newspaper! Wet a few pages of newspaper and place the sheets directly on top of the weeds. Then place a few scoops of mulch over the moist newspaper. The newspaper/mulch combo will block sunlight and cut off the weeds’ oxygen supply, which will kill them. Don’t worry about cleanup – the newspaper will decompose on its own. Note: If more weeds pop up in the area you’ve worked on, consider pairing the newspaper weed-killing trick with another technique. Sometimes weed seedlings are strong enough to make it through the wet newspaper.
Vodka. That bottom-shelf bottle of vodka that somehow got into your liquor cabinet may not be good for Cosmos, but it’ll make a great weed killer. Mix one ounce of cheap vodka (save the good stuff for cocktails) with two cups of water and a small squirt of dish soap into a small spray bottle. Spritz the mixture directly onto the weed’s leaves and let the hard stuff do its magic. The alcohol breaks down the waxy coating on leaves, which makes the plant susceptible to dehydration. Alcohol dries quickly, so you can use this pretty much anywhere as long as it isn’t a windy day. Just make sure you spray the weeds directly – you don't want to cover your prized peonies with vodka!
White Vinegar. White vinegar is dirt cheap (about five cents per ounce) and an effective weed killer, plus you probably already have some in your home! If weeds pop up in an area without other vegetation (like a driveway or walkway) fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and soak the weeds – it will kill them in about 24 hours. Note: If your weeds are interspersed with grass or flowers, choose another weed-killing option because vinegar will kill them, too. (It’s also best to avoid spraying vinegar on a windy day.)
Boiling Water. Use a kettle or microwave to boil at least a cup of water (more if you’re targeting a big clump-o-weed) and then quickly but safely head outside – you want the water to still be boiling! Pour the water directly onto the weeds and watch them shrivel. The boiling water will kill the leaves and roots of the weed, which prevents them from growing back! Note: If the weed you're fighting has long taproots (like dandelions) the scalding water may not soak in deep enough to kill the entire root system, so consider a different method!