Does Salt kill Weeds Permanently? How to Use

Weeds are a serious problem in gardening and landscaping. Weeds control requires a sustainable strategy and some gardeners have resorted to home remedies such as salt, vinegar, and liquid dish soap. So does salt kill weeds permanently?

The answer is yes. Salt will permanently kill weeds and any other plant it comes into contact with. Salt solution should therefore be used on individual weeds or in areas where plants are not needed like patio stones, cracks in driveways, and in foundations.

Does salt kill weeds?

Salt is a common ingredient in the kitchen, but only a few people know its importance in controlling dreaded weeds. Other than being a safe weed killer, salt is less expensive and readily available.

There are many types of salts, in this case, we are talking about iodized or non-iodized sodium chloride or rock salt.

Salt works by drawing water from plant cells through the osmosis process. This creates a water imbalance that leads to plant dehydration and wilting.

Salt is a non-selective weed killer that exterminates any plant. That’s why you should use salt weed killer with caution around your desired plants.

Table salt or rock salt by itself may not effectively kill weeds, but you can improve its weed-killing power by making a solution of salt, vinegar, and dawn soap.

Distilled white vinegar contains acetic acid. When applied to plants, vinegar will only kill some parts such as leaves and maybe stems. The root system remains unaffected and this will lead to the re-emergence of the weeds.

A higher concentration of vinegar above 10% permanently kills weeds but will cause soil issues that affect other ecological lives.

Dawn dish soap does not kill weeds by itself. The ingredient only acts as a surfactant that improves the effectiveness of salt and vinegar homemade weed killer. Liquid dish soap reduces the surface tension of the solution making it spread and stick more on plant parts.

How to use salt as a weed killer

To make your natural weed killer with vinegar, dawn, and salt you’ll need the following:

  • 1 gallon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup of table salt
  • 1/4 cup dawn dishwashing soap


Pour 1 gallon of white vinegar into a bucket and add 1 cup of table salt and stir until all the salt dissolves. Add 1/4 cup of dawn liquid dishwashing soap and blend thoroughly. Pour your weed killer into a spray bottle and prepare to apply it to the unwanted plants.

On a calm sunny day, spray the weeds and ensure every part is completely soaked. Only spray the targeted weeds and avoid dousing the soil or nearby desired plants. Salting your soil can kill plants for years and this is why you should not use salt on your lawns or on your entire garden.

After 24 hours, weeds will start wilting. In another three days, all the weeds will be dead. Since this is a natural weed killer, multiple applications may be done for complete control of tough weeds like nutgrass, crabgrass, and dandelions.

If you are using salt weed killer on patio stones, cracks in driveways, or where its long-term effect is not an issue, more salt can be used to make a more concentrated solution. Otherwise, apply a less concentrated salt solution directly to the foliage of the weeds without dousing the soil.

Also Read: How to get rid of weeds without killing grass.

Final Thought

Weeds can quickly spread from one point to another. The undesired plants can spread from your flower beds into your lawns. Weeds growing in cracks, foundations, or between pavers can also spread their seed to your grasses. Do not wait to purchase an herbicide yet you have salt, vinegar, and dawn in your home.

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