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Does Bleach Kill Weeds?

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Many of you have come across unwanted plants known as weeds in your gardens, lawns or parks. Not only do weeds make your garden look ugly but they also steal important nutrients such as water and food from your plants which results in poor plant growth.

spraying and killing the weed

You put so much time and effort into your garden to make it lush and green, and when you spot weed there, it might feel like all your efforts were in vain. But don’t worry! There are ways to kill them.

But first, let’s find out why it is important to remove weeds.

Why Is It Important to Clear Out Weeds

They Compete With Your Plants

Your garden is spread across a finite amount of space and when weeds come along, it may become crowded. There’s only limited space for the plants to grow in and with weeds, it will be survival of the fittest.

As we have established earlier, weeds block the sunlight and take up all the essential nutrients that the plants require to thrive.

They Grow Quickly

The soil and moisture in your garden are the ideal factors that promote the growth of weed.

If you do not take action as soon as you notice the first sprout of weed, it will spread rapidly and then it will be very difficult for you to kill it.

They Kill Your Plants

Hand Spraying Weed Killer

Several varieties of weed are known as parasitic plants that is because they pick a host plant and rob its water and nutrients, leaving dead.

A lot of pests also hide in the weeds. Long grass and tall weed are prime targets for pests such as bugs, cockroaches, and rodents. These pests then feed on your plants and ultimately kill them

Now that you know why it is necessary to kill weeds, let’s get back to the main question.

Top 4 Ways to Get Rid of Weeds without Chemicals

When it comes to removing weeds from gardens or laws, there are many options available. Some people prefer commercial herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides while some want to go for natural homemade remedies.

Homemade weed killers are more effective and less expensive than commercial ones so you can easily use them in your required quantity. Read on to learn the most common homemade solutions to get rid of pesky weeds.

1. Use Vinegar

Acetic acid in glass, chemical in the laboratory and industry

The presence of acetic acid in vinegar makes it an effective weedkiller. The vinegar that is used at home may be very weak as it contains only 5 percent acetic acid, it might help in controlling small, young weeds but will not kill established weeds.

For perennial weeds, vinegar with 15 to 25% acetic acid is recommended. When it is sprayed on the weeds, it absorbs moisture from the leaves and kills the weeds.

However, it is important to bear in mind that vinegar is non-selective which means it can kill anything it comes in contact with, not just weeds. So it is essential to ensure that you are only spraying it on the affected area.

The advantage of using vinegar is that it is not very expensive, and can kill weeds in just one application. Moreover, it can be used on edible crops and isn’t harmful to the environment.

However, be sure to wear safety gloves and goggles on your eyes while handling it as the acetic acid can cause severe burns if it comes in contact with the skin.

2. Use Baking Soda

Generic baking soda commercially cleared image of cleaning tricks and tips for odor control

Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, also works as a great herbicide. Proper application of it helps in killing weeds.

Pour some water in a spray bottle, you can also add a surfactant to the mixture, it will help the water to stick to the weeds. Then spray the water and surfactant mixture on the weeds and immediately sprinkle the baking soda on them through a flour sifter or a nylon cloth.

Baking soda works as a desiccant, as it extracts water from the plant’s cell which dries out the leaves ultimately killing the weeds.

It is safe to use and is cheap which makes it a great option. However, it only works on plants that are above the ground and not on the roots and plants that are under the soil.

3. Use Boiling Water

kettle of boiling water on electric induction hob

If you want to adopt a more natural approach pouring scalding hot water on weeds is a useful way to eliminate them. It doesn’t require too much effort and is easy on the pocket book.

This method is ideal for weeds growing in the driveways or sidewalks.

Just fill your kettle with water, boil it and pour it on the weeds. You may have to repeat the action a few times but eventually, you will get the required results.

Just like all other methods, make sure you only pour the boiling water over the weeds you wish to get rid of and not on the other plants.

4. Use Bleach

Using bleach is also one of the ways you can kill weeds. Apart from being a spot cleaner, bleach is also an efficient weedkiller.

Pure bleach can be extremely harmful if it comes in contact with skin it can cause irritation and cell death that is why it is important to dilute it with water. (source)

Human hand in protective glove holding a bleach bottle

What you need to do is mix bleach with water. Take a little quantity of chlorine bleach according to your requirement and mix it with equal parts of water.

Use a funnel to put it in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the undesirable weeds you want to get rid of.

The mixture will start losing its strength after a day so be sure to use it within 24 hours of making it.

When you spray bleach on the affected area, the acidic properties of it leads to a fall in the pH level of that area. This makes it extremely difficult for not only weeds but also the plants to survive in acidic conditions.

Therefore, remember to be very cautious while dealing with bleach. Make sure to only spray it on the weeds and not on the healthy plants and grass.

So it is important to locate the area where you are going to spray the bleach and be certain that the nozzle of the bottle is working fine to avoid the bleach from getting sprayed onto other plants.

Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, cover your eyes with goggles, wear gloves and a face mask to avoid inhaling it, as bleach can be poisonous to humans.

  • To minimize any potential danger, take into account the following points when using bleach
  •  Do not mix it with other chemicals
  •  Do not use on edible crops as they soak the bleach
  • When you spray it, wait for two days or more before extracting the dead weeds
  • Test it on a small section before actually spraying it
  •  Make sure the weather is calm and it isn’t raining or windy
  • Do not use it near water
  • Do not let children or animals come near the area
  • Do not spray it near water sources
  • Avoid spraying too much, wait for a few days to see its effectiveness

Although weeds ruin the look of your garden and hinder the growth of the plants, there are many homemade herbicides that you can use to get rid of them. However, remember to be very careful while using any of these because they can be extremely dangerous for you and your healthy plants.

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