Homemade citric acid and white vinegar weed killer

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing pesky weeds is one of the most common lawn maintenance issues facing homeowners. Weeds are unsightly and can make otherwise well-manicured yards appear unkempt. A number of chemical weed killers are available to clean up your yard, but ingredients in the herbicides can sicken your pets. Citric acid, such as lemon juice, and white vinegar are safe for use around pets and will kill even stubborn weeds.

Remove the cap from a pump garden sprayer, and pour in 1 qt. white vinegar and 2 cups lemon juice. Fresh or bottled juice is acceptable, but make sure you strain fresh juice to remove any pulp.

Screw the lid back on the bottle and shake it gently to combine the ingredients. Allow the mixture to combine for at least one hour before use.

Pump the handle on the sprayer to fill it with air, and spray the solution over the weeds. Soak the weeds from the top down to the roots, spraying enough solution around the base of the weed to dampen the soil.

Allow the weeds to dry for 24 hours before pulling. The acid from the juice and vinegar penetrates the weed, killing both the stem and the roots to prevent regrowth. If the weed does not come out easily, spray again and wait another 24 hours before removal.


Spray only the weeds you wish to remove, as the vinegar solution will also kill neighbouring plants.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 qt. white vinegar
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 1-gallon pump garden sprayer
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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.