What kills moss?

Updated February 21, 2017

Moss is a type of weed that tends to grow in areas that don't receive a lot of light and that have excess moisture. While some homeowners and landscapers want to encourage the growth of moss on rocks, outdoor furniture or statues, other seek to remove it from these surfaces. Moss growing on roofs or the surface of your home can actually damage that area. Prevent damage by killing moss as soon as you notice it growing.

Ferrous Sulfate

Ferrous sulphate is a common ingredient in many commercial moss-killing solutions. Ferrous sulphate is an alkaline solution that either comes in liquid of powder form. It will make the ground more alkaline, which will kill moss plants and stop growth over time. It nourishes grasses and other types of plants, such as azaleas, blueberries and rhododendrons. It will make the grass in your yard healthier and greener. Ferrous sulphate is best used to remove moss from yards.

Using Ferrous Sulfate

Apply the moss-killing solution containing ferrous sulphate to your lawn by either mixing it with water and spraying it on the lawn or by sprinkling the granules over the moss on the lawn and watering the lawn to dissolve the granules and spread the ferrous sulphate. Apply the chemical during the lawn's active growing season in the spring, fall or winter. Wash it off driveways or stone pavers as the product will stain theses surfaces.

Zinc Strips

Zinc will naturally kill moss from outdoor surfaces, which happens when rain water runs over the zinc and then runs on the moss. The zinc water is too alkaline for the moss and will either kill it or create an environment in which it cannot grow. Manufacturers create strips of zinc that you can place on your roof to prevent moss form growing and to kill it when it does grow.


Soap will help you remove moss from concrete or stone surfaces. Moss can cover these surfaces and make them slippery and difficult to walk on. The soap will dissolve the moss leaves' waxy coating and prevent them from growing. To use it, mix a soap specifically designed for killing moss with water. Spray the moss several times every few days until it is dead.


Bleach is a strong cleansing agent that will dissolve the protective waxy coating on moss and will eventually kill it. To use it, mix equal parts water and bleach and spray it over the moss. Apply it once per day every few days. Cover plants you don't want to kill; bleach will kill any plant it touches.

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About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.