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Does Bleach Kill Grass & Weeds?

Weeds can be an unsightly annoyance in your yard or garden. If you are trying to replace your lawn with a patio, grass is unwelcome. You can use household bleach to rid your yard of unwanted weeds and grass.

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What is Bleach?

Household bleach is a disinfectant that kills germs such as staph, salmonella and e. coli bacteria; viruses such as influenza and rhinovirus; and fungus. Bleach is made up of 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide and sodium polyacrylate. These heavy salts are what kills weeds and grass.

Environmental Implications

Bleach breaks down into oxygen, salts and water when used. Because most (95 to 98 per cent) of bleach breaks down naturally, the environment is not impacted significantly. However, organic halides (or salts), when released in water can be toxic to smaller water organisms. A small amount will not harm the environment, but larger amounts can build up and cause a potential toxin to groundwater. Bleach is a chemical and because it is so good at killing natural organisms, it may harm the rest of your garden's natural growth if overused.

Use Bleach to Kill Grass and Weeds

Simply pour undiluted bleach directly on the grass or weeds you wish to kill. By the next day, they should be dead and you will be able to pull them out of the ground. If you want to kill a larger area, put the bleach in a spray bottle or a sprayer attachment to your hose and spray the area.

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About the Author

Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.

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