Weed Killing!

by Ivory Soap


We played this game last week.  Are you ready?  What do you think this is?

Are you sure?

You know I don’t play fair, so I’ll just tell you…


It’s an herbicide drift eliminator!  Ever try to kill something lame and accidentally injure your awesome stuff?  If you’ve ever had a dog that wasn’t supposed to scratch his face, you have the perfect solution to your problem!

Oh, and here’s the recipe for my weed killer…

Ivory’s Non-Selective Herbicide

2c vinegar
1 T liquid soap
1 T salt
Dog cone

Mix first three ingredients in spray bottle. Will kill anything it touches. Place doggie cone over weeds. Spray, don’t pour or nothing will grow there for a while.


Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.
Louise C July 27, 2009 at 5:35 am

I will certainly try this recipe in my garden but usually, I just pull them out and leave them to dry on the soil; weeds turn into garden fertility compost. For the perennial weeds, I use a used can: I get all I can of the weed that I want to get rid of inside the can and then, I top the whole center of the plant with the can by pressing it into the soil with my foot. It can stay there for 1 year! When the place is infested, I hide the cans with a bit of soil so the border looks nice despite the cans everywhere.

marielle July 27, 2009 at 7:15 am

You can do it with a milk jug too. Just cut off the bottom and a part of the top and use the same way. Thanks for the herbicide recipe.

Raquel July 28, 2009 at 6:57 am

Wow!!! thank you for the great recipe. Some of my weeds are outta control and I refuse to use chemicals.

pumpkinsx3 July 28, 2009 at 8:58 am

I bet an old lamp shade would work for those who don’t have a doggie cone. I’ve been saving one – trying to figure out what I can do with it. For a large weed – place the large end down. For a small weed or in a tight space – place the small end down. I can’t wait to try it.

Lindsay July 28, 2009 at 11:46 am

So clever. You could also use the dog cone in the opposite way, if you’re like me and have more weeds than plants…

Janice Redinger July 28, 2009 at 8:05 pm

This is my favorite subscription ever! A great organic weed killer recipe as well.
I have cat and dog cones that are now too small for the critters now. Amazing recycling project! Thank you.

Ivory Soap July 30, 2009 at 9:05 pm

@Janice YAY!!! I LOVE that you love my recycling project. I thought it was a SCREAM!!! On par with the baby gate as a compost sifter. HA!

@Lindsay HA! You’re funny!

@pumpkinsx3 Absolutely! Repurposing is all about using what you already got ’round the house!

@Marielle True that! As a lactose intolerant family, we have more doggie cones than milk jugs . Isn’t that CRAZY?
@Raquel This will murder them. Kid you not! HA!

Ivory Soap July 30, 2009 at 9:06 pm

@Louise C WOW! That is a great idea!!!

Hope July 31, 2009 at 11:21 am

I love your Website. I get such a charge out of your concoctions. This will save me a lot of money and chemical contamination!

Kelsi August 3, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I love this idea! I too pull most everything out, weed wise, but there are time when you can’t and this will work great! Thanks for the tips.

Ivory Soap August 6, 2009 at 8:42 am

@Hope—GOOD! Glad to be useful!

Jennifer August 21, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I was so excited when I read this that I went and made it and used it immediately! Thanks so much!

Ivory Soap August 22, 2009 at 8:45 pm

@jennifer You’re welcome!!!!

Angie Platten February 29, 2012 at 7:32 am

I can’t wait to try this! My back yard is a knee high weed garden right now and I don’t have money to pay someone to spray nor purchase the expensive herbicides! I have one question though… does it matter if the vinegar is cider or white?

Ivory Soap March 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Any vinegar will work.

Susan Abel March 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Great Ideas. Thanks for Sharing. I have a question.. I have an area that has nutgrass( not a lot, because it has been covered by leaves from fall ). This area is around a Crepe Myrtle tree< and I believe the nutgrass is deep rooted. How long would I have to safely wait before replanting some begonias under my crepe myrtle trees, if i used this treatment?

Thank You,

Susan Abel March 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Great ideas. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try this herbicide treatment. How long would I have to wait after using this treatment, before I could safely plant some begonias under my Crepe Myrtle trees?

Thank You,
Susan Abel

Elizabeth Castle April 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

I am concerned with volatization, as most chemicals have a temperature which causes them to evaporate and enables the toxins to spread on the wind or in the water…

jennifer April 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

I hope this works like you say! I made some and went outside and used it on the “patio” which is just concrete blocks. I want all the weeds (and grass) inbetween the cracks to be gone. I’d replace the patio since it’s horrible, but we’re just renting, so this is the best thing. Usually I’m out there trying to dig the weeds out and it’s annoying.

jennifer April 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

Here is a picture of what I’m talking about

Kathy S May 9, 2012 at 8:43 am

Hi I want to try this but I’m concerned a little what happens when
it rains? will it kill the good plants or is it because there is so little
of it when it gets into the soil it doesn’t hurt anything, I see
you sprayed it around strawberry plants and that is one thing I’m
looking to control weeds around too. Please let me now soon. Thank
We are going natural because we hate chemicals and now we are getting bee’s so i really have to take care more.

Ivory Soap May 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

It kills because contact on the leaves. It doesn’t poison the soil. You just need a barrier so that it doesn’t blow onto your other plants.

Kathy S May 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm


Karen May 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

I’ve tried this weed killer and it really works. Instead of a dog cone, I took a old coffee can and cut off the bottom. Then I cut a hole just big enough for the spray tip. No way can any of the spray hit any other plant.

Libby July 2, 2012 at 4:06 am

sorry to be so ignorant – writing from France…. what does 2c mean and 1T ? I don’t know what these measurements are! Don’t you add any water?

Ivory Soap July 3, 2012 at 6:11 am

2 cups and 1 tablespoon respectively. I have no idea in metric.

Jude July 8, 2012 at 10:32 am

This is amazing! Works just as quickly as the hugely expense brands and I don’t worry about getting it on my hands.
Thank you for posting this, I’ve been looking for something that works for a long time. 🙂

Naz July 9, 2012 at 3:46 am

2 Cups = 500ml

1 Tablespoon = 15ml / 15g

T. July 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Will this also work on Bermuda grass that has taken root in my flower beds and garden. Bermuda roots go down as far as 6 feet…the absolute devil to get rid of!! Thanks for any help.

C Kuipers July 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I have a walnut tree that keeps trying to come up in my rhubarb bed. Will this work on that, too?

Lillie Moss July 14, 2012 at 7:05 am

Can use lamp shade..Great tip!

Kaatje July 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Does it have to be Ivory?

Lauren July 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Kaatje, the “Ivory” refers to the blog writer’s name, not specifically the brand name of soap you should use. Since she didn’t specify, I suppose you could use whatever soap you have on hand. I hope that helps!

Doris Harris July 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Ivory I have so many weeds to kill am going to quadruple this recipe. Sure hope itworks as sure will be much cheaper.

Lannette July 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

Love this suggestion! I’m a gardening newbie – just bought a house and this is the first time I’m dealing with things like a yard/weeds/etc. I made your mixture and sprayed it on some weeds and grass that’s coming up between the brick pavers that make up our patio. Can you tell me what happens next? Like I said, I’m a newbie, so I don’t know how long this stuff will take… what do I need to do after I spray… do I have to pull out the weeds after I spray… stuff like that. Thanks so much!

Heather July 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Yes I am also wondering what happens after you spray all the weeds? I just made the mixture and sprayed the crap out of lots and lots of weeds around here….now wondering what happens next and about how long will it take for them to die? After you spray do you still have to pull up the weeds or do they just go away? Now much explaination on here on the process…would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for this awesome project!

Ivory Soap July 31, 2012 at 8:27 am

I don’t pull anything cause I’m lazy. They die in a few days.

Belinda Miller August 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

Will this kill nut grass?

Lois Patton August 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Is this mixture safe to spray around trees.

Bella September 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm

What type if liquid soap do u use?

Diana September 8, 2012 at 9:17 am

Will this also kill that Ivy that just will not go away, its like a weed and I cant find anything to kill it..

Car October 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Does this work on bind weed (morning glory)? That weed has invaded every part of my yard and garden spaces!

maria harvey-starkey November 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

I used to do this same thing (but used Roundup for the HORRIBLY invasive vegetation in Louisiana when we lived there) but I used a gallon jug.

Directions to make one out of the milk jug:
1. Cut the complete bottom off the milk jug with a kitchen shears.
2. Cut the part off where the spout is (leaving the handle) and opening it up enough to make a hole about 2-3″ across.
3. Use it the same way this one is!!

There you go – handle and all!!!

John November 27, 2012 at 4:42 am

Generic glyphosate is probably as cheap or cheaper than this solution. Monsanto lost their patent on glyphosate so there are many generics available and no reason to buy brand name roundup. Rural King sells 2.5 gallon 49% generic glyphosate product for $34 which will make hundreds of gallons of product…and their product already contains a surfactant. Glyphosate is incredibly effective and is an “over the top” product that quickly breaks downs once it is in the soil so it is environmentally friendly. The solution presented here would be my distant second choice.

kaaren kirkpatrick December 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm

will this work if it’s raining? Or, should it be used only when weather is dry?

Elena January 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Thanks for the idea

Laurie January 8, 2013 at 8:28 am

You can also try spreading corn gluten on your beds in the spring to prevent weeds before they start! Also spread some under your bird feeder to keep of the dropped seeds from sprouting. Sold in large and small garden centers.

Sue January 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I have used vinegar mixed with methylated spirits and water as a cleaning agent for the last 20 years to clean my tiled floors which acts as a disinfectant/cleaner all in one but never thought to use it on weeds. Have just sprayed all my pavers using your recipe and now waiting for them to die.

CP March 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

This is a good recipe for an area that you want devoid of weeds *for a while*. Like for between pavers or under trees. The salt actually does poison the soil for a time, until the rain washes it away. Remember the “salting of the earth” in the bible to make the land infertile? It’s not permanent but it does last for a while.

An quicker and easier way to kill weeds is simply to pour boiling water on them! When you make pasta, or something else that uses boiling water, instead of pouring it down the drain, take the pot outside and pour it on weeds. Since it’s only water, there are no chemicals involved at all and nothing will prevent new plants from growing there. This method is much better for veggie gardens, you don’t want to use salt there.

Jonell March 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

I am going to try this on weeds in a retaining wall. Then I am going to attack all the ivy in my yard. It was planted 15 years ago by a prior owner, and is taking over everything. I will let you know if it works.

Craig April 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Very clever!

I pinned this to The Home Depot’s Eco-Friendly Home board on Pinterest.


-Craig, from The Home Depot

Lisa April 5, 2013 at 8:30 am

Ahhh…the Cone of Shame! Yep, my dog has one! Can’t wait to give this a try.

Sharon April 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

No dog cone? Try a thrift store lamp shade or fashion an old place mat with staples or duct tape?

Kay April 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Does this solution harm the soil for future plantings where it is sprayed?

jennifer April 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I am having trouble keeping grass out of my vegetable garden, i am wondering if this works on grass and if it will affect my vegetables in the surroung area.

shannon May 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Are those strawberry plants by the offender?

Ivory Soap June 6, 2013 at 7:12 am

Shannon–Yes, ma’am.

Ivory Soap June 6, 2013 at 7:13 am

Kathy–We’ve never had a rain issue.

Jon Conley June 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I love this! I will surely be testing this weed killer idea out this week. I have some issues with weeds around sidewalk edges and the driveway. Although, I don’t need the “cone of shame” for that. Thanks for the article! I can’t wait to read the next one!

Lori Houldsworth June 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm

does T stand for Teaspoon…Tablespoon???? some things don’t translate to other countries 🙂

Ivory Soap June 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

Tablespoon, sorry!

Jon Conley June 28, 2013 at 10:56 am

Yeah.. usually capital T stands for Tablespoon and lower case t stands for teaspoon 🙂

Cath June 29, 2013 at 12:32 pm

What is 2c of vinegar? Whats the C stand for?

diane lindall July 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Cath, 2c is 2 cups

diane lindall July 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm

will this work on blackberry plants or scotch broom? they grow like weeds here and with animals, I hate using pesticides

Brenda July 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I’m going to cut the bottom off a gallon milk jug and try this. Sometimes the perfect answer is right in front of you! Thanks for the great idea!

Ellen Peavey July 6, 2013 at 5:13 am

I like the milk jug idea, would this work in a garden that has tomatoes still growing? Ellen from Georgia

Mary July 13, 2013 at 7:27 am

What if you have an entire pasture with noxious weeds on top, and healthy grasses below? Any ideas?

We literally have tens of thousands of a specific type of weed that is poisonous to our animals. We have hand pulled thousands, and can’t get a handle on it at all. Still, want to keep the area as organic as possible….

Also, we discovered last year, that store bought vinegar will not work for serious weed problems in our area…required a much more concentrated vinegar–21%–and actually that didn’t work on the weeds we were hoping to eliminate. I’m wondering if the dishsoap increases the effectiveness…will give this recipe a try today on some spot areas without much at risk near it….

D February 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Mary – contact your local agricultural office for suggestions. Consider boarding out your animals for a year to tackle the problem. Mow before it seeds, high enough to allow for good plants to seed and grow. Try a blowtorch on the weeds. Consider spraying for one year with something low toxicity as possible, so that you can move forward organically and without the risk of losing your animals.

Cocoa March 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Going to try weed killer! Love using vinegar baking soda, peroxide (peroxide is amazing!) Kids ever have “boo-boo?” little one cut finger, little blood on shirt?
No rub, just pour that stuff on blood stain disappears!
Hope everyone has poured ” Ani-Bacterial hand soap” down the drain? HEY,
It’s harmful to humans, can cause all kinds of problems, hormone damage, &
Much more I’m sure. Since it contains a PESTICIDE, the FDA wants all of
Them out of stores by end of this year. Triclosin? If I remember correctly.
Don’t buy ANI-BACTERIAL hand soap. It’s killing more than germs. It’s just the hand soap. Can you believe how long we have exposed our little ones to this?
Pass the word around, it’s horrible to continue to sell the stuff till 2015.
Maybe we should try the stuff on our weeds.

Cheryl May 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm

White vinegar or apple cider vinegar?

Denise July 30, 2015 at 12:42 pm

I have one big sprayers that holds about 1 1/2 gallons. has anyone used that also?

so for that container I would use 16 cups of vinegar (1 gal.), 8 T of salt, 8 T of liquid. is that too much soap? just wondering…..

Christina May 26, 2016 at 7:58 am

I love the dog collar idea. I have use this mix to kill weeks. When treating cracks I use a 38 oz squeeze ketchup bottle. I can direct the solution into the cracks and at Virginia creeper roots with having to get too close. Thank you sharing.

Anabel February 16, 2017 at 1:42 pm

just what particular of dish soap do you guys use? I was told not to use the one that says degreaser. How true is that?

Ivory Soap May 10, 2017 at 8:01 pm

It all works. No type is better or worse for weed death.

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