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Kill the Weeds, Save the Grass

Homeowners and gardeners shouldn’t have to choose between weeds and a lush lawn, but often many chemical herbicides to get rid of weeds will also kill the grass. What can you do? Try these tips for non-toxic weed killers that won’t harm your lawn in the process.

Hot Water

Perhaps the most natural way to kill weeds safely is with boiling water, and it is the least harmful to the environment. Boil some water and pour over the area of weeds that you want to clear. This works well in larger areas or crevices, like spaces between pavers, where weeds like to grow. Be careful and thoughtful in the application, however, as boiling water can also harm flowers and vegetable seedlings, too.


Another simple and harmless way to rid weeds is with table salt. Salt is very effective at killing weeds but don’t overdo and let the salt impact the soil quality. Apply directly to the leaves of weeds, being careful not to saturate the dirt. Use a combination of one-part salt to eight-parts water and spritz or spray directly on weeds. It may be necessary to do this a couple times before seeing results.


Did you know that there are dozens of uses for Borax besides getting laundry clean? Borax, which is found in the laundry and cleaning section of the grocery store, is a great weed killer and herbicide. Combine a 10-ounce box of Borax with two-to-three gallons of water and spray on weeds. Again, be wary of saturating the soil and avoid your flowers, other plants, and foliage. Also, if you get Borax on your skin, wash with cool water right away to avoid irritation or possible reaction.

White Vinegar

If you have white vinegar in your kitchen pantry, you have what you need to make a safe, effective weed killer. Use white vinegar, undiluted, directly to the leaves and stems of the weeds. You can find a stronger variety of white vinegar in many home and garden retailers for this purpose, but the kind you buy in the grocery store works fine, too. Minimize saturation and over-spraying the landscape to help protect the soil from the acidity of the vinegar.

Dish Soap

Another non-toxic way to get rid of weeds and pests without damaging your plants or lawn is with a mild dish soap. Dilute with water and spray lightly on weeds. Choose citrus scented soaps or those with essential oils to deter common pests, too.

Want to get rid of weeds but save your grass? Use these suggestions for effective weed control without the toxins of chemical herbicides. For landscaping and lawn care maintenance, talk to the industry experts at a Commercial Landscaping and Ground Services Company, Carolina Services Grounds Division, a division of Carolina Services Inc., in Charleston, SC.