Some people might feel torn between using a weed killer that works and one that isn’t toxic to the environment. The good news is, now you can have both.
There are some great organic weed killers out there that take care of your weed problem without causing collateral damage.
There are a lot of different types of products out there which can make it tough to find the best organic weed killers. That’s why we did the research for you, to help you find the perfect solution for your lawn or garden.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Using Organic Weed Killer
A lot of gardeners prefer to use organic, more natural methods for weed control as opposed to harsh, toxic chemicals that can damage the surrounding plants and maybe even contaminate groundwater.
Using organic weed killers is also a better choice for your family, especially if you have pets or young children running around your yard.
So, what makes chemical weed killers so bad? The main ingredient, glyphosate, builds up in the soil and sticks around for a long time. With enough exposure, it can lead to genetic mutations or cause cancer.
The main difference between chemical and organic weed killers is that organic weed killers do not use glyphosate so they’re much safer. As we’ll see, they also work in a completely different want than chemical herbicides.
Another thing that is great about organic weed killers is that they don’t have the same potent, chemical odor that traditional weed killers do. Because a lot of them are derived from essential oils, some of them even smell good, believe it or not.
Finally, when you use an organic weed killer, you don’t have to wait days to use your yard again. This is particularly great if you have kids or pets that love to spend time roaming around the yard. You can usually replant in the area pretty quickly, too.
The Best Organic Weed Killers For Your Garden & Lawn
There are a lot of great organic weed killers out there. If you’re not sure which one to buy or are feeling a bit overwhelmed, here are eight of the best ones available.
|Picture||Organic Weed Killer||Visible Result||Links|
|Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer||24 hours|
|Natural Armor Weed & Grass Killer||24 hours|
|Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer||12-24 hours|
|ECO GARDEN PRO Organic Vinegar Weed Killer||24 hours|
|BioSafe Weed Control Concentrate||24 hours|
|Weed Slayer Organic Grass and Weed Control||7-14 days|
|Organic Matters Natural Weed Killer Spray||24 hours|
|Bonide Fast Acting Weed and Grass Killer||48 hours|
Organic Weed Killer Reviewed
1. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
This weed killer from Green Gobbler kills weeds in less than 24 hours. The main ingredient is acetic acid, derived from corn. Acetic acid is the same material found in table vinegar only this concentration is four times as strong.
Since this product is certified organic, it’s ideal for residential or agricultural use. You can use it on driveways, mulch beds, farmlands, and more. It’s effective against all kinds of weeds, including white clover, moss, dandelions, and crabgrass and it’s ready to go right out of the bottle.
Apply using the included sprayer. For best results, use on a calm sunny day and mix with a surfactant. One of the best things about this product is that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy, Green Gobbler will refund your money with no questions asked.
2. Natural Armor Weed & Grass Killer
Another great option is from Natural Armor, a family-owned company dedicated to its customers and the environment. This organic formula is chemical-free with no glyphosate and kills more than 250 types of grasses and weeds.
Because this weed killer is biodegradable, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly, it’s safe for your family and pets as well as groundwater, birds, and fish in the area. The bottle comes with a sprayer and is ready to apply, no mixing or diluting required.
You should see results in as little as 24 hours, if not sooner. We love that this product also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the way it works, Natural Armor will give you a hassle-free refund.
3. Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer
Doctor Kirchner uses saltwater, food-grade commercial-strength vinegar, and soap to create this powerful and effective weed killer. You don’t have to mix or dilute it, just pour the liquid weed killer into a spray bottle and apply.
This formula was designed to take care of weeds without harming the surrounding environment. It’s pet-friendly, kid-friendly, and completely safe when used as directed. Spray until the weeds are saturated and wait. That’s it! Results are visible within hours with peak results between 12 and 24 hours.
Something great about this product is that it has a really long shelf life so you buy a large bottle, use what you need, and save the rest for when you need it. Every bottle is proudly made in Fort Pierce, Florida, and starts with ocean water collected at high tide. You can’t get more natural than that.
4. ECO GARDEN PRO Organic Vinegar Weed Killer
This formula from Eco Garden Solutions is extremely environmentally friendly. All of the ingredients are selected to be safe for not only kids and pets but also fish, bees, and any livestock that may come into contact with it.
Because it’s so safe, you can use this product just about anywhere. It’s made of natural white vinegar, Himalayan rock salt, plant activators, and co-factors that eliminate a variety of weeds, including clover, dandelion, crabgrass, white clover, thistle, and more.
Eco Garden Solutions is a great company, too. They only use pharmaceutical-grade ingredients that are sustainably sourced whenever possible. Each bottle is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy, they’ll issue you a full refund.
5. BioSafe Weed Control Concentrate
If you’re looking for something that works fast, take a look at this product from Biosafe Systems. It kills unwanted grasses and weeds in as little as two hours and is effective against liverwort, spurge, crabgrass, ragweed, dandelions, and more.
Something we really like about this product is that it won’t travel through the soil and harm surrounding plants. Plus, you can replant in the same area only four days after application.
This product works best when it’s applied to weeds that are a little wet from rain or dew. Because it begins to work on contact, it’s easy to see where you’ve applied it which helps avoid healthy plants. The formula works better in warmer weather but is effective at any time.
6. Weed Slayer Organic Herbicide Natural Grass and Weed Control
With a name like Weed Slayer, you can bet this one gets the job done. This formula is made from a plant-based herbicide that’s derived from clove essential oil called eugenol, a natural alternative to glyphosate that’s safe for your family and the environment.
This product is a little different than what we’ve seen so far in that you have to mix it. The weed killer comes with a quart of AgroGold. Just mix the two solutions in equal parts and mix them with water prior to application. Easy-to-understand instructions are included.
Something that we really like about this product is the smell. Since it’s derived from essential oils, it has a pleasant odor when you spray it. This product works a little slower than some of the other products we chose but it’s overall effective and extremely safe.
7. Organic Matters Natural Weed Killer Spray
Organic Matters natural weed killer is made using safe, natural, organic ingredients and kills more than 250 different types of weeds, including dandelions and crabgrass. It contains no glyphosate and is safe to use around mulch, walkways, wells, and water systems.
This product is ready-to-use and includes a heavy-duty sprayer that attaches right to the bottle. Just attach it and you’re ready to get spraying! It dries quickly and starts working in less than 24 hours. One gallon covers approximately 1,000 square feet.
Since this formula is all-natural, it’s safe to use around your family and pets as well as bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. If you’re not happy with your results or unsatisfied for any reason, contact the company within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
8. Bonide Fast Acting Weed and Grass Killer
Finally, we recommend this weed killer from Bonide. It treats a variety of grassy weeds and broadleaf plants with results in as little as a few hours. Make sure you check out the included instructions for specifics on how to handle each type of plant.
Something we really like about this one is that, once it dries, it’s waterproof so it keeps working, even if the weather turns later in the day. You can use it in temperatures as low as 40 degrees F and it’s safe around mature trees, borders, driveways, even school grounds.
This product must be mixed with water before application, roughly one part weed killer to three parts water. A measuring cup is included so you can get the proportions correct. Just mix well and use a spray bottle to apply. The main ingredients are citric acid and clove oil so it smells great, too.
What is the Best Organic Weed Killer?
All of the products that we included in this review are great but, if we had to choose one, we’d go with Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer. We love that it gets results in less than 24 hours and uses acetic acid derived from corn as the main ingredient.
A lot of people try to use white vinegar to kill weeds. Well, this product uses the same acid found in vinegar only it’s four times as strong which makes it much more effective. It’s ready to use right from the bottle and includes a sprayer so you don’t need anything extra to apply.
Another reason we highly recommend this product is that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you try it and it doesn’t work or you’re not happy with the results, contact Green Gobbler for a refund, no questions asked.
How Does Organic Weed Killer Work?
Organic weed killers work a little differently than chemical weed killers but their method for killing weeds depends on the active ingredient. The products we chose to use a few different active ingredients. Here’s how they work.
Acetic Acid or Vinegar
Acetic acid is the acid present in white vinegar but at a much higher concentration. So, they actually work in the same way only white vinegar will likely take a lot longer to have the same effect on the weeds.
Weed killers that use acetic acid as the main ingredient work directly on the leaves and should cause browning within 24 hours. Younger plants are usually more responsive to vinegar while older, hardier plants require the more powerful acetic acid.
Because these weed killers work on the leaves and the parts of the plant above ground, you may need to use several applications in order to get the root. If not, the weeds will reappear in a few weeks. That said, weed killers with a high concentration of acetic acid may get the root sooner.
Note that acetic acid is, obviously, acidic and may temporarily raise the acidity of the surrounding soil. This is temporary and typically resolves on its own when rain or watering rinses away the residue.
Salt or Saltwater
The best way to understand how salt and saltwater work as a weed killer is to think about an ocean beach. Part of the reason why plants don’t grow in the sand is that the constant exposure to saltwater removes all the moisture and nutrients. This is exactly how it works on weeds.
Applying an organic weed killer that uses salt as an active ingredient dries out the weed and the surrounding soil. Over-applying can cause bald spots in the soil and cause some short-term damage so you have to be careful to apply as precisely as possible.
One of the best places to use this type of weed killer is in cracks along sidewalks, roads, and walkways. Because there isn’t a lot of grass or other growth in the area, you don’t have to be quite as careful about precise application.
Eugenol is a compound found primarily in clove essential oil which is a common ingredient in organic weed killers. It works in a similar way as acetic acid in that it destroys the outside of the leaves, causing cell leakage and death.
Also like acetic acid, eugenol is good at killing the parts of the weed above ground but isn’t the best choice for weeds with extensive root systems or those with bulbs, tubules, or rhizomes in the soil.
Still, these weed killers are appropriate and very effective in certain situations, including along the edges of buildings and walkways and for treating spot growth of small, immature weeds.
Do I Need a Surfactant?
You may have noticed that some of these products recommend using a surfactant for more effective results. What exactly is a surfactant and why do you need one?
Most organic weed killers are applied directly to the leaves of the plant but most leaves have a thick, waxy coating that’s a little difficult to penetrate. Water, an ingredient in most weed killers, simply beads off and rolls down the plant.
This is where a surfactant comes in.
A surfactant is something that allows things to blend, stick, and work better. They’re common in a lot of chemical reactions but, for our purposes, surfactants help break down the waxy surface of the leaf and hold the weed killer in place so it’s more readily absorbed.
Using a surfactant makes weed killers more effective because it prevents it from being washed away and gives the weed killer the time it needs to work effectively. Some of these products ask that you use an additional surfactant while others may already have one included in the mixture.
Do you need a surfactant? Not necessarily because the weed killer you choose may already have one added. That said, if you choose a product that recommends using a surfactant, it’s a good idea to do so. You’re likely to get better results.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the best organic weed killer. There are a lot of great products out there and, while none of them use the same toxic ingredients as chemical weed killers, they work in different ways.
We think all of these products are great but we highly recommend Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer. It works within 24 hours and uses acetic acid derived from corn as the main ingredient. It’s like white vinegar on steroids and is effective without harming the environment.
Another great reason to give it a try is that it’s backed by a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you’ve never tried an organic weed killer before, this is a great way to give a try. What do you have to lose?