How To Turn Your Teakettle Into A Non-Toxic Weed Killer

How To Get Rid Of Weeds Naturally

Are weeds growing up through cracks in your driveway? Do you have a brick walkway that was laid without mortar (a common technique) and now needs weeding?

But you don’t want to use toxic herbicides like Roundup1? Good news! You don’t need herbicides to kill weeds.

Herbicides can trigger asthma and other serious health problems in you, your kids, and your pets. Plus the runoff pollutes the Occoquan, Potomac, and Chesapeake, and can contaminate our drinking water wells.

So let’s take a look at four totally non-toxic ways to get rid of weeds.

Method #1: Turn your teakettle into a non-toxic weed killer

Turn your tea kettle into a non-toxic weed killer

You might be surprised to learn that pouring boiling water on your weeds gives you just as good a result as spraying them with the dreaded Roundup. With either method, in less than twenty-four hours you’ll be left with brown, dead weeds.

If the now-dead weed is in your driveway or walkway, you’ll probably want to pull its remains out by hand for aesthetic reasons. Luckily, dead weeds are easy to pull out of the ground. And a weed killed with boiling water is safer to touch than an herbicide-drenched weed.

This is what your weeds will look like the day after you pour boiling water on them:

Weeds killed with boiling water

Interesting Side Note: When you pour boiling water on your weeds it will smell like you’re cooking greens!

Method #2: Spray your weeds with vinegar

Kill weeds with vinegarAnother non-toxic option is to spray the weeds with white vinegar. This technique is best used in small areas since it takes a lot of vinegar to do the job. You have to drench them really.

To do, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray directly on the weeds you want to kill.

Method #3: Burn the weeds away with a special torch

Torch attachment to kill weeds

Yet another technique is to burn the weeds away with a specially designed torch. Check the Ace Hardware in Dale City for weed burning torch attachments. Lowe’s and Home Depot also carry them. You could also try Southern States in Manassas or Merrifield Garden Center.

Use caution here! It’s very easy to light random leaves on fire and the fire can spread, especially in dry weather. You should only use this method on weeds that are not surrounded by burnable leaves or grass, weeds that are in your driveway cracks for example.

Method #4: Scrape the weeds away with a rectangular shovel

Scrape weeds away with a rectangular shovel

This is a neat trick to use on a fairly level brick walkway. Scrape the weeds away with a spade or rectangular shovel. You just scoop the weeds away and you’re left with a nice, clean surface.

Scraping works well on level brick walkways that have weeds growing up between the bricks. For best results and to make the job easier, scrape lengthwise along the bricks.

There are a couple more methods we haven’t mentioned.

You can use a weed wacker of course. But you’ll go through a lot of those replaceable strings. Each replacement spool costs about $8.00, and that adds up fast.

And hand pulling is always an option.

But why not give the boiling water trick a try? It works great and it takes a lot less effort than pulling by hand or weed wacking.


1. Journal, Entropy: Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases†

Do you have a favorite way to kill weeds? Tell us in the comments below.

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  1. TheGardenLady says:

    You can also add a little dish soap to the vinegar and use that. It kills weeds better than vinegar alone.

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