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I tried homemade pet-friendly weed killer to get rid of it forever

This is not me at all, as I see my garden as just another room in my house and would probably count gardening as one of my very few uncool hobbies – is it weird that every spring I count the days until my favorite bright pink lilies come to life?

In fact, I may be the only under-30 person who gets more excited about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show than Love Island each year, and I'd choose a trip to the garden centre over an afternoon of cocktails any day.

But lately, I couldn't stand the weeds creeping up through my patio and under my neighbor's wall and fence – not to mention the dreaded thistles that were appearing everywhere.

Weeds spoil the gardenWeeds spoil the garden (Image: Molly Court/Newsquest)

Having previously written about this weedkiller recommended by the experts at the Plastic Centre for less than 80p a litre, I thought, you know what, let's give it a try.

Not only is it incredibly affordable (since I don't want to spend money on a garden that I'll soon be abandoning), but there are no harmful chemicals involved and I knew I had all the products in my kitchen.

I had also completely forgotten that I need a pet-friendly weed killer since this is the first full summer with my dog, so this method that I came across and thought might be useful for other green-thumbed people as well seemed to be exactly what I was looking for too.

How to make an animal-friendly and non-toxic weed killer

The method is incredibly simple: you'll need table salt (40p at Ocado), washing up liquid (55p at Asda) and distilled vinegar (35p at Tesco).

Do you have these things in your cupboards? You could quickly make a homemade weed killerDo you have these things in your cupboards? You could quickly make a homemade weed killer (Image: Molly Court/Newsquest)

Then add 30 ml of salt, 500 ml of vinegar and a tablespoon of washing-up liquid to a pressure sprayer (I used any spray bottle from my garden box), shake it well and you're ready to go.

Now I have to admit that I have not used the exact products mentioned above, but in the end it's all the same, right?

Also, I didn't make the exact amount, which experts say would normally be less than 80p per litre, as I only really have one main bed of weeds (at the moment) and didn't want to waste anything.

The method is supposed to wilt weeds within 24 hours and dry them out completely within 48 hours if done on a dry day – and guess what? It kind of worked.

What do you think of this before and after photo of annoying garden weeds?What do you think of this before and after photo of annoying garden weeds? (Image: Molly Court/Newsquest)

Do vinegar and salt kill weeds permanently?

After getting over the horrible smell (the strong soapy vinegar made me hold my breath), I soaked the weeds from leaves to roots. It was that easy.

I then left them overnight and when I checked the next day after work, they had indeed wilted.

But that's all that's happened so far, and it's been nearly 48 hours. When it comes down to it, I'd say they're half dead.

Admittedly, it rained a little after 24 hours, which probably ruined my experiment.


How to get rid of these common garden pests


In short, I recommend trying this weed killer that you can make at home if you are not in a hurry to have a weed-free garden soon.

Of course, it has great advantages because you probably have all the products you need in your cupboard, it is not harmful unlike other industrial weed killers and it is also quite cheap.

Literature recommendations:

My main advice: Make sure you try it when there is no rain forecast for a few days so the weeds can dry properly.

I would also avoid spraying it near other plants or flowers that you don't want to kill.

But will this get rid of the weeds forever? Probably, although you may have to wait until next summer.