Will Bleach Kill Weeds? Everything You Need To Know

It is typical for grass and weeds to grow in driveways and other landscape areas that aren’t well maintained. People can use various herbicides to eliminate weeds, but bleach – a home remedy – is one of the most effective and affordable ways you can consider.

Does Bleach Kill Weeds?

These questions may pop up in your head when talking about bleach to kill weeds. The answer to all these questions is an absolute yes.

What is bleach? Liquid bleach is a household product that is unusual and more commonly referred to as bleach.

Sodium hypochlorite is a cheap, widely available household product. Another name of bleach is liquid bleach, which is diluted with sodium hypochlorite and additional ingredients.

Bleach is popular for whitening clothes, removing stains, and having other beneficial effects, including cleansing, disinfecting, and making light-colored food and water.

Bleach has been used to describe all liquid bleaching agents for laundry but is now often used to describe those made with peroxide for decades. Bleach will kill weeds in rocks, bleach weed, driveway weeds, or even light bleached weed.

What the bleach will do is eliminate the existing weeds and will help to prevent the growth of new ones. However, the damage caused by bleach extends to other vegetation, flowers, and grass, so be careful where you use it!

Getting rid of weeds in your lawn without killing the grass:

How To Use Bleach To Kill Weeds?

Bleach contains chlorine, which is not toxic to plants if used in small doses.

However, in higher concentrations, the pH can damage various vegetables and plants.

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If you want to get rid of grass and weeds, simply use liquid bleach according to the below instructions.

  1. Open your garden spray and fill it with undiluted bleach.
  2. It is best to use bleach on grass and weeds between driveways and pavers since it will not harm the surfaces you want to keep clean.
  3. Do this procedure on grass and weeds that won’t die after two to three days.
  4. Remove dead grass and weeds to keep your driveways or yard clean.

A single application of liquid bleach solution would suffice to deal with wild onion, dandelions, crabgrass, creeping charlie, and horsetail. However, you may need at least 2 or 3 applications to kill more aggressively growing weeds.

Bleach affects weeds and plants’ growth in 2 ways. First, it weakens the plant with salts.

While chlorine is essential in soil, too much chlorine can cause chlorine toxicity. Chlorine bleach’s pH level is 11, which significantly raises the soil’s pH level.

At a high pH level, nutrients like magnesium and calcium are not absorbed by the plants. Malnutrition and salt-jammed conditions can cause leaves to turn brown and die.

It’s worth noting that you will have to wait until the next season to use the treated soil for planting.

Where To Use Bleach Weed Killer?

Between Pavers

Pavers provide gaps for some plants to grow. A typical example is bermudagrass which can be a tenacious weed.

It is tough to eradicate. However, you can pull broadleaf weeds up using a weed puller or just with your hands if they grow between the pavers.

Another choice is Clorox. Pouring Clorox into the gaps between pavers can kill grass and weeds and also help to avoid any vegetation growing in these areas.

Walkways And Driveways

Weeds are common on driveways and sidewalks. Unwanted grasses and weeds form in crevices and cracks.

Pouring undiluted bleach will help you to remove the old roots of weeds from the driveways, sidewalks.

However, some dead weeds can be excruciating to grasp with your hands. So then, feel free to use any garden tools to pull them out.

Rocks And Gravel

Poor weed control is common in gravel driveways.

If the gravel does not cover the soil beneath, you may want to use vinegar or concentrated bleach. These solutions will ensure a weed-free gravel driveway.

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Spraying the undiluted bleach onto the driveway so that bleach can well cover all the weeds. Then, after 2 to 3 days of the last application, pull up the dead weeds.!

Below are a few small things to take note of when using bleach weed killers.

  • You should always apply bleach on warm, dry, and sunny days. However, if it’s a rainy day, the bleaching liquid will seep into your entire garden, killing all the other plants or flowers.
  • Be extra careful when spraying bleach. The wind may blow it onto other people or plants.

How Long Does It Take For Bleach To Kill Weeds?

Bleach is powerful in acid and takes 2 to 3 days to eliminate weeds. After that, the treated plants will turn brown, lose their leaves, and wilt because of Clorox.

It will probably take more time to kill the tough grass, at least four days. After that, more than one round of applying bleach can be required to exterminate the weeds effectively.

What Are The Alternatives?

Bleach can cause some nasty side effects. Unless used in moderation, it is very effective, but there are better and more pleasant alternatives.

Vinegar and salt are sustainable options for keeping your garden clean and pest-free. Alternatively, commercial herbicides are a great choice if you want to deal with various weed types effectively.

You can take these substitutes for regular bleach liquid.

Vinegar

Vinegar can destroy everything it comes in contact with, including what it’s sprayed on, so it will affect the surrounding soil.

When using vinegar, remember to cover any desired plants with waterproof plastic materials.

Using high-strength store-bought vinegar will eliminate weeds. If you aim to make it more deadly, then add some tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. Spraying the weeds repeatedly several times, and they will eventually succumb to the poison.

Salt Or Hot Water

When dealing with large grassy areas, you can use salt for your gravel driveway or sprinkling hot boiling water on the grass.

If either of these procedures is used on an entire garden, all vegetation in the vicinity completely disappears. This is because too much salt can kill plant cells, while heating water can denature plant cells.

Commercial Weed Killers

It is much more expensive to use commercial weed killers. Herbicides come in various levels of effectiveness and address different types of weeds.

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It is advisable to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using new products. For the safety of your children, your pets, and yourself, please keep in mind that never put weed killers within arms reach.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)

How much bleach does it take to kill weeds?

Ideally, 3 tablespoons per gallon.

If you want to use bleach as a weed killer, adding some salt will help enhance the herbicidal effect by raising the toxicity for weeds. 

The idea is that some plant roots are more sensitive than others (some will be dead after 1 tablespoon) and adding salt helps kill the less-sensitive ones too.

Is bleach or vinegar better to kill weeds?

Both are good. However, bleach is better because it is more persistent and covers a wider range of weeds.
 
Vinegar is great for killing annuals like crabgrass but not as good at killing perennials like dandelion root or grape ivy, which really need time to rot before they die off completely. 
 
Bleach is good if you don’t want to wait long periods of time for perennial plants to collapse from lack of water because saponin in sap prevents water absorption by its roots, which will eventually lead to the plant’s dehydration and death. 
 
Spraying vinegar-soaked cotton ball or paper towel may also kill spotty weeds if it’s left on the surface without being washed away by rain or other watering events.

Can you use household bleach to kill weeds?

Yes, but make sure it’s on the “stronger” side of bleach (which is usually 40-50% concentration).
 
Simply pour some on the roots of the weeds and let it soak in for an hour or two. Wear gloves, you probably don’t want to be touching this stuff with your bare hands! And if you’re using it near plants that are still alive, keep them out of the way so they don’t get accidentally killed by bleach. 

Also, always avoid getting bleach mixed up with any other cleaners since mixing together amount different types of substances can lead to toxic compounds being released into the environment.

Conclusion

Will bleach kill weeds? Definitely yes!

The choice of weed-killing methods includes both natural and chemical solutions. However, bleach is harmful to the land and aquatic life, so use it rarely and be extra careful.

It will take a few months before your garden soil is ready to be used for planting.

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.