Weeds are a never-ending problem in our homes no matter how we try to get rid of them. They usually reappear in our flower beds, vegetable gardens, between pavers, stepping stones and annoyingly in any cracks in walkways and driveways. This brings us to a question; does bleach kill weeds permanently?
Undiluted bleach will permanently kill weeds growing through the cracks and crevices on your driveway, patio or walkways. Spray undiluted bleach and let it sit for 2 to 3 days. The solution will kill existing weeds to the root and stop new ones from sprouting. Aim carefully to avoid killing your grass, flowers and other vegetations.
How does bleach kill weeds?
Bleach raises the soil PH level significantly making it difficult for any vegetation to survive in the near future. Bleach denatures cells in plant leaves and any contact with makes leaves to turn white, then wither and die.
While bleach should not be used as a typical weed killer, it can be used to control weeds in areas where you don’t need any plant to grow. These include driveways, patios and walkways.
Bleach should not be used on or near other plants such as flowers, vegetables and lawn grasses. When using chlorine bleach, protect nearby plants with a plastic sheeting to prevent any accidental exposure. Bleach should also NOT be used near a storm drain or body of water as the runoff is harmful to aquatic life.
How to Use Bleach on Weeds Safely
Wear a waterproof hand protective gloves and pour undiluted bleach over the weeds. One cub is enough to kill vegetation in a 6-by-6 square are for most soil conditions.
After two to three days, the weeds will start turning brown and eventually dry out and die. You may pull them up or leave them to decompose.
If you have plans to grow later other plants, flush the soil with plenty of water to leach the bleach from the soil. Alternatively, you can avoid negatively altering the soil pH condition by spraying undiluted bleach on the weeds you wish to remove using a spray bottle. The chemical will dissipate in a week thus making the area safe for growing other plants.
Safety Tips when using Bleach to Kill Weeds
- Bleach kills most plant, weeds and insects
- Wear safety gloves and eye protection before you start spraying
- Do not use near children and pets until the it has dissipated
- Use on a calm day to prevent accidentally spraying other plants
- Do not use near sources of water or in aquatic environments
- Avoid using near plants you desire, lawns or edible crops
- Do not mix bleach with other chemicals
What kills weeds permanently? – Bleach Alternatives
Vinegar is the best alternative to bleach in controlling weeds without causing environmental problems. While it is capable of killing anything you spray it on, it does not affect the soil around as bleach does. When spraying, cover other desirable plants with a waterproof plastic.
To kill weeds faster using vinegar, use a high-strength vinegar from the store. To make the solution more deadly, add a few spoons of dish soap. You may repeat the spraying after few days to get the weeds killed permanently.
Other less expensive options include salting the gravel driveway or pouring hot water on the weeds growing in the cracks. Both methods kills any plant in the area, thus you need to be careful. Salt affects plant cells thus making them to die. Hot water similarly denatures cells of a plant.
An expensive and yet unnatural method is to use a commercial weed killers. The herbicides come in various concentrations that effectively zap weeds. Before using such products, be sure to read and understand instructions. Always use away from pets and children and avoid contact with edibles.
Both natural and chemical options are available for controlling weeds. Bleach being an effective home remedy for weeds, it is dangerous for both land and aquatic life. Be careful when using it to get rid of weeds in your backyard. It may take months before the soil exposed gets fit to planting any other plant.
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Other factors that should be considered before choosing different weed killers are the environment in which they live and whether there is already a problem with weeds in the area. The products that you choose will depend on your personal preferences.