Does Bleach Kill weeds?
Does it work?
It can be frustrating to have to constantly get rid of weeds growing in your lawn or garden, so much so that you might consider using quick and easily accessible items around the household to get the job done. After all, buying weed-exterminators/herbicides can be expensive and no one wants to pay a fortune trying to maintain a weed-free garden.
Importance of Weed Removal
Weeds are stringent and resilient plants are a nuisance in any garden, but you will want to be careful about how you handle exterminating them. Killing weeds is not as simple as just sprinkling weed killer in your garden which is why a lot of people have turned to the cheaper and convenient option: bleach.
But it begs the question, is it safe and does it even work?
Bleach spray bottle being used on weed.
Can bleach be used to kill weeds?
Bleach is an extremely powerful and hazardous chemical which can be used to destroy just about anything. Not many things can survive once they’ve had a taste of this acidic compound but you shouldn’t underestimate the strength of this laundry cleaning concoction. While bleach does kill weeds at a much more inexpensive rate compared to herbicides, it has been known to have permanent and long lasting effects on the ground because of how penetrative it is.
Bleach as Weed Killer
Bleach does not kill just weeds but has been known to inhibit other plants from growing in the same area that it is sprayed on. For this reason, it should only be used to eliminate the starry garden nuisances that we call weeds with much caution and care.
Pure bleach can be destructive to the environment and hold back other flora from naturally sprouting in your garden, but if your mixture incorporates appropriate amounts of the chemical – you may just be able to achieve the results that you are looking for.
Bleach Weed Killer Action
The common bleach that is used for industrial and domestic purposes is nothing but a solution of sodium hypochlorite and is often referred to as liquid bleach as well. It contains several toxic chemicals that are used for deep cleaning, which is why it is used as a disinfectant and cleaning agent.
Effect of Bleach on Soil
The way bleach works is that once it is sprayed in a particular area, its acidic properties result in a fall of pH in the area that it is used on. Once this happens, it is difficult for anything to grow in that area because most plants find it impossible to survive in such extremely acidic soil conditions. This can’t be undone unless a base is used to neutralize the effects of bleach.
The results of bleach are long-lasting as well because it soaks deep into the ground and taps into the roots of plants. From there, it destroys the plant by eating it away, like with any other organism.
Heavy Metal Removal
It is no surprise that bleach is used in so many chemical cleaners for domestic purposes, leaving laundry stainless clean. It is so powerful that its corrosive properties can eat away metals as well. However, manufactured bleach is not created for consumers looking to spray it in their gardens to get rid of weeds. If you do, however, end up using bleach for your garden you are going to have to alter the solution by diluting it further while being very careful about its usage.
How to Use Bleach as Weed Killer
If you are confident about using bleach to kill the weeds in your lawn, there are some key instructions that you need to follow. Here is a step-by-step guide to using bleach for maintaining a weed-free garden.
Use clean spray bottles.
First, you will want to store the bleach mixture that you are using. It is recommended to use a plastic bottle with a spray nozzle at the top. If it is a poor quality bottle, it is possible that the bleach will destroy the insides of the container and even leak out. Make sure that your bottle or container is transparent so that you can keep an eye on the amount of bleach you are spraying or mixing.
Preparing Bleach Weed Killer:
Pour the raw manufactured bleach into the bottle using a funnel. Make sure that both the bottle and funnel are clean so that no unwanted chemical reaction occurs with the residue that is inside. Pour in the other ingredients that you want to mix with your bleach. It is recommended to use half part water and half part bleach along with liquid soap.
Pure bleach will have extremely penetrating effects that can reach the groundwater and stay there for a long amount of time. It can even destroy any other plants that it touches. Test your mixture by spraying it on a sectioned part of your garden instead of the entire area so that if it does not suit your garden, the weed treatment can be stopped.
Related: Best Grass Seeds
Spray Bleach Mixture on Weeds:
Next, find out exactly where you will be spraying the bleach mixture. Locate the weeds in your garden and identify problem areas where you need to use it the most. Aim for high-concentration weed areas where you will get the most results.
- Make sure that the nozzle on your spray bottle is fully functional because you will be using it to spray the weed killer onto your crops.
- Spray in short spurts so that you don’t end up accidentally spraying it on other plants that are part of your garden.
- Make sure that you clean the bottle after using bleach.
Bleach as Weed Killer – Safety Precautions
Bleach is a poisonous chemical for human beings and can severely agitate your skin and eyes if it is allowed to make contact with your body. Even being exposed to a little bit can lead to problems. Here are some precautions you need to take while handling bleach mixtures:
- Using gloves and goggles at all times.
- Make sure it isn’t windy the day you decide to do this. The spray particles might enter the eyes/nose/ears.
- Always do a test before spraying the entire garden.
- Make sure there aren’t any children, elders or animals in the area.
- Avoid using too much. Wait a few days to test the results.
- Make use of the rain forecast to predict when it will be appropriate to use.
- Do not mix with other chemicals without researching how they may react.
- Bleach is corrosive.
The Bottom Line
Using Bleach as Weed Killer seems like a good idea but if you are someone who carries the slightest bit of common sense, you must take all the precautions before using bleach to kill weeds. Ensure that the bleach weed killer mixture has the right concentration of ingredients. Avoid direct contact with the bleach.