Do weeds seem to thrive in the cracks and crevices of your walkways? If so you may have encountered the solution of using bleach to kill weeds. We often come across multiple marketing campaigns and factoids that create an illusion of useful information but all sources of information cannot be trusted. Here, we will try to unravel the truth behind the use of bleach as an effective weed killer after checking the facts profusely.
Note: Bleach is considered as a pesticide by the state IF IT IS USED AS A PESTICIDE
Regardless of the fact that it’s a laundry product, consider local regulations for use
Facts about Bleach
In a household environment, bleach is used to whiten clothes, remove stains, and as a disinfectant to commonly clean bathrooms and kitchens. It is equally poisonous for plants as well. Therefore, even though it may not be the most appropriate and eco-friendly option, bleach does kill weeds. It may or may not be considered as a safe way to get rid of weeds.
Bleach seeps into the roots of weeds and instantly destroys them. It can also be an effective herbicide which works quickly by seeping into the soil to prevent regrowth. It makes the soil incapable of nurturing any plants or weeds until it returns to its normal pH level.
Instructions for Usage
For those who want to go out and try this home remedy, here are a few tips:
- Apply only to the areas where you don’t want any vegetation, it isn’t selective at all!
- Use on cracks in your driveway, sidewalk or patio.
- Drench the entire weed with undiluted bleach, and leave for a day or two.
- Pull the weeds out of the ground after one or two days (this is still to be done manually).
- Be careful not to splash or spray.
- Keep kids and pets out of the usage area, until you pull out the weeds!
Bleach is poisonous if ingested, and should be diluted before application. Sometimes, they just burn the top section of the plants while the roots continue to grow.
Since, this is a home remedy, there are no set formulas of concentration, and neither recommended set of instructions. Different people have different ways and find different end results. Some claim it to be very efficient and cost effective, whereas some find it toxic enough to destroy their garden.
Here’s some experiences others have reported:
- Sometimes, the bleach just burns the top, roots remain intact
- Only a few leaves wilted, the next day, a few fell off….
- Kills anything that comes in its way!
- Cheaper & more organic is just to burn the weeds with a propane burner
Well, curiosity makes people do things they are not proud of, but trying this as herbicide could prove harmful to your health and garden if you’re not careful.
A Critical View by a Horticulture Expert
Robert Cox an expert on horticulture at the Colorado State University says: “Using bleach to kill weeds is not a good idea.”
The constituents of bleach are sodium hypochlorite, and the pH level is about 11.
It raises the pH level of soil and adds sodium to it as the bleach drips off leaves, making it harder to grow any other desirable plants.
If you are pestered with weed growing out in your pavement, patio driveway, bleach can be an alternative because it is easily available at home, is cost effective and has fast action properties too. Although bleach is capable of killing weeds, so are a lot of other chemicals.
But for all the weed control supplies, trust the experts only. It’s always better to go with a professional weed killer to ensure you don’t unintentionally kill off the desired plants. For selective weed control in large areas and professional applications such as landscaping; leading brands such as Gallup, Roundup, Weedol and Verdone offer specialized and concentrated weed control and removal solutions.