Blast Weeds Out Of Your Lawn With An Unexpected Cleaning Product

A plush green grass lawn is considered the crowning achievement of many a suburban homeowner. It's easy to underestimate, however, the level of difficultly that must be embraced in order to achieve such a goal. After all, the same conditions that elicit healthy growth from grass also enable invasive plants and weeds to grow — disrupting your lawn's continuous stretch of uninterrupted shining green blades of grassy glory. Fortunately, finding a less harmful way to kill weeds in your lawn could be as easy as mixing up Pine-Sol with dish soap and water. 

What else is a grass-loving budding lawn manicurist to do when weeds move in and ruin the desired aesthetic? Commercial herbicides and even herbicide/fertilizer blends (known as weed and feed products) are certainly an option. However, as we become more environmentally-conscious, these products have become more and more frowned upon due to their effects on local ecosystems. Could Pine-Sol really work as an ingredient in DIY weed killer? Anecdotal evidence from a plethora of gardeners seems to indicate that Pine-Sol makes an effective weed deterrent. Let's take a look at this potential weeding hack straight out of the cleaning product aisle.

How Pine-Sol kills weeds

Pine-Sol — and some generic versions of the biodegradable cleaning agent — contains citric acid and alcohol ethoxylates. Citric acid has shown some promise as an active ingredient in organic herbicides, according to one Weed Technology study. This means that the plant in question should cease to grow or develop after it comes in contact with the chemical. Alcohol ethoxylates are surfactants, which are used in commercial herbicides to help the active ingredient stick to the surface of the plant rather than simply running off into the soil.

Adding a liquid dish detergent to Pine-Sol and water creates another powerful surfactant to assist the citric acid (and the drying agents within the dish soap) to adhere to the surface of the weeds. Starting with a base of white vinegar provides another acidic punch (its acidity is what makes vinegar a versatile cleaning tool) and the addition of salt offers another drying agent. This allows the acidic and drying active ingredients to stay put for enough time to disrupt the growth and cell walls of problematic plants long enough to dry out and kill them, ridding your lawn of the unsightly weeds that take away from its charm. 

How to try a Pine-Sol mixture on your lawn

If you would prefer to try out the effectiveness of a Pine-Sol mixture on your lawn's weeds before considering a commercial herbicide, you'll need a few basic supplies. Try concocting a mixture using 1 tablespoon of Pine-Sol, 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap, 1 cup of table salt, and 1 gallon of white vinegar. Similar recipes suggest simply missing equal parts dish detergent and Pine-Sol and diluting with water. Once you've thoroughly mixed your ingredients of choice, pour them into a large spray bottle.

Next, it's time to walk around your lawn and try to spot all the weeds that are lurking amongst the blades of grass. Each time to you come across one, carefully spray it with the mixture. Try not to spray your grass, as this DIY weed killer doesn't discriminate. Over the next few days, you can expect to watch the weeds you sprayed dry up and die, making them easy to remove from your beloved turf.