Does Bleach Kill Weeds? How To Use Bleach In Your Backyard

There is nothing worse than primping and priming your backyard to perfection, to find that weeds somehow always make their way through. Weeds just seem to pop up out of nowhere, and no matter how many times you pluck them from the ground, they always come back! So, how can you get rid of weeds permanently? 

Weeds are a problem that never goes away, so you will need an easy and fast solution. Some friends and neighbors may have recommended bleach to get rid of them, but does bleach actually kill weeds? 

Does bleach kill weeds?

Actually, bleach does kill weeds, and is an effective weed killer and remover. If you use undiluted, pure bleach on the cracks in your driveway, on your patio, and on the walkways around your home, you can effectively remove any pesky weeds getting in your way.

The best way to do this is to spay some undiluted bleach on the weeds, and let it sit for 2-3 days. This could kill the existing weeds all the way down to the root, and prevent any new weeds from sprouting and growing. The only problem is that bleach will kill other things growing such as your flowers and garden vegetation, so be careful where you use it!

Why does bleach kill weeds?

Bleach is an effective weed killer because it raises the pH level of the soil, making it much more difficult for any vegetation to grow and survive.

It also denatures the cells in the plants, which turns them white, causing them to wither and die off. What this means is that bleach will destroy the leaves of a weed plant, causing it to die, but it will also kill the weed at the root, making the soil inhospitable for the weed to grow in the future. 

This is why it should not be used as a weed killer in your flower beds or in your garden, or any areas with other plants and vegetation, as it can also kill the plants that you have spent ages pruning to perfection.

Instead, using bleach on weeds should be the method of choice for patios and driveways, where weeds rise up through the cracks in the stone or patio slabs.

You should also remember not to use bleach near a storm drain or near any body of water as this product can be toxic and harmful to aquatic life. 

How to Use Bleach to Kill Weeds

Bleach is an effective weed killer. You just have to use it safely and properly. The best way to harness the power of bleach for your weeds is to wear protective gloves or clothing and pour the bleach directly over the weeds. 

Just keep in mind that bleach is a strong substance, and just one cup of bleach is enough to kill off weeds in a six by six square area in most cases.

After applying the bleach to the area with the weeds, you will need to wait about 2 to 3 or even four days, after which time you will notice that the weeds have turned brown, and will wilt and die. Then, you can pull them up to dispose of them, or leave them to decompose where they are. 

If the weeds are in an area that you wish to grow plants later on in life, then it is recommended that you flush the soil with lots of water to get rid of any remnants of the bleach. In addition, you can use a spray bottle of bleach to treat the weeds so that the soil itself is not negatively affected or impacted afterwards.

The chemicals in bleach should dissipate in a week or two, which means that the soil would be safe for growing plants in the near future! 

Top Tips for Using Bleach on Weeds

Bleach is a very powerful agent, and can effectively kill plants, bugs, weeds and insects. So, it is important that you wear protective clothing, gloves and eyewear to ensure nothing gets onto your skin, face or eyes. Bleach itself can also ruin clothing, so be sure to wear an old t-shirt or something to that effect. 

If you do treat the weeds or use bleach in your backyard or home, then be sure to keep it away from children and pets, and ensure the area is blocked off so pets cannot ingest the bleach afterwards. You should also only use it on a calm day with no wind, so that the bleach does not spray onto other plants and areas.

Finally, keep the bleach away from sources of water, wildlife, or other plants and crops that you do not wish to kill or damage. 

Alternatives to Bleach for Weeds

Whilst bleach is a really good weed killer, it can be dangerous to use and toxic. If you want to try something that has less environmental impact, then try using white vinegar to control the weeds in your area. Just spray it on, and it should kill the weed plant, but it will not affect the soil around the weeds. 

In addition, try pouring hot water on the cracks of your driveway or patio to denature the cells of weed plants, killing and removing them. Finally, you can try salting your driveway, as this will also destroy the plant cells and cause the weeds plants to die. 

Whichever method you choose, always remember to exercise caution and be careful when using chemicals or hot water to remove weeds.