Will bleach kill grass as well as weeds, or simply kill one or the other? While bleach does kill grass it also will kill just about anything else that you pour or spray it on, and this does include weeds. Sometimes, depending on how hardy the weeds or grass is, it can take more than one spraying, but it usually kills grass in only a couple of days.
Weeds and grass can be very unsightly when it grows in the cracks of your sidewalk or in between the stones of a pathway. If you are not one who likes to get out your weed eater, this is also a good option for those tall grasses that sometimes love to grow around the base of your mailbox or other places you can’t get to with a mower.
How to use bleach to kill grass and weeds
A good mix is usually around 2 cups of bleach to every ½-1 cup of water ratio. You can multiply this ratio if you are doing a large area or divide it for a smaller spot or even you pure bleach if you want to. Pour this into a spray bottle using a funnel to avoid bleaching your countertop.
It is also advisable to be wearing gloves during this, as when you have the amount of bleach and water you want in your spray bottle you will need to secure the top on and make sure it is not leaking, and you don’t want to get any bleach on your hands.
Take the spray bottle to wherever you want to spray it at and mist the area thoroughly. You want to avoid doing this on a windy day, as the wind might blow the bleach onto plants you don’t want it on. Also, try to avoid days when it might rain as the rain will dilute, as well as potentially spread, the bleach and make it not work.
Pros and cons of using bleach to kill grass or weeds
Bleach is easy to find and cheap to buy. If you do not already keep it on hand, and any leftover bleach can be used for a variety of other things. On the other hand, bleach can be quite toxic and can kill nearby plants that you might want to keep if you spray too close to them. It is also not safe to allow pets or children to play around the area where bleach is at.
If you spray too little bleach on the grass or weeds then they will not die, they will get yellow leaves that are somewhat curled up and sickly looking.
The properties of the bleach stay in the soil for a while after it is sprayed. While this might be good at keeping grass from growing back into the cracks of the sidewalk for a longer amount of time, it is not so good if you are spraying the weeds to kill them so you can plant something else in that spot.
While you can use bleach straight from the bottle to kill grass and weeds, if you use too much, there is a high possibility that the bleach will leach into the surrounding soil beyond where you sprayed it and kill the plants nearby as well as the ones you sprayed.
What other things besides bleach you can use to kill grass and weeds
While bleach will kill grass and weeds, bleach is not the only option. Salt is another common household item that can be used to kill grass and weeds as well. Like the bleach, salt can be mixed with water or applied directly on the area.
Also like the bleach, however, it is not something you want to use if you want to plant anything in that area for a while. Still, salt is not as toxic as bleach and is safe to use around children and pets.
Regular white vinegar is another option that is safe to use, though perhaps not as effective. This option is used straight from the bottle and is more likely to take more than one application. Of course, if you want something that is guaranteed to work; you can always go to the store and buy some RoundUp. It is probably the most expensive option and by far the least safe for families to use though.
The last option I am going to mention today takes by far the longest to do but is excellent if you are planning on replanting in that area. Simply cover the area with a thick layer of newspapers or cardboard until the grass dies.
For the best effect, it helps first to cut the grass as low as possible first, and you have to make sure that you leave it long enough for the grass and weeds to actually die all the way. But using this method, the grass and weeds will decompose – as will the newspaper and cardboard – giving your plants slightly better soil than was there before.