Homemade Poison Ivy and Weed Killer That Really Works

Over the years, I have fiddled around with different homemade poison ivy and weed killer recipes until I found a combination of ingredients that really works for me.

Poison ivy pic from Wikihow

I had a huge poison ivy patch that I fought for years with all kinds of herbicides, including homemade organics. I experimented with recipes using vinegar and salt in varying proportions. Some of them almost did the trick.

I finally found that straight vinegar (no water added) with lots of salt and a hefty dose of detergent is most lethal to poison ivy and other noxious weeds. The once-huge poison ivy patch has been gone for over two years now.

I’ve had to zap a few survivors now and then, but they are manageable. This homemade spray works better than anything else I’ve tried.

3 cups vinegar

1/2 cup salt

1 tablespoon liquid detergent or soap(I use Dawn) for stick-to-itiveness.

Mix vinegar and salt until the salt is completely dissolved. Stir in liquid detergent, and pour into a sprayer. Spray onto the green growing leaves of the plants.

Wait a week, then repeat on any survivors. Best time to apply: during a dry spell. Do not spray on plants you want to keep.


I have found that the poison ivy plants that are not too old (less than a year old) respond extremely well to this treatment. Plants from older, more established roots will die but may come back a year later.

Zap the new growth again with the killer. The roots will die of exhaustion because its energy is wasted in putting out all that new growth for nothing. Some really old roots are made of mutant zombie stuff, and may need a few more repeat doses.

This may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the credit is given.

(This recipe is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad’s Handbook #5 : QUICK SUBSTITUTES & EASY FORMULAS FOR OVER 100 CANT’-DO-WITHOUT ITEMS)