Can You Use Boiling Water To Kill Weeds

Weeds taking over our gardens is one of the most unpleasant and frustrating aspects of gardening. Of course, after years of attempting to keep the weeds at bay using toxic herbicides, there are a few methods that can help.

Gardeners combat weeds, trying to eradicate winter weeds that grow in the spring in between surrounding plants. Even in the summer, they fight weeds that sprout from both annual and perennial and can harm their valuable plants.

Most of all, gardeners work hard to prevent weeds from sprouting and reseeding in the lawn and garden.

If you are tired of pulling, digging, and spraying homemade weed killers, you can use this guide to find one simple method to help get rid of troublesome weeds.

closed up boiling water

By the end, you’ll know where and how to use the hot water weed killer, like boiling water for weed control can be one of the most effective ways to get rid of weeds, instead of using nasty chemicals. (Read Plant That Looks Like Weeds)

How Long Does it Take for Boiling Water to Kill Weeds?

When looking at how to control pesky weeds using boiling water, you’ll discover that you need to be careful in its use. Boiling water kills weeds, but, as quickly, it can harm your prized plants.

When using this method to eliminate weeds, you should use a teakettle with a spout and a heatproof handle.

The heat of the hot water can kill weeds along sidewalks, pathways, garden beds, and the driveway the best, and can do so without the addition of any harmful chemicals.

You’ll find that broad-leaf weeds are taken care of better with hot water than established perennials, woody plants, and kill grass.

While piping hot water kills weeds in minutes, if your weeds have large taproots, it could take multiple applications, yet it is a cost-effective way to deal with them, and all it needs is more water. (Read What To Put Under Rocks To Prevent Weeds)

  1. Determine which weeds you want to destroy with boiling water, and make sure they aren’t close to any plants you want to keep.
  2. Fill your teakettle halfway with water and heat it on a stove burner until it boils. The temperature of the water must be more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Wear an oven mitt or a heavy-duty glove and take the teakettle from the stove burner.
  4. Carry the teakettle to the weeds you want to kill as fast as possible.
  5. Don’t waste any time as the heat kills the weeds, and the temperature can plummet quickly.

All you need besides this are long pants, sleeves, and closed-toe shoes, so you don’t burn yourself with an accidental splash on your arm or leg, or you spill boiling water on your feet.

grass weeds sunset

Does Boiling Water Kill Weeds Permanently?

Pouring hot water on weeds is one of the most cost-effective and ecologically friendly ways to keep them at bay.

As we have seen, the hot water treatment to kill weeds not only keeps hazardous herbicides out of the soil but kills weeds down to the taproot, and thus, it can help to get rid of invasive weeds and be a method of long-term weed control.

The procedure of killing weeds with boiling water is simple and only takes a few ingredients. You can do so by following the procedures outlined below.

Begin by bringing a large pot or kettle of water to a boil on a stovetop or an outside burner. You should be able to estimate how much water you’ll need based on the size of the weeded area.

Use oven mitts to carry the water to the weeded area once the water is scalding hot.

Pour boiling water over weeds on your lawn, road cracks, or garden paths slowly, taking care not to hurt any nearby plants.

As needed, repeat the above steps for other weeds that don’t die as they are larger and deep-rooted. (Learn How Long Does It Take For Weeds To Die After Spraying)

Here you can find a few tips on using the boiling water method to kill weeds.

Remember how harmful boiling hot water can be if it touches your skin. We do not advise pouring hot water on weeds in shorts and flip-flops because of the risk of injury. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toed shoes to avoid getting wet.

Boiling water is one of the greatest natural options without using toxic herbicides. Still, it will destroy any other plants it touches, so a tea kettle is a better option if you want to save desirable plants.

If you have an electrical outlet near the weeded area, consider an electronic tea kettle so the scalding water won’t cool before you reach the weeds to be killed.

Consider trimming weeds to access deep taproots, especially if they grow in large clumps. This will allow you to put more hot water on the roots, increasing the possibility of permanent results.

Remember to dispose of any weeds you remove to prevent regrowth.

Unfortunately, killing weeds with boiling water takes a long time, especially if you have a lot of deep-rooted weeds. The heat from the water may often kill weeds in a few treatments, but the amount of water you can administer per application will probably be limited.

Weed seeds struggle to germinate in thick, healthy lawn grass. Scalding water can sterilize soil as well.

If weeds completely overrun your grass, you may need to take extra precautions.

Does Boiling Water Kill Weeds in Cracks?

If you wonder, does boiling water kill weeds in cracks, you can find other options as boiling water can struggle to kill down to the roots in such confined spaces.

Boiling Water

If you pour boiling water into cracks, it will destroy weeds with shallow roots. Pluck or scrape the scalded plants out by hand after treatment.

Although boiling water may not destroy established weeds with deep taproots, such as dandelions, it will provide a reprieve.

Flamer Weeders

Flame weeders eliminate weed growth above ground in the same way as boiling water does. When used on small weeds in dry conditions, flame weeders offer the best results. If used on larger, more deeply rooted weeds, the results will be transient, similar to boiling water treatment.

grass weeds

Does Boiling Water and Vinegar Kill Weeds?

Vinegar is an effective, natural weed killer and can help keep your gardens weed-free and safe for growing your favorite organic vegetables. Weeds are the nemesis of every gardener and killing them without harming the environment is a challenge. Of course, pulling them is an option, but it isn’t always successful.

The acetic acid in vinegar attacks the weed and kills it right down to the roots. While white vinegar can be used as an effective and safe weed killer, you shouldn’t use it on weeds in the lawn, as it will kill your grass as well.

Here are the steps for using white vinegar and hot water to kill weeds. If you have stubborn weeds, you can boil vinegar and add Epsom salt, yet keep this concoction well away from desirable plants. (Read How To Permanently Stop Weeds From Growing)

Step 1: Before using vinegar on weeds, check the weather. You need two or three days of sunny weather for the vinegar to absorb the plant and roots. Sunlight will speed up absorption.

Step 2: Apply vinegar on weeds with a spray bottle or a paintbrush. Never spray vinegar on windy days since it will blow to nearby plants. When spraying vinegar, be careful not to over-spray. Protect your plants with a piece of cardboard. If not, apply vinegar straight to both sides of leaves, stalks, and flowers using a little paintbrush.

Step 3: Boil vinegar and pour from your kettle to persistent or well-established garden weeds. Boiling water is commonly used to remove weeds growing through concrete patios and driveways; hot water kills plants quickly, while vinegar from your kettle kills plants by penetrating root systems and boiling them from within.

Step 4: Don’t water for two days.

Step 5: Reapply if needed. It takes several applications for chemical weed killers to kill weeds, so; it makes sense that organic weed killers are no exception.

Step 6: Clear the yard of dead weeds. If the roots appear alive, dig down a little into the ground and apply vinegar directly to the taproot. Don’t soak the soil with vinegar but pour vinegar right on the plant root system.

Normally, you will be pouring boiling water, and this can easily splash. Take extra care when you boil vinegar as the boiling point could be much different from water.

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