Does Bleach Kill Weeds?
Bleach As A Weed Killer

Does bleach kill weeds?

The short answer is YES, bleach does kill weeds.

If you want to spray bleach on pesky weeds, you should read this article carefully first.

As well as being a great spot cleaner, bleach can also be used as a weed killer. Its really simple to use, just pour some bleach into a spray bottle without diluting it and spray. It was a French scientist by the name of Claude Berthollet that invented chlorine bleach in 1785 as a way to remove color from fabrics, however bleach shouldn’t be used as an herbicide. 

Is there a reason bleach wouldn’t kill weeds? It destroys almost everything.

While bleach may be a powerful herbicide, it is not designed for that purpose.

Is bleach weed killer safe to use for permanent weed control?

To put it simply, no, it is not safe to use bleach. It is considered a harmful chemical which effects the health of the soil, as well as leaves harmful traces all over the place where it has been sprayed.

If you would like to avoid potential contamination of the groundwater, try vinegar instead. Aside from your pets, it is also harmful to local wildlife, as well as the soil critters that live in your yard.

It is possible to permanently damage the soil quality and ecosystem around you if you consistently use bleach for many months or years. Using enough bleach will prevent anything from growing. 

In your area, you may not be able to use bleach as a herbicide. Please contact your local authority for more information.

How does it work? How does bleach kill weeds?

Additionally, bleach is an excellent herbicide since it is so good at cleaning and disinfecting. Aside from humans, bleach is also poisonous to animals and plants. It works by soaking into plant roots. It destroys all living organisms the same way as bleach would destroy any bacterial organism when used for cleaning.

In many cases, bleach will increase the pH level of the soil in the area where it’s poured, and nothing will grow on that area for a considerable period of time (often several months) which will make that area useless.

The following instructions will help you use bleach as an herbicide:

If you want to use bleach to kill weeds, follow these instructions:


  • Eye protection and safety gloves should always be worn.
  • Use on a calm day to prevent accidental spraying.
  • After a few days, remove the dead weeds.
  • You can test its effectiveness by using it a little bit on a small area.
  • There should be no access to the area for children or pets.


  • Overuse.
  • Children and pets should not be allowed near it until it is completely dry.
  • Spraying on vegetation you intend to keep is not recommended.
  • Use on edible crops or lawns.
  • Use near water sources whenever possible.
  • Use it in a place where aquatic life exists.
  • When the weather forecast calls for rain, use bleach.
  • Combine with other chemicals, you could cause a dangerous reaction.
  • Spraying desirable plants could kill them

If you want to kill weeds permanently, you can use chlorine bleach in either a spray bottle or just pour it in between cracks in paving slabs, on gravel driveways, or other hard surfaces. It is very effective for eradicating weeds.

A warm, calm day with no forecast of rain would be a good day to spray bleach. If it rains, bleach will infiltrate your garden, killing other plants. A breeze could blow bleach onto other plants or people.

How effective is it to kill weeds?

Almost all small weeds are killed by bleach when used on weeds. Bleach is an effective herbicide. 

It won’t work on larger or invasive ground plants such as Ivy, Brambles and Knotweed.

The bleach will kill weeds by seeping down to their roots, soiled surfaces cannot be grown on, and you’ll have to wait several months before planting in your garden soil.

Do you recommend it’s use?

We, among most others, recommend against its use.

As well as killing weeds, bleach can also kill some trees, plants, and insects, which can have serious environmental impacts, such as seeping into groundwater and even being illegal in some places.

If you need to use it, make sure you use it sparingly and only in cracks in your paving. Consider using one of the following alternatives for a safer, smarter and more effective solution.

What is the alternative to bleach?

Home bleach contains 3%-6% sodium hypochlorite, a hazardous chemical that is harmful to human health

Herbicides like bleach work well when used sparingly, but there are many better, safer alternatives.

When used correctly, commercial weed killers can be used safely as herbicides provided the instructions and label are followed. If you do not mind using chemicals, you may as well use them to eliminate weeds.