Using white vinegar to kill dandelions – experts react to the viral weed hack

This simple trick has the internet’s approval, but what do the garden gurus think?

dandelions being sprayed with vinegar
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Social media is a trove of unconventional garden tips that can often transform your exteriors for a refreshingly low cost. This is the case with Tiktok’s latest fling – a white vinegar hack that will supposedly rid your garden of dandelion weeds within a few hours.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of dandelions in a lawn or on your driveway or path, this simple trick will seemingly free you of the weed without a significant investment. 

In one TikTok (opens in new tab) video, the footage shows how the white vinegar withers the dandelions, turning them brown. This means it is then safe to remove the weed and cut your grass as usual. But just how effective is this hack? Here, the experts share what you need to know. 

person spraying solution on dandelions near a lawn

(Image credit: Radharc Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

Using white vinegar to kill dandelions – does it work?

According to National Greenhouse’s (opens in new tab) director Tom Hilton, white vinegar is an effective way to rid your garden of this uninvited weed. However, it is most effective when the dandelion is still less than two weeks old – so your timing may be key to its success. 

Try creating a formula of 5% vinegar and 95% water, and investing in a spray bottle, such as these from Amazon (opens in new tab), before spritzing the small weed. 

‘Make sure to aim for the roots, base, and then gradually spray up and down, making sure to give a good few applications,’ Tom says.

However, if you’re looking for how to get rid of weeds and stop them from spreading for good, you may need to be even more resourceful. 

dandelion in lawn

(Image credit: Anton Petrus/Moment/Getty Images)

You can add a tablespoon of liquid dish soap and a cup of table salt to a gallon of the mixture to kill the tops of the weeds too, but be aware that a build-up of salt in the soil can mean the areas won’t grow any more plants, the expert explains. It's also worth bearing in mind that vinegar is non-selective – so use it on lawns with caution to prevent damaging your turf.

While white vinegar can certainly kill small weeds, Homehow’s (opens in new tab) garden expert Calum Maddock similarly adds that this hack may not be strong enough to kill the long roots of dandelions or established weeds – meaning they may grow back after some time. 

‘For larger weeds and dandelions, cover them over after treating to block the sunlight. This will help you to kill off the whole plant rather than just the leaves,’ Calum adds.

Dandelions in a field

(Image credit: trushcelev24aleksey/500px/Getty Images)

So, is it a brilliant solution for your dandelion-infested lawn, path, or garden path? Yes, it’s simple and cheap, but you do need to act when the dandelion is young – and do bear in mind that the weed may grow back eventually.  

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK, but her adoration for fashion and travel has previously taken her to Paris and New York, meaning she particularly loves writing about trends from around the world. Megan's favourite plants are her beloved cactuses, but she also loves to observe the vast wild nature of her home county, Yorkshire.