How to Use Borax to Kill Weeds

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bucket

  • Warm water

  • Measuring cup

  • Borax

  • Spoon or other stirring device

  • Landscaping sprayer


Limit Borax use to lawn areas. Ground ivy is more sensitive to boron than turf grasses, so applications can be made in grass. Other plants may be more sensitive.


Borax persists in the soil and may take years to break down. Frequent applications can make soil sterile and unable to support plant growth. Never use borax more than once a year, and never more than two times. If ground ivy doesn't respond, switch to another product.

Borax can be toxic to people and pets. Keep children and pets clear from the area when mixing and spraying a borax solution.

When lawn weeds detract from the beauty of your yard, chemical intervention may be necessary. If the offender is ground ivy (Glecoma hederacea), sometimes called creeping charlie, the household cleaner Borax provides a natural home remedy. Borax contains boron, a naturally-occurring plant nutrient required for proper plant growth. However, even slight amounts of excess boron are toxic to some plants. Many common lawns weed don't respond to Borax, but ground ivy, hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10, does.

Step 1

Fill a plastic bucket with 2 1/2 gallons of warm water. Warm water dissolves Borax powder faster and more thoroughly than cold water. This will create a enough solution to treat a 1,000-square-foot area of lawn.

Step 2

Mix 8 ounces, or approximately 2 cups, of Borax with 4 ounces of warm water. Mix thoroughly, then pour the mixture into the bucket of water and stir the diluted solution. Wear gloves and safety goggles as you work.

Step 3

Mix the solution with a spoon or other implement until the Borax powder completely dissolves in the bucket of water. Pour the Borax-water solution into a landscaping sprayer. It can be a handheld device or the larger version that you wear on your back. Keep the solution mixed well.

Step 4

Spray the solution evenly across 1,000 square feet of lawn. If your yard is smaller, reduce the amount of solution made up front. Spraying smaller areas at higher levels of boron can damage turf grasses and prevent any new plants from growing. Spraying larger areas lightly will be ineffective.

Step 5

Treat small areas of lawn by dissolving 5 teaspoons of Borax in 1 quart of water. Mix the products well. Apply the solution evenly over 25 square feet of ground-ivy affected lawn.


Joshua Duvauchelle

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.