Killing Stinging Nettles with Vinegar | 4 Simple Tips

Stinging nettles are weeds that can take over your garden but the good news is that you can get rid of it with vinegar. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills the nettles without using harsh and harmful chemicals.

This article will explore a great vinegar spray recipe to kill stinging nettles, how to use it and how to get rid of nettles for good.

Vinegar Spray Recipe to Kill Stinging Nettles

Check this simple vinegar recipe that you can use to kill stinging nettles.


1 gallon of white vinegar

1 cup of table salt

1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap


  1. Take a large bucket and pour the white vinegar into it.
  2. Add the table salt and stir the mixture using a long-handled spoon until all of the salt is dissolved.
  3. Stir the dishwashing soap in the mixture until it is thoroughly mixed.
  4. Take a funnel and pour the mixture into a large spray bottle. If you have any left over, just place it either into another spray bottle or in a sealable container.
  5. Store the mixture in a cool dark place and include a label so you’ll always know what it is.

4 Tips to Kill Stinging Nettles with Vinegar

To kill stinging nettles with vinegar, you’ll simply spray this mixture onto the weeds themselves. Here are 4 easy steps to get rid of stinging nettles with vinegar.

1. Use a Direct Spray on the Weeds

When using this vinegar mixture to kill your stinging nettles, make sure you spray it directly on the weeds and not the surrounding plants. Vinegar is likely to kill surrounding plants and, therefore, you’ll want to make sure the mixture only gets sprayed on the weeds.

This is why vinegar is usually recommended only for stinging nettles you find on the edges of sidewalks and other areas where they are isolated from other plants. Vinegar doesn’t know the difference between weeds and the plants you intend to keep.

2. Never Spray the Mixture on Your Soil

The main reason you never want to use any type of vinegar on your soil is that it throws off the nutrient balance in the soil, and the more vinegar the soil receives, the more likely it will be useless at some point.

This means you’ll eventually get to the point where you can’t grow anything in that particular soil.

3. Use on the Right Days

When spraying your vinegar mixture on your stinging nettles, always avoid days that are rainy and windy. You should always spray your stinging nettles when it is sunny, dry, and not at windy.

Otherwise, the dampness could wash some of it off the weeds, and the wind could spread it to the plants that should be left alive.

4. Wear Gloves

While vinegar itself is harmless, long-term exposure to this mixture can irritate the skin, so you should make it a habit to wear gloves when you’re spraying your stinging nettles.

When you’re working in your garden on anything, even if you’re just dealing with compost or fertilizer, wearing gloves is a smart thing to do. Your hands will thank you for it.

Check out this great video on using vinegar to kill weeds.

How to Permanently Get Rid of Stinging Nettles

The only way to permanently get rid of stinging nettles is to make sure the roots are either killed or removed from the soil. The best way to do this is to kill as much of the weed that is above the ground with something like a vinegar mixture, then remove each of them by hand until the entire root is removed.

Unfortunately, all it takes is a small piece of stinging nettle root to cause the weeds to start growing like crazy once again.

What is the Ratio of Vinegar to Water to Kill Stinging Nettles?

If you want to use a straight water-vinegar mixture to kill your stinging nettles, that is certainly possible. Instead of the recipe mentioned above, simply mix equal parts of water and vinegar to create the mixture, and spray it directly on your stinging nettles.

How Long Does It Take for Vinegar to Kill Stinging Nettles?

It takes around 2–3 days for vinegar to kill stinging nettles. Just continue to spray them on a daily basis, and within a few days, they should be dead.

Try to spray enough so that it goes down to the roots and kills them as well. Otherwise, you should plan to remove the weeds by hand once you’ve applied the vinegar and waited a few days.

3 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Stinging Nettles

There are numerous other all-natural remedies for killing stinging nettles and other types of weeds, and they include the following:

  1. Pour boiling water over them, and when they turn yellow, pull them out of the ground.
  2. Spray with a mixture of two cups of water, two ounces of alcohol, and a touch of dishwashing soap, which dries them out and kills them.
  3. Mix one part salt to six parts water and stir; spray on the stems and leaves until they turn yellow, and then pull them out of the ground.

Remember not to use the ingredients on anything except the weeds themselves. This means that these solutions might be best if used only on weeds in sidewalk cracks and other places that are nowhere near the plants you want to keep.


Vinegar is a great solution for stinging nettles, and you can use a recipe such as the one mentioned earlier or create a 1:1 vinegar-water solution that is just as good. Make sure you spray only the weeds and not the plants or even the soil for the best results.