Killing Weeds Naturally in a Gravel Walk or Driveway

Keeping weeds at bay in a gravel walk or driveway can be a constant battle. While you could use herbicides to kill weeds, there are several naturally occurring, common household items that will do the job as well.

How to kill weeds naturally:

Salt: Spreading iodized salt on the gravel will kill weeds, but it will sterilize the ground for years to come, so use it sparingly.

Boiling Water: Another way to kill weeds naturally is to pour boiling water over them.

By Hand: If there aren’t many weeds in your gravel, it’s best to pull weeds out by hand.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Susan wants to know, “What’s a safe way to remove weeds from a gravel walk or driveway?”

Danny Lipford: I remember years ago, I used to have an office with a large gravel parking lot, and I battled those grasses and weeds all the time that would pop up right through that gravel no matter what I did.

Now, I tried to spray on a lot of the weed and grass killers, and they would work OK for a while, but I found something that worked just as good and it was even cheaper—just regular table salt. Now, I would buy it in the large 40-pound bags and it worked so well, very easy to use.

Then I found something that was even cheaper, and that’s boiling water. You can take your tea kettle, and just pour it directly on any of the weeds or grasses that you may have. And it basically cooks them right in place, kills them quicker than just about anything else.

Now, just like any weed killers, you want to make sure you’re only applying the salt or hot water right where you want to kill it, not over on your nice grass. But when you really want to get rid of them, if you have just a few weeds, just simply pull them out by the roots.


  1. My entire front yard is xeriscaped(?). You know, West Texas, gravel and low water need plants? How long does the boiling water on weeds kill the weeds? Is it permanent out a few weeks? I’ve tried all kinds of commercial weed killers without much success. The worst are what we call “goat heads”. Ahh thoughts would be appreciated especially because it’s a large area. Thank you.

  2. Is anyone familiar with burning the weeds with a propane torch as a great way to kill weeds? Please let me know.

  3. John, I bought a propane flame torch, and found it to be a bit under-effective. Sure, you can zap any weed with it, if you’re patient, but it takes several seconds of “flame time” before most weeds are ready to surrender. If you have hundreds of weeds, it can be quite a chore.

  4. For those of you having issues with weeds in your gravel…use regular roundup…not the advanced, not the ultra…regular roundup…only use it on the places you want to kill everything and make sure it doesn’t drift to places you have plants you don’t want to kill…use it when there is no chance of rain for a few days…once that is done, use preen (corn based) or some other pre-emergent compound that will keep the weeds from even coming up…you have to reapply the pre-emergent every few months or as often as it says on the package…then you can theoretically live with weed free gravel….

  5. I am trying the boiling water method on my gravel walk in the back. I have been spending $10.00 a week on roundup for the last 6 years. I want to kill weeds naturally. I have used my coffee pot to spread the hot water on a section of my gavel and will update this post in a couple of days .

    • Read Danny’s script above. He says he’s used regular table salt. Another natural remedy I’ve used is with epsom salt. Here’s the recipe:
      1 quart of vinegar; 1 cup epsom salt; 1Tbsp blue Dawn detergent.
      Shake to mix it; pour into spray bottle. It’s not permanent but should last through one season. Good luck!

      • Thanks for sharing your experience with the community, Linda!
        However, we don’t recommend using epsom salt, which contains magnesium sulfate.
        Epsom salt doesn’t kill weeds, but it will help them grow.

    • Read Danny’s script above. He says regular table salt. Here’s another natural remedy I’ve used:
      1 quart of vinegar; 1 cup epsom salt; 1Tbsp blue Dawn detergent.
      Shake to mix it; pour into spray bottle. It’s not permanent but should last through one season. Good luck!

      • Thanks for sharing your experience with the Today’s Homeowner community, Linda!
        TH community members helping other TH community members — we love it. 🙂

        • Thanks for sharing your advice with the community, Jean!
          Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which encourages plant growth.
          Not what you want when it comes to weeds. 🙂

  6. Roundup is poisonous, a carcinogen, and banned in most countries. It affects animals and children. Rather have weeds than cause cancer. It has been used so much that it is everywhere and all over our foods. Wash it well. Blood tests confirm this; even organic foods are affected by Roundup in the groundwater, and rivers etc. Read labels and avoid poisons!

  7. We had weeds popping up through the gravel. We offered free white rock on Craigslist and got it cleaned out fast by two different families needing rock. Then we bought a yard of topsoil for around $24. Next we purchased the cheapest most durable sod for $150 Sq Ft…that cost around $24. Now we can have it mowed weekly and not worry about weeds or watering.

  8. Boiling water works great in driveway cracks with weeds (they smell like cooked spinach- ha ha), BUT by pouring boiling water in the cracks in our asphalt, aren’t we WIDENING the cracks and making them worse??

    • Hi, Laurel!
      Thanks for writing to us. Looks like there are some AutoCorrect issues so it’s a little hard to follow along.
      Please re-send the question. 🙂

  9. Great idea!! I definitely want to try it.
    Would pool salt (fine granules) work?
    I ask because I have a 40 lb bag of pool salt taking up space & a driveway full of weeds (I figured 2 birds/1 stone)
    Great video & thanks 🙂

  10. Hi, Sean,
    We haven’t tried pool salt for weed removal, so we couldn’t say.
    But if you do, please let us know your results!

  11. In the desert region, table salt doesn’t work. They help the weeds grow stronger. Remember that the types of weeds vary from region to region. This article on not for those living in the Southwest. It is amazing to use in the Midwest region though. If anyone has recommendations for the Southwest, please share. We have concrete driveways, but gravel yards. Tons of area for weeds.

    • Hi, Rhett,
      The rules of gardening vary by region. You didn’t include the location, so we suggest contacting your local Master Gardeners association.
      Master gardeners train on a range of topics so they can provide advice, at no charge, for people in their area. In the meantime, We’re opening this question to the community.
      Any thoughts, y’all?

    • Hi David, you can cover the Bermuda grass near the strawberry bed with black plastic. This will keep sunlight from reaching it and stop it from growing. Put mulch on top of it to keep it in place.


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