written by: Lara Stewart•edited by: BStone•updated: 11/19/2010
If you opt to get rid of dandelions in your lawn, pick the best non-toxic dandelion killer to keep toxic chemicals away from your family.
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Dandelions are one of the weeds most likely to show up on your lawn, and one of the toughest to get rid of. While many who opt to live a more sustainable lifestyle decide to let these native plants stay, other people would rather not have these herbal interlopers on their property.
If you decide you would like to get rid of them, you don't need to use toxic chemicals to do the job. Choosing a non-toxic dandelion killer helps reduce your family's exposure to harmful chemicals, and helps keep them out of the environment, as well.
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Homemade Dandelion Killers
Your kitchen and bathroom are the first places you should look for non-toxic options for killing dandelions in your yard. You might be surprised to learn about what you already have in your home that can be used as a non-toxic weed killer. Some household remedies:
Boiling water. Simply boil a kettle of water, then pour it over the offending weeds. This treatment can be repeated as many times as possible to get rid of the dandelions.
Vinegar. Dandelions prefer alkaline soil, so, the acidity in vinegar can kill dandelions. Use straight vinegar, and pour it over the plant. Be sure to soak the soil so that the vinegar gets down to the roots.
Salt water. If the first two don't work, you can try pouring salt water over the plant. This is a treatment to use sparingly, so that you do not risk making your soil too salty for other plants.
A vinegar and soap solution. Mix one gallon of vinegar with a quarter of a cup of dish soap. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to the dandelions. More than one application may be necessary to get kill the dandelions.
Dig them up. One of the best ways to ensure that you get rid of dandelions is to get rid of the root. Some hard digging with a shovel to ensure that the entire taproot is extracted is one of the best ways to get rid of them for good.
Go for prevention. Pick dandelion flower heads before they go to seed to get rid of next year's weeds before they ever sprout.
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Commercial Weed Killers
There are a number of commercial non-toxic dandelion killers that are organic and relatively safe for humans and animals. Most can be purchased online or at a local gardening center. Make sure that you read and follow the instructions on the label exactly. Even if a dandelion killer is non-toxic when used properly, it could still cause damage if misused. Studying the label and following directions can ensure your family's and pets' safety. A few to look at:
Nature's Avenger. This organic weed killer is made with citrus oils, and is non-toxic to humans and pets.
Burn-Out. This weed killer is made with clove oil, and contains food-grade ingredients.
GreenMatch. This weed killer uses lemon oil to strip leaves of their protective coatings and make them wilt and die.