How Long Does Bleach Take to Kill Weeds?


If you're looking for a quick and effective way to kill weeds in your driveway or garden, you may be considering using bleach. But how long does it take for bleach to work its magic on pesky plants?

Answer: It depends on weather conditions but generally if it's going to work it will take between 1-3 days to kill weeds with bleach.

Please note, it is not recommended to use bleach as a weed killer, it may stain your concrete and is dangerous for the environment, not only that it isn't very good!

What is bleach and how does it work?

Bleach is a chemical compound made up of chlorine, oxygen, and hydrogen.

When applied to plants, the chlorine in bleach acts as a herbicide and disrupts the plant's cell structure, ultimately leading to its death.

While bleach can be an effective weed killer, it is important to use it with caution - bleach was never intended to be a weed killer, it is harmful to aquatic life and may even be illegal where you live - please check with your local authority and use safely.

Watch out for these issues:

There are a few variables that can influence how quickly bleach kills weeds.

  • The strength of the bleach solution. A higher concentration of bleach will work faster, but it can also be more damaging to the surrounding environment.
  • Types of weed. Small grassy weeds will succumb to bleach much more quickly than deep rooted perennials such as Ivy & Brambles - it may not be effective at all on larger weeds.
  • Environmental conditions (temperature and sunlight). Hot sunny conditions will allow bleach to work faster vs cold / overcast / rainy conditions.

How long does it take for bleach to kill weeds?

In general, it takes about one to two days for bleach to fully kill weeds.

However, this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

  • A stronger solution = faster: Less dilution means the bleach is stronger and will typically work much faster than a weaker solution.
  • Hot sunny days = faster: Because plants absorb more moisture on warm days the bleach will work quicker than if you applied it on a cold / rainy day.
  • Smaller weeds = faster: Bleach is highly effective against small shallow rooted weeds therefore it works quicker, larger deep rooted weeds take longer and may not be effective at all as bleach typically just burns away the visible part of the weed, leaving roots intact.

Tips for effectively using bleach to kill weeds

To get the most out of using bleach as a weed killer, consider the following tips:

  • Apply the bleach solution on a sunny day, as this will help the bleach to work faster.
  • Use a higher concentration of bleach for tougher weeds or for larger areas. 
  • Avoid applying bleach near other plants or in areas where it can run off and harm aquatic life.
  • Wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles when handling bleach.

Bleach can be an effective and fast-acting weed killer when used correctly.

By considering the strength of the bleach solution, the type of weed, and the environmental conditions, you can maximize the effectiveness of bleach as a weed killer

Bleach isn't designed to be used as a weed killer but in a bind it can be effective against smaller weeds and due to the fact it's a household staple it is often on hand.

About the author 


Hey there, I am founder and editor in chief here at Good Grow. I guess I've always known I was going to be a gardener. I'm on a mission to share my UK based weed control & lawn care tips with you all. If you have any queries please post in the comments below.

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