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Discover the best weed killers for a weed-free garden

If your garden is overrun by weeds, fear not; there are plenty of ways to get rid of them. We’ve rounded up the 12 best weed killers on the market.

By Gemma Wilcock | Last updated Apr 12, 2022

Best weed killers

No matter how big or small your garden, weeds will thrive given the opportunity. They not only plague your lawn and flowerbeds, but they can also pop up on your patio, driveway and even between the cracks in your decking.

Common weeds, such as dandelions, thistle and crabgrass, don’t just mess up the aesthetics of your garden, they cause damage to any flowers or plants you have growing as well as pushing up paving stones and damaging decking. They can be very hard to get rid of so it’s best to kill them as soon as you can.

Weed killers, also sometimes known as herbicides, can help with this, killing the leaves and the root to prevent the weed from regrowing.

Many weed killers are glyphosate-based, but you can buy herbicides in a variety of sizes and formulas to suit different needs – including liquids that destroy everything they touch and herbicides that kill weeds without damaging nearby grass or flowers. Some are also safe for pets and children. 

Many people are now aware of the need to work with nature, rather than against it now, so lots of the new brand of weed killers are designed to be kind to other plants, and you can also buy weed killers that don’t use chemicals at all. We’ve included some of these in our round up of the best, including a manual weed puller and a burner. 

Before you begin getting rid of a weed, it’s best to assess the situation and try to identify what the weed is you want rid of, so you can choose the best type of weed killer for it. The Royal Horticultural Society has lots of information on weeds and how best to deal with them

Once you know what you’re after, take a look at the 12 best weed killers that we have vetted for efficiency and ease of use. Here are the best weed killers to tackle all weed problems.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real gardeners

Mumsnet users are proud of their gardens and not afraid of getting their hands dirty. Before recommending any new products, we always ask our trusted Mumsnet users, of which there are more than 7 million each month. That’s a lot of honest, impartial advice and we find Mumsnetters always give advice you can trust. We check out their real recommendations and ensure they are vetted by experts and other customers, too. 

Expert guidance

We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so you can rely on it, and we research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to scrutiny. Here we consulted reputable sources such as The Royal Horticultural Society, which gives clear information on the various types of weed killers and how to use them safely, as well as consumer champion Which?, which has tested out many weed killers for lawns, as well as non-chemical treatments. 

Consumer feedback

We also scour the internet, checking out real reviews from customers who have bought the products themselves and given both positive and negative feedback to ensure every product we recommend comes with a clutch of good reviews and no nasty surprises lurking. 

Celebrated best products

Finally, we check to see which products have won industry awards and received recognition from trusted sources and feed this into our analysis too.

Mumsnet HQ's Best Buys at a Glance

What are the best weed killers in the UK for 2022?

1. Best overall weed killer: Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer Pump 'N' Go

Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer Pump 'N' Go

Price: £24 | Buy now on Amazon

“Roundup – needs to be sprayed on green leaf, not roots, but as long as it doesn’t rain you will begin to see results in two days. Good for clearing large areas prior to reseeding.” Tried and tested by DreamersAndWishers.

Roundup Fast Action Weedkiller Pump ‘N’ Go makes banishing your weeds very straight forward. It’s a pre-mixed formula and even comes with a handy pressure pump so you can get to work immediately.

With an ergonomic handle and a one-touch trigger, the pump is quick and easy to use, with visible results within as little as 24 hours. As it targets the root of the plants, there’s a good chance the weeds won’t grow back again later.

It also doesn’t leave any harmful residue and comes in a large five-litre container. Pre-mixed solutions do run out faster than concentrate liquids, but you can buy refills to help save on plastic.

Pros

  • Effectively eliminates roots of the weeds
  • Comes in a large, refillable five-litre can

Cons

  • As it’s premixed the solution may be used up faster than concentrate

Key specs

  • Type: Systemic/non-selective
  • Size: 5 litres (2.5L also available)

2. Best budget weed killer: Job Done Tough Weed Killer

Job Done Tough Weed Killer

Price: £24 | Buy now on Amazon

“You need something systemic to kill weeds off all the way down.” Recommended by Campion.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on banishing weeds from your garden. Job Done Tough Weedkiller is strong enough to tackle even deep-rooted weeds such as bramble, nettles and sow thistle, and can be bought in a small one-litre spray bottle.

It's especially handy if you only have a small area to treat and you don’t want to fork out on a big container of weed killer.

This formula works fast, showing effects within 24 hours, and it’s both a systemic and residual weed killer, targeting the whole plant to kill it and leaving a protective layer to prevent new weeds from growing for up to three months after.

You may need to reapply for tougher weeds and, if you need to treat larger areas, it can be purchased in a three-litre bottle.

Pros

  • Small ready-to-use spray bottle
  • Formula kills whole weed and prevents new seeds from growing

Cons

  • You'll need a bigger bottle for large areas

Key specs

  • Type: Systemic/residual
  • Size: 1L (3L also available)

3. Best weed killer for large areas: Weedol Rootkill Plus

Weedol Rootkill Plus

Price: £15.00 | Buy now on Amazon

“I use Weedol Rootkill Plus. It’s a concentrate that you dilute and apply with a watering can. I did have one persistent weed that was mounding up growing underneath the grass so rather than my usual once every three months I did one patch monthly. Never had an issue since. I have had my artificial lawn for over four years – we absolutely love it." Tried and tested by JoanJosephJim.

Weedol Rootkill Plus is a good option if you need to clear a large area or regularly treat problem weeds.

A systemic herbicide, it kills both the leaves and roots to prevent the weed growing back and a one-litre bottle will cover up to 1176m2. You’ll be able to see effects within 24 hours in hard areas such as driveways and patios as well as around the garden.

The easy mix concentrate formula can be applied using a watering can with a fine spray attachment or a garden sprayer and once dried, the area is safe to use for families and wildlife.

Pros

  • Concentrate formula can treat large areas
  • Tough formula to treat all weeds

Cons

  • You will need a watering can or sprayer

Key specs

  • Type: Systemic
  • Size: 1L (500ml also available)

4. Best natural weed killer: Roundup Naturals Glyphosate-Free Powerful Weed Killer

Roundup Naturals Glyphosate-Free Powerful Weed Killer

Price: £6 | Buy now on Amazon

“I  use a natural fatty acid weed killer spray judiciously directly on certain stubborn weeds especially in patio cracks that make it difficult to dig them out, and just make sure my cats are in for a few hours afterwards so there’s no chance they actually lick the fresh spray on the plant.  Fatty acid sprays are often labelled “glyphosate free” or “natural”, just look on the back of the spray for the actual ingredients.” Advice from LemonViolet.

With recent concerns around the health effects of using Glyphosate products, this herbicide from Roundup offers a more natural remedy for killing weeds.

It’s made from 100% natural active ingredients and breaks down in the soil within three days so you can plant new flowers. It can wilt leaves within hours of application, although it may not be as effective on deep rooted weeds. 

This herbicide is suitable for banishing unwanted plants all around your garden including your driveway, patio and flowerbeds, and comes with a spray pump for easy application – a good option if you want to limit the amount of chemicals around your home. For paths and patios, this is a great option but if you want an eco-friendly weed killer for your lawn, you might prefer to try something manual, rather than chemical, such as the Burgon & Ball weed grabber, below. 

Pros

  • Glyphosate free and made from natural ingredients
  • Wilts leaves within hours of application

Cons

  • May need to reapply for deep-rooted weeds

Key specs

  • Type: Contact/non-selective
  • Size: 3L (1L also available)

5. Best weed killer for tough weeds: Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weed Killer

Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weed Killer

Price: £24 | Buy now on Amazon

“Glyphosate is systemic so it is absorbed by the leaves and is taken down to the roots so kills the plant from the bottom up. The weeds can then either be dug in or pulled out. Glyphosate breaks down in the soil so the area can be replanted.” Recommended by GnomeDePlume.

One of the strongest weed killers around, this is a good option if you have a large area to clear or you need to tackle problem weeds, such as bindweed and dandelion.

You need to mix the formula yourself but there’s a handy measuring cup – just dilute 30ml of weed killer per litre of water – and a pair of gloves so you can do it safely.

You should see results after one application but as it comes in a large two-litre bottle there’ll be plenty of solution left over in case you do need to reapply. There’s no spray pump though so you’ll need to buy a bottle or knapsack sprayer separately.

Pros

  • Strong formula helps tackle problem weeds
  • Large two-litre container

Cons

  • Only comes in a large size so may not be good for small areas

Key specs

  • Type: Systemic/non-selective
  • Size: 2L

6. Best weed killer for lawns: Weedol Lawn Weed Killer

Weedol Lawn Weed Killer

Price: £7 | Buy now on Amazon

“I apply weed killer directly to each weed in my lawn. It's a big lawn but I manage to keep it virtually weed free. You just have to keep on top of it. It helps keep your weeds down if your lawn is otherwise happy so you should feed it, aerate it, scarify it and reseed it where necessary.” Recommended by TootiesFrootie.

When it comes to tackling weeds on your lawn, you need a selective weed killer that will do the job without damaging your lush grass and soil.

Glyphosate-free, Weedol’s Lawn Weedkiller destroys the likes of dandelions, daisies and clover that can ruin your lawn. While it doesn’t come with a spray or pump, it can be applied using a watering can or your own spray bottle and can treat up to 330m2.

A concentrate formula needs mixing with water, but this is easy enough to do at home.

Pros

  • Tackles common grass weeds without damaging lawn
  • Can be bought in a range of sizes

Cons

  • You need to provide your own spray tool

Key specs

  • Type: Contact/selective
  • Size: 500ml (but can be bought in 250ml and 1L)

7. Best patio weed killer: Resolva Path and Patio Ready To Use Weed Killer

Resolva Path and Patio Ready To Use Weed Killer

Price: £5 | Buy now on Amazon

“I have taken over an allotment plot and it’s covered in bindweed. I've dug over a lot and sprayed some Resolva weed killer between the pavers. They already look brown despite some rain in the night, let's hope it's gone into the roots.” Tried and tested by Imgoinginsaneinthemembrane.

If you’ve spotted some unsightly leaves sprouting up around the edge of your driveway or in the cracks of your patio, Resolva Path and Patio Weed Killer comes in a small one-litre spray bottle for targeting these problem areas.

A systemic weed killer, it kills the leaves and gets to the root so the plant shouldn’t grow back. Results can be seen within 24 hours and the treated area is safe for children and pets (once it’s dried).

While it can be bought in bigger sizes, the one-litre bottle is small and light enough to easily carry around and store away in a cupboard in case the weeds make another appearance.

Pros

  • Comes in a portable one-litre bottle
  • Pre-mixed for ease of use

Cons

  • Need a bigger bottle for larger areas

Key specs

  • Type: Systemic/non-selective
  • Size: 1L (3L and 5L sizes available)

8. Best pet-friendly weed killer: Roundup Ultra Tough Weed Killer

Roundup Ultra Tough Weed Killer

Price: £24 | Buy now on Amazon

“Here in Australia they are all crazy about Roundup weed killer and my neighbours use them by the bucket because no weedkiller is forever and weeds will find a way out.” Recommended by Cormoran.

Unlike many of the strong chemical weed killers, such as the products by Gallup Home & Garden, Roundup Ultra Tough Weed Killer is powerful yet safe for children and pets.

The tough formula can control all weeds around your garden and home, as well as woody surfaces like tree stumps, but be careful where you spray it as it will kill anything it touches.

You should see yellowing of leaves after as little as 48 hours and, as it works its way through to the root, there’s a good chance the weed won’t return.

A high concentrate liquid, the small one-litre bottle can treat large areas, up to 3000m2 and, as the soil breaks down the solution, it’s safe to replant after – just make sure to let it dry before allowing children and animals to play.

Pros

  • Tough formula for treating a variety of weeds
  • Safe for children and pets

Cons

  • Pricey compared to other products

Key specs

  • Type: Systemic/non-selective
  • Size: 2.5L (500ml also available)

9. Best strong weed killer: Elixir Gardens Barclay Gallup Home & Garden

Elixir Gardens Barclay Gallup Home & Garden

Price: £24 | Buy now on Amazon

“Not the most environmentally friendly but it worked a charm when I wanted to start the lawn again. It kills everything.” Used by PinkBrush.

There’s no messing around with this weed killer – another one from Gallup Home & Garden, it’s thought to be the strongest weed killer in the UK, the same as most professional herbicides.

Just one application should kill most weeds and, with a two-litre bottle treating more than 3000m2, you get more than enough for your money. Although it’s powerful, it doesn’t leave a harmful residue in the soil (do keep children and pets away until it’s dry) so you can replant after seven days. Also bear in mind that it doesn’t work in conditions below 8°C.

Do take care when diluting the formula and use the cup and gloves provided. You’ll need to buy a sprayer separately and should see plants drying off after a few days, but it could take up to four weeks for the full effects. However, this weed killer is so strong, there’s a good chance the weeds will be banished for good.

Pros

  • Really strong formula for tackling even toughest of weeds
  • Highly concentrated so can treat larger areas

Cons

  • Only works in warm conditions

Key specs

  • Type: Systemic/non-selective
  • Size: 2L

10. Best fast acting weed killer: Resolva 24H Ready To Use Power Pump Weed Killer

Resolva 24H Ready To Use Power Pump Weed Killer

Price: £28 | Buy now on Amazon

For gardeners who want to banish weeds as quickly as possible, the Resolva 24H Weed Killer shows visible results a day after treatment.

The ready-made formula comes with a wand to treat large areas quickly and easily and the adjustable spray ensures you target those pesky weeds rather than your lovely red roses.

As the formula gets to the root of the weed, you shouldn’t need to reapply but tougher weeds may take longer to break down.

Pros

  • Ready-made formula and power pump for easy application
  • Results from 24 hours

Cons

  • Tougher weeds may take longer to kill

Key specs

  • Type: Systemic/non-selective
  • Size: 5L (1L and 3L also available)

11. Best weed killer that won't kill grass: Burgon & Ball Wonder Weed Puller

Burgon & Ball Wonder Weed Puller

Price: £40 | Buy now on Amazon

“I've got something like this Burgon & Ball Wonder Weed Puller, which is quite handy. It does leave holes in the lawn but I just treat it as super-aeration and fill in with better quality soil.” Tried and tested by Senua.

If your lawn has lots of stubborn weeds in it but you don’t want to apply a liquid weed killer for fear of ruining the whole lawn or having an effect on pets and children, this simple tool from Burgon & Ball might be the answer. 

You push the puller into the ground on top of the weed and then four claws grab onto the weed so you can pull out the whole thing by the roots. The shaft of the puller is made from lightweight aluminium so it’s easy to manoeuvre, and it stores away easily in a shed. 

If you want to avoid chemicals this really does work but reviews suggest it’s a little tricky to get right and is best used when the soil is nice and soft, otherwise the prongs can snap. It does come with a ten-year warranty, however, so if you have any problems, you can get it replaced. It also will leave a bit of a hole in the lawn, so you might want to fill in and holes with soil and sprinkle the odd bit of grass seed around.

Pros

  • No chemicals so no danger to pets or children
  • Eco-friendly
  • No danger of killing off the rest of the lawn

Cons

  • There’s a bit of a knack to it, so not for everyone
  • Does leave holes in the lawn

Key specs

  • Type: Weed puller
  • Materials: Lightweight aluminium

12. Best non-chemical weed killer: Green Habitats Weed Burner

Green Habitats Weed Burner

Price: £15 | Buy now on Amazon

“The flame thrower works quite well, but you need to be careful that you don't burn the house down more than intended.” Tried and tested by PurpleSequins.

You need to take care with this, but it’s by far the most satisfying method we’ve found of getting rid of weeds. 

Simply aim the wand at the weed or area you want to get rid of and apply a quick blast of heat to permanently destroy the weed and its roots. It’s very easy to use, with a controllable gas button to alter the heat setting and an ignition button, as well as an ergonomic handle. Because it works cordlessly, with a gas canister, it can be taken wherever you need and reach easily into any corner of the garden.

The wand is also handy for lighting barbecues as well as thawing pipes and de-icing pavements in winter. 

Pros

  • No chemicals so no danger to pets or children
  • Eco-friendly
  • Cordless and lightweight
  • Can be easily targeted to just one weed

Cons

  • Doesn’t include the gas canister so need to buy that separately
  • You need to burn each weed thoroughly to ensure the roots are also killed

Key specs

  • Type: Weed burner
  • Size: 80cm tall

How to choose the best weed killer

There’s a large variety of herbicides available to help banish weeds from your outdoor spaces. The Royal Horticultural Society’s weed identifier will help you to first work out what the culprit is. Think about where you plan to use your weed killer and what weeds you need to get rid of before you consider how best to deal with them. BBC Gardener’s World magazine has good advice on the various ways to get rid of weeds. It’s also a good idea to carefully consider  the following:

Type of weed killer

  • Contact weed killer: this destroys plants wherever it touches. They can take a while to show results and don’t tend to get to the root.
  • Systemic weed killer: this works its way through the plant to target the root and kill it completely. You may have to wait a while to see the effects.
  • Residual weed killer: this is very effective as it targets the soil to kill weeds and prevent new plants from growing, making it ideal for paths, driveways and patios.
  • Selective weed killer: this targets a certain type of weed, such as dandelion and daisies, without harming nearby plants and grass.
  • Non-selective weed killer: this kills everything it touches and quickly, so be very careful when applying to prevent destroying any flowers, fruit or vegetables nearby.
  • There are also non-chemical weed killers that use things like heat or manual removal to destroy weeds. The Royal Horticultural Society has more on these types.

Speed

How quickly do you need it to work? If you want quick results, fast-working weed killers can brown leaves in as little as 10 minutes, while others may take up to two weeks to show proper results but might be more effective.

If you want to replant soon after, check if the soil is safe following treatment and how long you need to wait – some say as little as 24 hours after application.

Size of area

If you only have a few pesky weeds you want to get rid of you, a small ready-made spray bottle should be enough. Even if you have a bigger space to treat, it may be worth going for a one-litre bottle first to make sure you’re happy with the results.

For bigger areas or more regular use, you can buy containers up to 5kg. Some come with a pump or spray nozzle for application or you may need to dilute the liquid using your own watering can or spray bottle.

Child and pet-friendly

Spraying chemical products in your garden can be dangerous if you have pets or children at home as the treated area can be unsafe after. Always check the label as some products are safe to use once the area has dried. You may prefer to use non-chemical weed killers if you’re worried about this. 

What’s the best way to apply weed killer?

For best results, read the instructions for your chosen product. You can buy ready-to-use weed killers in a spray bottle or a container with a pump, allowing you to apply to larger areas more easily and help give a more precise application.

But do make sure it’s not windy as it can inadvertently spray nearby plants, flowers or grass. Always wear gloves when handling chemicals.

For concentrate liquids, mix at home and apply to the affected areas using a watering can or spray tool.

What’s the best time of year to use weed killer?

The ideal time to tackle weeds is when they start to grow, which is around early spring, as they will absorb the weed killer quicker. Try and apply weed killer in the morning so that it has all day to absorb the chemicals.

Some weeds may surface later so more applications may be needed, especially for tougher weeds, such as bindweed and Japanese Knotweed. And perennial weeds need to be removed with the entire root to prevent it springing up again next year. BBC Gardener’s World has good advice on perennial weeds. 

You may also want to treat your garden again in autumn before winter arrives. Always check the forecast first as rain can wash the weed killer away and wind could blow the herbicide onto nearby plants.

What is the best weed killer?

The Roundup Fast Action Weedkiller Pump ‘N’ Go is the best weed killer to buy. It’s a pre-mixed formula that’s ready to use straight from the box. It comes with a handy pressure pump and is fast working, targeting the root of the weed to prevent it from growing back and you can refill the container when you run out. A great and effective all-rounder at a very reasonable price.

What is the best natural weed killer?

If you’re not keen on the idea of using chemicals in your garden, there are natural weed killers available. Roundup Naturals Weed Killer is free from Glyphosate and is made from 100% natural ingredients, wilting leaves within hours of application. Some home remedies are thought to have good results too.

What’s the best weed killer for patios?

For targeting weeds in cracks between paving slabs and growing up in driveways and paths, Resolva Path and Patio Ready To Use Weed Killer is your best bet. It comes in a small spray bottle for targeting small areas and is ready-mixed so there’s no faffing about. You can just nip in for the bottle as soon as you see one of the pesky little weeds poking its head out of the paving slabs. 

Does vinegar kill weeds permanently?

Mix any vinegar, including malt, distilled and white vinegar, with water and within as little as an hour the leaves can start to shrivel up.

Some people also mix it with soap and salt, but don’t accidentally spray your beloved flowers or healthy soil nearby. This solution has been known to get rid of weeds permanently but it may only kill the leaves, not the root.

Does baking soda kill weeds?

Baking soda can also be effective at drying the leaves of weeds. Make sure to cover the whole plant and if you’re using it on driveways or patios, sweep it into the cracks to prevent new ones from growing.

You can also mix baking soda with water and spray it on. It should prevent new plants from growing but it will also kill any other plants too.

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