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Life Hacks

Want To Nix Weeds Fast? Ditch Pricey Weed Killers and Use Boiling Water Instead

Conquer small pesky weeds this spring.


The growth of invasive weeds in the cracks of your driveway or sidewalk can put a damper on your outdoor space. If left unmanaged, small weeds turn into large, unflattering ones and become harder to remove. Commercial weed killers (also called herbicides) generally work — but they can be pricey and contain chemicals that are harmful for kids or pets. Instead, why not opt for a chemical-free weed killer that’s not going to break the bank? Boiling water is an effective and all-natural herbicide for small weeds, as the heat destroys the plant’s cell structure. Keep reading to learn how to kill weeds using boiling water.

How To Kill Weeds Naturally Using Hot Water

It’s not an exaggeration to say that weeds can grow anywhere. From your lawn to compacted soil, weeds will find a way to flourish. One reason for this: Those areas lack enough healthy, nutrient-filled grass or soil to block out aggressive weeds. In the case of concrete or pavement cracks, weed seeds from the air can nestle in those crevices; eventually, the seeds turn into full-blown weeds due to moisture, soil, and organic matter seeping into the cracks. Despite these factors being beyond your control, eliminating weeds is possible.

The key is to spot weeds in their early stages, which gives you a chance to kill them before they’re untamable. For this scenario, boiling water is ideal, as it’s a less harsh and cheaper way to stop the plants from growing. The experts at Home Depot recommend applying hot water to small weeds using the following steps.


  • Tea kettle
  • Heat-protective gloves (optional)
  • Closed-toe shoes (recommended)


  1. Fill a manual or electric tea kettle to its maximum capacity with water. Heat water on the stove or by plugging the kettle into an outlet until it’s boiling, which is approximately at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Take water off of the heat source, put on gloves (if desired), and walk outside with the kettle.
  3. Carefully pour water directly onto areas of the pavement or concrete where weeds are present. Avoid splashing water onto nearby objects or your skin. Wearing closed-toe shoes is best because they shield your feet from the hot water.
  4. Repeat these steps if you weren’t able to douse all of the weeds with water the first time.

After completing this cycle, keep an eye on the weeds — the plants probably won’t die with only one hot water treatment. So, wait at least one week before repeating this hack again, and do it a third or fourth time if necessary. Watch the video below to see a YouTuber try this hack on the weeds in his pavement (and experiences positive results!).

The Bottom Line

Thanks to this simple trick, killing small pesky weeds should be a breeze. Once dead, you can strategically pull those wilted weeds to get rid of the remaining plant — and hopefully prevent them from reappearing next year. Looking for more yard maintenance tips? Read our stories on gardening hacks for the spring and the benefits of using grass alternatives that don’t require constant mowing.

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