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One of the most viewed chemistry tips post on Chemistry Cachet is this homemade weed killer. Readers love how effective and easy it is to make. I have also used it to kill bugs! It works amazing to kill ants especially.
Over the last few months, I have modified it up a little to be an amazing and easy homemade ant spray!
The reasons I changed it up is to make it a little better for killing ants on any surface without leaving as much of a residue. Although this homemade weed killer is fantastic for killing bugs outside, it can leave a little salt residue behind in the home.
This version is better for that PLUS you can use it to kill ants around your plants without harming them either since this is more diluted.
FOR WEED KILLER, PLEASE CLICK HERE!
PIN THIS: Cheap and Easy Homemade Ant Spray
2 cups of vinegar, distilled
2 cups of water
3 tablespoon blue Dawn dishwashing liquid
3 tablespoons table salt
Mix ingredients together, add to a spray bottle.
Shake well before spraying each time.
I use blue Dawn for all my solutions on Chemistry Cachet because it has worked better for me. You can use any dishwashing liquid you have on hand, but I prefer Dawn 🙂
Side note: I NEVER share anything on Chemistry Cachet unless it is something I use and LOVE. Everything I share here are things my family benefits from, and I want to share on this website so you can benefit from it too.
Saturate the area the ants are crawling. They die in a few seconds. Make sure to spray the entire pathway they have used too.
Allow the ants to die, then wipe the area off with a paper towel! The lingering vinegar and dish soap scent deters them from coming back to this area too. Make sure to wipe surface to prevent any possible residue.
Chemistry Tips on Homemade Ant Spray
I know readers love understanding the reasons we use certain items in our solutions, so let’s discuss the chemistry behind this ant spray.
Acetic acid, vinegar, is a cheap option for so many homemade solutions. Since this homemade ant spray is derived from this homemade weed killer, I wanted to keep the acidity since it is very effective at killing ants. Acetic acid has a low pH, making it one of the best acids for home use, while still being safe.
In the homemade weed killer, there is not water to dilute the solution. This makes it more potent for killing weeds. This ant spray does have water which dilutes the acidity slightly, but it also allows the salt to dissolve.
Sodium Chloride, table salt, is another favorite addition of mine. Did you see this post on salt? Salt has a interesting chemistry, but it also enhances the effects of acidity. By adding salt, you increase the effectiveness of this solution.
Without water, salt won’t dissolve well. Like I mentioned above, our homemade weed killer doesn’t contain water, so the salt doesn’t dissolved completely. This is perfect for sticking on weeds and killing them. For an ant spray, you don’t necessarily need the salt pieces, just the salt water.
I always use blue Dawn for solutions because it has worked better for me over the years. Any concentrated dish soap should work okay too.
Dishwashing liquid is a great surfactant. It changes the surface tension of water, making the solution stick to the ants more. It essentially suffocates them.
Dish soap can be used to kill ants on it’s own, but it is sticky and messy. It can be hard to clean up the suds with straight soap, so it is better to mix it with these other items to create the perfect combination that is easy to clean up too.
Isn’t this the same as your homemade weed killer?
It is similar, but it has important differences. This is better for indoor use since you won’t have any leftover salt residue like you can get with the weed killer.
You can still use the homemade weed killer for any outside ants if you’d like.
Will this kill all ants?
This has killed all the ants around my house. I have some that occasionally get into kitchen, bathroom, and my the backdoor.
For really large ants, you might need to use more of this. In fact, you can pour this solution onto large ant trails in the home. Spraying is effective for small ants.
For big ant mounds outside, it will kill the ants on the surface, but won’t necessarily kill ones deep into ant bed. You might need multiple treatments.
Will this kill other insects?
Small insects like roaches and spiders it can kill. Anything larger, it might not be potent enough.
Where did you get this recipe?
I have recently had some readers asking where I get my recipes. Well, this one I made up from my homemade weed killer. I wanted something better for household use.
These ingredients look similar to ones in other solutions you have?
Yes!! That is the awesome thing about making your own solutions. All you need is a few ingredients to make dozens of recipes, like all those great ones in our book.
The important thing is RATIOS. That is what takes me the longest when working on homemade solutions, making sure to get the ratios correct because that makes all the difference with the chemistry.
What kind of spray bottle should I use?
This solution works with many types since it isn’t too thick. You can read more about spray bottles in this post.
If treating large areas, you can also pour. I prefer to spray for indoor use.
Hope you enjoy using this!