Does Diesel Kill Weed? (Yes, It Sadly Does)

Some planters, fed up with these persistent and pesky weeds, opt for diesel fuel to kill the weeds. Diesel is a type of petroleum that contains toxic substances harmful to the environment.

But, does diesel kill weed for real?

Well, frankly speaking diesel will surely kill the weeds in your garden, but that is temporary. It will kill not only the weeds but also all other plants that it meets. Thus, it is best to go for any other non-toxic alternative to get rid of weeds in a good way.

Does diesel kill weed
diesel killing weeds

Does diesel kill weed?

To answer the question directly, yes, diesel kills weeds in your garden. Diesel is a sort of fuel with a chemical property that is not really eco-friendly. While diesel will kill the weeds in your garden, it will also not leave the other plants that come in contact with it.

It contains almost 75% aliphatic hydrocarbons and 25% aromatic hydrocarbons. Together, these chemicals kill every plant it comes in contact with, while until the chemical is removed, the seeds will not germinate.

Diesel also does not mix with the soil very easily. The sticky fluid takes almost 4 years to dilute completely in the soil. It will also kill the small insects like pests or good organisms in your garden.

Therefore, using diesel is not a very good hack. It can hinder the growth of your plants and affect their entire root system. 

Diesel, if used as a mode to kill weeds, should be used in a specific manner. The diesel should be spread on the weeds when there is no chance of rain for at least 48 hours.

This will not let the diesel contaminate other garden areas along with the rainwater. The diesel fuel should be sprayed on the weed plants with a spray bottle to prevent it from damaging the entire garden.

The diesel should be sprayed close to the roots, so the weeds are killed permanently. After the process, wait for at least three weeks before you plant a new plant there, as diesel takes that much time to degrade.

Effectiveness of diesel as a weed killer

Diesel, as we have already discussed, is a toxic mode of killing the weeds in your garden. It should not have been opted for as other environmentally friendly alternatives are present in the market. Non-toxic weeds, although needing some extra work, will not kill the other plants 8n your garden, unlike diesel. 

Diesel or any chemical based weed kills the good biota and organisms in the soil that helps in the steady growth of the plants. Other alternatives, such as using boiling water on the weed’s roots, rubbing alcohol, or spraying a solution of salt and vinegar, can all work wonders in the case of the weeds. 

Effectiveness of diesel as a weed killer
Effectiveness of diesel as a weed killer

The potential effectiveness of diesel on different types of weeds is huge. Diesel being high in toxic chemical substances is a non- selective plant killer. It can kill any type of weed that comes in contact with it. Apply diesel close to the spot of the roots, and you will notice the weeds dying within 48 hours.

Do not water the area near the treated weeds to prevent them from diluting the other plants. This will ensure that the other plants in the garden are safe with minimal damage to the garden soil.

Diesel is not an environmentally friendly solution. It can greatly affect soil fertility due to its chemical properties. Diesel kills the good organisms in the soil that keeps up the plant’s growth.

Using diesel as a weed killer on a large scale is never a good idea as it may hamper the area’s ecological balance. 

Safety and Legal Considerations

Diesel is a combustible fuel with many hazards that are dangerous for plants, insects, and the ecology as a whole. Diesel, if in any way consumed through the plants, is life taking. Inhaling or ingesting diesel in huge quantities can lead to multiple organ failures among humans.

Safety and Legal Considerations
Safety and Legal Considerations

Therefore, certain specific rules must be followed if one uses diesel as a weed killer. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Diesel is a flammable substance and hence should be avoided near or around fires.
  • Check the weather forecast before spraying diesel in the garden. There should be no chance of rain for at least 48 hours straight so that there is no chance for contamination.
  • Diesel is a non-selective plant killer and should not be sprayed near good and healthy plants.
  • One should wear a mask before spraying the diesel on the weeds to prevent yourself from inhaling it.
  • Diesel should not be used if you have well drained soil as it can contaminate the nearby areas too.

Regarding the legal permissions for using diesel as an herbicide, it is illegal to use diesel. There are restrictions on diesel in many countries, such as the USA, UK, etc. Spraying diesel in the weeds means illegally dumping toxic chemical substances that can harm the environment. If any gardener is seen using diesel in their garden, they will have to pay a huge fine or can even get jailed.

What kills grass and weeds permanently? 

Every gardener’s dream is to have a well organized and planned garden. But weeds that keep coming back can stand as a hindrance to your plans. If you try to manually pull out the weeds, a whole new set will grow again in a few days. 

Some excellent weed-killing solutions are available in the market, which does not impact the environment.

What kills grass and weeds permanently
What kills grass and weeds permanently?

These are either homemade or easily available in the market. Some of the effective solutions for killing the weeds permanently are described as follows:

  • Using Vinegar: Vinegar is one of the best ways to get rid of pests, insects, and any unwanted plants in the garden. Spraying vinegar on the weeds will dry out the plants and stop the water distribution throughout the plant to stop it from growing. Cider vinegar or horticultural vinegar contains acetic acids and will yield the best weed-killing results. 
  • Adding Salt: Another way of killing the weeds can be spraying a solution of salt and vinegar on them. Salt added with vinegar and a dishwasher helps the plants absorb the solution, leading to faster action.
  • Use Chemical Control Methods from the Market: Another effective way of getting rid of the weeds is using store bought chemical solutions. You must first determine the type of weed problem you are facing and then choose a chemical solution accordingly. One of the most effective weed killers is Roundup which contains glyphosate content. It should be used carefully as it can kill any plant, but it is not harmful to the soil.

What kills weeds down to the root?

Weeds are not very simple to get rid of. They keep growing back in the garden if not properly killed down to the roots themselves. There are several ways to kill the weeds from the roots themselves. Read below to learn these simple hacks:

  • Use Baking Soda: Baking soda is available in every household. Like vinegar, you can spray a solution of water and baking soda near the roots of the weeds and see them dry out in a few days. It absorbs all the moisture content from the plants, leaving them dehydrated so that it dries out down from the roots themselves.
  • Bleaching Powder: Another effective way of killing weeds permanently is to bleach them. Beach is a DIY weed killer solution that will almost instantly kill any plant you intend to get rid of in your garden. Spray the bleach solution on the weeds; within 24 hours, it will kill them down to the roots.
  • Using Boiling Water: If you intend to go for a chemical free weed killing process, the hot boiling water will work. Pour a cup of boiling water near the roots of the weeds. It will stop the workings of the roots leading the entire plant to dry out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much diesel does it take to kill grass?

Although diesel is not a good option to kill the weeds and is illegal in some places, if you use diesel to kill the weeds, 1-3 gallons of diesel should be more than enough.

What to mix with diesel to kill weeds?

You can mix the roundup with diesel and spray the solution on the weeds to get the best results. It double ups the killing powers and starts acting in a short period.

Is it illegal to use diesel to kill weeds in the UK?

Yes, it is illegal to use diesel in gardens in the UK. If one is caught doing so, one can even get jailed.

Does diesel kill weeds permanently?

Diesel has a toxic chemical composition that can effectively kill the weeds in your garden, but not permanently. After using diesel to kill the plants, the area should be maintained regularly to prevent the weeds from regrowing.


Numerous gardeners use diesel to kill the unwanted weeds in the garden. But they tend to forget the great damage they do to the environment. It has been made illegal to use diesel in many countries as it hampers the area’s ecological balance.

There are a variety of other non-toxic alternatives which we have discussed. that will effectively kill the weeds in your garden without leaving behind any harmful impact.

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