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Best Weed Killers for Any Lawn of 2021

Updated
Kill weeds quickly and effectively — without hurting your grass. 

There are good weeds and bad weeds. But when it comes to the bad weeds, it’s important to get rid of them before they start to destroy the other plants in your garden.

There are lots of different herbicides available on the market. But not every option is suitable for every problem. That’s why we took out time to research the best weed killer for lawns. We’ve narrowed it down to the top 10.

Keep reading to find out the right weed killer for your lawn.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Prodiamine 65 Wdg 5lbs Pre-emergent Grass Broadleaf Weeds ( Generic Barricade )
Best Pre-Emergent Lawn Weed Killer
Quali-Pro Prodiamine Pre-Emergent Herbicide
  • Suitable for spring & autumn use
  • Prevents weeds from growing & germinating
  • Works with fertilizers & iron solutions
Product Image of the Compare-N-Save 75324 Herbicide, 1-gallon, white
Best Post-Emergent Lawn Weed Killer
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass & Weed Killer
  • Rainproof in as little as 2 hours
  • Kills over 175 different types of weeds
  • It only takes one application
Most Effective Weed Killer for Lawns
Roundup Weed and Grass Killer
  • Notice results in three hours
  • Kills through leaf & stem
  • Ready to use formula
Best Versatile Weed Killer for Lawns
Roundup Weed & Grass Killer II
  • Rainproof within 10 minutes
  • Results may be visible after only 3 hours
  • Comes with a handy pump
Product Image of the 30% Vinegar Pure Natural & Safe Industrial Strength Concentrate for Home & Garden & Literally Hundreds of Other Uses 6X Stronger Than Regular Vinegar (128 Oz Gallon)
Best Natural Weed Killer for Lawns
Natural Armor Store 30% Garden Vinegar
  • See results in as little as 2 hours
  • Does not use harsh chemicals
  • Suitable for both indoor & outdoor use
Product Image of the Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer Refill - Visible Results in 1 Hour, Kills Weeds and Grasses to the Root, Up to 1 Year of Weed and Grass Control, 1.33 gal.
Best Long-Lasting Weed Killer for Lawns
Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer
  • Kills weeds & grass at the root
  • Rainproof & visible results within 1 hour
  • Prevents vegetation for up to 1 year
Product Image of the Spectracide HG-96428 Weed & Grass Killer Ready-to-Use, 32-fl oz
Best Easy-to-Use Weed Killer for Lawns
Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer
  • New growth after 1 day of application
  • Rainproof within 15 minutes
  • Handy spray bottle for easy application
Product Image of the V.P.G. FH21415 Quart ~ Hi-Yield 2,4-D Selective Weed Killer ~ Quart
Best Selective Weed Killer for Lawns
V.P.G. Hi-Yield Selective Weed Killer
  • Selective weed killer that protects grass
  • Suitable for a wide variety of weeds
  • Can be used across many different sites
Product Image of the Spectracide HG-96587 Lawn Weed Killer, 1 gal
Best Weed Killer for Variety of Weeds
Spectracide Lawn Weed Killer
  • Kills over 470 different types of weeds
  • Doesn’t kill grass, only weeds listed
  • Kills weeds at the root
Product Image of the The Andersons Professional Surge Weed and Feed 16-0-9 Post-Emergent Weed Control and Fertilizer - Covers up to 16,000 sq ft (40 lb)
Best Weed Killer for Large Lawns
The Andersons Professional Surge Weed and Feed
  • Feeds grass with slow-releasing nitrogen
  • Great coverage at 16,000 square feet
  • Good for professional & personal use

How to Choose the Best Weed Killer for Lawns

When it comes to buying a weed killer, where should you start? Here’s a handy guide that breaks down the most important criteria so that you end up choosing a weed killer that’s just right for you.

Type

First, consider whether you need a pre- or post-emergent weed killer. Pre-emergent weed killers are used before the weeds become visible in the lawn. So you can use these before the weeds rear their ugly head.

Post-emergent weed killer is for after the weeds have made their visible appearance. It’s important to know the difference and shop accordingly.

Weed Type

It’s crucial to shop according to weed type. There are tons of different types of weeds that can show up in your garden. Some include bindweed, dandelions, chickweed, daisies, and more. Make sure that the product you’re considering will kill the weeds that are in your garden. Otherwise, you’ll end up making a pretty useless purchase!

Lawn Size

When shopping, the packaging should say how many square feet the weed killer covers. Make sure that you have enough for your lawn. This ranges from about 100 square feet all the way up to 25,000 square feet.

Top Tip

Buy the bigger sizes if you’d like to use the product time and time again. It’s a good idea to have some on standby in case the weeds make a comeback.

Selectivity

On the market, you’ll find both selective and non-selective weed killers. Selective weed killers kill weeds on lawns without harming the grass. So if you have dandelions, daisies, and other weeds that grow in the grass, you may want to choose a selective weed killer, so your grass doesn’t die as well.

Non-selective weed killers deal with both weeds and grass. If you’re trying to protect your grass, don’t choose one of these. However, if you have weeds on your sidewalk or away from grass and other plants, then a non-selective weed killer will work just fine.

Performance

Of course, you want something that’s going to impress you. We’ve made sure only to recommend effective options, so you don’t need to worry about that. However, some will work better than others, so always check out the customer reviews for yourself.

Another factor in terms of performance is how quickly the weed killer works. Some show results in as little as three hours, whereas others take longer. If you’d like a fast-acting weed killer, always check how quickly the product works.

Lastly, consider how versatile the weed killer is. How many different types of weeds can it kill? Where can it be used? These are all important questions to ask.

Translocation

Consider the translocation of the weed killer. All this means is the movement of the product within the weed. There are two types.

Firstly, you’ll find contact weed killers, which kill the weeds by destroying the plant where the weed killer has made physical contact. It usually starts to kill the weed within a couple of hours, but it can also take a few days. It doesn’t move within the weed afterward. Therefore, it’s better suited for annual weeds rather than perennial weeds.

On the other hand, you’ll find systemic weed killers which move within the weed, down the roots, and destroy the entire plant. You might not see results for a few days or even weeks, depending on the weed you’re destroying. These are great for perennial weeds that are likely to return due to their deeper roots.

Ease of Use

Consider how easy the product is to use. Some come in concentrated solutions, which go a long way but may be harder to dilute and apply to the area. If you want something super easy, consider something with a nozzle or even a spray bottle.

Persistence

It’s important to check how long the effects of the product last. Some only need to be applied once a year, whereas others require more frequent application.

You should also consider how quickly it becomes rainproof. Some are water-resistant within a couple of hours, while others may take a few days. These require you to plan and make sure there’s no rain in the forecast.

Toxicity

Last but not least, consider the ingredients. Are they safe for humans? Will you need to keep your kids and pets away for a few hours — or even days? Are the ingredients natural? Is it pet-safe?


The Best Lawn Weed Killers of 2021

Here are 10 of the best weed killers for your lawns to help you keep the weeds away.

Quali-Pro Prodiamine Pre-Emergent Herbicide

Best Pre-Emergent Lawn Weed Killer

Tackle those weeds before they’ve even made an appearance. This is one of the best pre-emergent weed killers on the market for multiple reasons.

For one, it really does prevent weeds. You can use this on nurseries, lawns, turfs, golf courses, and more. In terms of prevention, this works for henbit, knotweed, spurge, foxtail, annual bluegrass, chickweed, and goosegrass.

What else we love about this is you can use it in the spring and fall. Each time you use it, it provides enough control to last throughout the season.

The active ingredient is prodiamine which is a popular choice for pre-emergent herbicides (1). It works by controlling weeds before they have sprung up — by stopping them from germinating. Even using it twice a year is enough to prevent weeds from taking over your lawn.

Try This

The instructions are a bit vague, but the company has advised customers to dilute the product with two teaspoons per gallon before use.

Pros

  • Suitable for spring and autumn use.
  • Prevents weeds from growing and germinating all season long.
  • Works great with fertilizers and iron solutions.
  • Suitable for a wide variety of sites, including lawns, golf courses, and more.

Cons

  • Confusing and vague instructions.
  • Kills a limited variety of weeds.

Additional Specs

Type Pre-emergence
Lawn Size Up to 90,000 square feet when diluted
Weed Type Crabgrass, Poa Annua, Henbit, Knotweed, Chickweed, Spurge, Foxtail, Goosegrass
Visible Results 24-48 hours
Size 0.59 gallons

Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer

Best Post-Emergent Lawn Weed Killer

If you’ve left it too late and the weeds are already springing up, then you need a post-emergence weed killer. Look no further than the Compare-N-Save concentrate grass and weed killer.

It uses glyphosate, an effective post-emergent herbicide. It kills down to the root when applied properly. Make sure to spray the foliage but work to avoid spraying plants you don’t want to kill. The glyphosate is then absorbed through the foliage as it travels down the root to kill the plant.

You can expect to see results in two to four days, so have a little patience. Before long, your lawn should be looking a lot neater!

You can use this for killing weeds, grass, stumps, brush, and vines. It’s suitable across lawns, driveways, buildings, fences, and walkways.

This particular bottle makes up to 85 gallons of spray solution when diluted. That covers up to 25,000 square feet! So you’re definitely getting a lot for your money because this is a pretty budget-friendly option.

Pros

  • Rainproof in as little as two hours.
  • Kills over 175 different types of weeds.
  • It only takes one application to see results.
  • Can be used in a variety of locations.

Cons

  • It can take up to three weeks to see results.
  • It’s easy to kill other plants around it if you aren’t careful.

Additional Specs

Type Post-emergence
Lawn Size 25,000 square feet
Weed Type Over 175 different types
Visible Results 2-4 days, but can take up to three weeks
Size One gallon

Roundup Weed and Grass Killer

Most Effective Weed Killer for Lawns

We wouldn’t research all of these weed killers to suggest products that aren’t effective. But if you’re looking for something that’s well-reviewed by thousands of customers, check out Roundup Weed and Grass Killer.

This is a very popular brand that has tons of different weed killers. They know what they’re doing and how to create an effective product!

This specific product is for tough and stubborn weeds and grasses. The product targets the weed and grass at the root for maximum effectiveness.

You can use this on a variety of different sites. This includes tree rings, driveways, patios, vegetable gardens, flower beds, and more.

We love how quickly this works. That’s partly why we’re suggesting it under this category. It’s so effective, and it’s super fast-acting!

It’s rainproof in just 10 minutes which is super speedy. But you’ll also see visible results in three hours! So if patience isn’t something you have when it comes to killing weeds, this product might tick your boxes.

Pros

  • Starts to kill weeds and grass immediately — notice results in three hours.
  • Kills through leaf and stem so it won’t reach other plants.
  • Ready to use formula — no mixing required.
  • Suitable for a wide variety of sites.

Cons

  • Poor quality nozzle is hard to use.
  • Only covers 300 square feet.

Additional Specs

Type Post-emergence
Lawn Size 300 square feet
Weed Type Not specified, just says tough weed and grass
Visible Results Three hours
Size One gallon

Roundup Weed & Grass Killer II

Best Versatile Weed Killer for Lawns

This is a one-stop product with versatile uses. If weeds are causing you to tear your hair out, then this is a product that can alleviate some stress.

It’s not just a weed killer. It’s a weed killer and preventer. So it kills the weeds that have already grown but also prevents regrowth for up to four months. Therefore, this acts as both a pre- and post-emergence weed killer.

It contains a dual-action formula for this function to work. Plus, it kills the weeds at the root, rather than just what’s above ground.

Another versatile feature of this product is that you can use it in a variety of areas. You can use it in driveways, gravel areas, lawns, mulched beds, along fences, and more.

As well as being versatile, it’s also fast and easy to use. This comes with a connected pump so you can easily spray the area. It provides up to 10 minutes of continuous spray, so you can get the job done super quickly!

Pros

  • Rainproof within 10 minutes.
  • Results may be visible after only three hours.
  • Comes ready to use with a handy pump for easy application.
  • Kills weeds and grass as well as preventing regrowth for four months.

Cons

  • Contains hazardous ingredients, so use wisely with protective gear.
  • Some customers reported that it didn’t prevent regrowth for the advertised time.
  • Pump function could be more reliable.

Additional Specs

Type Pre- and post-emergence
Lawn Size 400 square feet
Weed Type Weed and grass
Visible Results Three hours
Size 1.33 gallons

Natural Armor Store 30% Garden Vinegar

Best Natural Weed Killer for Lawns

While many traditional weed killers are super effective, they often contain harsh ingredients. Many of us are now looking for green and eco-friendly alternatives. If you want to kill your weeds without hazardous chemicals, you may be interested in this vinegar-based weed killer.

Vinegar and water are the only ingredients in this solution. However, the vinegar is still stronger than the household vinegar you would use to clean your surfaces or clothes. So it’s a lot more effective! In fact, it’s six times stronger than the five percent stuff you use in the house.

While you can certainly use this to kill your weeds, you can also use it to clean indoors as well. It’s suitable for cleaning oven doors, drains, tub scum, calcium deposits, and more. Just be careful since it’s high in acid. You may want to wear protective equipment or dilute it a little.

As for killing weeds, customers are super impressed by how effectively and quickly this product killed the weeds around their homes. All without the use of harsh chemicals.

Pros

  • Customers saw results in as little as two hours.
  • Kills weeds without the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
  • Six times stronger than regular household vinegar.

Cons

  • No — or poorly functioning — sprayer included.
  • It doesn’t kill the roots of the weeds, just what’s above ground.

Additional Specs

Type Post-emergence
Lawn Size Not specified
Weed Type Most — non-selective weed and grass killer
Visible Results As little as two hours
Size One gallon

Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer

Best Long-Lasting Weed Killer for Lawns

Killing weeds is no fun task. The less you need to do it, the better. That’s where the Ortho GroundClear killer comes into the game.

This product can kill weeds and prevent any regrowth for up to one year on one application alone. Compared to other Ortho products, this is very generous! Others provide results for a few months at a time.

As well as lasting for a long time, you’ll also notice results pretty much immediately. It is a quick-acting formula that will start to kill weeds and grass within one hour of application. You may even be able to see results as soon as that.

Where can you apply this? Lawns, of course. But also rock and desert areas, under decks, sidewalks, fences, parking areas, and more!

We also love that this comes with an included Comfort Wand so that you can use it as a spray bottle. This provides a super easy application with minimal stress and hassle.

Pros

  • Kills weeds and grass at the root.
  • Rainproof and visible results within one hour.
  • Prevents vegetation for up to one year.
  • Suitable in a variety of areas.

Cons

  • 400 square feet coverage isn’t very generous.
  • You may need to apply double what the instructions suggest.
  • You have to use quite a lot of the product per application. Some customers suggest buying a few bottles.

Additional Specs

Type Pre and post-emergence
Lawn Size 400 square feet
Weed Type Actively growing weeds
Visible Results One hour
Size 1.33 gallons

Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer

Best Easy-to-Use Weed Killer for Lawns

You can’t get a much easier product to use for killing weeds than the Spectracide spray. It comes in a handy spray nozzle which you’ll be used to using in other areas around the home.

With the handy spray nozzle, you can easily target the exact area you want to kill. No mixing, diluting, or moving to another spray bottle. This comes all ready to use.

You can use this for killing both weeds and grasses. It’s suitable for lawns, flower beds, around fences, trees, on walkways, and more. It’s recommended to apply this during a warm, sunny day while the weeds are actively growing. This will provide the best results.

Still, it’s rainproof after 15 minutes, so if the skies unexpectedly break, don’t worry. After that, you may notice results in as little as three hours! After 24 hours, the weeds or grasses should be dead.

Keep In Mind

it kills it at the roots, so give it time to work and make its way deep into the ground.

Pros

  • You can plant new growth after one day of application.
  • Rainproof within 15 minutes.
  • Notice results in as little as three hours.
  • Handy spray bottle for easy application.

Cons

  • May take a few applications to kill the weeds.
  • Sprayer doesn’t have a stream function which some customers miss.

Additional Specs

Type Post-emergence
Lawn Size Not specified
Weed Type List included but not readily available
Visible Results Three hours
Size 0.25 gallons

V.P.G. Hi-Yield Selective Weed Killer

Best Selective Weed Killer for Lawns

If you’re after a selective weed killer, then this is one to consider. It will kill the weeds you want to get rid of while protecting your grass. So you can wave goodbye to the broadleaf plants that are ruining your lawn’s aesthetic while ensuring your grass stays lush, green, and full.

This is specifically designed for broadleaf and noxious plants. So, make sure the weeds you’re looking to kill fall under that category. Otherwise, you may not notice any results.

Some of the specific weeds that it can kill include nettles, alder, elderberry, honeysuckle, wild onion, and more. For a full list, check out the product packaging.

Once you’ve established that this will work for your weeds, make sure that it will work for your lawn. For general grassy lawns, this is suitable. And thankfully, it also works in a few other places. You can put this to the test at ponds, on turfgrass, in parks, drainage ditch banks, on-crop areas, pastures, and many more! It’s a very versatile product.

Take Note

For certain weeds, such as blue lettuce, bur ragweed, and Canadian thistle, you may have to apply the solution a few times.

Pros

  • Selective weed killer that protects grass.
  • Suitable for a wide variety of weeds, specifically broadleaf and noxious ones.
  • You can use it across many different sites.

Cons

  • Doesn’t ship to California.
  • Some customers found it not as effective as other products available.

Additional Specs

Type Post-emergence
Lawn Size Not specified
Weed Type Broadleaf and noxious weeds
Visible Results Can take a few weeks
Size 0.25 gallons

Spectracide Lawn Weed Killer

Best Weed Killer for Variety of Weeds

Spectracide is advertised as being able to kill the most amount of weeds. It can kill over 470 different types of weeds — more than any herbicide on this list! So if you have weeds in your lawn, there’s a good chance that this product will help you say goodbye.

This includes broadleaf and grassy weeds such as yellow nutsedge, crabgrass, chickweed, and more. The product label discloses the full list if you’re interested.

As well as being very versatile, it’s also super fast-acting. The solution uses contact translocation to work its way down into the weed roots. This is the most effective way to kill weeds. As for you, enjoy results in as little as five hours!

Don’t worry about your lawn becoming damaged either. This only kills the weeds listed, not the lawn itself. So you can rest easy at night about your lush green grass that you’ve worked so hard to maintain.

Pros

  • Kills over 470 different types of weeds.
  • Doesn’t kill grass, only weeds listed.
  • Kills weeds at the root, not just on the surface.
  • Results evident within five hours.

Cons

  • It may struggle to kill dandelions fully.
  • You may need to complete a few applications.

Additional Specs

Type Post-emergence
Lawn Size Not specified
Weed Type Over 470 different types
Visible Results 5 hours
Size One gallon

The Andersons Professional Surge Weed and Feed

Best Weed Killer for Large Lawns

If you have a vast lawn, it’s clever to shop accordingly, so you don’t run out before you’ve tackled all the pesky weeds. This Weed and Feed covers up to 16,000 square feet, so it should hopefully be enough for your lawn.

In fact, this is a great option for professional use, too. It will last you a while, and it’s a super effective product.

It’s actually a four-way herbicide. What that means is that it uses four active ingredients, rather than just one, for quicker and more effective results. So if you have customers that are stressed about their weeds, this might be a good product to try out.

It can actually kill more than 250 different types of weeds, making this a versatile choice. This includes dandelions, plantains, clovers, and more.

If you have a large lawn, then it’s likely you have a few different types of weeds kicking about. So it’s handy to choose a one-stop product that can help you out in all areas.

Pros

  • Suitable for application during spring and fall.
  • Contains quick and slow-releasing nitrogen to feed grass simultaneously.
  • Great coverage at 16,000 square feet.
  • Good choice for professional and personal use.

Cons

  • It’s not pet-friendly.
  • If you don’t have an irrigation system, application is quite tricky.
  • It might be a few weeks before you see results.

Additional Specs

Type Post-emergence
Lawn Size 16,000 square feet
Weed Type Over 250 different types
Visible Results Can take a few weeks
Size 40 pounds

Lawn Weed Killer Comparison Chart

Product Best Type Lawn Size (Square Feet) Weed Type Visible Results Size
Quali-Pro Prodiamine Pre-Emergent Lawn Weed Killer Pre-emergence 90,000 Crabgrass, Poa Annua, Henbit 24-48 hours 0.59 gal.
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Post-Emergent Lawn Weed Killer Post-emergence 25,000 Over 175 different types 2-4 days, but can take up 3 weeks 1 gallon
Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Most Effective Weed Killer Post-emergence 300 Tough weed & grass 3 hours 1 gallon
Roundup Weed & Grass Killer II Versatile Weed Killer Pre- & post-emergence 400 Weed & grass 3 hours 1.33 gal.
Natural Armor Store 30% Garden Natural Weed Killer Post-emergence N/A Non-selective weed & grass killer 2 hours 1 gallon
Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer Long-Lasting Weed Killer Pre & post-emergence 400 Actively growing weeds 1 hour 1.33 gal.
Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Easy-to-Use Weed Killer Post-emergence N/A List not readily available 3 hours 0.25 gal.
V.P.G. Hi-Yield Selective Weed Killer Selective Weed Killer Post-emergence N/A Broadleaf & noxious weeds Takes a few weeks 0.25 gal.
Spectracide Lawn Weed Killer Best for Variety of Weeds Post-emergence N/A Over 470 different types 5 hours 1 gallon
The Andersons Professional Best for Large Lawns Post-emergence 16,000 Over 250 different types Takes a few weeks 40 lbs

FAQs About Using Weed Killers

When Should I Apply Weed Killer to My Lawn?

Most products should be applied in the spring or summer, during a warm day, when weeds are actively growing. Always read the product instructions for specific advice according to the product you’re using.

What Happens If It Rains After You Spray Weeds?

If it rains before the product has become rainproof (this varies by product), the product may not be as effective (2). The rain washes away the weed killer from the lawn, and it can’t do its job as well.

The weed killer must be absorbed properly to do its job, so it’s a good idea to use the product on a day where it won’t rain.

Does Vinegar, Epsom Salt and Dawn Dish Soap Really Kill Weeds?

These natural DIY methods can kill weeds on the surface, but they don’t work to kill weeds at the roots. So while you can mix together this 3-ingredient solution, you can’t expect the weeds to stay away for very long.

Does Baking Soda Kill Weeds?

Baking soda can kill and eliminate weeds, but again, it’s not the best solution for keeping them away permanently.

However, baking soda does draw water from the plant cells since it’s an absorbent material, and the foliage becomes dry (3). This will cause weeds to dry. So baking soda is a suitable eco-friendly option for weed control.

Does Vinegar Kill Weeds Permanently?

Not necessarily. If it gets down to the roots, sure, it might be gone permanently. But acetic acid — what’s in vinegar — tends to kill the top growth rather than the roots (4). So your plants may make a comeback next year, or even sooner!

Tips for Using Weed Killers for Lawns

Wondering how to make the most of your weed killer? Besides reading the instructions for your specific product, here are some other handy tips that can make the product more effective:

  • Dilute according to the product advice. Stronger concentrations aren’t always better. If it doesn’t work the first time, reapply with the same concentration rather than increasing the concentration.
  • If you need to mix the product with water or surfactant, make sure to follow instructions properly and mix them together in the order instructed.
  • Clean the area and the tools you’re using thoroughly before and afterward to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Don’t use weed killers on windy days or near water. This can spread the product around, and it can get into waterways which can kill aquatic life.
  • Always use protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Keep children and pets away from the area. If the product isn’t pet-safe, keep the pets away until the packaging suggests.
  • Reserve products used for measuring and mixing the herbicides for outside use only. Do not bring them back into the kitchen.
  • Don’t dump the excess mixture into the sink or a trash can. Save it for later and use it only on your plants.
  • Aim to kill weeds on a warm day. This will ensure better and faster results.
  • Lightly dampen the weeds before applying weed killers, but not after. You should aim to keep the area dry for two days, if possible, after application.

Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!