The Other I

August 31, 2011

Unbiased consumer report

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 9:22 pm

Here it is:  my objective research report I promised on a sample of 19 weeds which recently established squatters’ rights on our brick drive and side walks.

Method: Six weeds were assigned randomly  (ie: arbitrarily) to one of three groups:

  • the Boiling Water group
  • the Bleach group
  • the PathClear group
  • one weed was assigned to the Control group because I hadn’t noticed it earlier.
Treatment:  Water was boiled in the tea kettle and about a cup poured directly onto each weed in Group I .  Undiluted thick household bleach was sprayed onto each weed in Group II.  Each weed in Group III was treated with Path Clear, a powder purchased at the local garden center which was dissolved in water and then sprayed with a sprinkling can onto the weeds.  Weed in Group IV was ignored.

Results:  All the weeds in Groups I, II, and III wilted and died within 24 hours.

Effort and Expense:  Spraying with household bleach was by far the fastest and easiest method.  It was also probably not more expensive than boiling water which used electricity.  Boiling the water was also a much bigger fiddle than bleach.  PathClear was both the most work and most expensive.  It did promise to keep the sprayed path weed-free for several months, but has failed to do so.

Conclusion:  Go for the bleach spray unless you have a very large drive and walk way and millions of weeds.  Under those conditions, I suggest asking husband or other sturdy help to take over the demolition job.  A power washer is known to be effective, if quite messy.  And very wet.

I do know this is a brilliant and hugely valuable piece of research.  But somehow I don’t think the big research journals will be interested.  No doubt, PathClear would be equally unresponsive for requests for publication.

I think I’ll make inquiries to Clorox Bleach.  I could be at the start of a whole new research career.



  1. This has confirmed my less-disciplined findings. There is another way: a gas-powered burner to scorch (not incinerate) the weeds. No chemical intrusion to the ground, and if a sensible generic brand is bought (not Parasene) the cost is lower than buying weedkiller – though not as cheap as own-brand bleach. Can be time consuming too.


    Comment by Ken Davidson — August 18, 2013 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

    • Ah, I hadn’t thought of scorching! Great idea. As you say, no chemical intrusion to the ground. And I would think in some situations, it would be easier and faster than my bleach attack.

      Thank you for sharing.


      Comment by theotheri — August 18, 2013 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

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