How To Use Sodium Chlorate, Weed Killer?

About sodium chlorate

Sodium chlorate is nothing but a kind of inorganic sodium salt; it looks exactly like salt, consisting of chlorate as a counter ion. Its a combination of sodium salt and chlorate salt.

Sodium chlorate is used in manufacturing factories, like preparation of dyes, explosives, matches, etc.

Sodium chlorate as an oxidizing agent is used for bleaching paper and also as a weedkiller.

The chemical formula for sodium chlorate is NaClO3.
Sodium chlorate looks like a white crystalline powder, which is readily soluble in water.

Sodium chlorate decomposes only above 300 °C to release oxygen and leaves sodium chloride.

Mainly sodium chloride is used in the application of bleaching pulp to produce high brightness in the paper. Several hundred million tons of sodium chlorate manufacture annually.

Moreover, sodium chlorate is not approved as a weedkiller because a safe level should be initiated to use as a weedkiller.

A safe level of use has not been shown since banned in 2010 for following concerns that a chemical has not discriminated against between plants and weeds.

Mixing of sodium chlorate as a weedkiller

Sodium chlorate is non-selectively toxic to all kinds of vegetative material.

When sodium chlorate is sprayed over weeds, it effectively kills all types of weeds that it contacts. It absorbs readily through roots as well as leaves.

When the lawn contains weeds, it is sprayed with a sodium chlorate solution in the form of a spray made up of 1 to 1 1/2 \l/2 pounds dissolved in 5 to 10 gal-ions of water.

After mixing the solution, strain the undissolved particles, pour it in a spray bottle, and apply it to 1000 square foot areas.


After it has sprayed over weeds, sodium chlorate is rapidly absorbed by roots and leaves; sodium chlorate as a weed killer used through the foliar spray.

Chlorate ions present in sodium chlorate penetrate through the weeds cuticle cause cells’ to die.

When sodium chlorate is applied over the soil, it is absorbed through roots and translocated to xylem to living tissue in weeds.

High oxidizing capacity is found in chlorate ions; thus, only it causes toxicity to be significant.

Injury in weeds leaves may cause ethylene, and is known as leaf abscission.

Moreover, chlorate affected weeds are more susceptible to frost. Sodium chlorate is 30-50 times more noxious to weeds than sodium chloride.


In every weed killer application, timing and season make a significant difference in the effective result. The result always varies with many factors.

In the summer season, sodium chlorate as a weed killer works excellent to kill desirable weeds and, at the same time, should avoid a large percentage of grass to be restored.

Proved to be more successful only in the late afternoon. Because sodium chlorate doesn’t get evaporated at that time moreover, while applying sodium chlorate, moisture should be present for easy absorption.

So during damp foliage is another excellent condition which assures extraordinary success.

There is another method called light application. But it is less harmful to weeds; some weeds may die. Some change its condition into a little drier.

Still, it recovers soon after a week or ten days of application. Thus it is only a temporary application method.

Effect on soil

Even though it dramatically kills weeds, it negatively affects plant growth and crop yields.

Thus sodium present in sodium chlorate adversely impacts soil structure, and it makes plant growth difficult.

Thus, a high sodium level in the soil causes individual sand, clay, and silt particles to be separated and not join together into larger particles.

This separation makes the soil stiffer and doesn’t allow any fluid to pass through.

Effect on humans

Sodium chlorate is very dangerous for the human kind; it causes irritation in the eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, pallor, shortness of breath, unconsciousness, nausea, and vomiting.

It may affect blood cells and damage the kidney. While using sodium chlorate as a weedkiller, safety precaution should be followed.

It even causes fire when it comes in contact with materials like leather, cloth, wood, and paper.


Follow these simple, straightforward rules to eliminate danger caused by sodium chlorate as a weedkiller,

Before applying sodium chlorate, wear gloves, masks, and rubber boots after application, gently rinse all these with more water. And also, wash the equipment properly.

Sodium chlorate should only be kept in a steel container; if you transfer it to any plastic-like container. It indeed starts to melt, so it is hazardous to shift. Better control in steel containers to avoid fires and to dissolve.

If you find any dry leaves or paper, make it wet because it can quickly fire those materials.

Use 5 to 7 gallons of sodium chlorate solution on 1000 square feet.


Sodium chlorate is a mixture of sodium and chlorate ions in high concentrations. These ions displace other minerals and nutrients in the soil, which results in less soil quality.

Meanwhile, compaction increases during aeration and drainage decrease. Thus result in reduced weed growth.

When sodium chlorate affects soil, try to use gypsum or lime to leach chemicals from the ground. In contrast, after using sodium chlorate as a weedkiller, better leach the surface for further planting.

If you don’t want to plant anything on that surface, you need not want to leach the ground.

Please make use of sodium chlorate as a weedkiller and enjoy no weed at your lawn.

But be extra careful while using because this weedkiller is not like other commonly found weed killers on the market.

This weed killer causes severe effects, so use it safely.