How long before 30% Vinegar is safe for grazing animals?
May 14, 2022 2:41 PM   Subscribe

In bright sun, how long until vinegar sprayed on plants is no longer vinegar?

I need to kill some things with vinegar. Not a soap/salt/vinegar combo - just straight high octane vinegar in a sprayer.

How long before grazing animals, such as goats and donkeys, can go back into the area? How long before the plants are again safe to eat - assuming they would want to and who knows.

(Although they are generally not interested in dead plants, there are some spiky nettle-type things that they only eat when people have pulled them up and left them to dry in the sun.)
posted by Lesser Shrew to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
What pH is the vinegar?
posted by clew at 2:44 PM on May 14

If it’s regular kitchen vinegar, people eat leaves with vinegar on them all the time. I doubt it’d hurt a goat much.
posted by LizardBreath at 2:47 PM on May 14

Response by poster: This stuff: "30% Cleaning Vinegar Concentrate is 6X more powerful than standard vinegar for ultra cleaning and horticultural power." They sell it in garden and hardware stores, not the grocery store.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 3:08 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Acetic acid is quite volatile—it will evaporate about as quickly as water. So unless you’re saturating the soil with it, it will be gone in a few minutes in the hot sun.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:15 PM on May 14 [6 favorites]

Would your set up allow you to use the vinegar, allow it to take effect and then spray with water to dilute any vinegar residue?
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:15 PM on May 14

Small amounts of acetic acid develop naturally if fruit gets left lying around (I’m picturing mushy fallen apples or grapes rotting and turning themselves into weak moonshine) so I would think grazing animals would be pretty ok with it in moderate amounts... could it work to rinse the plants well with a hose after the appropriate time period of vinegar soaking?
posted by nouvelle-personne at 4:03 PM on May 14

If it were me, I'd let it dry, then spray everything with water to rinse the leaves. OR I'd find an actual vet to ask - too much acid will mess with your digestion. Isn't that why some oxalis is risky to let ruminants graze?

Yes, acetic acid is volatile; dried vinegar crystals are a thing you can buy, though.

I'm not saying I know what I'm talking about -- I totally don't. Just... get an opinion you can trust more than mine.
posted by amtho at 6:15 PM on May 14

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