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For years I have used sodium chlorate to spray on gravel to keep it clear, but I have now finished a 25kg tub I have had for years, now it is not available, what can I get to do just as good a job for about the same price? Also that will last for months as the chlorate did?



Hi, if only there was such a thing, I don't know of anything that will do the same job for the same price, or last as long, what I would suggest is something like "pathclear" which will kill the weeds for a short time, but nowhere near as long as sodium chlorate, and is a lot more expensive, Derek.

5 Sep, 2013


Hi Phil, I agree, It's a shame that sodium chlorate has been banned, I always used it and it was the best and cheapest weed control.

Due to EU legislation it was banned in 2009 I believe, but haven't been able to confirm this, that it was banned because it can be used as an oxidizer to make explosives. I knew about this years ago when I served in the army, but sodium chlorate that was sold for commercial use contained a fire suppressant, so I think that this was an over reaction if that's the reason why they banned it. But that's the way those people work in Brussels... Unelected MEP's making laws that all of us in the EU must abide buy.

I managed to snaffle a bag of sodium chlorate from a friend who had some in in shed and I use it sparingly only when necessary. I have now heard that under the same EU regulations, all Sodium chlorate that was bought after the ban must be used by 2010. So I'm breaking the law now ;o(

I'm afraid that the only weed killers available now are the fancy overpriced brands that are not as good as the pure chemical sodium chlorate, but alas, isn't available any more.

5 Sep, 2013


A friend who works for a Council Parks dept says they use Ground Clear - it is glyphosate based. It is available retail ( probably find it on Amazon or local DIY/garden stores). Has something else in it besides glyphosate which makes it longer lasting but it is intended for areas which are not being planted- presumably that means be careful around the borders of paving and planting.

I think you may find that SC is banned in Europe because it is extremely toxic and the residue in/on food crops can kill people rather unpleasantly. The explosive qualities weren't the consideration because, let's face it, these days, someone serious about blowing you up is far more likely to nip round to see their local arms dealer than down to the garden centre.

5 Sep, 2013


go on the internet and enter homemade weedkillers . you will get info on how to make your own cheap weed killers there mainly. vinegar/washing up liquid and salt, all cheap items. even old beer or wine. though it would be a waste to use either (know what i mean).

6 Sep, 2013


thanks for the replies, a friend at work reccomends a mixture of vinegar, salt, white spirit, wash up liquid, apperently the smell of the white spirit keeps the dogs away,

I will try a few mixtures


6 Sep, 2013


Hi, I also think it was a knee jerk reaction to 9/11, they couldn't ban things quick enough at the time, especially liquids on planes, Derek

7 Sep, 2013


I agree Derek. I still insist that the ban was due to over reaction concerning terrorism and not because it's a danger to the environment or it can kill people. There are many chemicals in use that are far more dangerous to the environment and people than Sodium Chlorate. Cyanide, Bleach, Battery Acid are just a few of them. But they don't ban them. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned 9/11, as we seem to pander to certain countries that pull our strings.

7 Sep, 2013


Sorry guys but 9/11 was 2001. Sodium Chlorate was banned in 2009, with six months to use up stocks.
Lindane was banned around the same time (after years of campaigns against the stuff) because of it's effects on humans. Just as agent-orange and DDT were banned before.

7 Sep, 2013

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