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best-weed-killer-uk-review

The UK's bestWeed Killers2022 Review

What To Look For in a Weed Killer Product

You might want to consider the various types of weed killer before settling on one. If you’re targeting weeds on your lawn, the best option will be a selective weed killer that won’t harm the grass, only the weeds

Alternatively, residual weed killers will stop all plants from germinating, and non-selective weed killers will kill everything they encounter. Therefore, these are best used on patios or highly weed-ridden areas. 

A systemic or industrial weed killer will help tackle the hardiest weeds, such as brambles and briars, but be warned that they use pretty powerful chemicals.  

The best weed killers will show visible results within 1 – 2 days. My advice is to look for a large capacity that will treat a surface area of at least 100 m² as these will generally offer the best value for money. Prioritise weed killers that kill the entire plant, including the roots, to prevent the weed from resprouting. 

Finally, look out for a weed killer that comes with a pressure sprayer to make application easier. Some weed killers will need diluting which can be time consuming; however, they often work out cheaper.  

I have chosen Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer as my top recommendation, primarily for its effectiveness and ease of use. This non-selective weed killer has a 5 L capacity and doesn’t require dilution, spraying straight from the bottle. It will cover a 150 m² treatment area and destroy the weed’s entire root network. It has a ‘jet’ setting that is capable of reaching 120 cm, protecting your hands and targeting specific weeds.

See the reviews below for more information about this weed killer and other effective alternatives. 

See the best Weed Killers below

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Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Our score
  • Best For
  • Visible Results
  • Application Method
  • Capacity
  • Treatment Area
  • Kills The Root?
  • Suitable for Lawns?

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Read Our Weed Killer Reviews

B00187TTUQ
5017676017411,5060591334613,5559047858976
Best weed killer overall
Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer
Top Pick

Best weed killer overall

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Speed of Results
    Longevity
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.6
  • Visible Results
    1 - 2 days
  • Application Method
    Pressure sprayer
  • Capacity
    5 L
  • Treatment Area
    150 m²
  • Kills The Root?
    Yes
  • Suitable for Lawns?
    No
  • Our Review

    Getting rid of weeds can be a long, slow process, but it can be made a lot quicker by using Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer. There are a couple of reasons why this pump spray product speeds up the process of getting rid of weeds, and it comes down to both its effectiveness, and its straight-forward application style.

    Whilst some other weed killers require dilution, like the Weedol and SBK options featured on this page, Roundup gets sprayed straight from the bottle. It comes with a hose and nozzle already attached, so you just carry the 5 L container around whilst targeting weeds.

    It’s straight forward to apply, and there’s a built-in pump-powered pressure sprayer which helps the liquid come out as a stream as opposed to a dribble. When sufficiently pumped, it can project out to around 120 cm, keeping the product away from your hands.

    The nozzle can be twisted to select either a ‘jet’ or a mist; however, the mist is not particularly fine. The jet, on the other hand, can be used as expected to sufficiently target individual weeds.

    When it comes to product effectiveness, Roundup is pretty powerful, and moss, weeds, grass and flowers can all fall victim to this herbicide. However, occasionally, the odd weed may be impervious to its effects.

    It can take anywhere for 24 hours to one week to see weeds start to die, and some may require a second application.

    Overall, Roundup is a well-known name in the world of weed killers, and under certain conditions it can completely clear large patches of heavy-duty weeds. It’s best used in dry spells, so that rain can’t wash it away before it’s had a chance to work, and should be used with care around wildlife, pets and children due to its Glyphosate content.

    Pros

    • Results can be visible within 24 hours (although sometimes it can take a week)
    • Jet spray is capable of reaching around 120 cm which keeps product away from hands and can target specific weeds
    • Combination of hose, spray nozzle and jet mean it's not necessary to bend or stoop to apply product
    • Strong enough to work on ragwort and moss

    Cons

    • Can stain patios and driveways if used on or near to them
    • Pump needs to be primed around 25 times for a steady flow which can be hard work
    • 5 L container must be carried around which may get heavy for some people
    • Contains Glyphosate which can harm wildlife and should also not be used near food crops

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B00PLYYUF6
5023377008597,5057065347200,5023377001086
Best fast action weed killer
Resolva 24h Power Pump Weed Killer

Best fast action weed killer

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Speed of Results
    Longevity
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.6333333333333
  • Visible Results
    1 day
  • Application Method
    Sprayer
  • Capacity
    5 L
  • Treatment Area
    18.5 m²
  • Kills The Root?
    Yes
  • Suitable for Lawns?
    No
  • Our Review

    Not all weed killers successfully target the roots of weeds, which can result in them growing back. However, this Resolva 24h Weed Killer gets down into the roots of even well-established perennial weeds, stopping them from returning.

    It’s very effective, successfully killing off tough weeds like dandelions, and clearing larger weeded areas too, although the claims of ‘24-hour effectiveness’ are somewhat optimistic.

    Whilst Resolva is powerful, it often takes several days to see progress. Weeds are more likely to die after 4 – 7 days than 24 hours. However, after a week, once they’re dead, they’re generally dry enough to simply pull out of the ground.

    In terms of application, the container holds 5 L of liquid which is applied to weeds via a built-in spray nozzle. Pumping the handle creates pressure in the container, and when the button on the wand is pressed, the weed killer travels through the hose and out of the nozzle. The output can be adjusted, producing either a spray or a fine jet.

    It seems to work best in hot, dry weather, and certainly shouldn’t be applied when rain is forecast for the same day; the longer the product stays on the weeds, the more effective it will be.

    The general consensus seems to be that once weeds are gone, they don’t come back, making this one of the best weed killers for getting to the root of the problem (!) and eliminating the whole weed. It just might take a little while to work, and possibly require more than one application.

    Pros

    • Can tackle tough weeds like dandelions and stop them from coming back
    • Weeds often don't return, even four weeks later
    • Container is refillable, saving on the necessity to keep buying large plastic bottles
    • After approximately one week weeds can be dry enough to pull up
    • Pumps out liquid at a good rate that is neither wasteful nor too slow

    Cons

    • Best used on a dry, sunny day and shouldn't be used if rain is forecast on the same day
    • Often takes longer than the advertised 24 hours to work; a more accurate timeframe is 4 - 7 days
    • Will kill grass if used on patches of weeds on the lawn
    • Contains Glyphosate which can be harmful to wildlife and should not be used near food crops

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B00S1GMAU8
5010272092523
Best for large gardens
Weedol Liquid Lawn Weed Killer

Best for large gardens

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Speed of Results
    Longevity
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.5666666666667
  • Visible Results
    7 days
  • Application Method
    Sprayer or watering can
  • Capacity
    1 L
  • Treatment Area
    667 m²
  • Kills The Root?
    No
  • Suitable for Lawns?
    Yes
  • Our Review

    A lot of products kill grass as well as weeds; however, there are a few gems worth knowing about if you’re keen to clear your lawn without damaging it. This Weedol Lawn Weed Killer is successful at removing clover, dandelions and other unwanted culprits from lawns, without scorching or killing off the grass.

    It’s also one of the best weed killers available in terms of value for money, coming in a liquid concentrate that can be diluted to cover up to 667 m².

    As a result, slightly more preparation is required than with ready-to-go weed killers, and 15 ml of Weedol needs to be mixed with 1 L of water in a can with a fine rose before applying it to the lawn.

    However, the results are reliably positive, albeit slow, taking around a week for clover to start visibly yellowing and dying. There may still be the occasional dandelion that needs to be removed by hand after using Weedol, but it does a fairly comprehensive job of clearing the lawn.

    One disadvantage of using this product is that you have to be careful with disposing of your grass clippings; they should not be disposed of with council-collected green waste and need to be composted for at least 9 months before being suitable to use as mulch on the garden.

    Presumably this is as a result of the chemicals in the product.

    Generally speaking, if you’re after a way to get rid of a lot of weeds on your lawn, without damaging the grass, Weedol is a good option to go for. However, as with all chemical weed killers, it could have a negative effect on wildlife, and children and pets should be kept away from the treated area.

    Pros

    • Can clear lawns of clover and dandelions without damaging the grass
    • Good value for money, coming as a concentrated liquid that can cover a large area
    • Simple to dilute with water and apply using a watering can or sprayer
    • Weeds can be seen to start dying in approximately one week

    Cons

    • Only recommended for use once per year which may not be enough for tough weeds
    • Won’t kill moss so a separate moss killer may be required
    • Requires diluting, making it a slower process to apply than ready-to-go weed killers
    • Contains chemicals that can be harmful to wildlife
    • Relatively slow acting, taking anywhere from one week to one month to fully kill weeds

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B000TAW2Z2
5012042821180,5054480189064,5558756895791,5012042020019,5057065004707,5054203877308
Best at killing weed roots
Vitax SBK Brushwood Weed Killer

Best at killing weed roots

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Speed of Results
    Longevity
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.5
  • Visible Results
    1 - 2 days
  • Application Method
    Sprayer or watering can
  • Capacity
    1 L
  • Treatment Area
    332 m²
  • Kills The Root?
    Yes
  • Suitable for Lawns?
    No
  • Our Review

    If your weed problem is bigger than just dandelions and clovers, this Vitax SBK Brushwood Tough Weed Killer is a bit more heavy duty. It can see off hardier plants like brambles, nettles and thistles, and is one of the best weed killers for clearing overgrown, unruly spaces.

    Some preparation is required first, of both the product and the space, and it’s not as simple as just throwing SBK over an overgrown plot. However, if a brushcutter is used initially, and the plants are cut back to their stumps, it can have good results.

    Diluting the concentrated formula is also necessary before application, done by putting 30 ml of product into 6 L of water (if using a watering can and a fine rose). This produces enough solution to treat an area of 10 m².

    As well as tough weeds, SBK is also capable of getting rid of tree stumps; a diluted solution needs to be poured into drilled holes in the wood which turns the stump soft and mushy after about a month.

    Whilst not a particularly fast-acting product, compared to those which show results in a couple of days, results on weeds should start to be visible after a couple of weeks. It may take up to a month to notice brambles dying off, and a repeat application after six weeks might be required.

    Overall, this product offers quite good value for the price, with the 1 L bottle containing enough formula to cover up to 332 m² when diluted. It’s certainly one of the best weed killers for getting rid of tougher weeds and tree stumps, but it does need to be used with patience as the results aren’t instant.

    Pros

    • Can kill brambles and soften tree stumps to make them easier to remove
    • Offers good value for money as it comes as a concentrated liquid
    • A good choice for completely overgrown, unruly gardens
    • Can be applied using either a watering can or weed sprayer

    Cons

    • May require several applications to see desired effect
    • Results are slow and aren't always visible until around three weeks after application
    • Concentrated solution needs to be carefully diluted before use which takes time
    • Weeds often need to be cut back to stumps before application

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B007R4OWP6
5054404995214,5057065059882,4005240136188
Best long lasting product
Neudorff WeedFree Plus Weed Killer

Best long lasting product

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Speed of Results
    Longevity
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.4333333333333
  • Visible Results
    1 day
  • Application Method
    Sprayer
  • Capacity
    1.02 L
  • Treatment Area
    60 m²
  • Kills The Root?
    Yes
  • Suitable for Lawns?
    No
  • Our Review

    Whilst Neudorff might not be a particularly well-known company, their WeedFree Plus Concentrate is a powerful weed killer that works on relatively stubborn weeds.

    Whilst not all products can successfully get rid of pervasive weeds like horsetail, this WeedFree Plus can cause it to turn brown in a couple of days. Other, more common weeds, can show signs of wilting within a couple of hours.

    Diluted product can be sprayed or applied directly to weeds, so it’s possible to avoid getting weed killer on other plants. Also, it’s worth noting, that whilst WeedFree Plus does seem to attack weeds down to their roots, it does not remain in the soil. This means that weeds may grow again in the same place.

    On the plus side, the fact that product residue isn’t left in the ground means that the treated areas can be sown or planted again relatively soon after using the product.

    The bottle also automatically dispenses out measured amounts of the concentrated product so some thought is still required whilst making up the diluted formula, but it’s easier than a classic free-pour dispenser.

    It also doesn’t contain glyphosate, using a combination of pelargonic acid and maleic acid hydrazide instead which attack the leaves and roots of the weed. These chemicals are generally considered to be safer to use around food crops.

    WeedFree Plus Concentrate is quite an easy-to-use weed killer which can see some weeds wilting in a few hours after application. It can also take on tougher, pervasive weeds like horsetail, so it’s one of the best weed killers for tackling tough plants without using glyphosate.

    Pros

    • Effective at killing horsetail and other problematic weeds
    • Can cause leaves of common weeds to wilt within a few hours
    • Product does not remain in the soil which means reseeding and planting can be done soon after treatment
    • Does not contain glyphosate and is considered more environmentally friendly than products that do
    • Can be applied to body of specific weeds meaning that no other plants are touched by the product accidentally

    Cons

    • Weeds may grow again in the same area if seeds were left behind because treatment doesn't stay in soil
    • Not effective if it rains shortly after application
    • A couple of applications may be required before all weeds are killed

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How to Choose The Best Weed Killer

Ah dear, time to talk about every gardener’s worst nightmare…weeds!

I think we all agree that having the odd weed here and there is par for the course in the garden. However, these pesky plants can spread so rapidly, they easily have the potential to invade entire lawns and flowerbeds.

Forks, trowels and hoes are good to have in the armoury against weeds. But sometimes you need something more. An effective weed killer can help truly eliminate unwanted weeds, keeping your garden looking pristine. Plus, they’re not only useful in the battle against common weeds; certain weed killers can get rid of brambles, nettles and thistles as well.

The following information will help you work out how to find the best weed killer for your garden:

Different Varieties of Weed Killer

There are a range of weed killers on the market and they attack weeds in different ways:

  • Selective weed killers are usually safe to use on lawns as they won’t kill off the grass. They will only target and kill specific types of plans (eg. weeds). These are normally clearly sold as lawn treatments, so if it a weed killer doesn’t mention being safe for lawns, don’t use it on grass (unless you don’t mind the grass getting scalded).
  • Non-selective weed killers will kill any plant they come in contact with. These need to be applied with care, to make sure they don’t get on any grass or prized plants by accident.
  • Systemic or industrial weed killers have the strength to kill even resistant plants like brambles and briars. These products are absorbed into the plant itself, traveling down to the root, killing the plant from the inside out. They generally work slower than other weed killers, but can be more powerful.
  • Residual weed killers are applied to the soil and prevent seeds from germinating. Whilst they do stop weeds from growing, they tend to stop any other plants from germinating either. They are long lasting, remaining active in the ground for around 12 months.
  • Natural weed killers are made from natural ingredients. While these tend to be less effective than industrial strength weed killers, they are safer to use on your lawn and kinder to wildlife. More details can be found about the ingredients found in commercial natural weed killers in the “Ingredients in Weed Killers” section below.
    • Some people also choose to use homemade natural weed killers, using a solution of white vinegar, salt and liquid dish soap.

How Weed Killers Work

Weed killers use herbicides to control, limit and stop plant growth.

The actual chemicals vary depending on the type and brand of weed killer, but they tend to work in a combination of the following ways:

  • Stopping Photosynthesis. Plants need light in order to survive and create food, a process known as photosynthesis. Some weed killers work by stopping the plant’s ability to photosynthesise, starving the plant.
  • Stopping Protein Production. Protein production is another essential element of plant growth and health. Some weed killers stop plants from being able to produce proteins. Ultimately this causes the plant to die. Glyphosate works this way; however, do your research before using products which contain Glyphosate – is has been shown to have negative effects on health.
  • Introducing Different Hormones. The plant’s hormones dictate its growth. Some weed killers contain plant hormones that, when applied to the plant, confuse the plant’s growth system. It eventually becomes deformed and dies.

Ingredients in Weed Killers

Whilst there are a lot of ingredients that can go into weed killers, some are used more commonly than others.

The ingredients dictate what type of weed killer it is, and often a combination of ingredients are used.

Here we will look at the ingredients of weed killers, based on what type of weed killer they’re most commonly used in. There are selective weed killers (only targeting certain plans), non-selective weed killers (not fussy about what plants they kill) and organic weed killers (using ingredients from nature).

Be careful using weed killers around food plants. Many of them are unsafe for use around crops. There are some which are considered to be ok, but you should always do your own research on specific products and read the label carefully.

Ingredients Commonly Found in Selective Weed Killers

These ingredients are used because they specifically target certain types of plants. Therefore, they are often found in selective weed killers as they shouldn’t kill of grass or other vegetation that they’re not intended for.

Generally, a combination of these ingredients is used to make the weed killer more effective.

  • Fluroxypyr – specifically targets plants like cleavers and other similarly broad-leafed weeds.
  • Dicamba – effective against broadleaf weeds like milkweed, as well as woodier plants like brambles.
  • Mecoprop-p – good at controlling knotweed and clover as well as other broadleaf weeds before they have reached maturity.
  • Florasalum – effective against dandelions, white clover and daisies before the plants have reached maturity.
  • Clopyralid – combats tougher weeds like thistles and clovers
  • MCPA – stands for ‘2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid’ and is used to keep broadleaf weeds like thistle at bay.

Ingredients Commonly Found in Non-Selective Weed Killers

These ingredients are used because they will attack any type of plant. They may be used in different concentrations, with other ingredients as well.

  • Glyphosate – kills the majority of plants, including perennial grasses, so it’s not one that you want to accidentally get on the lawn or flowerbed. It is effective at killing well-established weeds because it works from inside the weed itself. After being absorbed by the leaves and stalk of the weed, glyphosate spreads to the rest of the plant, including the roots. In recent years, it’s developed a reputation for being dangerous; however the jury is out on a definitive conclusion. Some studies have found it to be carcinogenic, whilst others consider it safe for humans to use as long as the instructions are followed. Glyphosate is also thought to negatively affect wildlife such as bees and aquatic life. It can stay in the soil for a long time as well.
  • Flazasulfuron works on weeds when they first start growing, as well as when they are in their ‘adolescent’ stage. It’s absorbed by the roots and then works its way through the rest of the plant.

Ingredients Commonly Found in Organic Weed Killers

Weed killers with organic ingredients can still be strong, and contain harmful ingredients as well. However, organic ingredients are generally considered less damaging for the environment and wildlife.

  • Pelargonic acid is the most commonly found active ingredient in organic weed killers. It’s a naturally occurring acid in geraniums. This acid is generally considered effective at controlling the growth of smaller broadleaf weeds (under 15 cm tall).

Organic weed killers are less likely to stay in the soil, and may be suitable for use near food crop plants. Also, you can often plant into the soil at soon as the weeds are gone, instead of having to wait for the chemicals to leave the soil. (again, check the label of the specific weed killer you’re using).

General Weed Prevention

After treating your garden with weed killer, you’ll have a clean slate. But how can you stop the vicious cycle of weeds growing back?

Well, prevention is the best cure and there are several tactics you can use to keep weeds away. You might prefer some methods over others, or consider using a combination:

  • Prevent weed seeds from germinating by using a weed killer that stays in the soil. This will stop weeds from growing, but will also stop any other plants from germinating as well.
  • Consider mulching. A thick layer of organic mulch can prevent weeds from taking over your garden. This will help the soil retain moisture while also suppressing small weeds.
  • Use thick weed-control fabric/weed membrane. A weed-control fabric/weed membrane can prevent weeds from growing. It’s perfect to use under paths or decking. It allows water, nutrients and air to pass through, while stopping weeds growing. These are generally very easy to lay and offer a cost-effective way to prevent garden weeds. If you want more information about weed membranes and how they can help, check out this weed membrane page.
  • Don’t leave bare soil. Weeds thrive in open spaces in the soil. Plant vegetables, flowers and shrubs close together to minimise open areas where weeds can pop up.
  • Fertilise grass regularly. This can prevent new weeds from growing on the lawn. Fertilising can help grass build a healthy root system which can choke out weeds, whilst improving the condition and look of your lawn at the same time.

When to Apply Weed Killer

It’s important to note that the chemicals in most weed killers are not as effective during warmer temperatures.

This is not necessarily due to any shortcoming of the herbicide itself, but related to how plants absorb moisture. Most plants absorb more moisture in the cool temperatures of the early morning, but stop when temperatures rise in the afternoon.

So, for the best results, apply your weed killer early in the day.

All weed killers have the potential to be washed into other areas through rainwater runoff.

Spraying during windy conditions can also cause the chemicals to spread to areas that you did not intend to treat, killing plants that you wanted to save.

Therefore, you should avoid using weed killer if you know it’s going to rain or if it’s windy.

Other Methods for Removing Weeds

Using a chemical weed killer may not be everyone’s first choice. Sometimes, it becomes the only option, especially if you are up against an overgrown garden of brambles, or persistent weeds that won’t stop coming back.

However, there are some other weed-removal options that you can consider, or that you might want to use alongside chemical weed killers:

  • Some weeds can be killed by simply pouring hot water over them. This can be effective on patios and driveways but will scald grass if used on the lawn.
  • Use a long-handled weeding tool, or a weeding knife. This makes weeding more a manual process, but there are some effective tools that make the job less backbreaking. You might like to check out this page on weeding tools to find out more.
  • Purchase a weed burner to pinpoint certain weeds. These tools are designed to heat weeds and make their cells burst, causing them to die. They’re quite effective, and can stop bigger weeds like dandelions from growing back. If frazzling your weeds to death sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can check out our page on weed burners.
  • Regularly hoe any loose soil to combat small weeds. This can be both a preventative and offensive measure; it discourages weeds from taking root as well as disrupting the growth of new weeds.

Getting rid of weeds without chemicals can be hard work, but it can be done.

Keeping informed about the growing habits of different weeds can help, as you can try to dissuade certain species from growing in your garden.

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Weed Killer FAQs

How do weed killers work?

Weed killers use chemicals (herbicides) to control, limit and stop plant growth. The actual chemicals in the formulation can vary depending on the brand and the type of weed killer in question.

Selective weed killers contain ingredients that target certain types of weeds. These are often safe for use on grass as their ingredients won’t affect it.

Non-selective weed killers will damage any plants they come in contact with. They’re generally more powerful than selective weed killers, but you need to be careful with their application and make sure they don’t get onto any plants you don’t want them to.

You should always read the packaging before applying weed killers on or near to to edible plants that you intend to consume. Some weed killers must not be used near crops.

How do non-toxic weed killers work?

Non-toxic weed killers may contain active ingredients such as pelargonic acid and maleic acid hydrazide.

Pelargonic acid breaks down the cell walls of cells inside leaves. The cells then lose their structure and die. It will only work on the green parts of plants, and can therefore be used around trees and under hedges etc.

Maleic acid hydrazide is often used in crop management. It affects the plant’s root system and stops them from growing.

Can I make homemade weed killer?

If you’re not keen to buy a chemical weed killer, you can try making your own; however, even a homemade weed killer may scorch grass or cause an acid imbalance in the soil.

A popular homemade weed killer combines 5% white vinegar, salt and washing up liquid.

To make this weed killer:

Mix one litre of 5% white vinegar, three tablespoons of salt and three tablespoons of washing up liquid in a spray bottle. Once the salt is dissolved, apply to weeds.

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Weed Killers Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Weed Killer Prices Found Today

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