How to Remove Poison Oak and Ivy Oil from Clothing

How to Remove Poison Oak and Ivy Oil from ClothingMost outdoors types have had an encounter at some point with poison ivy or poison oak. The oil of these plants can get onto your skin and create an allergic reaction that causes rashes, swelling, bumps and blistering. When hiking or traveling through forest or along nature trails, it's wise to wear pants and long sleeves to prevent coming in contact with these plants. But even if you do, you'll still need to properly remove the oils from your clothes afterward.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Put your clothes through a heavy-duty wash with bleach detergent. If your clothing is not of much value, you can apply rubbing alcohol to the affected areas before washing. This will help break down the oil.
Step 2
Send the clothes through at least two wash cycles.
Step 3
Clean shoes with rubbing alcohol and a rag. Use latex gloves when scrubbing to prevent the oils from getting on your skin.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
If your clothes have had heavy contact with poison oak or ivy, or if they are expendable, it is recommended you throw them away rather than clean them and risk doing an incomplete job. Clean the clothes as soon as possible. The longer the oil has to set, the tougher it will be to get out.
 
If your clothes have had heavy contact with poison oak or ivy, or if they are expendable, it is recommended you throw them away rather than clean them and risk doing an incomplete job.
 
Clean the clothes as soon as possible. The longer the oil has to set, the tougher it will be to get out.
 
Do not stow away clothing hoping the oils' allergenic properties will degrade. The oil can remain reactive for years.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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