Poison Ivy Wash

Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭
edited June 2021 in General Health

For the third time in less than 7 days I have managed to bump into poison ivy. My go to has been a commercial Ivy Wash from Technu that contains chemicals I cannot pronounce. I know soap and water works but I carry the wash with me when I am out and about so that I can get the oils off fast. Is there an herbal wash that is stable that I could use instead? What does anyone else do?


  • shepherd-tish
    shepherd-tish Posts: 12 ✭✭✭

    Have you tried rubbing alcohol? It is supposed to neutralize the oil. My mother used to put bleach on her skin to kill poison ivy... but I think that's not such a good idea. =:-O I'd try the rubbing alcohol, or maybe apple cider vinegar.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    @Desiree A mash of jewelweed applied to the area is considered a go-to remedy for poison ivy by many. I have no experience with it as jewelweed doesn't grow in my area. I would use plantain cause it grows abundantly in my area.

    Susun Weed has other suggestions at: http://www.wisewomanmentor.com/wise-woman-ezine/4073704 For her jewlweed spray, if jewelweed doesn't grow in your area, you could substitute something that does such as plantain, yarrow, grindelia or kinnikinnick (this plant is known by many names including uva ursi, bearberry, manzanita. Latin Arctostaphylos uva ursi), based on what you have growing in your area.

    You could also try taking the homeopathic remedy Rhus-tox. It is a fairly common remedy and should be available at most health food stores.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 994 ✭✭✭✭

    A friend of mine recently got a bad case of poison ivy and he used dawn dishwashing soap and it worked really well. So if you make your own or buy an organic dishwashing soap that is a good degreaser that may be a good portable option to try.

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    torey her idea for the poison ivy spray was great! I may have to try that!

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    @torey Is there a major difference by using dried jewelweed if fresh is not available? I do have plantain and yarrow, but not the others.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    @Desiree I'm not sure about that as I don't know the plant myself. From what I understand it is the fresh plant used to make a mash in the field. The spray is made by simmering the fresh jewelweed in witch hazel but maybe you could use it dried. Really not sure. Says to use all parts of the plant including the root for the spray, so your dried jewelweed would have to contain all parts of the plant.

    Maybe there is someone out there who has used jewelweed and could help out with this?

    I would try yarrow and/or plantain see how that works. As herbalists, we sometimes have to use what we have been given; what is at hand.

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    How do I eradicate poison ivy from my garden? Seems the birds drop seeds here and there. I do not want to touch it at all.

  • Deb113
    Deb113 Posts: 42 ✭✭✭

    I have also heard Dawn, the detergent in it cuts the oil, and if they use it on wildlife, while not natural is better than ingredients you cannot pronounce.

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    @MissPatricia I gave up on the concept of total eradication of poison ivy. I don't think it is possible. I have learned to make peace with it in a way. I will remove it when it is in a place that I don't want it to be in when I find it. There are safe ways to kill or remove it carefully. I have seen people kill trees and other good plants trying to kill it with poisons, and I just don't want that. I did have to use a hazmat suit once when it got carried away growing in one of my pines, but that was to protect me from the pine needles too. It was a pit comical.

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭


    I feel your pain. I am so sensitive to the PI. This is what works for me. :)

    I dig up the ivy where I see it around the garden. I use plastic bags (grocery store), double bag it and toss into trash.

    Washing with dawn dish soap immediately afterwards helps.

    Tecnu, works and it works even after washing 8 hours after exposure.

    Jewelweed is best used fresh. I generally use just the aerial portion of the plants. I like to leave the roots of medicinal plants to grow more plants.

    Rubbing alcohol and vinegar, burn. If the rash has begun, it's too late for me to use these products.

    If I feel the need to spray the PI, then I use vinegar/dash of soap and spray it on sunny non-windy days.

    I've heard charcoal soap helps. Next time I make bar soap, I'm making to make a bunch. Give it to friends for experimenting.

    Great suggestions. Love the spray idea. I am totally making this and keeping it with me in the field. I love the summer, but not the ivy or skeeters.

  • burekcrew86
    burekcrew86 Posts: 248 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    I am extremely sensitive to Poison ivy and I swear by this essential oil spray. It stings at first but it takes the itch away and heals it up pretty quick.

    1 T. Warm water

    1/2 tsp. Sea salt

    1 T. Apple cider vinegar with the mother

    1 drop tea tree essential oil

    1 drop lavender eo

    1 drop Roman chamomile eo

    1 drop eucalyptus eo

    1 drop peppermint eo

    Mix the water and apple cider vinegar; add the sea salt until dissolved. Add essential oils and mix well. Store in glass spray bottle. Spray the infected area as needed.

    I usually double this recipe. Works like a charm every time.

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    I did order some Tecnu Medicated Anti-Itch Spray to use after the fact, and I chose it because it's ingredients are Grindelia robusta (gum weed) and Calendula. I am pleased with how it works so far.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    There are a few threads about using jewelweed and also sweet fern on the forum, easily searchable. Both are good remedies. Sweet fern is supposed to be even better than jewelweed once the rash appears.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    poison ivy grows in areas that there is a lack of nitrogen. If you can add nitorgen to ther area in question it will help. If in the garden sprinkle nighron on the leaves or grow beans by it and toss the bean plants

    Poison ivy does not like fertilizer so in the fall load the poison ivy plant down with fresh manure.

    They used to pull it every fall around here but they have stopped that. I now use goats to get rid of it in my forest and nitrogen.

    I am highly allergic to poison ivy after being exposed to it too much so I do ther best I can to get rid of it

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    The laundry bar soap- Fels naptha is hands down the best preventative we have ever found. My husband used to get poison ivy all the time. Now when he knows he's been exposed he washes with it in the shower. No poison ivy. It's amazing and very inexpensive.

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    @karenjanicki I am glad you mentioned Fels naptha soap, I have some but couldn't remember why I bought it! I will try to remember this time!

    @Monek Marie I did not know about the lack of nitrogen being inviting to Poison Ivy. I find a lot of it growing under/around my pines or in the bed with Hosta's. I am going to check their needs and then try out some of your suggestions.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    It's wonderful stuff. My husband used to get poison ivy all the time until someone recommended it.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My back of my right hand is covered with poison ivy. Lucky me! I think my one goat was in a patch and I picked it up from her. Luckily its just the back of the hand and a bit of the wrist. When I noticed it I douced it down with hydrogen peroxide and it was much better in an hour or two. I had a couple fresh bubbles pop up last nighyt and applied more hydrogen oxide. They are gone today and I have not had any itching.

    My hand looks awful but it will be cleared up in a few days.

    I really really dislike poison ivy

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MissPatricia I don't know of a purely natural/organic way to eradicate poison ivy. The only method that I can confirm definitely works is Roundup sprayed on the leaves.

    About three yards and 20 years back, my yard had a small patch of poison ivy at the base of a tree. I did not have any food crops growing nearby.

    I bought some Roundup, sprayed it carefully on the leaves of the poison ivy only, and it died quickly and never returned.

    I would not recommend Roundup anywhere near your food garden, but if you need to get rid of a patch on a one-time basis, consider it. Don't use it on a regular basis, over a large area, or near the food garden.

    I'm not a fan of using nasty chemicals on plants, but sometimes it's the right thing to do. Not every yard problem has a natural solution. :-(

  • Granny Marie
    Granny Marie Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    Jewelweed really does work but I can't find it on my land. I found some on Ebay. It comes as a soap and as a salve. I've had great luck with them.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My husband runs into poison ivy on a regular basis. Plantain works really well for him and grows just about everywhere in our area.

    I did not know about the nitrogen either. I have a neighbor that has been fighting with it for years. I will pass the word on to her.