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poison ivy--need to wash tools

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jeffyr, Apr 25, 2001.

  1. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    Hey everybody,

    I suited up yesterday and removed a fenceful of poison ivy. I made it through unscathed, but I don't know what to clean my hand tools with. I haven't touched them since I took off the rubber gloves and workgloves. I guess I should also clean the green barrellas well.

    Does anybody know what to clean the tools with to remove the oil from poison ivy ?

  2. RMDoyon

    RMDoyon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    I have a wicked reaction to poison ivy anytime I'm downwind of it...lasts for weeks at a time.
    All the reading I've done states that the best way to rinse off the oil is with water..that's right WATER as soon as you've come into contact with the offending plant.

    Of course I'm sure soap can't hurt also.
  3. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Try a bleach mix to clean your tools...that's what I pour into blisters when I rarely get a reaction to poision ivy. It dries them right out. Yes...it burns, but it dries everything up very quickly!
  4. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    Soap and water will get oil off of about anything, so give that a try. I guess I'm lucky, I can work with poison ivy all day and it won't bother me. We bought a cabin on a lake in Southern Illinois that was loaded with this stuff. It was growing up trees and I worked all day one weekend removing all of it. No problems at all, but I do know guys that can't even get close to it.
  5. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    I read that if you apply a solution of epsom salt and water (if you get the rash) several times a day it will help dry it out. The bleach thing doesn't sound too appealing to me. Luckily no outbreak and it's been a day already.

  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    i think some just develope a resistance to it, as i got it bad as a kid but now it doesnt bother me.
    ive also gotten work because i was the only one folks could find that would do it.jeffri i hope you dont get it as it takes a while to develope.
  7. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    how long Awm ?
  8. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Soap & Water removes the oil. Remember, there are many ways to be exposed to the plant oil, this includes when the plant is being burned, the oil becomes airborn and can even be inhaled.

    Sorry I don't have time to type all the info, just remember to wash all clothing that may have been exposed, shoes, and such. Many people wash their hands, then go untie their shoes and get it on their hands again. Here is a good site:



  9. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 822

    I found that website last summer while scratching and scratching and scratching.................

    Some really great info and myths

    Only 1 nanogram (billionth of a gram) needed to cause rash

    Average is 100 nanograms for most people

    1/4 ounce of urushiol is all that is needed to cause a rash in every person on earth

    500 people could itch from the amount covering the head of a pin

    Specimens of urushiol several centuries old have found to cause dermatitis in sensitive people.

    1 to 5 years is normal for urushiol oil to stay active on any surface including dead plants

    Derived from urushi, Japanese name for lacquer

    Most common allergy in the country claiming half the population

    Sensitivity to urushiol can develop at any time

    Solutions or cures are those that annihilate urushiol

    Everyone appears to react slightly different to all the remedies.

    Covered by workers compensation in some states (CA, for example)

    First published records of poison ivy in North America date back to 1600s

    Poison Ivy coined by Captain John Smith in 1609

    Western Poison Oak discovered by David Douglas (1799-1834) on Vancouver Island. Douglas fir also named after him.


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