How To Remove Poison Ivy From Shoes
So there you are enjoying a nice walk in your camping adventure when you accidentally step into a poison ivy plant. A lot of outdoor camping activities have to encounter poison ivy at a certain point in time, and yours would not be a rare case.
Poison ivy oil can cause an allergic reaction to the skin, causing blisters, bumps, swelling and rashes. It may not get into contact with your skin if you are wearing long pants and shoes, but you still need to get rid of this harmful oil from your shoes to avoid contamination.
Luckily, though, getting rid of poison ivy from shoes is fairly simple. In this post, we will teach you how to remove poison ivy from shoes. A few minutes of applying these tips and steps can save you days, weeks, or even months of unpleasantness. So read on!
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#1. Removing Poison Ivy From Shoes
1. Things To Do Before Washing Poison Ivy From Shoes
Any shoes that come into contact with poison ivy can spread the oil or urushiol to others. Thus, washing them is very important. But before you proceed with the washing procedure, you need to isolate the shoes and gather all the necessary materials.
Why Poison Ivy Causes Such Unpleasantness
Poison ivy produces a type of resin called urushiol. This oily, sticky, clear resin can generate an immune system response that results in rashes and other reactions that require treatment with a physician or over the counter drugs.
Urushiol can be found in every part of the plant all throughout the year and remains active even on dried and dead plants 2-5 years. Here’s more information about this oil.
Unwashed clothing can still deliver active urushiol a year or two later. Should your shoes be exposed to poison ivy, never brush it against other items or clothing and never touch it with your bare skin?
Should you use gloves in removing the poison ivy, never allow the exposed area to come in contact with your eyes or skin until they are washed.
Here’s a resource about how to determine if you’ve encountered the poison ivy plant – How to Identify Poison Ivy
Making The Necessary Preparations
Before washing poison ivy away from shoes, you need to remove your shoes and leave them outside and away from people. You don’t want to contaminate the interior of your home and spread oil to your floor and infect others.
When shoes come into contact with poison ivy, the oil that causes the skin irritation will remain on the surface of the footwear for a very long time. The oil should be removed before it can cause any more problems and contaminate more surfaces. To do this, you would need the following materials:
- Laundry detergent. To remove urushiol oils and clean your shoes from them, you would need to brush regularly and wash it with a laundry detergent with the highest water temperature recommended for shoes.
- Rubber gloves. The importance of using gloves cannot be emphasized enough. You need to protect your skin from the oil while washing it. Nothing can be more pre-requisite than that.
- Bristle Brush. You would need bristle brush in scrubbing the interior and exterior part of the shoes.
2. Washing Poison Ivy From Shoes
Removing poison ivy from shoes is easy and can help prevent contamination. Make sure you have followed the tips in the first section before proceeding with this stage. Once you have all the materials gathered and set, the whole process can be done in four steps:
- Preparing the shoes for washing
- Start Scrubbing
Preparing The Shoes For Washing
In washing poison ivy from shoes, you need to do this by hand washing the interior and exterior part of the shoes to remove the oils. Take the laces off and pull the tongue as far out as possible. Mixing a regular laundry detergent – at least 1/8 cup of detergent and 2 cups of hot water, should do the trick.
Scrub the interior and exterior part of the shoes using a soft bristle brush. Clean all surfaces but don’t get them soaking wet. You need to do this step smoothly and thoroughly since the residue of the oil may stick to the corners and seams.
Don’t forget to brush the laces as well, since they may have come into contact with the plant as well. Still, practice caution even when cleaning the laces because even a small amount of olive oil can still irritate your skin.
Then, using clean white cloth and clear water, rinse the interior and exterior areas of the shoes. Again, you need to do this step smoothly and thoroughly since the residue of the oil may still be left even after brushing it.
Put them on a cool, breezy spot away from direct exposure to heat or sunlight and leave them to dry. It may be several days before the shoes dry up. Treat the leather with a leather conditioner if it seems stiff.
Watch this for home treatments against poison ivy:
3. Additional Tips And Warnings
If you have somebody to help you with the laundry, then don’t forget to remind them that you bumped into poison ivy with your shoes. Teach them the tips mentioned here and remind them never to forget using gloves while doing the washing procedure. They will appreciate your concern!
Should your shoes came into contact with poison ivy, but you feel that they are already expendable, it is best to just throw them away instead of running the risk of cleaning them and doing an incomplete job. Any amount of residue left on your shoes could still irritate your skin.
Wash your shoes as soon as you can. The longer you leave the oil unwashed, the more difficult it will be to remove. Do not leave just leave your shoes stored somewhere hoping that the oil will degrade soon. The oil will not degrade for years without washing.
Do not load your shoes into the washing machine with the other clothes. There’s a chance the urushiol will remain in the water and contaminated other clothing before the rest of them gets flushed away.
As common the encounter with poison ivy oil may be, you now know how to deal with this toxic nuisance and avoiding direct physical contact while removing it from your shoes. You can now proceed with your camping adventures worrying less about these harmful plants.
Again, if you happen to step upon a poison ivy plant:
- Immediately wash your shoes with liquid detergent mixed with hot water. Do not forget to use rubber gloves in the process since urushiol will not be easily degraded upon contact with the cleaning mixture
- Wash the shoes separately from other items and the rest of the household to avoid further contamination.
We hope you learned a lot of this post. If you have questions and inquiries, feel free to write them down in the comments section.