How to Clean Upholstered Fabric From Poison Oak

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Poison oak is a toxic plant that produces urushiol oil, which can give those who come into contact with it a serious rash. The rash can last for up to two weeks and may result in open sores, blisters, pain and severe itching treatable only with prescription-strength topical steroids. Contact with upholstered fabric that has urushiol oil on it can also result in a reaction, so it is imperative to treat the fabric to remove the oil. Oil can spread to fabric that is touched by contaminated skin, clothes or tools. Pet fur can also transmit the oil, which can stay 100 percent potent for several years.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Bucket
  • Urushiol oil remover
  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Put on protective gloves and put the upholstered fabric in a bucket.

  • Pour urushiol oil remover directly onto the fabric until it is soaking wet. Urushiol oil remover is a liquid product that cleanses oil from a surface. There are several brands, most of which are available from your local hardware store. Follow the package directions to determine the amount to use, which varies by brand.

  • Let the fabric soak for five minutes. If the fabric is on a piece of furniture and you cannot remove it, pour the urushiol oil remover directly onto the contaminated spot and let it soak for the same amount of time.

  • Put the fabric in the washer and wash it with laundry detergent as you normally would. Do not put any other articles in the washer. If you are treating a piece of furniture or other item that cannot go in the washer, rinse out the urushiol oil remover with a garden hose.

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