How to Kill Poison Ivy With Salt & Detergent

Poison ivy plants thrive in woodlands.
Poison ivy plants thrive in woodlands. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Distinguished by its white waxy berries and compound leaves, poison ivy takes the form of ground cover, shrubs and climbing vines. Poison ivy contains urushiol, an oily toxin present throughout the entire plant. Exposure to poison ivy causes susceptible people to develop an itchy, irritating skin rash consisting of clear blisters. Since poison ivy is rather vexatious, homeowners may decide to kill the plant completely. Fortunately, it is easy to make a homemade solution of salt, detergent and vinegar to kill poison ivy.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan
  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • Spoon
  • 1 cup salt
  • Spoon
  • Stove
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Spray bottle

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Fill a saucepan with 1 gallon of white vinegar. Mix 1 cup of salt into the vinegar.

Heat the solution on the stove until the salt thoroughly dissolves. Let the ivy-killing solution cool for approximately 30 minutes.

Pour eight drops of liquid dish detergent into the solution. Mix the solution until the detergent is evenly distributed throughout.

Pour the ivy-killing solution into a spray bottle. Squirt the entire poison ivy plant, including the leaves and stems, liberally with the solution.

Wait for the poison ivy to die, which may take several days. Reapply the solution if it rains before the poison ivy dies.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never touch poison ivy, as you may develop a blistery rash from contact with the plant.
  • All vegetation is susceptible to the solution, so spray only the poison ivy plant.


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