How to Use Salt Water and Soap to Kill Poison Ivy


Poison ivy plants can be difficult to spot until you've brushed up against one and found yourself with a rash. It is important to control poison ivy plants quickly so that they don't spread. Poison ivy usually has three leaves, with the middle leaflet being longer than the other two. By getting rid of poison ivy with salt water and soap, you can keep control of your garden or lawn so that the plant doesn't spread to other areas.

Step 1

Mix 3 lbs. of salt with 1 gallon of soapy water. The water should contain enough soap that you see bubbles forming.

Step 2

Put the mixture into a spray bottle. Make sure the sprayer on the bottle has a long enough spray stream so that you don't have to get too close to the poison ivy plant.

Step 3

Spray the mixture onto the poison ivy plant's leaves and stems. Saturate the plant so that no part stays untouched. This mixture will work to kill the poison ivy plant.

Step 4

Dig up the plant and its roots once it has died back and place them into a sealed bag. Wear protective gloves and clothing so that you don't get any part of the plant onto your skin.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not burn the poison ivy plant to get rid of it. Poison ivy plants contain an oil called urushiol which causes an allergic reaction in people that come in contact with it. Burning the plant releases the urushiol oil into the air where it can easily attach to your clothing or skin or even enter your lungs.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 pounds salt
  • Soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Protective gloves and clothing


  • Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac Information Center: Control
Keywords: poison ivy, urushiol oil, allergic rash poison ivy

About this Author

Diana Reid has been a freelance writer for more than five years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University and education in public health. She has been published in KidVisions, MicroHorror, "The Kids Ark Magazine," NACS, "Family Business Magazine" and has written hundreds of health articles for