How to Kill Poison Ivy Plants With Bleach


Poison ivy can be a dangerous plant to keep on your property, especially if you have small children. It contains an oil called urushiol. The oil causes allergic reactions in people. There are a few ways to get rid of poison ivy. If you are not keen on using the harsh chemicals found in herbicides, you can use household bleach to get rid of the poison ivy.

Step 1

Protect yourself by wearing clothing that will cover every inch of your skin. This should include a pair of gloves, mask and even eye goggles.

Step 2

Prune your poison ivy plant so that it is only 6 inches tall. This will get it ready for the bleach. Place the pruned pieces in a garbage bag.

Step 3

Pour bleach into a garden sprayer. There is no need to dilute it. Spray the bleach directly onto the poison ivy plant. Make sure the bleach does not get on any other plants in your yard. It is non-selective and will kill any kind of vegetation.

Step 4

Wait for the poison ivy plant to completely wither up. Then dig up the roots with a shovel. Make sure you are still wearing protective clothing when you dig up the dead poison ivy plant. It will still be poisonous.

Step 5

Place all of the pieces of your poison ivy plant in a garbage bag, and dispose of it properly. You will need to consult your township to find out its regulations.

Tips and Warnings

  • Immediately wash all of the protective clothing you wore when you killed the poison ivy plant. The oil will be on the clothing, and can be transferred to your skin if you touch it before it is washed. Make sure you use the hottest water possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective clothing
  • Pruning shears
  • Trash bags
  • Bleach
  • Garden sprayer
  • Shovel


  • Purdue University: Poison Ivy
  • Ohio State University: Poison Ivy Identification and Control
  • This Garden Is Illegal: The Seven Deadly Homemade Weed Killers
Keywords: poison ivy plants, controlling poison ivy, removing poison ivy

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.