Q. My daughter had poison ivy last week and I am worried that the clothes she wore will cause her to relapse. Is there anything I can do to be sure she won’t get it again from her clothes?
A. Both dry cleaning and laundering are acceptable cleaning methods for removing poison ivy from clothing. Laundering is preferred because of the multiple flushes used in this process. Also, it is best to wear gloves and wash the contaminated clothing separately. Casual contact with your daughter’s clothing should be okay, but be sure to wash any areas that contact the clothing with soap and water. This precaution will usually prevent a rash from appearing.
Garments must contain sap from the plant to transmit these chemical contaminants, and not all people are sensitive to them. Remember to wash them separately so the poison won’t be able to spread to other garments.