How to Kill Poison Ivy

How to kill poison ivy

Every once in awhile one of my readers will email me a great tip.  I love it because it’s so fun learning new tips and trick for taking care of my home!

I’m not sure if you’re aware of my hatred of ivy, I think it’s pretty, but not when it has taken over an entire backyard!  You may have seen this post from last year of my backyard progress, if you did then you understand why I dislike ivy so much.  It’s for this reason that I loved this tip from Barbara for how to kill poison ivy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

* Combine 1 gallon white vinegar with 1 cup salt and 2 TBSP blue dawn dish soap.

* Once all the ingredients have been mixed well pour mixture into a spray bottle.

* Spray poison ivy.  Be careful not to get it on your other plants because this mixture will kill anything you spray it on! 

There you have it, the simple solution for how to kill poison ivy!  If you want to have the greatest {deadly} effect it is best to spray the ivy during the dry seasons so it doesn’t get washed off by the rain.

About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. 1

    Thanks for posting this. We’re being taken over by poison ivy, and I swear if my husband even LOOKS at poison ivy he breaks out in a horrible, itchy rash. We’ll give this a try!

  2. 3

    You say it will kill other plants too? I might want to do that!!! I have mint in over 90% of my flowerbeds. A little is good….a lot is not. The corner of the yard has a nice patch of poison ivy so we’ll be trying this soon. Thanks!
    crazy4boys recently posted..Warm Months MenuMy Profile

  3. 5
    Anne Marie says:

    Wow this is a great tip – thanks for sharing.

  4. 6

    I think this will work fairly well as a general herbicide, but I’d hesitate to use it as a final cure for poison ivy. The reason is that the plant still has to be removed. Even when dead, it still has the poisonous sap that causes the itching. The herbicide won’t neutralize the “poison.” You need to remove the entire plant, roots and all, and dispose of it carefully. The best way is to cover yourself carefully with long pants and long sleeves, perhaps even a clay type blocking lotion if you’re very sensitive, or there are many plants. You can do this work after a heavy rain, or use a hose to saturate the ground where the roots are. Then slowly and carefully pull the plant out by its roots. Throw it into a trash bag, seal the bag and throw it in the trash. You can also cover your hand and arm with a bread bag, newspaper bag, or some other trash bag as though it were a glove, and use it to pull the plant up. Then carefully turn the bag inside out, sealing the plan inside. If you get any of the sap on your skin or any tools, wash it off with just cold water. Wash you clothes, too. It can remain potent for a long time; be aware of what it might have touched.

  5. 7

    I definitely need to try this!

  6. 8
    MaryLynn P says:

    I’m going to be using this, this spring. It’ll be much cheaper than Round Up. Thanks!

  7. 9
    MaryLynn P says:

    And safer too.

  8. 10
    MaryLynn P says:

    My mom even broke out after washing her clothes in the washer after she had washed my dad’s work clothes with the poison ivey sap on them. Clean your washer after if you’re very allergic..

  9. 11

    Regarding erradication of ivy: Are there any negative residual effects to subsequent plantings in the area treated with the vinegar/salt/blue Dawn dish soap? I want to replant with crape myrtles. Thanks.

    • 12

      I’ve never had a problem, but I cant’ speak for all situations.

    • 13
      Midge Dosher says:

      Andrea, If you can waite for a year and let the ground rest then plant your crape myrtles. This will also insure you got all of the poisen ivy. It would be a shame to have poisen oak come up in your newley planted crape mertles.

  10. 14

    Hi Anna,
    A word of caution about poison ivy. The urishol oil in poison ivy can stay active for FIVE YEARS after the poison ivy dies. So, even though you have killed it, you can still catch poison ivy by touching the stems or roots. Be sure you are protected with gloves, etc. Also, Jewelweed is the natural antidote for poison ivy. It usually grows near where poison ivy grows. Crush the stems and apply the juice over the affected areas and it neutralizes the urishol oil.

  11. 15

    My ivy is on the trees, will this solution kill my trees?

  12. 17

    I have found that friends with goats is the best way to rid oneself of poison ivy. Goats will eat anything green and find poison ivy a nice treat. But i will try this out too.

  13. 18
    George Dudin says:

    Anybody .tried this? If yes – what was the result? I don’t have that much of ivy in the backyard but once in a while my kids get it picking the balls from the areas close to the fences

  14. 19

    Hi Anna,

    Question: Do you spray it exclusively on the leaves or at the base of the plant?

  15. 21

    Do u have to use the blue dawn dish soap or can u use any dish soap lik fairy or something

  16. 23

    I saw this for killing poison ivy. We have poison Ivy climbing up our house. Will this help with that? I just dug up poison ivy that was in the rocks by our driveway where my neighbors kid and my kid play. We live in a town home and I want to be sure this is safe for the kids as well. I’m hoping this will kill the ivy enough for me to get in there and dig it up by the roots to prevent it from coming back.

  17. 25

    you have such helpful ideas. i was wondeirng if you know how to kill poison oak? its in my yard
    and i would love to get rid of it.

    thanks alot

    • 26

      I’m sorry, I don’t. Poison oak is evil stuff, we have it all over the place where we live. We’ve tried a lot of different things but never had great success. :/

  18. 27
    gema ahern says:

    can you tell me where to spray the solution? on the leaves like the round up poison? i do not want to use round up the vine is up the tree and i cannot reach them

  19. 29
    Stephanie Spain says:

    Great advice. Now, the next question is how do you treat and get rid of poison oak/ivy once you have it on you. Mot of the over the counter stuff does not work very well. My husband is highly allergic and easily infected by these plants.



  20. 30
    Ed Laucks says:

    The absolute only way to get rid of poison ivy is remove all the roots. You kill it off above ground but it remains alive underground.

  21. 31

    What is the mixture for killing fleas? I have 4 dogs

  22. 33

    Does this work for poison oak too?
    And how much & where do you spray it?
    Leaves, root?
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  23. 35

    I just used that last week and it DOES in fact kill poison ivy, bindweed and cinqfiol (another climbing weed)!
    Maggie recently posted..Organize It Link Party!My Profile

    • 36

      I did mix everything you said and it actually worked very well.!! You saved me a great deal of money. Your advice is the best. If you have any plumbing questions email me. I am a third generation plumber retired.

      Thank you very much,