Have you ever had a bad case of poison ivy? I sure have, and I will never forget it. Matt and I hadn’t been married very long. There was a lady at our church that needed some help tearing out an arbor in her backyard, so we offered to help. We spent a Saturday afternoon helping her, and a couple of days later we were both miserable. Now that we live in the country, I come across it pretty frequently. I also now know how to identify the plant.
There’s one thing I really want to stress about poison ivy -- oil from poison ivy is extremely stable and will stay potent, essentially forever. You can get a rash from clothes that have the oil from last summer. Both dry cleaning and laundering are acceptable cleaning methods for removing poison ivy from clothing. But laundering is actually preferred because of the multiple flushes used in the process. It is best to wear gloves and wash the contaminated clothing separately so the oil won’t spread to other garments. Casual contact with other people'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.
There are lots of websites out there with great information on poison ivy. Here’s a link to the CDC’s site. But if you have poison ivy/laundry related questions, please let us know.