Home : Health : Remedies : Poison ivy rash : Poison ivy use bleach

(46) comments about this tip

Poison ivy use bleach

Submitted by Chris

If you have been affected by poison ivy. Use a small amount of bleach and wipe it across affected area and it will dry up poison ivy.

The following was sent in by Uncle Bozzin

*** WARNING ***
If you are sensitive to chlorine bleach or very young, do -NOT- even consider this treatment.
*** WARNING ***

Being very sensitive to Poisons Ivy & Oak, I have tried just about every shot, spray, pill and cream that the doctors prescribe & pharmacy stocked.

Very few have had any effect other than lighten my wallet. Calamine just paints you pink. The creams leave you greasy & make you drop your glass of iced tea. Pills are as useful as candy except to pump up your steroids since your infected layer of skin is dead. D-E-D, dead.

Rule #1: Use Cool Water. Not hot / scalding / warm water until well after the 2nd day. Get used to your teeth chattering and the color blue.

Rule #2: DILUTE IT - do not use straight bleach unless your tougher than nails. Treated nails. Of titanium alloy. Coated with diamond oxide. I dab a cotton ball with bleach to hit the small spots. The rest, I pour a quart in my cool bath & soak it for 15-30 minutes, then rinse myself with more cool water to get rid of excess bleach.

Rule #3: Rinse & Repeat - Yup... do it again in a few hours. Use a bar of Ivory soap this time. It is real soap - no perfumes, dyes, preservatives, brominated goat spit...

Rule #4: Let's Get Ready to Rummb... SCREAM. - Oh me, oh my! If you are a masochist, welcome to nirvana. For the rest of us merely weird mortals, it's going to hit you like battery acid, well, as a base since chlorine bleach is NaClO. If you have broken blisters, the pain is worse so don't scratch.

Rule #5: Wash all your clothing: shoes, pants, shirt, gloves, undies, socks, hat, glasses, sweat bands, -everything- you wore because it may be contaminated; in a mild solution of bleach & detergent. Twice. Third time is the charm. Because the poison ivy oil (urushiol) is tougher than those diamond-coated treated titanium nails and will outlive cockroaches after a nuclear holocaust.
After a few days, you'll notice your Poison Ivy / Oak will itch less and patches will be shrinking. Keep up treatment as long as there is weeping or puffy blisters. The pain of treatment will lessen noticeably, too.

If you redden after the 2nd day or the pain is unbearable, discontinue treatment. This -is- a home / mountain remedy. I can guarantee nothing nor do I accept / take blame for results. I am just passing on my 40+ years of experiences. Good luck!

Visitors comments

Dangerous Comments By: Tonya on 2005-04-15
My daughter suffered a severe outbreak of Poison Ivy on her legs. We applied the bleach which my mom said was a sure cure.

It successfully inflamed the rash to a hideous state. She looked as if her skin were poisoned by the bleach, or burned. She suffered greater after the bleach was applied. I felt I put her in joepardy after seeing the result of this and won't ever use this again.

We'll go to a physician first.

I wouldn't recomend this!! Comments By: Anon on 2005-06-10
I get poison ivy at least 2 times a summer. A friend of mine told me to use diluted bleach on the affected area. I did and it burned and it left nasty scars for about 6 months. Thankfully the scars did fade, but I will never try that again.
works every time Comments By: Jen on 2005-06-16
I have poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac terrible and found that dabbing bleach (Clorax) on it helps to dry it up very quickly.
It will work if done at the right time Comments By: Cris Q on 2005-07-19
you cannot wait until you have blisters it has to be done at the onset of the rash ,,, and of course you need to be sure you don't have an allergy to bleach.
burn the ivy away Comments By: john on 2006-07-04
it works but it burns at the same time the scars heal rapidly and the poison ivy goes away along with the ich.
ONE DAY CURE Comments By: Steve on 2006-10-07
Quit itching and waiting for the rash to go away. Bleach is quick, cheap, and works every time. The bleach pen for stains on clothes is a paste that sticks and is less caustic, but I prefer scrapping the area with a knife and straight chlorox to put an end to it.
yeah. Comments By: Jennifer on 2009-05-14
i recently got poison ivy at work, and i got it pretty bad up my left arm. i tried everything and someone had told me to use bleach so i did, and the first time it burnd my skin, but days later it healed and is now drying up.
I have other spots and have been ussing bleach on them, it hurts real bad but again its better than it being itchy. It really does help.

good only if you use caution Comments By: Tabitha on 2008-07-16
I have gotten poision ivy three times now, at least once a summer (ALL SUMMER) and it got so bad that I decided to go to town on scratching then I poured straight bleach on the oosing, and bleeding sores. It burned like hell but it felt so much better then the itching. Well of corse I got it again this year, on the same stupid ankle, so I tried the bleach and unfortunatly it burned me this time, but I did put it on gause and strap it to my ankle. Trust me not a good idea. Like I said before, bleach is a good way to dry it out, but only if you dont strap it to you sores. Now if someone could help me with this burn, its killing me. But still better then the relentless itching.
deff works! Comments By: braden perkins on 2008-07-20
it really does work! i work landscaping so about every other week i am exposed to mas amounts of poison ivy and i am highly allergic to poison ivy but(in my case) i dont ever get bleach burns because i douse my arms with bleach and let it sit for about 10-15 seconds (depending on the severity) and then thoroughly rinse instantly

it does clear up in one or two days depending on how long u leave the bleach on/bad it is.

works like a charm Comments By: anon on 2008-07-31
bleach works i tried everything hot water caledrl alot of poison ivy lotions nothing works then one day my freind said just go crazy rip it open till ur bleeding then pour bleach all over you...it sounds bad but it works really good...dunno how safe it is thoe
Bleach works for me.. Comments By: Frankie C on 2008-10-18
I am 59 years old (excellent health with a physical each year). I seem to attract poison ivy each spring thru fall since my teen years.

My family physcian told my mother to let me spend as much time in a pool (chlorine)as allowed and the poison ivy would dry up. It did, and to this day that is my only remedy. Only this time I soak the affected parts in warm water with a cup of bleach. Never had any reaction of any type. The itching seems to disappear. Try it, but dilute it.

Bleach every time Comments By: Pip on 2009-05-01
I'm not that allergic. Seldom do I have a rash. My company nurse suggested bleach. I popped the blisters with asterile needle and DABBED on some bleach with a cotton ball. Does burn. Worth the short amonunt of pain, but I did have a small area. Rash dries up very quickly. Much better than drug store products. Highly recommmend for light to moderate allergies.
Never failed me Comments By: Reed on 2009-06-08
I get poison ivy a couple times every year and the best thing to do is catch it before it spreads to far and pour some bleach on it. The burn only last while the bleach is on this WILL take care of the poison ivy immediatly
All depends on your individual case of poison ivy, and of course you don't want to pour bleach on a Comments By: bAGIERRA on 2009-06-10
use caution, don't pour on any infected scratched-raw blisters... also everyone should stress that its best used diluted. And the most important is again DON'T TRY TO USE BLEACH IF YOUR POISON IVY IS ALREADY INFECTED AND SEVERLY SCRATCHED OPEN!!!!! otherwise go for it!
Hellz yeah Comments By: Cale on 2009-06-25
I have severe poison ivy on my left arm right now. I tried several prescribed medicines and the rash was unaffected. Earlier today i thoroughly scrubbed the poison ivy with straight bleach. Throughout the day all of the fluid has drained and it had dried up very well. I did not experience even the slightest amount of burning, though I've read countless numbers of people who claim to have felt immense pain.
GREAT Comments By: anon on 2009-06-26
really works, i had it terribly on both knees and arms and hands. heard about bleach on a web site and tried it. it burned but who cares? if you're enough of an outdoorsman to get poison ivy you should be enough of a man to stand the pain. its nothing like the pain of the actual poison ivy. wish someone could tell me about the actual reaction taking place, tho...
Don't use bleach Comments By: Dawngirl on 2009-07-03
I have been researching using bleech for poison ivy many people say it will dry it up but it can cause infection as well as burn your skin. It can also cause you to be more pron to getting poision ivy in the future.
OUCH!!! Never again Comments By: Kristin Contreras on 2009-07-24
I have had posion sumac for about 5 days and i just tried rubbing bleach on it with a cotton swab, IT WAS THE WORST PAIN OF MY LIFE!!! i will never try it again
Used this morning and already feel better Comments By: Kelsey Mclain O'Conner on 2009-08-03
I recently got poison ivy for the first time. My boyfriend's mother uses bleach on all of her sons cases. I had her do some over the weekend and after some slight stinging the itch was gone. To the people who said it spread after using bleach, well that's not possible. The oil is absorbed by the skin and the fluid that seeps is mostly water. So, where it appears to have spread was either in contact with the plant and developing late or got it off clothes that had the oil on it. Just make sure you open the blisters before applying.
lets hope for the best Comments By: Matt on 2009-08-16
i just used bleach diluted with water (1/3 cup of bleach 2/3 cup of water) and scrubbed on my severe poison ivy. just seconds and i could see the sap exit my skin. terrible pain in a few minutes or plain old pain prolonged? depends on your pain threshold if ur gonna use it but if u can take it? i encourage it. my only thing i may be afraid of is bleach poisoning. get rid of one poison for another? not for me.
Works but you need to wash it off! Comments By: kitkat on 2009-09-13
Bleach works perfectly but has to be used right or you get a bleach burn, and don't use it on any mucous membranes like eyes! Just put the bleach on a rag and rub on gently. Leave it there for maybe 30 seconds then wash with soap and water. I've seen bleach eat holes in blue jeans so it isn't something to leave on your skin but it does break the chemical bond that causes your skin to react to the poison. Good luck!
seems to work well Comments By: bobby on 2009-09-23
i put more than i probably should have on my left arm which i got poison ivy in a cut then it spread all over my arm but as im typing i can see the blisters draining out and there is a slight burn but nothing bad i rubbed about 4 or 5 dotted rags(just put the washcloth on the top of the bottle and turn the bottle sideways for about 2 to 3 seconds) and rubbed pretty roughly on my whole forearm and the only burning is on the blister so id say this is a sure cure
IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!! Comments By: steph on 2009-10-04
i get poison ivy maybe 3 times each summer and a couple days ago i put bleach on my arm cause i had poison ivy there,and yeah it did burn a little but it dried up quickley!!!!!!!!!!
Diluted bleach worked great for me! Comments By: Anon on 2009-11-08
I used diluted bleach and water for poison ivy covering my entire body and got immediate results and relief. Not sure why it is being discouraged unless BIG pharmaceutical companies are behind the negative comments. Using bleach continually every day would probably be extremely harmful to your skin's outer layers. However, I have used this remedy maybe 3 times in my lifetime and my skin looks and feels great and I'm in my early 50s.
Been using this method for years now!! Comments By: H.A.M. on 2010-04-25
I get poison ivy every summer and bleach always works for me. I just scratch the affected area raw and then douse it with straight bleach for about 1 min. then rinse and repeat as necessary. Sure, it burns like hell for a minute or two but the itching disappears immediately. To those considering this method I guess it just depends on your personal preference...a few minutes of intense burning pain or several days/weeks of itching. I'll take pain over itching anyday!
burn baby burn Comments By: sam on 2010-05-03
i have poison ivy had it for a few days now nothing worked for me so i poured bleach on it and let me tell you it burns good but i only left it on there for about 10 seconds or till it started burning good then had my wife wash it off with cold water it dosent burn anymore but did make rash look bad but itll go away shortley hopefully i dosent itch
Bleach is not what's curing it, it's the soap and water Comments By: Tammy on 2010-05-17
you're using to wash the bleach off with! The reason why you get blisters from poison ivy is because the oils on the plant mixed with your skin, dish soap will cut the best through the oils!
tecnu from pharmacy otherwise bleach carefully Comments By: itching is a bad thing on 2010-06-05
i used tecnu which is good if you know you've been exposed but if you don't know dilute the bleach and dab it but i'm not so sure of the safety of bleaching the skin, anyone know about discoloring your skin or bleach poisoning?
NEVER USE BLEACH!!! Comments By: Lynnette on 2010-06-07
Got poison ivy and used soft scrub in cold water. Now it is red and raw and I am itching and spreading even more. Also extremely nauseated. Will go to the doctor and get Medrol Dose Pack steroids instead. Don't use bleach. Makes it worse!!
Some people are susceptible to bleach burns. Comments By: Tony on 2010-06-12
If you have a reaction to bleach, don't use it. Try it on a small area first. Use a 50% mixture (or less) of bleach and water. Gently wipe it on, then immediately and thoroughly wash it off with soap and water. If you've been scratching, the bleach will momentarily sting, but it's better than itching. This method works for me, but it's not for everyone.
It will work, but........ Comments By: roguelogo on 2010-06-13
Here's the real story. The answer is, yes, bleach will work. This remedy became popular due to the fact that most over the counter poison ivey treatments don't work well. The ones that do work are very expensive. Poison Ivey can make you miserable. Most people try this because they are looking for a quick cure and are willing to suffer a little to get it. Here are the problems with this. 1. Bleach is a harsh chemical. Look what it does to dyes in clothing. 2. Most people use this remedy after a rash or blisters have appeared. This means your skin has already been damaged. 3. The chemical content of bleach varies not only from manufactures but from bottle to bottle. Think about it. You're dumping massive amounts of stuff all at once in big hoppers and missing it together. Odds are it won't come out exactly the same every time. 4. The chemicals in bleach are not caustic. Read the warning labels. It tells you not to apply to your skin. 5. Some people are actually allergic to some of the chemicals in bleach.

I realize people are still going to try this, I am terribly allergic to poison Ivy and would do almost anything to get rid of it, once I come in contact with it. I understand the desperation. If your going to try you need to understand a couple of things. First, although this does work alot of times in speeding up the rash healing time, it has a good chance of making the problem alot worse. Up to and including chemical burns and scaring. Second don't and I really mean DON"T use this treatment on your kids. I know they are miserable, but trust me, the risk outweighs the reward here. Third we live in a society where no one seams to want to own his her her personal responsibility. If you do this, you made you bed, you can lie in it. Forth and finally if I haven't talked you out of this by now, and you are intent on doing this, here is the recommended way to do it. Mix household bleach with an equal amount of warm (Not Hot) water. Then use cotton balls or makeup pads to dab the affected area. It will probably sting a bit. Wait about 5 to 10 minutes and take a warm shower to rinse off the chemicals.

Now, for my personal advice. What I have found works best for temporary relief is a a simple hot shower or bath. Keep the affected area under the hot water until it quits itching or burning. (Word of advice It will itch alot worse when you put it under the hot water. And I do mean alot. Keep it there and suck it up until the itching goes away. That should provide a few hours of relief.) Make sure the water is not so hot it burns. It should be uncomfortably warm, not boiling or scalding.

Bleach 2 treat Poison Ivy Comments By: Kevin on 2010-06-14
It seems to work, although it can be painful. I used straight bleach and dabbed it on. Make sure to rinse off the bleach after the the initial burning goes away. Repeat if you want to endure the pain. The pain is relative to how much you are treating. small area= small amount of pain. Larger area= larger amount of pain. Good Luck
it works !!! Comments By: beau murray on 2010-06-16
omg i just used bleach on my badley infected leg not gunna lie it was the single most painful thing i have ever done but already right infront of my face i can see it drying up but o man does that sting but its a small price to pay to get ride or poison ivey
WOW!! IT WORKSSS Comments By: Angelo on 2010-06-27
WEll today i applied it for about 5 minutes and it burneddd ALOTTTT!! but it was worth it and i immediatly felt a sign of relief it was a wow moment because it was so funny how i went from itchy to relief in 10 minutes!!!!!!
PREVENTAIVE WASH Comments By: DEE FIELDS on 2010-07-25

Sounds nutty and a bit dangerous Comments By: Rich on 2010-08-03
Bleach can be a drying agent, but so is Calamine lotion. Difference is the Calamine is actually designed to dry up rashes on your skin, bleach is not. There are no quick fixes for urushoil induced rashes other than time. If you're careful and don't infect or irritate the rash by scratching, it will heal sooner. It sucks, I hate getting poison ivy, but don't succumb to these crazy home remedies. Use topical steriods (hydrocortisone), antihystemines and ice packs to ease the desire to scratch and it will eventually go away. If not, see the doc for prescription strength steriods or antihystemines.
What a rush Comments By: st on 2010-08-16
good pain, dried it right up
Bleach works great but follow safety directions Comments By: Ryan on 2010-08-24
I tried everything...zanfel, tumic, rhuli, benadryl, zyrtec, hydrocortesine (msp), hot showers, cold showers, ice, and was even on the steroids. Let me tell you this...bleach works. For those who are bashing it before they try it...you have never undergone multiple nights struggling to sleep because of a constant horrendous itch. The aforementioned products would aid temporarily, but I could never sleep through the night. You cant treat bleach like water and need to be a little more careful...obviously dont use if you are allergic. I didnt know and was to the point I didnt care. Use a 50/50 bleach water mix (I used lukewarm water). Take a cotton ball or cotton pad and begin dabbing on your infected area for 30 seconds. At the end of the 30 seconds, begin to wash off with water and soap. I've heard (and used) Dawn dish soap because of additional benefits it has in retracting oils. It will have a slight sting...but way better than poison ivy itch. I did it last night and woke up this morning feeling much better. I havent reapplied yet, but thought people should know this. Doctors cannot recommend this because people do not have the common sense to be trusted with a strong product like bleach. That is why they will all tell you not to use it. Companies don't manufacture a cure with it for the same reasons...one dummy who can't read instructions would cause a huge lawsuit. It is simple, effective, and inexpensive. I have spent well over $100 on poison ivy cures and the one that costs 50 cents ended up working. Good luck to anyone...I feel your pain. I would definitely go see a doctor to get on the steroids before you do any of this. I was a week in and couldnt take it anymore.
nice i spent to much money nothing really work i used bleach and work Comments By: manny simental on 2011-01-03
Used bleach work fast and quick :)
Ive tried it all Comments By: Erik Imperato on 2011-03-17
And bleach is the only one that worked. It dried all of my poison Ivy in 2 day's even the steroids the doctor gives you don't work that fast I know.
BLEACH Comments By: Nassa on 2011-04-21
It works . . . The comments from the previous writers were helpful. I use caution and a small amount. In one day, it is dried up. I then added coco butter and placed a plastic glove on the hand effected to bring the color and softness back that night. Thanks Everyone for Your Tips
BLEACH WORKS Comments By: ANON on 2011-05-24
bleach and poison ivy Comments By: mike on 2011-05-31
seems like i get poison every year when i put my garden in.. it starts itching .so i start scratching. i break open the raised area and soak that area with bleach. burns like hell but it works.. oh by the way i bought grill lighter fluid took it out by the garden.. poured some on the ivy and burned it up . now it is gone. i hope for good
Bleach on skin after poison ivy contact then wash Comments By: Ali on 2011-06-23
My tree trimmer pulled down poison ivy off a tree in the rear yard, went home and poured bleach over his skin, rinsed it off in cool water, washed with poison ivy soap (all over), rinsed again and ended up with 2 small spots on his arms that he had missed cleaning well. You don't pour it on broken skin, outbreaks of poison ivy, etc. Do it right after contact and you should minimize any outbreaks.
Works Comments By: Joel on 2011-06-28
I put bleach on a moderate spot that had been there for a week. The bleach turned almost slimey. It drew all the toxins out immediately. I showered right after. The rashis nearly gone merely 30 min later.
Bleach has been more Effective Comments By: Jenny W. on 2011-08-03
Just recently moved into a home on 5.5 acres of woodland...What a mistake since I am severly allergic to PI, PO, & PS..I have spent 3 weeks on meds and still getting the rash because of mt BF and Son bringing it to me on their clothes. Well, read all info as possible with using bleach and Fels Naptha soap. I shower with Fel Naptha soap and dap with affected areas with straight bleach and wipe off 30 Secs later..Has worked better than the 3 weeks of alot of $$$$ out the door to products that don't fix. Now the best thing if a cure could be found but until then I will take the stinging of bleach than the emotional effects from the meds not to mention the liver/kidney damage that goes with taking too much meds...Thank You all for the suggestions...but too all be careful. Do not over do because it can have long term effects just be smart about it.. It is a chemical

Ask a question Send in a tip Contact TipKing Books Privacy Disclaimer Feed
© Tipking 2000-2011 All rights reserved Last update: Thu Nov 17 2011
| privacy