• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to clear poison ivy.


    1. Tape closed pant hems at ankles, and shirt sleeves at wrists; put on eye goggles and work gloves.
    2. Grab poison ivy plant close to ground and pull to extract root; soaking ground with water can ease root pulling.
    3. Stuff uprooted vines into plastic trash bag; place full bag inside of another bag for extra protection against the oily vines.
    4. Put trash bags out with household trash; never burn or compost poison ivy.
    5. To deter poison ivy from returning, cover ground with thick layer of leaves or wood chips.
    6. When done, scrub hands with a mineral-spirits-based cleanser, such as Tecnu or Zanfel; rinse well with cold water.
    7. Launder clothes in separate load in washing machine.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      Although bending over for extended periods can lead to back strain
Ask TOH users about Gardening

Contribute to This Story Below

      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • gloves
        Leather work gloves
      • eye goggles
        Eye goggles

      Shopping List

      1. Duct tape, for taping closed pant hems and shirt sleeves

      2. Plastic trash bags, for disposing uprooted poison ivy

      3. Mineral-spirits-based cleanser, such as Tecnu or Zanfel, for cleaning hands