How Long Does Poison Oak Stay On Clothes?

Poison oak is a plant that almost everyone is scared of encountering when they go outside. The oil it secretes is deadly to the skin of humans as it can cause intense rashes.

You might be able to wash your hands as soon as you touch the plant, but if that oil smears on your clothes or things, that can later cause the rash. 

Hence, it is always better not to have any poison oak on clothes as it can stay on them for a very long time. This is why many ask questions like how long does poison oak stay on clothes? Which we will be answering in this article.

How Long Does Poison Oak Stay On Clothes?

The oil that is present in the plant poison oak is a toxic resin called urushiol that can cause severe skin infections. This oil is notorious for staying on clothes for a long time and might even last for many months on unwashed garments.

So it is necessary for one to wash everything once they come in contact with poison oak.

How To Remove Poison Oak From Your Clothes?

Use A Washing Machine

  • The most crucial factor that you need to remember is that while using a washing machine, you must not accidentally wash contaminated and uncontaminated clothes together.
  • The next step is to use plenty of hot water as it is challenging to get rid of urushiol due to its stubborn nature. Being not very water-soluble, it can take a lot of water and detergent on your part to wash it properly. 
  • Do not cut on detergent, and use as much as you need; at least a full scoop is necessary for washing your clothes properly. The best option is definitely a degreaser as it is specifically designed to break up grease and helps its easy removal. 
  • While using the dryer, make sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and long-sleeved clothes that you can throw away later.

The Hand Washing Method

  • Hand washing these clothes can be challenging as you run a risk of infecting yourself in the process, which is why you need to wear strong rubber gloves and clothes that you will either throw away or will be able to wash correctly later.
  • Similarly, here as well, use extremely hot water and strong detergent to make sure you scrub everything off your clothes.
  •  Washing shoes can be a bit more complicated, so soak them and use a proper cleaning solution to clean them with a brush.

Important Tip To Remember 

We advise anyone to wash their belongings as soon as possible after they realize they came in contact with poison oak. But if for some reason one cannot, they must store their infected clothes in a plastic bag and keep it secured, outside of anyone’s reach. 

Wrapping It Up 

Poison Oaks are harmful, and it is best to avoid them as much as possible, or they can make your ordinary days a living hell for almost a month.

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