I was asked to clean some garments that were worn by a person with poison ivy. How do I clean these garments and what precautions should I take? A:
Both drycleaning and laundering are acceptable cleaning methods for this type of contamination. Laundering is preferred, if possible, because of the multiple flushes used in this process. Also, it is best that gloves be worn when handling the garments before cleaning. If accidental skin contact does occur, wash the affected area with soap and water. This precaution will usually prevent a rash from appearing.
But remember, just because a worker comes in contact with garments contaminated with poison ivy does not mean he or she will be infected. Garments must contain sap from the plant to transmit these chemical contaminants, and not all people are sensitive to them.