Poison Ivy can be an awful, painful and horrible thing to come into contact with. Most people are allergic and have very adverse reactions to it, which leads us into our first outdoors tip.
To get rid of poison ivy, mix vinegar and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat until the salt will no longer dissolve. Pour this “pasty” mixture directly onto the poison ivy plant(s). Keep in mind that this treatment will kill other plants as well. Some people recommend that you add dish soap to the mixture.
How does this treatment kill the poison ivy plant? Each cell in the poison ivy plant contains, and is surrounded by, a watery solution having various nutrients (salts, ions, etc.) When you pour this salty solution over the plant, the solution outside of the poison ivy plant’s cells contains a greater amount of salt than inside of the plant cells. This is called a “hypertonic solution.”
Water will move by osmosis from where there is a lesser concentration of salt (inside the cell) to where there is a greater concentration of water (outside the cell). This process dehydrates the poison ivy plant cells and they die. Because all living things are made of cells, the poison ivy plant dies. As a side note, this is also why a person cannot drink seawater and survive!
Written by Sue Vincent