The Boozy Beverage That'll Beat Back Poison Ivy In The Garden

If you're like most people, you probably try to avoid poison ivy at all costs. The resulting itchy, blistery rash is no joke and it can last for two to three weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. That's why it's best to eliminate it from your yard before you or a family member accidentally brushes up against it. You can pick up a chemical-based product at your local garden center, but there's one thing you might have in your liquor cabinet that also does the trick: vodka.

To mix up a batch of poison ivy killer, add 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vodka to a clean spray bottle. Mix it up well and spray the poison ivy thoroughly enough to saturate all the leaves and vines right down to the base of the plant where it's taking root. Take care not to come in contact with the plant while working, and consider wearing disposable gloves while tackling this task. You should notice the plant withering and dying in no time after applying the spray.

How vodka works to kill poison ivy

So, how does vodka really kill poison ivy? Vodka has a dehydrating effect when applied to a plant, and poison ivy is no exception. When sprayed with vodka, the plant's natural barrier breaks down and dries out, killing it.

If you're not sure what poison ivy looks like, the old saying "leaves of three, let it be" is a good one to keep in mind. Since the oils it emits can contaminate everything from your shoes and gardening gear to your kid's toys, when those items are touched, that itchy rash develops even if you don't come in direct contact with a plant. Your furry pets rubbing against it can bring the oil into your home, too, even though it may not meet their skin. That's why it's important to get those plants out of your yard, and spraying vodka mixed with water can come in handy in that regard. So, the next time you see those leaves of three taking root near your yard, grab the vodka and spray away.