Many gardeners and hikers know the itchy implications of coming in contact with poison ivy and do their best to avoid touching the vines. Removing poison ivy from a garden is necessary to keep all who enter the garden safe from the rash. Some gardeners use garden tools to rip poison ivy out of the ground. While removing poison ivy, they wear protective clothing thinking they are safe from the effects of poison ivy since they never touched the vine -- only to discover the telltale blisters. Unfortunately, urushiol, the itch-causing substance, remains on tools surfaces, menacingly awaiting the next touch.
Fill a large plastic tub, trashcan or bucket with hot water. Add grease-fighting detergent according to the manufacturer's directions based on the amount of wash water. Emulsifying detergents act to break down the poison ivy oils.
Put on tight-fitting rubber gloves, eye protection, long pants, long-sleeve shirt and a mask. Slather a commercially available poison ivy protective lotion on all exposed areas of the skin.
Place the poison ivy-infected tools in the soapy wash water, unless they are power tools. Use care so as not to allow the tools to touch any clothing other than the rubber gloves. Let the tools soak in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub all tool surfaces with a rag to scrub away the poison ivy. If you are cleaning power tools, dip a rag in the soapy water and wipe all surfaces with the rag.
Rinse the tools with a garden hose to remove the soapy residue. Dry the tools with a rag.
Soak a rag with isopropyl alcohol and wipe down all tools surfaces. Isopropyl alcohol helps to disinfect poison ivy-affected surfaces.