What work gloves do you use for heavy infestation of poison oak & ivy (covered in urushiol)?

What work gloves do you use for repeated immersion in very heavy impenetrable thickets of poison oak & poison ivy?

I'm covered in black poison urushiol from head to toe!

So far, these are the gloves I've tried (most of which failed miserably)!

- Pics here:

formatting link
formatting link
Specifically, what skin is best for repeated washings?

- cowhide? goatskin? deerskin? what skin is best? And, what gloves are available that are long and durable?

- garden gloves? oxy-welder's gloves? mig welders gloves? (what else?)

Cotton/leather work gloves are wholly unsatisfactory:

- They wash well; but the thin leather is worn out after 1 or two uses;

- They're too short to be of much use in heavy infestations;

- Worse yet, the back cotton allows urushiol to penetrate to the skin!

Leather work gloves are slightly better, but still wholly unsatisfactory:

- They're strong enough to take the wear of a few uses in the chapparal;

- But they're too short so my wrists get covered in the black oil;

- Worse yet, an XL comes out of the wash as an L which is smaller still;

- Yet the leather gets hard as a rock after a few wash cycles!

Cowhide oxy-acetylene welder's gloves are also unsatisfactory:

- They're nicely long so they cover the wrists perfectly;

- And, it's no problem finding an XL size to fit my large hands;

- And they're thick enough not to wear through on the first few uses;

- And they come out of repeated wash cycles as hard as serpentine!

- But they're just too cumbersome to use around power trimming tools!

I just tried the pigskin mig-welding gloves with some success:

- They're nicely long, almost as long as the O2 welder's gloves;

- They're all leather like the leather garden gloves so they're strong;

- And the leather is thinner than gas welder's gloves (nice and nimble);

- And, you can get them in XL sizes which don't seem to shrink too much;

- But they too get hard as a rock after repeated wash cycles!

Next I'm going to try the goatskin mig welding gloves:

- Like the pigskin mig welding gloves, they're long & seemingly durable;

- And, they seem to give a bit more "feel" than the pigskin gloves do;

- Also, I can get them in XL sizes (but I hope they don't shrink too much);

- Mostly, I hope they don't get as rock hard after a few wash cycles.

If the goatskin mig welding gloveds don't work, I'll try the deerskin mig welding gloves; but there must be someone out there who has worked in heavy impenetrable thickets of poison oak and/or poison ivy and/or poison sumac who has solved this problem.

What other gloves can you recommend for protection when cutting through heavy thickets of poison oak, when you're covered in black urushiol marks from head to toe?

Requirements are:

- Available in size XL (and needs to stay XL after repeated washing!)

- Must be durable (can't have any cloth) and must cover the wrists!

- But can't be so thick as to hinder the use of power tool controls.

- A bonus would be if it stays pliable after repeated machine washings!

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

Go cheap and just throw them away when you are finished.

Reply to

Cheap would be fine if it also worked (at least once).

But, as shown in the well-annotated pictures here (

formatting link
) ...

Neoprene or latex or nitrile gloves are cheap, but they tear in seconds outdoors and they don't cover the wrists from urushiol (still, I wear them UNDER the leather gloves) ...

Garden gloves are less cheap (about 10 bucks a pair); but they don't work (too thin, too short, and too permiable too urushiol) ...

Welders gloveds are decidedly not cheap; and they seem to work the best (so far); but I'm wasting lots of time and money on testing them one by one (first oxy cowhide, then mig pigskin, and now mig goatskin (next would be mig deerskin))...

Surely someone other than me has worked in poison oak/ivy before me?

What do outdoor firefighters use for gloves? What do outdoor field workers use for gloves?

Certainly someone must have the experience & recommendation that I lack for outdoor gloves that are long, durable, and can be washed repeatedly???

Here are my experiments so far (deerskin mig welding gloves are next):

formatting link

Reply to

I was looking for welders or firefighters "skin" glovs (deerskin, goatskin, kangaroo skin, cowhide, etc.) because of the length (covers the wrists) durability and impermeability to poison oak urushiol; and I hadn't thought of rubber gloves.

The rubber gloves meet some requirements (others need to be tested):

- Available in size XL and covers the wrists => It meets this

- Impermeable to poison oak/ivy urushiol => certainly meets this

- Durable in impenetrable poison oak chaparral => maybe meets this

- Remains pliable after repeated washing machine cycles => probably meets

- Pliable enough to allow use of hand cutting tool controls => ???

The only thing that worries me with the rubber gloves idea is that I've used sand-blasting rubber gloves before and I've used radioative protection equipment and those thick rubber bloves just don't have much finger feel.

Has anyone used these $7 (Harbor Frieght item 4468-7VGA) blasting rubber gloves outside in the chaparral that can tell us what the finger feel is like on typical power tools?

formatting link

Reply to

A chemical worker would use rubber gloves that are washable. Any leather is going to be permeable or hard to wash.

Reply to


Lowes has garden gloves in the 2-3$ range.

I kill it off with 24d and wait 6 months or so before trying to clear it.

Reply to

NONE of the above. ANYTHING that can absorb the oils is no good.

Visit a fire equipment store and buy a pair of gauntlet style extrication gloves. These are made for use with power equipment, BUT they hape a moisture barrier inside them which stops oils, gas, blood, water from getting though and reaching you.

To protect farther up the arms you could buy a pair of the sleeves sold there as well.

Reply to
Steve W.

Firefighters gloves are BULKY unless you buy the good ones. However as I said in my other post Extrication gloves would do the job and work well.

Reply to
Steve W.

As explained in the pictures, the main problem with "garden gloves" is they're too short and if they're not 100% leather, they're too permeable to urishiol oils.

Any web page which doesn't discuss the black stains of urushiol is going to be suspect because anyone who hasn't seen the black all over their clothes hasn't really been exposed to poison oak or ivy!

This guy has been exposed ... I can tell by his description of the black stains on his leather gloves. Unfortunately, he says leather is permeable to urushiol (I doubt that myself, as long as the leather is thick, in my experience). He does use what he calls "neoprene gauntlet gloves"

formatting link
BTW, killing the poison oak does absolutely nothing to the urushiol which permeats every part of the plant, from the leaves to the stems, to the roots.

As you can see in the pictures, the stems are from a mm thick to a few inches in diameter, so, they're chock full of always poisonous black urushiol even a hundred years after they've been "killed off".

formatting link

Reply to

built like a rubber boot.

Safety supply should carry them - not cheap.

Reply to


That's the kind of information I didn't have that I was looking for!

Most extrication gloves are over $100 per pair but some are more reasonable for your average homeowner:

formatting link
I like the "elastic cuff" and the fact they're available in XL sizes. Some even have a silica gell over the ulna nerve. I'm wondering if the ample "kevlar" and "cordura" and "safecut" and "reflex" will keep out the chemical urushiol oil though ... as they don't seem to use leather or rubber.

Also, hopefully these expensive but intriguing extrication gloves are washable as the urushiol is infectious even after a century outside!

Reply to

So, Elmo, why aren't you just killing these awful plants with glyphosate? Why bother wrestling with them?

Reply to

Work gloves? Who needs work gloves? I'm lucky enough to be pretty damn near immune to the stuff, and I just pull it out with my bare hands. Ask around -- maybe someone you know is like me, and would be willing to pull it for you in exchange for work on his place, or beer and pizza, or a sawbuck or three...

If you live in the Indianapolis area, maybe we can work something out. Email doug at milmac dot com.

Reply to
Doug Miller

Hi Doug,

I'm in the chaparral country, nowhere near the lush forests.

But let me advise you of something important ... there are only two kinds of people with respect to poison oak/ivy:

- Those who have been sensitized (and therefore who get the rash) ...

- And ... those you have yet to be sensitized (but are never immune)!

The bad news (for you) is that you are never immune to cell mediated immunities such as that which urushiol causes - you just haven't been hit with enough oil for your particular immune system to react (lucky you!).

Putting it another way, you just have a "lousy" immune system (luckily for you), which doesn't react to the doses you have encountered so far in your life. But, trust me (look it up if you don't believe me), you WILL get poison oak eventually if you're exposed to the urushiol enough.

Nobody is "immune"; some just haven't gotten a good enough dose to make their immune system react ... and once it reacts ... it never forgets.

Note: If you're on immunosuppressants, then you might not react even after having been sensitized.

Reply to

Probably I didn't explain the problem sufficiently.

Maybe these photographs help:

formatting link
I hope they show the problem. Basically I'm trying to clear a large area of the plant. Even when dead, the poison oak plants have shown themselves to be infectious for a century. All parts of the plant, from the roots to the stems to the leaves contain the irritating urushiol.
formatting link
So, if I kill them; they're still there. The poison oak thickets are so congested that a human can not possibly walk through the chaparral. The chaparral is like a jungle.
formatting link
The only way through it is to hack your way through. The vines and bushes go up maybe twenty feet so what I'm really doing is tunneling a "Cumberland Gap" through them. Even when you walk on the ground, you're actually on a foot high crunching mass of old vines, which your feet sink into every few steps, allowing the poison oak urushiol to get at your ankles and lower legs.

At first I hacked away with a machete, then I used pruning shears to cut the inch-thick branches; and then the chain saw to cut through the non-poison-oak trees and bushes which the poison oak is intertwined with.

I get maybe ten feet an hour but I have acres and acres to complete. I don't mind the work; actually I enjoy it. But, as with any good adversary, it pays to protect yourself from its defenses as you work your way through the thickets.

In summary, unless I'm missing the biodegradation part, killing the plant does absolutely nothing (well, maybe it eliminates the leaves) when you're hacking your way through a thicket of vastly intertwined species of stems that are at times thicker than your wrist.

Maybe I'm wrong, but, killing them won't remove them. They're so thick, and interwined with good species, that the only way to remove them selectively is to cut through them.

Reply to

That would be my preferred method. I recall, in the days when one could easily get the stuff that you don't use 24D for brush and poison ivy but the better chemical is 245T a close but stronger relative. I don't know if you can even buy the stuff now.

Reply to

No. The irritating oils completely break down in about a year after death.

Acres of poison ivy infested thicket? Yikes. I'd be tempted to rent a bulldozer to clear the whole damn thing, and replant from scratch.

Reply to

BTW, I don't know about neoprene, but poison oak urushiol apparently goes right through latex gloves! :(

formatting link

Reply to

e quoted text -

P.S. I'd at least want to bulldoze a path so I could use herbicides.

From the stuff I've read, pulling poison ivy from dry soil will not be very effective. It'll just regrow vigorously from root parts left behind. You're going to have to find a way to apply herbicides.

Reply to

oils and alkalis

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.