Poison Ivy

Watch out for this plant!

While walking along a forested path in our neighborhood last weekend I noticed the bright green foliage in the picture above. Thanks to my husband I soon learned its identity – POISON IVY! After a little research I quickly found out there is not only poison ivy, but also poison oak and poison sumac. It is the sap of the plant that reacts to the body. It you find that you have been exposed to any one of these plants, it is important to wash with cool water and soap as soon as possible. Water deactivates the oil which is a toxic resin called Urushiol. It is nonvolatile and dries quickly on your clothing, shoes, animals and tools. Surprisingly, it remains potent for up to a year. Evidence of contact with one of these poisonous plants, a skin rash, usually appears within two days, but may occur within eight hours. In rare cases, the eruption can be delayed by up to ten days. The skin usually heals in ten days.

A person does not have to come into physical contact with one of these plants to contract the rash. Exposure to smoke of a burning poison ivy plant can result in the dreaded rash. It is important to avoid inhaling smoke or contact of skin or clothing with smoke.

To clean clothing that has come into contact with one of these poisonous plants, wash as you normally wash them. The water will kill the resin. All items should be washed, including hiking boots and sleeping bags; back packs should be wiped down with water. REF: Jan Stone, First Nurse, 1998

Liz Meimann

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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Steam iron cleaning

If you are thinking about replacing your iron because it just doesn’t steam like it used to, consider cleaning it. It really isn’t very hard or time consuming to clean a steam iron.

Water has begun to drip out of the iron.
Water has begun to drip out of the iron.

Place the iron on a rack on top of a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet on a cutting board or potholders to protect your kitchen countertop from the heat. Fill the water compartment and then put the iron face down (on the sole plate) on the rack. In just a few minutes, water will begin to drip from the holes. Let the water drip until the compartment is empty.

Steam coming out of the iron. See it against the wooden back splash.
Steam coming out of the iron. See it against the wooden back splash.

Next refill the water compartment and put the iron back on the rack. Set the iron for the hottest ironing temperature and again set it on the sole plate. Allow the iron to spit and steam until the compartment is empty again. You will be surprised to see the amount of lint and minerals that came out of the iron. I was surprised at the amount of mineral particles of left on the cookie sheet.

If the sole plate of the iron needs cleaning, use baking soda as a scouring power. That will remove any marks or debris without scratching the non stick surface that is on many irons today. Be sure not to accidentally fill the newly clean holes in the bottom of the iron with baking soda.

Do not use steam iron cleaners or other fluids like vinegar as such solutions may damage the iron interior.

Liz Meimann

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

More Posts - Website

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