So many trails, so little time for itchy problems, right? Tecnu® Original Outdoor Skin cleanser is a poison ivy soap designed to wash away the rash-causing oil (urushiol) from your skin (and other items) after exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, & poison sumac plants.
If you know, or think you have been, exposed to poison ivy plants (or poison oak and sumac) apply Tecnu Original to dry skin, rub vigorously for two minutes, then rinse with cool or tepid water. Although it is a soap, it can also be used without water. If you do not have access to water, you can remove Tecnu Original by wiping it off with a cloth.
The magic rule with Tecnu and poison ivy oil is, the sooner you wash the better! Wash within 8 hours for your best chance to avoid a poison ivy rash. After 8 hours, the likelihood of developing a rash drastically increases. Remember, even if you do break out, wash with Tecnu to remove any excess oil that may be on the skin; this will keep the oil from spreading to other areas.
Don't be fooled by the power of urushiol! The resin from poison ivy (oak & sumac plants) is incredibly potent and lasts for months, even years on certain items. If you touch something that has been contaminated with urushiol, you can develop a rash. Therefore, we recommend cleaning items that could be contaminated, with Tecnu Original to avoid secondary contact. For more on how to use Tecnu, and what you can use it on, visit this page.
Fun fact: The name "Tecnu" was given by its inventor (Doctor Robert Smith), meaning "technically new"; you have likely seen it misspelled as Tech Nu or Technu Outdoor Skin Cleanser.
- Volume: .5 fl oz (14.8 ml)
- Weight: .4 oz (11.33 g)
deodorized mineral spirits, water, propylene glycol, octylphenoxy-polyethoxyethanol, mixed fatty acid soap, fragrance
- Removes poison oak and ivy oil, urushiol, that causes rash and itching
- Tecnu is most effective when used within the first two hours after exposure or as soon as rash appears
- Keep out of reach of children.
- For external use only.
- Should not be applied to raw or oozing area of skin.
- If redness occurs, discontinue use and consult a physician.
- Keep out of eyes and other mucous membranes.
Before the rash has started:
- Apply Tecnu to exposed unwetted skin within 8 hours after exposure to poisonous plants.
- Rub vigorously for 2 minutes to remove oil and other contaminants from skin. If hyper-sensitive, wash entire body with Tecnu.
- Rinse skin clean with cool running water or wipe off with a cloth. Repeat.
As soon as rash appears:
- Apply Tecnu to affected skin and surrounding areas. For best results apply to entire body. Rub in for 2 minutes but avoid breaking the skin.
- Rinse with cool running water to remove Tecnu and poison oils. If itching persists, reapply Tecnu, then rinse in a very warm shower (not a bath).
- Towel dry gently
- Repeat as necessary and before retiring.
To clean pets:
- Saturate a cloth with Tecnu and wipe down the pet's coat.
- Follow with pet shampoo and water bath.
- Tecnu can also remove skunk spray from your pet's fur.
To clean clothing:
- Saturate unwetted clothing with Tecnu in a bucket for several minutes.
- Launder by itself with detergent and hot water.
- Check for color fastness by testing a concealed corner of the fabric.
To clean tools:
- Wipe down tools with a cloth saturated with Tecnu.
- Wash with soap and water.
To remove sap and pitch:
- Apply Tecnu directly and rub until stain dissolves to clean pitch, tree sap, road tar, grass stains and other substances from skin, tools and clothing.
- Wash with soap and water.
How to find the year your Tecnu was manufactured:
Every product is marked with a batch code that begins with a letter followed by 4 or 5 numbers.
Below is the list of letter codes and corresponding years:
- C - 2005
- D - 2006
- E - 2007
- F - 2008
- G - 2009
- H - 2010
- J - 2011
- K - 2012
- L - 2013
- M - 2014
- N - 2015
- P - 2016
- R - 2017
- T - 2018
- U - 2019
- V - 2020
So, for example, the batch code M2009 would have been made in 2014.
Where do I find the batch code?
- Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser - batch code is printed vertically on the label
- Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub - batch code is embossed in the crimp of the tube
- Tecnu Calagel Medicated Anti-itch Gel - batch code is printed vertically on the label along with an expiration date
- Tecnu Rash Relief Spray - batch code is printed vertically on the label
How long can I use these products?
Calagel is the only product that has an expiration date. We do not recommend using it past the expiration date.
For all other products, we recommend throwing them out if they were manufactured more than three years ago. Tecnu Original will also change color as it ages. If your Tecnu Original turns yellow or brownish in color, throw it away and purchase new product.
WARNING: California’s Proposition 65