Head lice can be overwhelming and the task of cleaning up your house can seem daunting. Here are 7 steps to get rid of head lice and bring your home back to a lice free environment:

  1. Gather all personal items such as combs, brushes, hats, hair clips, headbands, headsets, helmets, clothing, stuffed animals, costumes, pillows and coats for clean up.
  2. Soak all hair care items (such as combs, brushes, hair clips, etc.) in hot water (130°F) for 15 minutes to kill any head lice that may be on them.
  3. For items that cannot be soaked in hot water such as headsets or helmets, place them in a tightly sealed plastic bag and put them in a freezer for 10-12 hours to kill the lice and eggs.
  4. Wash all bedding and clothing that your child has used in hot water (at least 130°F) OR run them through your dryer's hottest setting for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to dry clean items that cannot be washed. Head lice will not survive the heat from the dryer.
  5. Place items that cannot be cleaned or run through the dryer (such as stuffed animals and toys) in a tightly sealed plastic bag for 10-14 days. This is to ensure that any newly hatched lice will die.
  6. Follow up with the vacuum to get rid of any lice dust or egg shells that were left behind. According to the NPA, vacuuming is the safest way to remove lice and fallen hairs with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs, stuffed animals, or car seats. You want to vacuum wherever someone with head lice may have rested their head.
  7. Conduct a family head check once a week.  You'll need an egg removal comb, a magnifying glass and lots of light. Start at the nape of the neck where lice like to congregate and work upward.

For more information about head lice, watch our video Fight Head Lice with the Facts.

play head lice video