Lice: Cleaning Lice From Combs, Clothing, and Other Items
Lice can spread from human to object to human, but it's more common for lice to spread by human-to-human contact.
lice from objects such as combs, clothing, and furniture is not a necessary part of treatment for head lice, but some people choose to do this as a way to
help prevent lice from spreading to other household members.
Lice don't live longer than 2 days when they are not on a human. So you would only need to remove lice from items that the person with lice has used or worn in the 2 days just before he or she used lice-killing medicine.
If you choose to remove lice from household items, here are some tips:
To rid hair brushes, combs, barrettes, and other
hair ornaments of lice, soak them in hot water [at least
130°F (54°C)] for 5 to 10 minutes, soak them in isopropyl alcohol,
or wash them with a shampoo that is used to treat head lice.
Machine-wash towels, hats, scarves, clothes, bedding, and cloth toys in hot water [at least
130°F (54°C)] or place them in a dryer on the high heat setting for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
Dry-cleaning or storing clothing in a plastic bag for 2 weeks will also destroy lice. These methods are the main treatment for a person who has body lice.
upholstery, and mattresses to remove hairs that might have live eggs attached.
You do not need to fumigate the house
with insecticide sprays. This will not help treat or control a lice problem and
may unnecessarily expose family members to toxic fumes.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.