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 don't live longer than 2 days when they are not on a human.
lice from personal items, clothing, and furniture is one way to
help prevent lice from spreading to other household members. And it may help
prevent a person who has been treated for lice from becoming reinfested.
To rid hair brushes, combs, barrettes, and other
hair ornaments of lice, soak them in hot water [greater than
130°F (54.44°C)] for 10 minutes, soak them in isopropyl alcohol,
or wash them with a shampoo that is used to treat head lice.
clothes, bedding, and cloth toys in hot water [greater than
130°F (54.44°C)] in an
automatic washing machine or place them in a hot dryer for at least 10 minutes.
Dry-cleaning or storing clothing in a plastic bag for 2 weeks will also destroy
head and pubic lice. (Storage
of clothing is recommended for body lice, although storage is needed for up to
30 days because body lice can survive that long.)
upholstery, and mattresses.
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.