Eliminate Head Lice With This Simple Home Remedy

Eliminate Head Lice With This Simple Home Remedy
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Head lice are harmless, but they are still nothing to rejoice about. Despite all the parental efforts, every year about 12 million kids in America get affected. The infestation becomes itchy and sore. As a result of constant scratching, secondary infections can develop in some cases.

Eradication campaigns have been trying to eliminate this little wingless insect, but to no avail. Head lice are easily transmitted, and most often leave their host when (s)he interacts with another person – hugging, touching, sharing objects. Young children, who are in close contact with each other during their everyday activities, are the most often affected group.

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Here I present a simple home remedy that has been proven to be effective and that will take away the annoying symptoms once and for all.

Vinegar and Listerine treatment for head lice

You need:

  • Listerine mouthwash
  • White vinegar (find here more surprising household uses for white vinegar)
  • Shower cap or plastic bags
  • Lice comb
  • Shampoo (you can make your own natural shampoo here)

Step 1:

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Soak the child’s head with Listerine until all hair is completely wet. Gather the hair and put it in a shower cap or plastic bag. Let it sit for an hour or more. The child can carry on with the usual activities, just make sure the seal on the cap or around the bag is tight and all the wetness is kept at the scalp. If a child has been scratching prior to treatment, s(he) might complain of a burning sensation, but this is not dangerous. Listerine contains alcohol, eucalyptol, thymol, menthol, and methyl salicylate, which are toxic for lice, but safe for humans.

Step 2:

Remove the bag carefully. You will probably see many dead lice inside the bag. Rinse the hair, so you get rid of all the Listerine.

Step 3:

Douse the head with equal amounts of white vinegar and water, massage the scalp gently and apply the bags again. Leave it on for another hour. If your child has irritated scalp or red marks, you want to avoid putting vinegar on the scalp, as it may irritate it too much (or you can further dilute it with more water).

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Step 4:

Rinse the vinegar and then shampoo the hair as normally. This treatment might help make the hair thicker and shinier.

Step 5:

Use the lice comb to comb out dead lice and eggs. Vinegar loosens the glue the females use to attach their eggs, so you can easily comb the eggs out.

Aftercare:

Lice don’t seem to like the smell of Listerine, especially the spearmint aroma. Put some Listerine in a spray bottle and mix it with water. Spray the hair regularly (for example, before your child goes to school), as long as the danger of re-infestation exists.

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Boil wash the affected person’s bedding and clothes to make sure you’ve eliminated all the blood-sucking insects.

Some see head lice more as a cosmetic rather than a medical problem. Lice are of course uncomfortable to live with, and it’s best to remove them as soon as possible, but they are not disease carriers. They might even increase your immunity and help you (or your child) build a natural immune response to the more dangerous body louse, which has been known to transmit serious diseases.

For other natural ways to get rid of lice, read my article: The Most Effective Home Remedies for Lice (Based on Research).

You can also use essential oils to treat head lice. Find how to do it in my article: Natural Head Lice Treatment Using Essential Oils

If you also suffer from scabies, read my article: The Top 8 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Scabies – Research Based

Article references:
http://www.ehow.com/way_5682924_lice-home-remedy-vinegar-listerine.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_louse

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17 Responses to Eliminate Head Lice With This Simple Home Remedy

  1. anna fusco says:

    wow i had the crawly sensation on my body use listerine on body and hair and best soak feet in pan and original listerine you see them in come out

  2. Jess says:

    We have been treating our family of 4 with the listerine every night for past 3 weeks, vinegar weekly. My son (2) and I are the only ones with black specks coming out of our hair. We all sleep in same bed and I’m the only one that has awoke with bites on my legs. We check with black light for nits, haven’t seen nits, just black spots, sometimes they almost sparkle. What could the black spots be?

    • Mae says:

      Jess, The black spots are lice excrement. We have been battling lice for too long now, and I know far too much about it 🙁 So the listerine treatment did not work for your family I take it? I was going to try it , but now not sure..

      • Messa says:

        It does work very well, for future use. I’m actually a 13 year old and used it. I did it by myself and it worked wonders! Got rid of lice in 3 days, even told my parents I got rid of them and they checked, and it worked.

  3. Stephenie says:

    Wow! Thank you this worked like a charm, have tried other home remedies only to go buy the over the counter shampoo, ie the Coke treatment. As I was putting the listerine in her hair I could see dead ones as I progressively put more in her hair

  4. Jana says:

    If the Listerine treatment doesn’t work for you, try the mayo. We were warned that lice can hold their breath for up to 8 hours so unfortunately the mayo treatment needs to be at least 8 hours (in other words..overnight). The combo of vinegar treatments to loosen the nits and mayo has been the only successful way we have been able to eliminate them. The mayo treatment has another benefit of making you dread the smell of mayo, thereby not using the fattening stuff on your food…lol.

  5. Frieda Gelber says:

    Do you dilute the white vinegar before applying it to the scalp after the listerine treatment?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Yes, use a mixture of vinegar with water (half and half). if your child has irritated scalp or red marks (this can happen if the child has been infested for a while), you want to avoid putting vinegar on the scalp, as it may irritate it too much (or you can further dilute it with more water). I will add this to the article to clarify it, so thank you for your question.

  6. Ann says:

    Can I use listerine (diluted maybe?) on my 9 month old daughter? She caught lice from someone at her daycare and I’m so frustrated bc I don’t know what’s safe to use on her. The olive oil didn’t work (she wouldn’t let me leave the cap on longer than 3-4 hours). What do I do??

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Because your daughter is so young, I would use nit and lice comb on wet hair. Of course it requires persistence and the proper type of comb to do this. To successfully get rid of lice by combing, you should use a metal, not plastic, comb that is finely spaced and thin-toothed.

    • April says:

      SHAVE HER HEAD. She wont even hate you for it this young!

  7. Carey says:

    Trying the Listerine and vinegar combo tonight as soon as I sprayed the Listerine on her hair you could see them little suckers running.

  8. Julie A Meredith says:

    Ok, im actually in the process of trying this method as we speak, I have 3 girls, 2 of which share a bed and it has been an up hill battle fighting this infestation, I’ve went as far as bleaching my 9yr olds hair because I felt I was out of options, and yet it is back again… I’m too the point where I just sit and cry, I’ve spent all my extra money on otc medication and they just keep coming back, I’ve caught them myself this time, along with my 9yr old and 7yr old, my 7yr old is covered and I’m starting to feel so helpless 🙁
    Im crossing my fingers that this remedy does the truck cause I’m litterly out of options and money, any other advice is much appreciated, someone help pls

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Julie, I really hope it works well for your girls. You can also have a look at my article about Effective Home Remedies for Lice (Based on Research) for more suggestions including prevention. Good luck!

    • Sandra says:

      I’ve been going through the same thing and my 10 year old is sitting with the Listerine in her hair right now, the most important part is getting the nits/eggs out, or retreating every 6-7 days. If one little egg is not dead and hatches you get reinfested, I’ve been in exactly your shoes, having have spent over $200 on every kind of over the counter medicine they make. This seems to be working, make sure to vacuum and wash all her bedding in the hottest water you can, if she has any stuffed animals or pillows tie them up in a garbage bag for 1 1/2- 2 weeks. You have to be like a Lice terminator, it’s insane, but I totally feel your pain. I have gotten to the point of no sleep overs, no hanging out with their friends in their bedrooms, I’ve turned into a drill sargent, but it’s the only way. Good luck friend, it’ll be okay.

  9. Amy M says:

    Have found that a ten minute treatment of conditioner after application of Any bug killing treatment, then blow drying hair (with a clean stiff bristled brush) helped in getting the comb through fine (thin) hair with out the tangled knot of hair towards the end of the combed lock of hair. Eggs also came out a lot easier. Vicks Vapor Rub (or generic) works on also smothering and killing of bugs. Problem i am having is with school district saying that they only check and send home notices when they see symptoms on any one particlular child. Checking all heads in class room is embarrassing to children and thus to be avoided. Except i am battling this stuff constantly because of it.

  10. Amy says:

    Leave listerine on for 2 hours and it killed them when i brushed my daughers hair they just fell out on the back of her shirt didnt find any that were alive worked like a charm ive tried just about everything and nothing seemed to work but this. I also put into spray bottle and use it on all our furniture and lightly spray on our heads to keep them away.i wish id heard if this sooner.

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