Eliminate Head Lice With This Simple Home Remedy (Evidence Based)

Eliminate Head Lice With This Simple Home Remedy

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 often the most affected group.

Here you can find 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 will need:

Listerine mouthwash

Listerine contains alcohol which is toxic for lice and suffocates them. A study published in 2011 found that there is evidence that benzyl alcohol may be more effective at eradicating lice compared with placebo.

Another study from 2010 talks about overuse of common lice treatments which has caused lice to become resistant to them and may result in potential toxicity.

The researchers found that benzyl alcohol lotion 5% works by suffocating lice and there were no resistance issues. The participants who applied the benzyl alcohol lotion showed a success rate of 91.2% at day eight of the trial compared to only 27.9% success in the control group.

White vinegar

(find here more surprising household uses for white vinegar) – There is evidence that the acetic acid in vinegar can loosen the glue that holds the nits in place so it is easier to remove them with a nit comb.

A study from 1999 found that formulations containing 5% acetic acid, as well as acid shampoos (pH 4.5 to 5.5) and conditioners, in combination with a lice comb, can be helpful for removing nits.

Another study from 2012 found that Quassia vinegar (which also contains acetic acid) has been shown to loosen the nits hold and enhance nits removal.

Shower cap or plastic bags

Lice comb


You can make your own natural shampoo using Castile soap.

Step 1:

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).

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.


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.

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

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

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

Healthy and Natural World