How to Clean Your House After a Case of Head Lice

It's necessary to clean your house after a case of head lice to prevent a second infestation. Head lice can get into bedding, furniture, carpets, toys, hair brushes and other household items. Use these easy steps to clean your house after a case of head lice and keep them away for good.

Remove all bedding and wash in hot water with detergent. This includes sheets, mattress covers, pillow cases and the pillows themselves, if possible. This will kill any head lice or eggs remaining on the bedding.

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Vacuum the entire home, including all rugs, mats and carpeted areas. Use a flea-killing carpet powder for extra protection, as it may also kill any head lice that are in the carpets. Take the vacuum bag immediately to an outdoor trashcan or dumpster after vacuuming, or empty the vacuum receptacle outside.

Wipe down any vinyl or leather furniture with a warm, wet cloth to remove any attached head lice or eggs. Vacuum cloth-covered furniture, and immediately remove the vacuum bag from the home, as described above.

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Wash or vacuum any stuffed animals that may have been in contact with head lice, such as your child's teddy bears or other plush toys. Place them in the dryer on hot heat for 30 minutes to kill any eggs or head lice that might remain.

Clean all hairbrushes and combs by removing excess hair, and soaking them in a solution of water combined with head lice shampoo for at least half an hour. Rinse thoroughly before using again. Wash all towels, wash cloths, and robes in hot water with detergent.


Some people recommend sealing stuffed animals in plastic bags for two weeks, as this will suffocate any eggs or lice. However, this is an extreme action and may only be necessary in the case of an extreme head lice infestation.