child with lice

We have heard from several readers that Listerine can be helpful in preventing lice infestations. We recently received this testimonial from a reader:

“The best way to prevent head lice is old-fashioned Listerine Antiseptic Mouthrinse. We were in the Army 33 years and moved a lot, but my kids never got lice.

“Teachers asked me why my children didn’t get lice when all the others did. I used to put Listerine on their hair and scalp a week before school started and also put a tablespoon of Listerine in the rinse water when I washed the clothes and sheets. You have to be careful to keep the mouthwash out of eyes.”

Another reader writes:

“My quick remedy to prevent this problem is Listerine. I have tried it and am convinced that it works. Put Listerine mouthwash in a spray bottle and spray it all over a child’s head. It will smell strong until it dries and then there is no smell. Do not rinse the hair. My child even slept in the same bed with another youngster who was later discovered to have lice. My child was unaffected. I spray their hair every Sunday night before the school week starts on Monday. I think you will find that it helps.”

Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash contains essential oils including thymol, eucalyptol, menthol and methyl salicylate. It also has 26.9 percent alcohol, which may kill lice. An expert in lice treatment confided to us that alcohol does seem to be toxic to lice, so that may partially explain your success in using Listerine for lice control. Breathing in the mist may not be safe, so anyone who tries this technique should be extra cautious to protect a child’s face from the aerosol spray.

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  1. Josie

    I’m a teenager, and anyway one if my best friends has younger siblings going to a nit infested school. Whenever I got an itchy head I wouldn’t tell my mum because she sighed and clucked and showed her disappointment/disapproval. Not only that she would ramble on and shake her head while discussing other families that don’t treat their headlice.

    So my word of advice, don’t annoy or talk about with your child who has headlice, also please don’t be rough. Because sometimes when they have headlice next, they won’t tell you.

    Anyway, my friend and I got rid of our headlice by soaking our hair in mouthwash and putting a shower cap or clean wrap over it for at least an hour (I guess a plastic bag will also work).
    Rinse out mouthwash with shampoo and condition (give it a good scrub)
    Then blow dry or straighten hair-we did this for an extra precaution.
    Soak hair with white vinegar, put shower cap (or whatever) on, and let sit for a minimum of an hour and a half-the longer the better.
    When time is up scrub again but this time use a nitcomb through your hair.
    Blow dry or straighten if possible.

    Repeat after one week to make sure everything is dead.

    PS: don’t forget to wash sheets and pillows (I sprayed them with rapid kill)

  2. Jim

    After trying most options, we found shaving our daughters hair off worked best. Yes she is now a skinhead but it certainly god rid of the little buggers and she is now happier!! Would recommend!

    • Nick

      Thanks. I went with your suggestion. Worked great, and no chemicals.

    • MH

      Well that’s super cruel, especially for girls! I would never recommend doing this to any girl. My mother did this when i was younger and it was absolutely humiliating! She was just too lazy to actually treat the problem properly which is time consuming. And that’s what shaving a head is. Lazy parenting and treating the problem!

  3. Layla

    Couldn’t putting alcohol on a child’s head be dangerous?

  4. cierra

    Well when I was at school this girl had hair in feasted lice I mean it was just out of controll she had it for two years. No one did anything about soon as I heard about I thought well as long as I don’t go near her I will be fine.two weeks later I had lice so I looked on the internet and found that Listerine was best for lice so I told my mom she said to leave it in over night on sunday. In the morning u can wash it out.on Monday after the treatmeant the teacher assigned our seats and I HAD to sit RIGHT next to her I was worried I would get it again but I didn’t.the Listerine has a good after affect to prevent getting lice again p.s
    I’m 12

  5. Kathy

    I’ve done the listerine treatment today on my granddaughter and was amazed at how it killed the lice on contact. I used the vinegar to loosen the nits and that works also.

    • Joanna

      Thank you this actually worked.

  6. Heather M.
    Knoxville, TN

    It works. Just did it, but with different mouthwash:
    generic green listerine mouthwash. It’s 21.something %. I was afraid it wouldn’t work bc it’s not name brand, but I put it on my child’s dry scalp and hair, pinned it up, and put a shower cap on. Waited 2 hours, cleaning the house the whole time, and sprayed leftover Rid spray from my previous kit on the car seats and such.

    Rinsed it off with a hand held shower head, did a deep conditioning treatment on her (I doubt she needed it tbhtb and styled as usual. Blow drying and even straightening the hair a few times wouldn’t hurt her hair like I used to worry about. It’s “benefits outweigh the side effects”.

    I will definitely repeat this in a week. And again. I’m pretty sure the reason why I couldn’t rid our family of this before (no pun intended) is bc I’m not the best with the comb-egg-situation. I’m taking the “Kill and Repeat” route with Listerine. Thank heaven for the internet!

  7. autumn
    United States

    I used coconut oil and that seems to kill them on contact not to mention if left on your hair for a bit if there are any live ones they won’t be able to attach their eggs to the folicals. I also read that adding a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo will help prevent reinfestation. I’ve heard that lice also hate the smell of spearmint so you can take some spearmint essential oil and dilute it and spray everywhere. Hope this helps

  8. Kristinna

    After almost 20 years as an army family, being moved everywhere, in Alaska where you would think it would be the worst sharing hats and coats in close contact at schools, we only caught them twice, many years apart. We arrive in the Ft. Stewart area of GA, and now after 22 years, we’ve now had it at least 10 times in 4 school years. These lice are like nothing I’ve ever seen, it’s like a nuclear bomb won’t kill them.

    After treating 4 times for the same infestation the first time, we finally figured out you have to dig the little black spots out of the scalp! The stuff you’re using to kill them does not affect these tiny little b@st@rds. Even if the spot on the scalp looks like a scab, or dirt, scratch it off then squeeze the spot like a pimple. It’s terrible for the person on the receiving end, but that’s the only way to finally get rid of all of them!!! Hope this helps anyone out there!!! I’d rather have the rotavirus than go through this again, like we had to do again last night… Ugh!!!!!

  9. Blondie

    70% rubbing alcohol kills lice and dries up nits in ten minutes! Just has fumes. Ventilate. Does not wreck hair.
    FINALLY! Nothing quite worked! I thought gold Listerine sprayed on washed and conditioned and towel dried hair and left in all night, then rinsed and blow dried in the morning, several nights; and vinegar once on towel dried hair for an hour, was working. But was taking long.
    Maybe vinegar for fifteen minutes on towel dried hair every time after rinsing the Listerine off in the morning, then rinse and condition and blow dry, would have helped. But I couldn’t take it! There were always a few tiny babies in the sink when I combed, and I’d feel crawling as soon as I stopped.
    Finally at my wits end I tried 70% rubbing alcohol again, straight this time. I used wintergreen. I read massage on scalp then run through hair, which wasn’t real easy, I have a lot of hair. I would have sprayed on, but fumes are bad! I don’t recommend bending over a tub to do this, it goes in your face! Stand up and massage on the back first, then top and sides. Puncture the foil cover. I got it in my eye but I splashed with water and it was fine. But be careful. I would spray next time.
    But massage it on scalp then run through hair. Immediately rub conditioner on the scalp then through hair. Comb over the sink or tub. Then leave in just ten minutes. Wash and condition. I used olive oil hair growth lotion on scalp and hair and blew dry too.
    It worked!!! It’s been a few days. Just keep from flame. And cover a child’s face from fumes if spraying on, but try to massage on, starting in back. You can even rub it on the scalp with a rag, rinse the rag. You can comb on a child and rinse comb in the sink. Or dunk in a container of hot water. Change if needed.
    But you massage on scalp then run through hair, then massage on conditioner, comb, then leave in ten minutes. Wash and condition and comb off nits, and blow dry.
    That’s it! Repeat in five days if needed. But you may not need to.
    Then I read someone just combed the rubbing alcohol on with a metal nit comb they kept dunking in it. Then they washed and conditioned.
    I would do that next time!
    But rubbing alcohol, 70%, only takes ten minutes to kill lice and dry up the nits it seems. Yay! Just keep away from flame! And don’t leave on longer than ten or twenty minutes. Or it can burn a little. Try these!!! And thanks! And thank you God! :-)
    These things are unbelievable anymore! I hate them!
    (And keep a little scalp conditioner on your scalp. It may keep nits from attaching.)
    One other thing I was about to try was goo gone citrus. They say use ten minutes and nits come right off! But call about safety on children. But ppl love it. I don’t think I need it now!

    • Blondie

      They returned after alcohol too! I don’t believe it! I even used goo gone. I’m at my wits end! What kills these things for good!
      One video says vodka or gin straight squirted on two hours capped, then again. Then in a week and again and they don’t return. That’s next. I don’t see any nits and I don’t get it. They aren’t invisible and aren’t on anything like the pillows and I’m tired of stripping the bed and doing towels. And I vacuum the sofa. And spray with alcohol. I used cetaphil again and this time soaked my scalp using a tint bottle and covered hair well and massaged in good. Then you blow dry all the way with no damp spots. Then I capped and slept in it nine hours. But I have a feeling I’ll be using vodka. God help us. Why doesn’t anything work!!!!

      Sorry for all the comments. Some ppl use the Listerine two hours then vinegar an hour but that failed for me. Is there another cure? I hope vodka tour hours works!!

      • Carolyn

        Ok, I was going to ask if you stripped down the bed and sprayed everything, but then I read further, and I see you did. I wonder if you are coming in contact with someone else who has it. Maybe try spraying your hair with tea tree essential oil / water mixture everyday. Some say it prevents lice, some even say it can kill the lice. Either way, it’s good for your hair and worth a try.

  10. suzane

    Gold listerine & cap, rinse with white vinegar instead of water & cap for an hour. Rinse with water. I use coconut Cantu with shea butter, a lot and comb through with metal, metal is best, but comb in sections. Then kept putting the Cantu in hair everyday and combing at night till nothing was in the hair. A couple of days. Vacuum and hot dry everything. That worked for us two different times (years apart). God luck everyone. Oh yeah, stay positive or you’ll break down. Patience helps also.

    • Blondie

      How long did you leave on the Listerine? It didn’t work for me, even with vinegar. I will look for the coconut cream.
      But vodka two hours then again, squirted on and capped, and repeat in a week and again is probably next! Thank you!

  11. Blondie

    Blow drying dry hair as long as you can stand it, and extra strength Denorex helps a lot! Well I am back to Denorex shampoo, this time extra strength with salicylic acid. Ten to twenty minutes gives you relief but you have to use it every two or three three days this way for babies.
    Gold Listerine does kill them in a few minutes and an hour helps remove nits but not all, apparently. So needs to be done for three or four nights or left dry on all night, plus vinegar once for nits an hour or two. Can be used on towel dried hair for an hour after the Listerine an hour and rinsing. Then comb off nits, rinse and condition. Repeat every couple days till they are gone.
    However I’m happy to say it seems that blow-drying dry hair as long as you can stand the heat can kill them and the nits.
    You may want to comb them off with conditioner in the shower first.
    But extra strength denorex ten or fifteen minutes every couple of days kills them. Tea tree conditioner for an hour may too. Use five drops tea tree oil in a dollop of shampoo and conditioner.

    Vinegar on towel dried hair after the denorex or tea tree conditioner can help with nits,
    but I highly recommend the extra strength denorex and blow drying dry hair. They should fall of dead.
    A bonnet dryer works even better.
    The heat may kill nits.
    Please use half water half Listerine or straight Listerine on your kid’s hair to repel them. Or eight drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil to a spray bottle of water.
    Check with a fine tooth or metal nit or flea comb and water at nape.

    • Blondie

      I will resume using the electronic comb every day for a few minutes though it was not a cure.
      I did vinegar two nights then Listerine then switched to neem oil twice. Maybe I should have used every two days for ten days, a few drops in shampoo.
      But it stinks, I went back to extra strength denorex ten or fifteen minutes every two or three days till they are gone.
      But if I’m inclined I will use the neem oil again. Straight on my scalp or in shampoo.

      Gold Listerine an hour and rinsed and followed by vinegar sprayed on an hour and comb with a metal nit comb, rinse and condition, is probably good every two or three days till they are gone Listerine kills better than vinegar, vinegar may remove nits better and adds shine but clarifies. So condition well after both. I use an ethnic cream leave in that’s nice.
      But Listerine or vinegar will not wreck hair. Just needs a moisturizing conditioner.

      I still can’t believe they are surviving everything! It’s the lice babies that hatch every day, no big ones.
      Again spray furniture with alcohol or Listerine and dry bedding and towels on high, wash everything worn in two days and dry or bag two weeks.
      Something must cure these things! Promiseb from the dermatologist helped but only had samples and $250 a tube! Insurance didn’t cover.

      T gel does not work. Either denorex will. Or lice free shampoo left in a half hour I read, followed by vinegar for nits. Repeated in a few days, then a week and again. The spray is mainly salt water and failed.
      Cetaphil face wash did not work, several times. But once I thought it did. But I read you must coat every inch of scalp with a tint bottle. But I thought I did! Then massage in well. Then coat hair. Then let it sit a few minutes. Then comb as much off as you can. Wipe in tissues and dispose in plastic bag.
      Then you must blow dry with heat all the way, leaving no damp spots to seal them. Then cap and leave in all night for at least 8 hours! Then shampoo. You must do in a week to ten days then again. Ugh. I may try again but I thought I got all the scalp. :(

      I also heard fresh lemon juice kills them right away. But I’m afraid of dryness. Though you can massage mainly on scalp I guess. I’m sure needs repeating. About the same acidity as vinegar, so I don’t know if better. But vinegar dried on made my hair shiny. Then I rinsed and conditioned in the morning. Unfortunately it did not work! But you need to condition after Listerine and vinegar, but it’s safe

  12. Blondie

    I have found that simply spraying on gold Listerine at night and vinegar the next night and repeating works great! No need to cap an hour or two then rinse, though I did that too. You can cap the Listerine the first time if you want for an hour, then rinse and towel dry, then spray on vinegar, comb off nits in an hour and rinse and condition, or leave in all night. After that just alternate, spraying on Listerine one night and vinegar the next and let dry on. You can rinse the vinegar in the morning and condition. A dab of olive oil lotion adds shine and moisture.

    I don’t think vinegar itself will do it, or Listerine if you miss nits.
    I was capping the Listerine an hour or so then rinsing. Then using vinegar.
    But I saw on another page of yours someone got rid of them in a few days by spraying on gold Listerine at night. And used vinegar once for nits. Then she kept using the Listerine for a week in case. Great advice. Capping isn’t necessary except to catch bugs. But letting it dry on to sleep in is so simple!

    I used vinegar a couple nights first but found I still needed Listerine. So I alternate. And use the denorex occasionally and tea tree shampoo. I have to get tea tree conditioner.

    I think they are gone after five nights. I hope so! And my hair is still shiny. I use leave in conditioner too. I like olive oil leave in from Dollar tree, and Africa’s best leave in or rinse out conditioner, or a dab of Hollywood beauty olive oil lotion. Some ppl like that for nits.

    But thank God I’m hopeful again!
    I did something five nights. I am going to use half Listerine half water now daily to repel. Just makes my hair golder. So I also use a little vinegar in water. If I still itch I’ll do the Listerine full strength again. But if they aren’t gone, I’m back to combing with conditioner every day in the shower! And Denorex and tea tree conditioner. But I hope it worked.

    Thanks for the help! I’m putting lavender on my on the back of my neck and gonna eat some minced garlic too.

    Three nights of Listerine sprayed on and vinegar once worked for the other lady. But she continued to use the Listerine every night for a week. And extra strength denorex. Use Listerine on your furniture. And soak comb in alcohol. Dry bedding and towels on high. Vacuum. Use half water half Listerine to repel or tea tree oil. You can put a dab of it or lavender oil on the back of your neck.

    I’m going to use the electronic comb again too though I was disappointed that it didn’t work. And start taking the garlic tablets or eating minced garlic. You can even rub tea tree oil on the soles of your feet.

    Three drops of peppermint oil in coconut conditioner can help. They jump off peppermint they say. Use in the shower

  13. Blondie

    Stll fighting this battle! Unbelievable!
    Two hours of Listerine then two of vinegar failed. And so did vinegar after Rid.
    But an online friend said four nights of vinegar capped worked!
    And he sprays some on every day. A bit acidic straight though.
    I was glad pouring white vinegar on my hair and squeezing it out and letting it dry made it shiny not dry! I left it on all night and rinsed out in the morning and conditioned. I don’t know if capping matters but it’s messy it drips and stays wet.
    Last night I used vinegar again and capped two hours and rinsed and conditioned. Still shiny thank God!
    Tonight I am doing Listerine an hour then rinsing then vinegar an hour. Then combing and rinsing.
    And tomorrow night I’m doing baby oil and vinegar all night or vinegar. Hope that does it!
    If not I’ll rinse it in vinegar every night or baby oil and vinegar till they are gone!
    I will cap the vinegar if the next time letting it dry on doesn’t work. But my friend capped it. Two nights of Listerine didn’t work for him.
    I think you have to do something four consecutive nights!
    You can simply cap vinegar all night, or apple cider vinegar, or baby oil and vinegar: or use gold Listerine all night, alternating with vinegar all night; or Listerine an hour, rinse, then vinegar an hour, comb off nits, rinse and condition.
    But do something four nights or until no itching or combing off any in the sink or if you dunk the comb in hot water.
    You can probably just let apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or gold Listerine dry on your hair for four consecutive nights. They are the best! And cheap! I don’t know if capping is necessary. And thankfully neither the Listerine nor the vinegar hurts hair! Listerine has essential oils and vinegar conditions, just clarifies and removes oil so remoisturize.
    I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!
    Some people just comb with conditioner every day for a few weeks.
    Half Listerine half water is a great repellant. Use every week. So is ten drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle of water.
    I love the fairy tales repel spray. But the treatment was disappointing and expensive. The comb helps somewhat.
    They say denorex with tar and T gel shampoo once a week helps keep them away.
    I still was using denorex four minutes for a quick kill. But babies return in two days. With everything! The next day even!
    Save money and time and do Listerine or vinegar treatments every day till they are gone!

    • Blondie

      I want to add the first time I used the denorex with tar I left it on about twenty minutes and it worked. But babies returned in a couple days. I was afraid because of the cancer warning so I only leave in a few minutes. But its not enough. I just read someone said ten minutes every day. I will try ten minutes every two or three days because I still have a couple babies after five days of vinegar or Listerine sprayed on or capped on! In between I will wash with tea tree shampoo and comb with conditioner every day in the shower. I read washing every day can prevent them from laying eggs and many ppl say comb with conditioner every day for several weeks. You can use half Listerine half water to repel. Of a few capfulls to a spray bottle of water. Another lady on your site sprayed her kids hair with Listerine every night for ten days, and used vinegar once for nits. The only thing I don’t like about the Listerine is it makes my hair golder. But I may have to keep it. A vinegar and water rinse removes it. So, I can add a couple spoons to a spray bottle of Listerine I guess. But I need a lot! Still cheaper than Rid. Come to think of it, tar shampoo stains it more. Ugh. But I use a spoon of white vinegar to a cup of water and rinse with it.
      When using the Listerine you will need to put vinegar on an hour or two also. Cap or I like to let it dry on and rinse and condition in the morning. It makes it shiny but clarifies so again, moisturize. A dab of olive oil hair lotion is nice and Africa as best leave in or rinse out conditioner is good and cheap. The lady and others also used the denorex with salicylic acid. I’m trying that too. But wondering how safe either Denorex is for kids?
      Guess I’m back to the denorex but for ten minutes, a little vinegar in water for the stain, and occasional Listerine or half Listerine half water daily to repel, or two parts water to one part Listerine to repel. Of tea tree oil in water and conditioner again like I used to.
      I used to have these things gone in two weeks or less, I can’t believe it’s been months of trying things four times a week! Once I thought they were gone.
      You can ignore most of the prior comments as they failed. But also I may start taking the garlic every day. Listerine left dried on at night, sometimes vinegar, all night or an hour or two, tea tree conditioner, denorex shampoo, these seem to work best. And combing with conditioner every day. Some say leave lots of cheap conditioner on all night with some tea tree if you can, and comb off nits wiping in a tissue each swipe. The Listerine won’t hurt hair either will the vinegar you just need to condition well.
      How can they be surviving all this vinegar, Listerine and alcohol, tea tree and peppermint and cetaphil I’ve used! I’m so upset

  14. Blondie

    Well I did Rid again and half vinegar half water on towel dried hair after and left in all night, and that slowed them a lot. Then I sprayed on half water half generic gold Listerine every day for babies and to repel. It’s weird, all I’ve had is lice babies for a long time.
    And once I sprayed full strength Listerine on towel dried hair and left on. You can do that after using the Listerine for five minutes to an hour. You can use half Listerine half water every day. I did that for several days after the Rid, now I’m using a few drops of peppermint oil in conditioner every day and trying to comb the conditioner in the shower. Because they jump off peppermint. I think they are almost gone. I occasionally use denorex.

    You can use gold Listerine for a few minutes any time you need it, or wash your hair with it. But I like the half water half Listerine to repel. Makes my hair slightly gold, I think, but shiny not dry. A little vinegar in water rinse helps if it stains any.
    Tea tree in shampoo and conditioner helps too. I like the terminator comb but not wild about the fairy tales mousse, it’s expensive and I think Rid with a vinegar rinse works better. Their repel spray is nice though.

    Some ppl only comb with conditioner every single day in the shower and I’m doing that awhile with a metal nit comb.
    But I recommend Rid with a vinegar rinse left in, or half water half vinegar on towel dried hair. Or sleep in olive oil after, comb off nits, then use a vinegar rinse and leave in. Or massage in vinegar into the oil fifteen minutes before washing.

    If you use gold Listerine, use it about an hour the first time, then shampoo and spray it on damp hair and leave in all day. You can use half Listerine half water every day as a spray to repel. But try to comb with conditioner in the shower every day too. Or use tea tree mint conditioner or shampoo and comb after. Comb every day for a few weeks. Dunk comb in hot water. Change frequently. Use Listerine or wintergreen rubbing alcohol on furniture.

  15. Jessica

    I was wondering how much Listerine do you put in the spray bottle? Do you dilute it with water? Also, Do you spray it on the child’s hair everyday or once or twice a week? Thanks!

    • Blondie

      For prevention, they are saying spray it on straight. But cover face for fumes. And just leave in for the week. If you can. 10 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle of water can help too. Or lavender.
      But if she has them, let it soak a few hours then rinse and remove nits. My granddaughter gave them to us and they left so I have no one to nit pick and its been hell!
      I’m hoping the terminator comb and the fairy tales treatments eventually cure me! My hair is long!
      :( But I just did gold Listerine, wintergreen rubbing alcohol, some teae tree hair oil and baby oil, and some new babies fell off instantly! But they keep returning!!!

      Fairy tales is natural enzymes and essential oils and can be used as needed. I need more as my hair is long. You must get every bug and every nit! I was so happy the Denorex with tar killed them all in about ten minutes, I think four is probably enough. But it has a be used every couple days for babies and I was afraid of the California cancer warning and leaving it on. And T gel shampoo left in five minutes didn’t seem to work. Ugh! I use to love vegetable oil and vinegar and two teaspoons of tea tree oil two hours. But now I think that only helped a lot cause I would use close to Rid. Then I’d keep adding a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil to coconut conditioner. And comb a lot. I’d swear they were gone in a week! But maybe I was wrong.

      But I didn’t itch like I do now after! Africa hair gro conditioner took 16 washes and failed! A nurse said two garlic tablets. I got dollar store ones but didn’t work. Cetaphil three times didn’t work!

      The electronic Nix comb didn’t help much either! I swore it would!
      Has anyone used the Robi comb?
      The most important thing is nit picking every day, if you have someone! I’m committed to fairy tales now and the terminator comb. And I’ll keep using the electric comb and tea tree conditioner left on some.

  16. Blondie

    I resorted to the the good bye lice kit from fairy tales with a non pesticide mousse and the terminator comb which ppl love. It can be repeated as needed. As nothing else in any combination worked! Not even Listerine then vinegar two hours each!
    I hope this works! In retrospect, Rid with a vinegar rinse for two hours for nits, or olive oil and vinegar two hours on dry hair after, is probably effective! Remove all nits. Or sleep in olive oil on dry hair after the Rid and use half water half vinegar on towel dried hair after washing out. Leave in two hours and rinse and condition and comb off nits. Never use a plastic cap on a small child all night, suffocation risk.

  17. Blondie

    I can’t believe no one thing has totally worked yet!!!
    I did original Listerine for two hours then rinsed and did vinegar another two hours. I was good for a few days. (A little better than the vegetable oil and vinegar, half and half; and two spoons tea tree oil for two hours I use to be fairly successful with, maybe because I usually did Rid the day before and killed the bugs and some nits, and the oil and vinegar removed most nits. Hmmm. I once rubbed tea tree and the oil right on my scalp before the vinegar and oil. Half water half vinegar after Rid can help too!) That was messy but made my hair shiny and I thought worked good, but not the last time!

    But anyway, some itching and tiny black specks started showing up again in the sink when I comb! Four months and a hundred concoctions, and I’m out of options! I only had a few tiny specks, though, thankfully, an improvement. But I’m back to Denorex shampoo with tar, just for a minute or two this time, or T gel which has less tar, for five minutes, every two or three days for a few weeks! I give up! I’m also gonna comb with conditioner in with a metal nit comb every couple days, in the shower. And may switch it up with tea tree mint shampoo or conditioner! Cause apparently nothing works but daily nit picking! If you have someone! And maybe Rid or some mayo first, followed by a vinegar rinse for two hours, or the Listerine and vinegar, to get most off. (Never cap a small child all night, suffocation risk)

    But some good news, I found a pediatric site that says Nuetragena T gel shampoo kills lice quickly and is safe for children and adults. (But not the nits.) But check with a doctor for small children. You may just want to do mayo and a little apple cider vinegar for two hours on them and nit pick.

    But the site said just lather and work through hair and rinse. Though on an adult, I’d follow instructions, leave in a few minutes and repeat! Then use three times a week. For three weeks. Denorex works faster, has alcohol and more tar, but not safe to leave on long. Needs a minute or two to work on lice. (Cancer warning from California for large amounts of tar, as I keep saying). T gel has a safer amount.

    That and combing with coconut or tea tree mint conditioner on after shampoooing, should help. And tea tree mint shampoo in between. I can’t believe they are surviving everything! Sorry for all the comments, I was sharing what other people said worked and what I thought did! I use to knock them out fast with Rid, then oil and vinegar and tea tree the next day for two hours, then tea tree mint conditioner left in a little and lots of combing! Even the dermatologist only prescribed me a shampoo for eczema he thought might kill them, but my insurance didn’t cover it, and it was $250! Forget it! I’ll use denorex and t gel shampoo! But I’m waiting on him again!

    Another lady said shampoo and condition every day with coconut shampoo and conditioner and comb with the conditioner on in the shower, and they’re gone in a week. Someone else said wash with Listerine, then coconut shampoo. I assume on wet hair and must be repeated every few days probably.

    I’m going to take a couple garlic tablets a day too.
    The electric Nix comb didn’t help much! I know some people are as frustrated as us!
    Please if something definitely works, let me know! I’m done commenting, promise. Unless I find a sure cure! God help us!

  18. Blondie

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t post this, but I hope you will! Lol. I still had a few small black specks a few days after using the apple cider vinegar and baby oil and creamy baby oil, so disappointed and frustrated once again, I was afraid of re infestation and before resigning myself to denorex shampoo with tar every couple of days for three weeks, not left on, and some combing; I decided to try my concoction that seemed to remove some nits fast and definitely killed the new bugs, again, but for a little longer:
    Half original gold Listerine, a drug store brand; half 70% wintergreen rubbing alcohol, and lots of Angel of mine creamy baby oil for the benzyl alcohol and a good amount of regular baby oil. I like the one with aloe. But any baby oil is good. Massage in a little at a time or pour on carefully protecting eyes. Keep from flame! This time I left in 25 minutes. The fumes are a bit bad at first, but subside. Then I washed a few times and conditioned and rinsed. Then I put a little bit of a cream leave in conditioner, to make combing easier.
    Then I combed over the sink. And to my happy surprise, I saw the usual dead little black or beige baby specks, but this time I saw a bunch of small clear specks I can only assume were the nits ! Yay!! ! The rubbing alcohol speeded up what the Listerine does, and the baby oil moisturizes and I think maybe helps with nits too, not sure. I know the alcohol does. And I think the benzyl alcohol in the creamy baby oil kills more too. Because we did rubbing alcohol and baby oil before and they come back quick. Without baby oil it dries out scalp and dulls hair and the fumes are terrible! I noticed once before when I used the creamy baby oil with the rubbing alcohol it worked better, in 20 minutes, but I did Cetaphil too so I wasn’t sure which one worked . It wasn’t the Cetaphil. I just did that and it didn’t work. Nothing did. Not Listerine two hours, rinsed, and vinegar on wet hair after for one. And it burned then stung a little. ( I’m sure if you get all the nits it works good. Other ppl comb off the nits easily with olive oil hair lotion after the Listerine for two hours!) And not coconut oil all night, or olive oil and tea tree and peppermint all night. Wintergreen rubbing alcohol and baby oil 15 minutes killed the bugs and removed most nits off my grandkids but they returned fast, maybe I missed some; olive oil and vinegar and tea tree oil 2 hours kept them away a few days, mayo and apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil 2 hours helped but they returned in two days. But on my grandkids I swore it killed all the bugs and got most nits off.
    I still think if you nit pick well, those last two will work if you get every nit. Rid failed, garlic tablets didn’t work. The wintergreen rubbing alcohol and creamy baby oil worked good, but I didn’t repeat. And the Denorex with tar for ten minutes worked wonders, but you’re not supposed to leave it on and babies returned in a few days. I was about to just use that every few days for three weeks and from now on I will if needed, but I will not leave on again. Maybe just like 30 seconds, because it’s not safe, they say. But again, t gel shampoo has less tar and may help too.
    Half water half vinegar all day stung and failed. And creamy baby oil, baby oil, and apple cider vinegar an hour, followed by washing the last time with Denorex a minute stung a bit the next day, and babies unfortunately started to show up! I hoped the baby oil and vinegar would kill bugs and remove nits and the Denorex would finish any off. And good combing.
    But, the last time I only left the wintergreen rubbing alcohol, original Listerine, creamy baby oil and regular baby oil in ten minutes, and saw some nits. But this time, I saw lots of nits, after leaving in 25 minutes, I never have before, so hopeful!!!
    You may not need the creamy baby oil but it’s only a dollar and easily found! I think it helps. The Listerine in the rubbing alcohol definitely did! As does the baby oil! Repeat in a week. For small children try mayo with a little apple cider vinegar and combing. Or creamy baby oil a couple hours and comb off nits.
    If I see babies all I can do is denorex every two or three days now, not left on! I’m out of anything to try, except neem oil ! Unless the doctor comes up with something.
    I apologize again for all the comments! It’s maddening, cause nothing works totally besides combing and nit picking every day! If you have someone to do it! I hope my trials and errors helps. I hope this last formula works! But thank God for denorex and t gel, in time with combing I think they work and are easy. Just stinks about the tar warning. Hope it’s exaggerated, but don’t leave on! Just three minutes the first time, no more than five, and don’t leave on again but use every two or three days for babies. And use sunscreen. But I will be thrilled if this concoction got the nits and I’m cured! I know many people are having same issues!
    One lady did say washing with coconut shampoo and combing with coconut conditioner in every single day cured her girls in about a week! I know we fail not nit picking enough too I think. I promise I’m done for awhile! :/

    • Blondie

      Unfortunately, they came back with this too! And everything else I tried! But I think the gold Listerine two hours, followed by vinegar another two hours, works!!! Sorry for the many long comments of what others said worked and what I thought did!
      BUT, I did do the original Listerine, a drug store brand, capped, two hours, (I didn’t add any oil this time), then rinsed and squeezed out the excess water, then poured on lots of white vinegar and left in another two hours, then combed with a metal nit comb, and rinsed and conditioned. And I’m happy to say it didn’t hurt my hair, and I haven’t combed anything off in a few days! So you can disregard my other comments, sorry! The person before me had a way of rinsing the Listerine after an hour in a plugged tub to see if any were alive and if so, re apply. But you want to get the nits off too. So I left in two. The vinegar should get any missed ones.

      The Listerine does burn a little at first but subsides. You should ask a doctor first before using on small children. It may need to be diluted. Or use mayo and a little apple cider vinegar a couple hours and nit pick.

      The Denorex shampoo with tar does kill them in three to five minutes, but not the nits. And the cancer warning against large amounts of tar scared me. Though a minute or two with that for lice babies may suffice. But I found T gel shampoo has less tar and is safe to leave on six to eight minutes, then a few minutes every few days. But the Listerine and vinegar is better. But if any return, hopefully not, I’ll use T gel for a few minutes.

      You can spray the furniture with alcohol or Listerine and use a little Listerine in kids hair to prevent them. Running bedding through the dryer on high is good, and towels, vacuum and mop. Also tea tree mint shampoo can repel them too.

      Nit picking every day with a good metal comb will always work too. No matter what you do, you must get every nit off and bugs must be dead. The only other option is Rid but rinse with vinegar after for two hours for nits, or towel dry and spray on half water half vinegar and leave in two hours.

      Sorry for being so annoying, this was a nightmare for us! Nothing worked, and what I thought worked didn’t. We probably were missing nits. The Listerine followed by a vinegar rinse helped a lot! Especially if you have no one to nit pick! The cetaphil failed, the electric comb failed, and the oil and vinegar two hours kept them away a few days but failed,but gets off many nits; maybe if you use Rid the day before it works.

      I kept sharing what other people said cured them, but only the gold Listerine followed by the vinegar rinse worked for me! Ask a doctor before using on small children, and tar shampoo may not be good for them. A lady said she cured her girls by simply washing and combing with coconut conditioner in, in the shower every day for a week. And two garlic tablets a day may help.
      But I wish I had done the Listerine and vinegar rinse first now! Would have saved a lot of time and trouble, and money!

  19. Blondie

    Well, sorry to comment yet again! But nothing was successful. I never tried the original Listerine for two hours as the lady before me suggested. But I would definitely rinse out, then rinse with vinegar and leave in two more hours capped, and rinse and condition and comb. Ppl like that. Or towel dry and use half water half vinegar two hours after the Listerine. An hour may do it, not sure! Ppl also like the olive oil hair lotion for nits after the Listerine.

    I used Denorex shampoo with tar again as it was the only thing that worked for me!
    I shampooed twice, just for a minute, just long enough to lather up good and massage in and rinse out. Then I squeezed out the water and poured white vinegar over my hair and massaged in and left in. It was very cold, I should have towel dried and used half water half vinegar. But I left in about an hour, then put conditioner over it and combed well with the metal nit comb. Then rinsed and used a deep conditioner. I used the vinegar for nits. The Denorex can’t kill them. You can just shampoo every few days it will kill any new babies. For 3 weeks. Again, Denorex says not to leave on! I don’t know how good T gel shampoo works but has less tar. There’s no warning for children on either. I don’t know how well the gel works. But may be safer on small kids. You need sunscreen the day after Denorex. I was fine.

    You can also use half water half vinegar on damp hair after using Rid too, for the nits. Or straight apple cider vinegar on wet hair, both for an hour or two, then rinse and re condition. Diluted vinegar is safe but clarifies so use moisturizing conditioner.

    The only other thing may be to use olive oil and vinegar, half and half, with generous tea tree oil if you can, or mayo and apple cider vinegar and the tea tree if you have it, capped for two hours for bugs and nits, then wash three times, and the last time wash with Denorex. Apple cider vinegar with the vegetable or olive oil will probably sting less. They are runny, have paper towels ready! But don’t leave the Denorex on! It wll kill more. Or use it the next day. You can also use the oil and vinegar for nits for an hour after Rid and drying hair. It’s more moisturizing than water and vinegar, but of course requires washing a few times. Can be done the day after Rid, for nits and bugs. Comb well with a metal nit comb and remove the nits.
    Spray furniture with alcohol or Listerine. And use a tablespoon of the Listerine in a bottle of water to repel on hair.
    I’m going to take a couple garlic tablets a day too! And I’m gonna use the electric comb twice a day for three weeks. You should really do that after any treatment, and hopefully that will cure them! There’s the Robi and the Nix comb I have. PPL use that by itself but then you need to nit pick with it! But it’s worth $30!

    • Blondie

      You should leave the Denorex shampoo with tar on two or three full minutes before rinsing and towel drying and using half vinegar half water two hours for nits. I’m doing that now. Cetaphil failed and Listerine two hours with vinegar on wet hair another hour failed. Someone said one hour original Listerine then rinse and one hour vinegar for nits, they slide off. Then rinse and condition. I guess if someone can check you for nits that works.

      As I said T gel shampoo has less tar and is safer to leave on, but you probably need to leave on five minutes. And do every two or three days for three weeks. The half water half vinegar after on towel dried hair can help loosen nits. Check in five minutes with t gel to see if they are dead. May need a few more minutes. Denorex has more tar and alcohol too and menthol so works faster. Conditioning too. Only leave that on two or three minutes the first time, then one or two minutes after, every two or three days for babies. Again the vinegar will help with nits as it can’t kill nits. And a good metal nit comb. Ppl recommend the terminator comb. If you can find it. You can try alternating with tea tree mint shampoo or conditioner and combing. Comb with conditioner in every day or two days too if you can. But don’t use the tar shampoo every day.

      Someone said shampooing using coconut shampoo and conditioner every single day worked in a week. Use a metal nit comb in the shower, detangle first. I’m using the denorex and t gel shampoo as nothing is working to keep them from coming back! I pray they find a better treatment. Kwell shampoo use to be good and they stopped it now nothings as good!

  20. Hunny

    I saw someone ask on another site if olive oil, vinegar and Listerine works. No one answered but this seemed like a great combination, since Listerine has alcohol and essential oils to kill lice and remove nits, and so does vinegar, and the olive oil smothers and moisturizers! But I can’t find anything on it. I see someone else on here was mixing vinegar and Listerine. The olive oil would make it better! Anyone hear of it? I’d do 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar or apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup Listerine two hours. I have tried oil, vinegar and tea tree before, this would kick it up a notch with the Listerine. Never heard of it but sounds good. Has anyone used it? Also people said Head and shoulders and Selson Blue. I notice my daughters that use those don’t get lice.

    • hunny

      Well, I tried it. But it ran so bad into my eyes that I took off the cap and let it hang but washed out in 45 minutes. The olive oil was hard to wash out! So try like this, if you want:
      1. part original Listerine, one part vinegar or apple cider vinegar (milder) and one part olive or vegetable oil. Pour on, massage into scalp, squeeze out excess in the tub! Put a towel over it or cap but it runs! Have paper towels ready! Keep out of eyes. Leave in two hours if you can! At least one. The Listerine and vinegar kills and loosens nits while the oil smothers and moisturizers. Wash a few times.

      I took it off too soon. I should have squeezed out excess! Hey, sprinkle in tea tree if you have it. At half oil my hair was healthy, but olive oil was hard to wash out, this is probably better and a bit stronger! Hope this helps! Olive oil is thicker than vegetable. Throw bedding in the dryer on high. Dry heat is better. Dry pillows on low and keep plastic on them. Idk if high heat on pillows is a fire hazard. Spray them and furniture with the Listerine!

      • Blondie

        The only other thing I know worked for my friend and her daughter, and I thought worked on me for a month, but I didn’t re do and they returned was Cetaphil face wash. It’s mild but do it exactly! One bottle does three heads:
        Apply with a tint bottle in small sections to the scalp well and criss cross. Then cover hair with it. Then comb off excess and wipe in a paper towel and dispose in a plastic bag. Then you must blow dry all the way, with heat, leaving no damp spots! It takes time! Then cap, sleep in and shampoo in the morning. And condition and comb. It supposedly works even if you don’t get all the nits. Repeat in about a week, then again.
        I’m out of options. It’s that, or denorex every few days, and the electric comb every day for me for a month! Good luck!
        Have someone get all the bugs and nits off with a metal nit comb every day works too.
        Anyone else ever feel like trying hand sanitizer? It has alcohol, glycerin and I’d get the one with aloe! May work in a half hour or hour. But keep from flame., anything with alcohol!
        Sorry for all the comments going nuts. Hope the Listerine two hours works! That’s my last option to try! Thanks!

  21. Blondie

    Three months and off and on for three years battling them and this time nothing worked! My daughter used original Listerine in the past for her and the kids but I was afraid to. My hair’s lightened. I usually have great success with olive oil, vinegar and tea tree oil for two hours, then combing and using tea tree mint shampoo worked fast! Maybe because I usually used rid a day before. Idk. Or they’re more resistant! You have to kill all the bugs and remove the nits at once or more can hatch the next day or more will lay eggs! I’m sorry now we didn’t try Listerine! I would add some baby or tea tree oil to it for moisture though! And I’d only leave in ten minutes. I read you only need a few. Idk about for nits though. Ten should do it! You have to repeat anyway!

    We did rubbing alcohol, wintergreen, and I added lots of baby oil because it’s drying and fumes are bad! It can burn without the baby oil! Kills fast though. 15 minutes. Keep from flame. But they came back!

    But now finally I think the three year nightmare is over! I used Denorex shampoo with coal tar for only 10 or 15 minutes. And I combed off more dead babies when my hair dried then with anything! Like 30 I didn’t know I still had! And I just did rid again a few days ago! I thought they were nits at first but I don’t think so. The only draw back is California has a warning about tar shampoo and cancer. Maybe overly cautious. Ppl been using for years! And many use it on kids for lice as nothing else works as good, and is easy! Conditioning too! Stained my blonde hair slightly but a little vinegar in water rinsed out helped And it wasn’t bad.It’s gold. Some places pulled it but it’s on Amazon. They say keep using for new babies every couple days, but I won’t leave on long. And I may try Listerine IF I need to. But this is too easy! And gentle. So far so good!

    Another excellent tip from a couple ppl who had bad cases is African hair growth cream with petroleum jelly, or BB, in the drug store. Overnight kills all! And one treatment worked they said! And washes out easier than Vaseline!

    Other ppl say olive oil lotion after the Listerine works to make the nits come off easy. I guess they mean hair lotion in the black section. But then I suppose you must wash again. Half vinegar and water can be left in. And makes hair shiny! Straight vinegar is too acidic! Apple cider vinegar is a bit milder. But half white vinegar and water should be good to help remove nits too.

    • Blondie

      I just want to add a word of caution, Denorex says it’s not formulated for lice and not meant to be left in! It could be dangerous used that way. So shampoo in and wash right out. And repeat. And she wasn’t sure about children under 12. I can’t find anything on the bottle. It can also make you prone to sunburn but I used sunscreen and had no problem! And leaving it in as I did can actually cause more itching and irritation to the scalp. So I recommend using it as instructed. She said it won’t kill nits. And nit picking every day is the key to success.

      However if you use Listerine it probably only takes a few minutes to kill the bugs. Maybe a little more to loosen nits. But either rinse out after 3 to 10 minutes then use the olive oil hair lotion in the black hair care section to remove nits easily. Then shampoo. Or wash it out and rinse towel dried hair with half water and half white vinegar and leave in for nits. Comb off nits after an hour. You can rinse. Vinegar itself washes hair so you don’t need to wash it out or the Listerine if you rinse it off in an hour or two!
      Try eating garlic or taking a couple garlic tablets. What could be easier? Put garlic in little ones spaghetti or pizza!

      Also try combing hair with conditioner on, small sections, root to ends and wipe on a tissue with every swipe! Dispose in a plastic bag.
      The African hair growth jelly seems excellent too over night! Around $3. Repeat in a week to ten days.
      Nit picking every day is recommended to beat them!

      You can also try sleeping with olive oil or mayo and rubbing in vinegar or apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes before washing a couple times. Can be repeated every few days. Or mayo and apple cider vinegar with some tea tree oil for two hours, or olive oil and white vinegar with some tea tree but that stings a bit. And none of those is a one time cure they just loosen nits and kill the live bugs usually. But must repeat. But it sounds like the original Listerine and the hair growth jelly works better!

    • Blondie

      Well, as I didn’t want to use denorex every few days for 3 weeks, it’s very simple and good, but just slightly stained my hair, I decided to try the Africa’s best super gro conditioner overnight. Well, whoever said it’s easier to wash out then Vaseline, idk! It took me about 17 shampoos! And after about 5 I poured vinegar over it for five minutes and kept washing! I hope this works! I would massage some vinegar in before washing for 15 minutes! Or put dawn dish detergent over it before hitting with water! If this fails, I’m continuing with Denorex! But washing it right out, not safe to leave on. Idk if T gel shampoo with tar is as good, but it may be safer on kids. Less tar. Again, the one for stubborn itch has menthol too. Or you can dilute the denorex with tar with water for kids maybe. It works great, just has a cancer warning from California for large amounts of tar. Sigh, works great!

      Again, I had good results mixing half wintergreen rubbing alcohol, half original Listerine, and lots of baby oil from the dollar store, massaged in, but only left in ten minutes, and dead new lice babies and it looked like some nits came off! So I would leave it on a half hour! Keep from flame! Use a metal nit comb. The more oil the more you must wash. Angel of mine creamy baby oil from the dollar store has benzyl alcohol which kills lice, and is easier to wash out then baby oil. By itself may be good on little ones over night!
      Also, I did read ppl had success with the original Listerine with a shower cap for 2 hours, then rinsed, then used vinegar for another two hours!

      For my lightened hair, I would add a couple spoons of baby oil and some tea tree oil to the Listerine, I’d need two cups, two hours, rinse, then squeeze out excess water and pour on apple cider vinegar, or towel dry and use half white vinegar and half water two hours for the nits. Then comb and rinse. Vinegar diluted conditions and washes, but clarifies . So I’d deep condition. Or I’d try the olive oil hair lotion after the Listerine for nits. And rinse or shampoo! That should work!

      But again, a few minutes with a Robi or Nix electric comb every day for a few weeks can help greatly after a natural or any treatment! Some natural treatments I mentioned that can help but must be repeated every few days if you don’t get all the nits or use the electric comb, are:
      Half vegetable or olive oil, (I like the vegetable it’s thinner, but runs more!), half white vinegar or apple cider (milder), some tea tree oil if you can, capped, an hour. I’ve done two hours, but needs repeating so one is good. Or, mayo and apple cider vinegar to desired consistency, and tea tree oil if you can, capped an hour. Wash 3x and condition and comb with the metal comb. Repeat in a few days then again. An alternative is sleeping with olive oil or mayo, then massaging in vinegar to the oil, or apple cider vinegar to the mayo, for a half hour before washing and conditioning and combing. Repeat every four days till gone also. Or alternate with the oil and vinegar and tea tree an hour. Use tea tree mint shampoo too if you can. Or add 12 drops pure tea tree oil to a bottle of shampoo or a few drops to a dollop. 12 drops to a bottle of water repels, and can be used on furniture. Listerine can be too. And a tablespoon of it to a bottle of water for hair to repel.
      Another natural treatment is spray hair slightly damp with water, then pour or spray apple cider vinegar over it and let dry. Then massage in slightly warmed coconut oil, only coconut it’s thick, and leave in all night or day. Then wash and comb. Supposed to work one time, idk!

      An electric comb is only about $30 and can help greatly, especially if you nit pick too. But takes diligence and time! I have the nix one, but by itself did not work in two weeks but I have no one to nit pick right now. But I’m sure it helps especially after another treatment like vinegar and oil for two hours! But vinegar that long can sting. Which is why maybe only an hour or the next treatment I would sleep in the olive oil and massage in the vinegar only the last half hour!

      I have not tried two garlic tablets yet, but a school nurse said it works. But how do you get small kids to take it? Maybe rub a cut garlic clove on the nape or put in food!
      I tried to condense my comments here, it’s been trail and error. Hope it helps! I will post if the African conditioner with petroleum worked! Once is supposed to do it!
      If not I’m continuing with Denorex shampoo!’

  22. Jamie

    Unfortunately, having 2 kids and living in hippie Asheville, we have battled lice before. I have always eliminated it the first time with this cleaning method. The below Listerine method worked very well to kill lice and loosen nits – way better than the prescriptions I have used before. I only found 3 nits still attached to the hair shaft. All the rest (there were dozens) were detached and ALL the lice were DEAD! Yippee!! Lice infestations are essential to treat correctly to get rid of them. So don’t be lazy, be thorough and you can beat those bugs!

    IMPORTANT: You must check all family members and treat all that have lice at the same time! Otherwise, you can re-infest those who have been treated.
    1) Soak the hair and scalp in original Listerine (amber color). Do not get any in the eyes! Wrap hair in a plastic shower/treatment cap or plastic wrap. Leave on for an hour.
    2) After an hour, rinse well, retaining the water to gauge the infestation. You should see only dead bugs and some nits. If any are alive, repeat Listerine step. You can shampoo and condition but I just rinsed to leave some scent as a deterrent.
    3) THIS STEP IS CRUCIAL TO ELIMINATING LICE: Nit comb through the hair inch by inch, very carefully, removing ALL eggs and bugs. BUY A NIT COMB IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE – regular combs will not remove the eggs. Rinse the comb in water as you go to remove the bugs and eggs, most of which should be detached from the hair shaft with this treatment.
    4) Wash all bedding, towels, and worn clothing in HOT water and dry on high. Pillows and stuffed animals can be dried on high heat for about 30 minutes, which kills lice and eggs. Stuffed animals and decorative pillows can also be bagged in plastic for 2 weeks. Put delicates in plastic for 2 weeks also.
    5) Vacuum everything you can, especially carpets around beds and furniture. I also vacuum mattresses and wipe down headboards and furniture. Vacuum the car(s), especially the seats and headrests.
    7) Repeat the Listerine soak and combing in 9 days. If any lice or nits are found, repeat every 9 days until they are eliminated.

    Many people don’t know how to properly treat lice and it creates re-infestations, which spread in schools. Hope this helps and good luck!

    • Blondie

      Great comment. I have also heard ppl are using olive oil lotion, I assume the hair lotion in the ethnic section, after using the Listerine as the nits come off very easily! I guess you can just rinse the Listerine first and wash out the lotion.

      I also read someone else said you gently massage original Listerine in and put in a towel (for fumes) for a few minutes before washing. I’m wondering if that is enough. I suppose you could rinse and check as you said. But I wonder if it’s long enough for the nits? Maybe must be repeated. I’m just wondering how safe 2 hours of Listerine is on lightened or color treated hair? I add a couple spoons of baby oil to everything when in doubt and some tea tree. My daughter has used Listerine I have not.
      I also read you can wash and towel dry hair and spray half water half vinegar on and leave in. This is for lice and eggs. You can comb while wet after it’s on a little but leave in. The eggs are hard to attach with vinegar in. It won’t hurt hair diluted in half and on damp hair. It makes it shiny and soft. It just stings a little. The smell goes away. It’s just clarifying so condition later.

      Wiki how says apple cider vinegar on dry hair, but you can dampen with water a little, and let dry all the way. Then slightly warm coconut oil and coat hair and scalp with it and leave in all day or night, capped. Only coconut other oil will run. But all nits and bugs must be removed as usual. But this will loosen and smother.
      Nothing worked for me but Denorex with tar. But don’t leave in, you wash twice. Must be used every few days for babies. Only drawback use sunscreen because can incense sunburn risk for a day. And California has a cancer warning for tar. But worked like a charm. But I’m leaving some vinegar and water in for eggs, half and half. Stings just a little. Wish I had gotten the olive oil lotion! I’m going to rinse and condition tonight. Vinegar washes hair so shampoo not necessary!
      But here’s two great tips I will also try!

      A school nurse said she hands out garlic tablets! Another lady said 2 made them disappear! Dollar store has them.
      And lastly two ppl with very bad cases said Africa hair gro or BB cream, they have petroleum jelly and oils. Cover hair with it and cap and leave in all night! Then comb. Once did it they claim! I’m doing that next as the babies came back in a few days after the denorex with tar. But it killed more than the pesticides or anything else did, quickly and gently. Some places no longer carry. But you are not to leave it in!

      My friend swears by Cetaphil face wash. But you must apply to scalp well with a tint bottle and then cover hair. Then comb off excess and wipe on a paper towel. Then you must blow dry all the way with heat, leaving no damp spots! Takes time. But it seals them. Cap and leave in all night. Wash out and comb. Supposedly you don’t even have to get the nits off but try. Repeat in a week then again. A bottle goes far. Treats a few heads. It’s mild. But I’m trying the Africa hair gro jelly next. Wastes out easier than Vaseline and only cost a few dollars!

    • Blondie

      Sorry, I just want to report that I shampooed, towel dried, and sprayed my hair with half water and half white vinegar, left it in; and I combed with the metal nit comb in about an hour while wet, it was easy and slippery, root to ends and rinsed each swipe; then combed again a few hours later when totally dry with the vinegar still in, and some leave in conditioner over it, there were dead lice in the sink after rinsing the comb I sprayed with alcohol! Then I went through it again with the electronic Nix comb and I think more came off. The Nix comb itself didn’t work in two weeks. You still must remove nits I guess! But I’m leaving the vinegar in all day my hair is shiny I just put some leave in conditioner over it. But eggs have a hard time attaching to it! This can be done every few days.
      Or you may want to follow up with the electric comb after the Listerine . Or Africa hair gro jelly all night. They seem to be the best treatments. And Denorex with tar shampoo, which I love! Does not kill the eggs though and just slightly stained my hair gold, I thought. I left it in a little you aren’t supposed to, not safe! Rinse out, repeat and nit pick. May remove some nits, not sure. Ppl claim it does but I got babies in a few days. Very easy to use though, just wash every few days with it for a few weeks. And use sunscreen. Next day at least! And try two garlic tablets. I’m going to!

      • Blondie

        (Half water half vinegar stings a bit.) You may want to dilute it with 2 parts water if you’re leaving it in all day. Or rinse out after two hours and combing. Rinse and condition. No need to wash.

        • Blondie

          I’m happy to say this worked great! Better than the usual oil and vinegar or mayo and apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil for two hours I usually swear by! It was messy, but helped remove nits and made my hair healthy but it didn’t work this time! I don’t know why, maybe because you shampoo first? Strange. But my scalp did sting all day. I only combed maybe one small one off when I got home when I combed my hair over the sink with my metal comb to check. This is how you check, or on a child spraying with water and combing and dunking in hot water. My hair was insanely shiny but a little limp and a bit “overly clean” feeling so I would deep condition.

          But I want to adjust it a bit since it stings. Shampoo and towel dry hair. Mix half white vinegar and half water and spray it in hair. Let totally air dry, leave in 2 or 3 hours then comb off nits and dead bugs. They should be partly disintegrated. Then put lots of inexpensive moisturizing conditioner over it, and cap another half hour or more to smother any that may be left. Rinse well, no need to shampoo again. Or simply rinse out the vinegar after combing, towel dry, and leave a nice moisturizing conditioner in, capped for a half hour.

          A tea tree mint or rosemary mint or coconut oil one is good! This will help suffocate if any are left. And reconditions hair. (The sight I got this off of never said how long to leave in the vinegar and water, so I assume all day but it does sting a bit. It’s fine after rinsing and conditioner.) The site which was how to kill lice with vinegar, also has a method of one cup vinegar and one cup baby oil and leave in all night. And do every night till gone. But this is easy and cheap! Can be redone in about four days.

          My friend online is saying he’s having better luck with T-gel shampoo, and he got his at the dollar store, then Listerine. But he was using mint Listerine. Neutrogena has T-gel shampoo, they have one that says intense itch that has menthol, and less tar then the Denorex shampoo and I googled it, it is safe for kids.

          They said California went over board with the cancer warnings for tar shampoos. They are the bomb for lice! Kill more then pesticides but don’t leave on. Wash twice. They won’t kill eggs though, I had babies after three days which is why I did the vinegar. But you can just keep using the shampoo. But the vinegar and water will probably knock them out faster cause it can remove nits! But I was wondering why my daughter never gets lice, guess why? She uses T-gel shampoo, from the dollar store!
          And yes, vinegar and water is safe on processed or dyed hair, it actually improves color, just clarifies which is why you deep condition. This has been a three month battle for us, my daughter resorted to Vaseline on the kids!

          The name of the conditioners with petroleum jelly is Africa’s Best Super Gro, the other one is BB. In the ethnic section at CVS and Walgreens. You smother them over night which will be my follow up when I have time to wash my hair in the morning! Suppose to work wonders! You can also do the T gel shampoo or Denorex with tar twice, (again, don’t leave in, can irritate and not meant to be left in awhile) and leave a vinegar rinse in of one or two parts water and one part white vinegar for two hours after, for the nits, rinse and re condition. Works great! Sunscreen recommended after Denorex, the next day.

        • Blondie

          I feel annoying to keep commenting, but you know how you think something works then you itch or feel crawling? And I comb over the sink so I see if lice babies are back in a few days, though I think dead ones can still be in the next day. But the all day half water and vinegar did sting and though hair was shiny and bright, over stripped. So again only leave in two hours then comb then smother with conditioner on top (I didn’t have time) for another hour, add five drops of tea tree oil if you can, or cheap hair oil in the ethnic section with olive oil and coconut, if you can then rinse and comb again.

          I combed off more tiny lice babies before a party last night, (even though a co worker found no nits or bugs), so I did this instead of using Denorex again, though I will!:
          Half original Listerine, half wintergreen rubbing alcohol and lots of baby oil and some creamy baby oil from the dollar store. (I found angel of mine creamy baby oil has benzyl alcohol which kills lice, and moisturizers and washes out easier than baby oil.) The more oil the more you need to shampoo though! I only had ten minutes but you can leave in 20 or 30, it does not burn, it makes hair shiny. I washed 4 x .I rushed out. This morning I combed off more very small dead lice babies. I can tell they’re dead cause no longer black from eating!
          Just a way to speed up Listerine!

          Again, if you use half vinegar or apple cider vinegar (less acidic and less sting then white) and half olive or thick vegetable oil, or mayo and apple cider vinegar to desired consistency; with some tea tree oil if you can, for two hours, you can kill a lot and remove lot of nits, it is messy though but makes hair healthy, it’s not a cure all but daily use after of an electronic Nix or Robi comb may get the rest! Fairly simple and cheap. Use it twice a day for two or three weeks! You can also do this after a Listerine treatment, sleeping in olive oil or mayo then massaging in vinegar (or apple cider vinegar with the mayo) for the last half hour before washing, or the apple cider vinegar on damp hair and let dry then smother in slightly warmed coconut oil all night or day. (Supposedly once works, idk!) As you would have killed live bugs and got many nits off! Just a thought. And all are natural and moisturize.

          Another bonus would be washing those oil treatments out the third and final time with the Denorex! Just don’t leave in! Or the T gel shampoo it has less tar and safe for kids and the stubborn itch has menthol too. Denorex is better though. These kill bugs but not the eggs. Listerine and oil and vinegar treatments help remove nits. Vinegar can sting a bit. And don’t forget to try the Africa’s best super gro conditioner or BB brand overnight! It’s only$3. I’m doing that in a couple days if any more babies. And definitely as a re treatment when I have time in the morning to wash out!

          I did see what I think were nits today in the sink after the Listerine and alcohol and baby oil last night, hoping. But the Listerine sounds great too, I’m sure with the essential oils it’s pretty mild. I just didn’t want to chance it yet. I’d add some tea tree oil or baby oil on me, two spoons. But ppl rave over the Africa and BB creams over night, if I saw that sooner, I’d have done that first and I highly recommend trying that first! Praying it works! After all summer, they’re the best tips I’ve seen! Sorry for many comments but these buggers are tough! Nit picking every day is still the best!

          • Blondie

            I’m happy to report I’m not combing off a thing today! So so far, that combination worked for me! (A drug store brand of original Listerine, wintergreen rubbing alcohol, and dollar store creamy baby oil with aloe and some baby oil with aloe (you only need one, for moisture and suffocation, the Angel of mine creamy baby oil is less greasy than regular baby oil, and has benzyl alcohol, which helps). For only ten minutes! But you can leave in 20, keep from flame. I had to washed 4x.

            I know the added Listerine did it, because we did the rubbing alcohol and baby oil several times! It kills fast but they come back. And alcohol by itself dries your scalp and hair! So do this or do the Listerine two hour soak. I would just like to know how it affects colour treated blonde hair? I would still add a couple spoons of baby oil and some tea tree, but that’s just me. Just for moisture and the tea tree for a boost. There’s a cheap Hollywood beauty brand but it’s diluted with other oils but would do fine, ethnic section.

            But if any come back I think I’ll do the straight Listerine just for a few minutes and wash and condition, but I’ll have to see. Maybe just a spoon or two of oil to it for ten minutes, depending on if any return! So forget the vinegar and water!

            But I will probably just sleep in the Africa’s best super gro conditioner! I bought it. And it will deep condition! :) They have an excellent deep leave in or rinse out conditioner I bought cheap at the beauty supply. Has silicone and that helps too!
            But remember it’s Africa’s best super gro hair and scalp conditioner with petroleum, or BB brand, not the hair gel! Has other oils. Overnight capped. But Listerine does work well!!! Thanks for the excellent posts. This has been a nightmare of trial and failures, including a brand of Rid three times! Listerine, and Denorex also, worked much better! But the Listerine works on the eggs too I think!

            They claim once with the hair and scalp cream with petroleum overnight with combing cured bad long term cases! Be blessed!

          • Blondie

            Dang my comments are confusing, even for me! Lol. I’m so, sorry, fourth time around and the worst! For me and my daughter and grandkids. The usual cure for me of oil and vinegar and tea tree oil did not work. Maybe cause I normally do a couple days after Rid, so I get off nits? Idk, but let me group and summarize the best we have tried or googled!:
            The original Listerine, even from the dollar store, massage in a little at a time rather than spray because of fumes! Two hours as the person above me stated, you can check in an hour but comb off nits and bugs with a good metal nit comb. Ppl are recommending Olive oil hair lotion in the ethnic section to do this easily after the Listerine! Rinse I suppose.
            Dry everything on high, you don’t have to keep washing. Wash anything worn in the last two days, vacuum and mop and bag stuffed animals two weeks. Spray furniture with Listerine! Add some to a water bottle and use to repel.

            I did not use this because my hair is lightened and long. My daughter has and I guess it worked. IF I ever try it, I would add some tea tree oil and spoon or two of baby oil. Or hair oil with tea tree, for moisture and a boost. It’s a little bottle in the black hair care section and cheap. It’s not pure tea tree oil though.
            I read two ppl with long term bad cases said he only thing that worked was Africa’s best hair and scalp conditioner, or BB brand, they have petroleum and other oils and wash out easier than Vaseline. They said over night and capped worked first time! Use nit comb after or before washing. I’m doing that next!

            Two ppl said two garlic tablets made them leave or die. One is a school nurse and hands them out! I have not tried yet.
            Denorex shampoo with coal tar works wonders. I used it, but I was bad, I left it in about ten minutes. You aren’t supposed to! For some ppl this is the only thing that worked! It killed more for me than anything. But won’t kill nits. Wash with it twice, don’t leave on. You must use every few days for babies for several weeks. So I would maybe spray on half water half vinegar or apple cider vinegar, it’s milder, onto towel dried hair after washing with Denorex. Leave in an hour or two for nits, then put a moisturizing conditioner over it for another half hour to smother more and moisturize. The diluted vinegar doesn’t hurt but clarifies. Or, try combing off nits with Olive oil hair lotion in the black section and rinse out. Or just keep washing with Denorex with tar every few days for three weeks. Denorex is excellent but the draw back is, it has a cancer warning from California for tar. But you can dilute a little for kids, or try Nuetragena t gel shampoo, the stubborn itch has menthol. This is safe for kids I read. Someone online I know said the dollar store version worked better than the Listerine. But he was using the mint. My daughter uses dollar store t gel shampoo and never gets lice. She uses pink oil spray too.
            Use sunscreen for a day after the denorex. It stained my hair slightly but hair oil left in awhile and washed out removed it. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water rinsed out helps too after shampoo and conditioner and adds shine.

            Wintergreen or plain rubbing alcohol kills fast, but dries out scalp and hair in 15 minutes and they still came back! I squirted in some baby oil or creamy baby oil from the dollar store, less greasy, left in 20 minutes. Worked good, but they came right back! You must remove nits. You can try adding the original Listerine to wintergreen rubbing alcohol with some baby oil for 20 minutes. Always keep alcohol from flame! I just tried, it killed the new babies but don’t know how effective it is yet. If you can get all the nits off it is! Try the olive oil lotion for nits after or do the original Listerine soak two hours to be sure. Then the olive oil lotion.

            My friend loves Cetaphil face wash. Apply to scalp very well with a tint bottle,like a touch up, then coat hair. Comb off excess and wipe in tissues. Diispose. Blow dry ALL the way and leave no damp spots! Takes time. Cap and leave in all night. Wash and condition and comb. Supposedly you don’t have to get all the nits. Repeat in a week then again.
            Some natural treatments that help but must be repeated every four days or so unless you get all the nits and bugs are:
            1 cup olive oil, 1 cup vinegar or apple cider vinegar (milder), ,OR mayo and apple cider vinegar to desired consistency, add two spoons of tea tree oil to both, cap 2 hours and have paper towels ready, it’s runny! Can kill all and get most nits off. Makes hair healthy. Wash 3x, condition and comb well with the metal nit comb. It only works if you get all the nits off!
            The alternative is sleeping in olive oil or mayo, at least 8 hours. Then massaging in white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with the mayo, for about 20 minutes before washing. And combing.
            This is supposed to work after one time, never did it:
            Spray hair with apple cider vinegar. I would spray a little damp with water first. Let dry on hair. Then warm coconut oil slightly and massage in scalp and cover hair. Cap and leave in all day or night. Use only coconut oil. Others run! Wash and condition and comb off nits.

            Another site said vinegar and baby oil, half and half, all night every night till they’re gone.
            Someone else said neem oil kills bugs and eggs. Mix with olive oil. Google it.
            But I would definitely try the Africa’s best super gro conditioner or BB brand overnight first! Wish I had.
            Continued use of Denorex will work for 3 weeks. Every few days. Don’t leave on! T gel may too and less tar, might be better on kids, not sure how good it is. You can maybe dilute denorex on kids, but not sure. Other ppl use it on kids. There’s no warning. But use sunscreen next day.
            But you can’t go wrong with the black hair conditioners with petroleum over night! Washes out easier than Vaseline and can be used as needed. I’m doing tonight. I itch a little. I’m going to use Denorex again if needed but hopefully won’t be. But I won’t have on.

            The electronic Nix comb did not work in three weeks but maybe after one of these it will, or the Robi comb. But I was dying other treatments with it. The doctor was no help. I’ll try garlic tablets too if I find them at the dollar store! I may have tried Listerine on all of us sooner had I read this! Hope this helps! Sorry for so many comments. I condensed to help, hopefully! God bless

  23. Kat

    I have a 6 year old daughter and an 11 year old daughter. Last year my oldest daughter brought home head lice for the first time and OMG WHAT A NIGHTMARE. I bought all the over the counter and even purchased Clearlice. Nothing worked.

    Everyday for 6 months when the girls came home from school I would check their hair. I was beyond frustrated.

    Well thanks to Grandma she found out by using old fashioned Listerine it kills these little annoying bugs. The nits are easier to pull out and every week I spray their hair for the week starts for school. Try it, it worked for me and my girls :)

  24. Tina

    My daughter recently came home with lice and then I’m HOPING this Listerine treatment works. I’m going to do my hair as well, my only concern is I’m pregnant so being that Listerine has alcohol in it, is it safe to use on myself?

    • Blondie

      The eucalyptus might not be. Try taking two garlic tablets. They leave, a nurse said! Other ppl said only African hair gro with petroleum jelly, or BB, worked. Overnight and capped It smoothers them and once should do it! These things are a nightmare! Washes out easier then Vaseline. Comb with metal nit comb.
      Denorex is the only thing that worked for me, with tar. But I left it on ten minutes, you shouldn’t. Tar has a cancer warning in high amounts. You should just wash it right out twice and use every few days. But I wouldn’t if you’re pregnant! But I swear my nits came off. But you really shouldn’t leave it on. Try the Africa hair grow jelly or by BB. Have a healthy baby!

  25. Sandra

    Head lice is a nightmare….my kids one year came home from school with lice from wearing hats a teacher had as extras… same time was battling fleas on our dog….I was at wits end…well for the head lice I tried everything..nix ect ect…got reading some stuff on line how listerine kills lice and Dawn dishsoap kills fleas….well out I went and bought both products…soaked all in our house with listerine on our heads…we sat watching a movie with plastic bags on our heads….removed bags couple hrs later went thru heads…all was dead…and did not return…I think the alcohol in listerine killed the lice…combed thru hair and nothing….IT WORKS…BUT ORIGINAL LISTERINE…..As for the Dawn dish soap it worked on our dog…the stuff Dawn is made from took care of them….they say use the BLUE Dawn……so now we have a good amount of both Dawn and Listerine on hand… :)

    • Blondie

      Thank you! Great advice! And it doesn’t dry your hair out after two hours? I’d add a little baby oil to mine and tea tree cause I worry about that! Can’t hurt! Just a spoken or two. And Vaseline or baby oil around the skin cause heard it can peel. And some baby oil in it may help with any scalp inflammation on little ones. Just a thought! Thanks for the info! Fourth and worse time for us! I’ll keep this in mind should they return.

  26. C.F.

    After treating my daughter with a name brand home remedy treatment for head lice… and the hours of trying to get everything from her hair and spray the aerosol for bedding and such… and dealing with the fact that I myself was getting physically sick due in part that I’m putting flea spray on my daughter’s items and items that cannot throw into the wash. (Seriously look at the active ingredient in that can is the exact same that is found in flea and tick spray.)
    I threw everything into the trash. I searched the internet and saw that Listerine kills Head lice….. I thought to myself if you can put it into your mouth your why not in your hair? So I went out bought the biggest bottle and getting our results that very next hour… it was killing the adults and releasing the glue for the nits.
    So I swear by the original Listerine hands down never will I go back to the name brand or any lice treatment, as a matter of fact, ever again. Besides it also leaves your hair refreshed and minty smelling…

  27. Ed

    My story is a VERY long one, so I won’t lay out all the details. It spans about 13 months, although the word “lice” did not even enter my mind until I was about 8 months into the situation. When it was all over I must have spent about $1,200 dollars on prescription drugs, doctors/dermatologist appointments, and home remedies. During the last 3 weeks with the “problem” I spent about 5 hours per day dealing with the apparent head lice problem. I finally got so fed-up and discouraged that I went to a head-lice-removal salon, even though I had to drive about 90 miles to get there. Much to my surprise the salon did not find ANY head lice on me! When I described to them all that I had been through over a very long period of time, I was told that the symptoms that I had early on could NOT have been caused by head lice.
    A few days after visiting the head-lice-removal salon when I saw my dermatologist for about the 4th time concerning my “head lice problem”, and I told her what happened at the head-lice-removal salon, we both came to the conclusion that I probably NEVER had head lice! It probably all started with a case of scalp eczema. Then somebody, who was trying to be helpful, put it into my mind that I might have lice. After researching lice on the Internet it seemed to me that that is what I had. All the symptoms seemed to fit perfectly. From then on I saw everything and analyzed everything through the lens/belief that I DID have head lice. However, in reality I probably had some scalp eczema at first. That probably healed but then I was scrapping with the nit comb, and later with a dog comb, dandruff onto my shoulders. This was mistaken for head lice.
    The bottom line is, if you have not dealt with head lice before, don’t assume that you have it. Put some samples of what you comb out of your hair in a clear baggie and take that to a dermatologist and insist that those scalp samples be examined by him/her under a microscope or by a lab. In lieu of seeing a dermatologist, if you are fortunate enough to have a head-lice-removal salon nearby, visit one. You could be saving yourself a LOT of time, money, worry, and stress. I wish that I had taken one of these two actions a LLOOOOONG time ago! Thank God that there are people who are willing to work in a head-lice-removal salon!

  28. Michelle

    Low and behold, I have a 10 year old who brought lice home from a friends house and gave it to her 5 brothers and sisters and myself:( We have always used Lindane until we found out it’s no longer made!! The doctor gave them Permethrin which didn’t work. So, we are all sleeping in plastic caps with Listerine soaked heads!!! Hope this works:)))

  29. Lori

    Hi Kelly…our family is living in Cambodia, and interact with lots of village children, who have LOTS of lice. Two of our girls got lice – 8 and 10 years old – and we tried the listerine treatment on them with no adverse side effects other than smelling like listerine for the next several days. But…the lice were dead!
    I just discovered tonight that I have lice too, so here I sit with my head covered in listerine. =( I’m going to wash my hair with vinegar too. Another helpful thing is looking up the life cycle of a louse. It kinda helps you have an idea of when you should be retreating, etc. And don’t forget to pick through their hair! It takes a long time, but it’s important and worth it in the long run. There are helpful videos on Youtube about how to effectively pick the nits out. Best wishes!

  30. kelly

    My 9year old daughter as nits, gave them to me and her younger brothers 3yrs and 1yr. I’ve been reading about listerine and it says avoid on children under 12 as it contains alcohol. I’ve bought some but now I daren’t use it on them. Has anyone used it on their children of these ages? I’ve been using headrin but it’s useless!!

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