At Home Lice Clean-Up Guide

A Helpful Guide for Lice Treatment When You Want Quality Results at Home

As a parent, discovering that your child has lice can be a daunting and concerning experience. However, with the right information and guidance, dealing with a lice infestation at home can become manageable and stress-free. That’s why our team at the Lice Clinic of Metro East has created the “At Home Lice Clean Up Guide” to provide you with important guidelines and step-by-step instructions on how to tackle this issue effectively. This comprehensive guide is designed to assist concerned parents who want to handle the lice problem on their own without resorting to expensive treatments or potentially harmful chemicals. From identifying lice and nits to implementing safe and practical home remedies, our guide empowers parents to take charge of the situation and successfully eliminate lice, ensuring a lice-free and comfortable environment for their children.

mom checking her son's hair for a lice infestation maryville illinois

Your At Home Lice Clean-Up Guide

If an active case of head lice is confirmed in your family, the first crucial step is to check all household members for lice and promptly find an effective treatment to eliminate the infestation and prevent further spreading. After commencing the treatments, the next step involves cleaning your home. It’s essential to understand that lice primarily live on a person’s head, not in your home. Generally, lice can survive off a human head for only 24-48 hours. As such, conducting a full deep cleaning is usually unnecessary. Additionally, it’s important to be aware that chemical sprays are ineffective in killing lice and can pose harm to you and your family. To help you navigate the home cleaning process during a head lice infestation, we’ve provided a few simple guidelines. By following these guidelines, you can confidently address the situation and ensure a thorough yet safe cleaning process for your home.

parent laundering clothes after being notified that their kid has lice


In the case of a lice infestation, washing clothing and linens is not necessary. However, to effectively eliminate any living lice, it is important to place the following items in a dryer on high heat for 30-40 minutes:

  • Stuffed animals, blankets, or other cloth items that have been in contact with the infected person while sleeping.
  • Comforters, blankets, bed linens, pillows, and pillow shams from the infected person’s bed.
  • Clothes, scarves, jackets, backpacks, or towels worn or used by the individual within the last 48 hours.

For items that cannot be sanitized through high heat drying or vacuuming, it is advisable to seal them in an airtight bag for 48 hours. This precautionary measure prevents any live lice from spreading to other items or individuals. By following these simple steps, you can effectively address lice infestation and ensure a clean and lice-free environment.


After detecting lice in your home, it is essential to thoroughly vacuum all common areas where the infected person has been within the last 48 hours. Use the vacuum on the following surfaces:

  • Rugs, carpets, and cloth sofas and chairs. For leather furniture, wipe it down with a damp cloth.
  • Cloth car seats, safety seats, and seat covers. You may also use a lint roller to clean these items.
  • Large pillows that cannot be put into the dryer.

Lice have claws instead of sticky feet, making it unlikely for them to move around easily. Although they can crawl quickly, they cannot travel long distances. By promptly vacuuming these areas, you can help eliminate any potential lice or nits that might be present, ensuring a more lice-free environment for your home.

parent vacuuming couch to eliminate possible lice
freezer being opened to freeze lice-infected household items


Hot water is generally ineffective at killing head lice, so there’s no need to use the dishwasher, boil, or wash items with hot, soapy water. A far more efficient method is to freeze items that might be carrying lice or eggs. Simply place these items in a sealed baggie or airtight container and store them in the freezer for 48 hours. The following items are suitable for freezing:

  • Hairbrushes, hair ties, scrunchies, and other hair accessories.
  • Helmets, hats, or any headwear, especially if used within the last 48 hours.

Keep in mind that lice are typically resistant to toxins, and using pesticides in your home can be harmful to you and your family. By opting for the freezing method, you can safely and effectively address potential lice or egg infestations without resorting to harmful chemicals.