Proper home cleaning during a lice infestation is very important. It is possible for head lice to live temporarily on items such as bedding, couches, hair accessories, car seats, toys and clothing. Fortunately, head lice can only survive 24-48 hour off of the head and are relatively easy to remove from the home. Below are home cleaning instruction which are to be performed after each treatment.
Bedding: Sheets, blankets, and pillow cases, should be put in the dryer for 30-40 minutes on high heat. (washing optional for mild infestation)
Couch: Vacuum and cover with sheet or blanket for 2-3 days. (sitting on sheets is safe)
Floors and Carpet: Vacuum floors and discourage others from laying on floors to 2-3 days
Hair Accessories: Submerge in water with bleach solution or freeze (4+ hours) or leave untouched for 2-3 days
Clothing: All clothing worn in last 2-3 days should be put in dryer for
30-40 minutes on high, or left unused for 2-3 days.
Car Seats: Vacuum well and visually inspect
Toys: Isolate toys for 2-3 days (plastic bags help)
Lice Removal San Mateo Hint:
A simply, easy way to clean your home is to grab all items that could potentially have lice on them and put them in a garage or closet for 3 days. Washing everything is not necessary.
Home Cleaning FAQ:
Q. How do get rid of nits from your home?
A. Nits require the warmth and moisture of a human head to hatch. They will not hatch unless they are very close to the scalp. It is not necessary to clean for nits
Q: Will a dishwasher kill lice off of a comb?
A: Most dishwashers use extremely hot water which will effectively kill lice.
Q: Do I need to steam clean my carpets for lice?
A: A thorough vacuuming is usually enough to remove lice from carpeting. Head lice do not normally end up on carpet unless someone with a moderate to severe lice infestation frequently lies on the carpet. Vacuuming and avoiding laying on carpet for 2-3 days is a safe alternative to steam cleaning.
Q: Do lice live in the mattress or walls?
A: No, lice must drink blood and stay very warm to survive. When lice fall out of the hair they wait for a head and hair to touch them so they can grab on and feed again. They will not crawl into a cold wall or mattress.
Q: Can lice live in your bathtub or shower floor?
A: Without hair or fiber to hold onto the lice would simply wash down the drain. For showering, no cleaning is necessary. For bathing, rinse bathtub before use.
Q: Do I need to bag my clothes for 2 weeks to kill all of the lice?
A: No. Head lice can only survive for 1-2 days off of your head. Some sources recommended to bag items for 2 weeks to a month but this is common misconception and is not necessary.
Q: Can lice eggs live in your home?
A: Lice eggs, called nits, can not live anywhere besides a human head. They need to incubate and require warmth and moisture to hatch. Cleaning for lice eggs is not necessary?
A: Do I have to wash all my clothes if I have lice?
Q: No, you only need to wash clothes that have been worn in the last 2-3 days. For moderate to severe infestation you may want wash clothes in closets and drawers that were directly next to a recently worn, possibly infested, item of clothing.
A: Do lice cleaning laundry detergents work?
B: Probably not, even highly toxic pesticides have a difficult time killing lice. A detergent with some basic lice deterrent oils are not going to any more effective. The dryer is the best killer of head lice. The high heat and dry air quickly dehydrate and kill any form of lice. There is no need for lice detergent when the dry cycle of the wash will