How To Clean Brushes With Lice

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The hairbrush untangles the threads of hair along with increasing the blood circulation to the scalp. But dirty brushes can damage the hair. Moreover, lice can be transmitted from one scalp to other if not cleaned properly. Here is an article on how to clean brushes with lice.

How To Clean Brushes With Lice

After combing hair with lice and nits can fill the comb with nits. When you use the uncleaned brush, it gets all back to your hair. If you have lice in your hair, you must clean the brush without delay. 

Materials Required

  • A bowl of warm water
  • Shampoo
  • Borax
  • Old toothbrush
  • Scissors
Three brushes rolled into a woman's hair

Step 1: Remove Hair From The Brush

Before you begin, remove the tangled hair from the brush.

  1. It is evident that if you have lice, you must have hair-fall. Take out the hair from the brushes.
  2. Use scissors and cut the hair which is stuck in between the fine bristle of the hairbrush.
  3. If there is still hair between the brushes, use a rat tail comb to remove hair from the base of the hairbrush.
  4. If you do not have a rat-tail brush, then use any pointed object like a pencil or toothpick to remove the hairs from the brush’s bristle.

This helps in removing the lice from the brush. The lice can get stuck between the base of the brush; when you remove the hairs, the lice come out of the brush.

Step 2: Clean The Lice Stuck In The Brush

If you can still see crawling lice over the brush, then tap it once or twice till it falls off.

  1. Tap the lice brush on a newspaper, or you can do it near the sink.
  2. Take a plastic cup, or use gloves to kill the louse that falls off.
  3. Make sure you have gloves. Otherwise, your hands would be filled with louse blood.

When you comb your hair, the louse gets stuck on the comb, and it is essential that you tap it down. Otherwise, the louse can crawl back to your hair.

Step 3: Sterilize The Comb

It is a simple method of cleaning brushes when you have head lice.

  1. Take a bowl of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Turn off the gas, and put the metal brushes in warm water.
  3. Keep it for 15 minutes, and then wash it in normal water. It kills the live lice which you get on after brushing the hair.

This helps in sterilizing the comb; it kills the lice and makes it ready for next use. Do not boil the brush; submerge it in warm water.

Step 4: Use Shampoo 

Take some shampoo that you use with permethrin or any prescribed shampoo and dilute it with water.

  1. Soak the nit hair comb/ brush in the shampoo solution for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Use a regular toothbrush, or you can use a battery-operated toothbrush to clean the gunk and nic from the brush.
  3. The battery-operated toothbrush is better as it breaks the gunk and allows the nit to come from the base of the comb.
  4. After that, wash it with water; make sure you hold the comb in a slanting position; it cleans any nic stuck between the comb.
Woman's hair finally free of lice

It is advisable to use lice treatment shampoo instead of regular shampoo; this helps clean and kill the lice stuck between the comb.

Step 4: Use Borax

  1. Use 1/4th cup of Borax and ¾ of water in a bowl. Add a little bit of soap to the solution and mix it well.
  2. Submerge the brushes with head lice in the solution
  3. Leave it for 40min and then rinse it off. Borax helps kill the lice and nit; washing it with Borax cleans the nic stuck in between the bristles.

Step 5: Tap The Brushes

It is an effective way to clean any residual nic from the brush. 

  1. Take the clean brushes and make a perpendicular with two brushes.
  2. Bang the brushes together and repeat it twice or thrice; it breaks the nit, which doesn’t come out after deep cleaning.
  3. Check it under strong light, and if you can see clearly through the brush, then the brush is thoroughly cleaned.

Here is a video guide that you can follow to keep the brush clean when you have lice. 

Step 7: Use Alcohol

After cleaning the brush, it is equally essential to disinfect the brush. It kills any residual eggs in the brush.

  1. Let the brush dry completely; when it is dry, put some alcohol and rub it all over the brush,
  2. It disinfects the bristles and makes them clean for the next use.

Treatment For Lice

If you have lice in your hair, then you must take measures to treat it. It can spread from one head to another if everyone in the family uses the same comb. You can treat lice at home with shampoos which are available off the counter.

The treatment includes shampoos, oil, cream, and lotions. These products are safe to use, and you need not have a prescription to buy.

Over-The-Counter Lice Treatment

The over-the-counter treatment for lice includes pesticides with active ingredients. For instance, Piperonyl butoxide with pyrethrins is aromatic shampoo used for the treatment of lice. It is made from chrysanthemum flowers. It is recommended to children and adults above the age of 2. 

This pesticide is not recommended to those who are allergic to ragweed or chrysanthemum.

The next over-the-counter product is Permethrin lotion, 1%(Nix.). It is a shampoo that is popular for treating lice in babies. It is recommended to children over the age of 2. 

Prescription Medication For Lice

Here are some of the medicines which doctors prescribe.

  • Benzyl Alcohol (Ulesfia)- This is an effective drug that kills lice and kills the eggs. It is safe to use in children and adults. Comb your hair first, apply the shampoo and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse it off, use it once a week.
  • Ivermectin (Sklice)- Ivermectin is a popular drug prescribed by doctors all over the world. It kills the lice after one use.
Hairbrush with a lock of hair

Home Remedies

If you are not willing to put chemicals into your hair, you can try some home remedies.

Wet Combing

Wet combing is an effective method in cleaning lice from hair. First, wash your hair with shampoo and then comb off the lice with a hair comb with fine bristles. It does not take much time and cleans most of the lice from your hair.

Use Essential Oils

Several essential oils have shown positive results in cleaning lice from hair. Dilute the essential oil with your carrier oil. Apply it on your hair and leave for 12 hours. After that, comb the hair. The lice loosen up. You can quickly come off by combing it a couple of times.

If you or your child have lice, you may feel like going on a cleaning spree to decontaminate everything. 

Instead, you can use the following treatment methods and save yourself from a bunch of laundries and vacuuming around the house. Here are some methods you can look up you must tap for the treatment of lice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can Lice Live In A Brush?

24 hours. Adult lice can live up to 24 hours in a brush, while eggs can live upto7-10 days. If the brush isn’t washed and disinfected, it can travel from one head to another. The lice cling to the brush, and it needs a deep cleaning to get rid of lice from the brush.

Can Hairdryer Kill Lice?

Yes, a blow dryer can kill 97.5% of eggs and lice from your hair with an effective method. First, blow-dry every seven days to break the hatching of eggs, and it kills the growth of new lice. Then, repeat the procedure for up to 4 weeks until the natural life cycle of lice ends. 


Cleaning your brushes ensures you do not get lice back to your hair from your brushes. But remember, the most important thing is not about cleaning the intimate object like combs but getting rid of lice. 

In this article, we have mentioned the treatment methods along with cleaning lice from combs. This will help you in finding the best method and getting rid of the itchy parasites. Keep your hair clean and healthy for a healthy scalp.