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Listerine Kills Head Lice Treatment

Updated on January 09, 2011

Photos of Lice

Photo from pediatrics.com
Photo from pediatrics.com
photo from Center  of Disease Control CDC
photo from Center of Disease Control CDC

Head Lice Treatment

 OMG My Kid Has Head Lice!! What do I do?

Well after 3 children and spending hundreds of dollars at a time on the traditional drug store lice treatments, I here to tell you how to save money, time, and your sanity.

My youngest is now 5 years old and in day care. She has long, beautiful, thick brown hair, that daddy  won't let us cut. When she first caught head lice I wanted to cry! What a nightmare this is, the cost, the time spent picking and combing through hair, just the whole ordeal. So daddy went to the drug store and bought them out of lice treatment products. We treated everyone in the house, all 6 of us. Did all the laundry, bedding etc. Bagged all the soft plush toys, vacuumed, moped, and scrubbed. Hours upon hours were spent picking through every one's head. Just to find in a weeks time she still had live lice in her hair. I did cry this time!

I got out the laptop and searched the Internet for other methods of treatment. Something that would work effectively and inexpensively. With all my research I found that the traditional store bought pesticide methods, just won't work anymore, the lice have built an immunity to them. But why shouldn't they, its the same product being used for more than 20 years. What I did find is hundreds of Moms recommending the use of Listerine for lice treatment. I thought OK, what have we got to lose, $4.00.

I ran out to the store bought a large bottle of regular Listerine, a couple of shower caps and followed the instructions of these moms to the tee. Guess what it worked fantastically. That was over a year ago.

Today I got a call from the daycare, the nightmare begins again. I went to the store purchased a large bottle of Listerine and a package of shower caps. Total cost of this treatment $7.00 and this will do all 6 people in the house (just in case). 

Here is what to do; soak the hair with regular Listerine, cover head with a shower cap for 2 hours. After the 2 hours wash hair and use your lice comb to comb through the hair all eggs must be removed or your child will not be allowed back in school. A secret to nit and egg removal, vinegar, its weakens the sticky natural glue on the eggs and most eggs and nits will come out with greater ease.

I know now that after all this talk about head lice, your probably scratching your head, not to worry its most likely the power of suggestion. But Listerine your self to be safe...

I have had to deal with head lice

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Best treatment I have tried

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    • JannyC profile image

      JannyC 6 years ago

      Yes I did start scratching my head Lol. Awesome hub though. It is very true organisim and critters are starting to adapt to our treatment. Which really is kind of logical cause you want to survive so you adapt.Kind of foolish on the scientists part if they thought the same thing can work forever. No they may be small but they are not dumb. To Think though something so common and cheaper can do them in I think they knew this but wanted us to buy the expensive chemical stuf. Ok sorry for my rant. Great hub!! Stumbling this for my fellow moms.

    • mod2vint profile image
      Author

      mod2vint 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Shoot JannyC I started scratching reading your comment. LOL thanks for stopping by and for the stumble!!

    • Chloe Comfort profile image

      Chloe Comfort 6 years ago from Long Island

      OMG mod2vint - I sooo feel your pain. Just wish I knew about the Listerine solution years ago. I too cried (many times) before I finally got rid of those little buggers. Took a total of 6 months! Am definitely remembering this tip for (god forbid) future use. Kudos!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

      Wow, what an unusual use for Listerine!Thanks for sharing this mod2vint!

      Although I don't have head lice problems with my kids (they're all grown up now), this is one good info to keep in mind and share.

      Great hub!

    • profile image

      monica 6 years ago

      I have lice tooo

    • profile image

      jack of all trades 6 years ago

      I swear by this treatment LISTERINE! I've spent so much money on nit treatments, my daughter has very thick curly hair and it's a nightmare to comb through. Every time I treat it, I do the retreatment and there they all are again, numerous eggs and crawlies again and again! AND some one in her class has to be having a nice little family cos I'm so onto this all the time....... So resorted to listerine tonight, I combed through immediately after spraying the listerine in and OMG you should've seen the eggs I was removing! Goodluck everyone, but I highly recommend listerine over nit treatments

    • profile image

      mom 5 years ago

      Spray once a week with listerine mist on towel dried hair, do not rinse. This will keep them from returning. The smell will go away once hair is dry.

    • profile image

      Momof5 5 years ago

      I now swear ny Listerine. Even though my 6 yr old was the only one with it, I treated everybody, including myself, I mean, what's 2 hours sitting with listering on your head with a shower cap? Kills bugs dead! I will note that our hair DOES smell like Listerine for about a week. Small price to pay for licelessness!

    • profile image

      Amy 5 years ago

      I too spent all the money on the rid trust me when I say IT DOES NOT WORK!!! I after two months in the summer battling them and many times crying from frustration..... used lysterine and vinegar on hair and Lysol on everything else..... was so happy to find no more lice!!!! I work in a school and always suggest this to parents as an option to save money.

    • profile image

      Mom of 3 5 years ago

      First used commercial treatment and found live lice the next morning. With no prior reading, I decided to try Listerine because I had some on hand. It worked very well, and I was able to comb out lots of nits and DEAD lice. (I didn't use vinegar, and it still worked fine.) After getting some advice, I used tea tree oil overnight and combed out again. This time, no lice or nits, so the original Listerine must have done the trick. I'll still retreat with both in a week's time, to be sure.

    • mod2vint profile image
      Author

      mod2vint 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What a job to have to undertake. As long as our children are young and in school its a job we may have to undertake several times. But it is hard to believe the manufacture of these commercial products are able to sell a product that does not work. The saddest part some of us keep buying them.

    • profile image

      Lainey 5 years ago

      I have long, very thick wavy hair which is also a little brittle - my daughter brought home nits from school, we all got them, and I found that the metal nit comb almost destroyed my hair. We were spending $40 a week on chemist treatments, but they didn't even kill all the adult nits.

      I spent over $60 at the health store buying a combination of exotic oils guaranteed to kill the little blighters - it didn't work effectively plus left our hair super oily even after double shampooing :(

      Further internet research led me to try Listerine on my own hair - and bingo, two hours of Listerine, shampooed out in the shower and followed with regular condition, I didn't use the fine comb but never had another itch!

      What I do when my girls pick up nits at school is to pour some regular Listerine into a little sauce bottle with the long, fine nozzle tip. Then get them to hold a facecloth over their eyes and tip their heads right back while I part the hair with the nozzle of the bottle and squeeze in the Listerine. Saturate the hair, squeeze to remove extra liquid, pop on a showercap and - I find this important - wrap an absorbent (eg towelling) head band around below the shower cap at forehead (it can go over the back of the cap) to keep the Listerine from running down into their eyes. They can play inside for a couple of hours before shampooing it out.

    • profile image

      HeadLiceHater 5 years ago

      Today I found out I had lice. I thought I did a little while back too but pushed it aside as just an itchy dry scalp. Nope. Today in class I found not one, but TWO lice in my hair and pulled them out. Not sure if they were dead or alive. When I got home, my mother check my hair and we're pretty sure we found nits. Now my mom's rushing off to the store to buy me listerine, vinegar, and a lice comb. This should be fun...

    • profile image

      WornOutMom 5 years ago

      Figured out one week ago that my daughter had head lice. Went to the store and bought Nix and used as directed. She was still itching her head and was miserable. Found this site and advice and it worked like a charm. After the two hours with Listerine and a plastic bag on her hair, I washed it with Extra Strength Denorex, then used Suave Coconut conditioner. Seemed like I combed out hundreds of dead lice. By this time, I was itchy, too, so gave myself the same treatment. Thanks for the advice!

    • mod2vint profile image
      Author

      mod2vint 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      WornOutMom, your most welcome! Have your ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Listerine is my Windex, I swear by it.

    • profile image

      teenagegirl16 5 years ago

      I have really long thick hair. I got lice about 3 months ago. I've treated it about 6 times with RID and it still hasn't gone way. I assumed it was because of how much hair I have, but according to my bio class freshman year, due to natural selection all living species (including lice) eventually grow immune to certain diseases, poisons, and toxins. Head lice as a species must have become immune to the store-bought products.

      I'm just read this article, and we're trying listerine and vinegar tonight!

    • EChabe profile image

      EChabe 5 years ago from Maine, USA

      Ive tried Rid twice this week on my daughter, the second time after washing it out, ALL of the lice I combed out were still alive. (Cue Heebie Jeebies) And now my fiancé and I have them as well. Just went to the store and bought listerine, tea tree oil shampoo and coconut conditioner, starting up the washing machine again. Sigh. Wish me luck!

    • mod2vint profile image
      Author

      mod2vint 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      EChabe, the Listerine will work great for you. Don't forget that using vinegar will help loosen the nits and make them much easier to remove from the hair. Sorry you even have to deal with this. I have 3 kids and wish I knew about this treatment when my oldest was little. Best of luck to you!!

    • profile image

      aDaD 5 years ago

      absolutely brilliant....spent $50 dollars on NIX and it did nothing......bought 1lt of listerine original for $6 and put it my daughters hair and covered with a small plastic bag....2hrs later all lice were dead, thanks to all who suggested this....now for the vinegar.

    • profile image

      Kim 5 years ago

      My daugter I found out had lice today and I bought the rid and I have it too , I was still itchy , read this website and just put the listerine on my head and her's , immediately felt so much better , gonna leave it on for 2 hrs , then put tea tree oil in my shampoo and then condition , let's see what happens ? Wish us luck !!!

    • profile image

      linda 5 years ago

      what kind of vinegar do you use and how exactly do you apply it x my children are all sat with listerine applied to their hair as we speak..thanks

    • mod2vint profile image
      Author

      mod2vint 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Linda, I used reular white vinegar. You can spray or pour it on. I prefer to pour it on to make sure it gets all over, let it sit a few minutes and they get ouy the comb. Makes this process so much eaiser!

    • profile image

      Judie 5 years ago

      Have to say the first day of daycare my 2 year old grandaughter came home with head lice. She has very thick long hair down to the lower part of her back. I was so worried we were going to have to cut her beautiful hair. We bought the Rid shampoo and thought we had gotten everything out and sent her back to school. She was checked and sent back home.. This went on for ever it seemed and she was sent home 3 times.. Finally the director of the daycare told us to use Vasaline in her hair. She said it will be really greasy but it works. It smothers the bugs and the eggs can't stick to the hair due to the hair being so greasy. We did her hair with the Vasaline and put it in a shower cap the first night. It takes a few weeks for the Vasaline to work itself out of the hair after washings. We kept her hair in a long French Braid which looked so nice on her. Well I have to say it worked. The lice comb went through her hair easily as long as you took small strainds. We combed her hair out every morning and evening. So Vasaline does work. Its a messy way of getting rid of those pesky lice who just don't want to disappear and go away. Don't cut your childs beautiful hair.. Try this instead it really works.

    • profile image

      12MusicalHearts 4 years ago

      My family just found out one of my brother's classmates has lice, and now they are trying this treatment on him. I just hope I don't have to do it! I know it's harmless, but I REALLY don't want listerine in my hair. Sigh.....

    • profile image

      Confused 4 years ago

      But does your hair drop when using listerine ?

    • mod2vint profile image
      Author

      mod2vint 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Confused, what do you mean drop? From my experience with it your hair feels great, soft, smells good, my daughters hair feels awesome after treatment. I swear by the stuff, Did you ever see My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Well, Listerine is my Windex!

    • profile image

      anlyeaus 3 years ago

      i just had a lice breakout in my home and im going crazy everyone has been using the listerine in there hair!! now i have been told if u had the bugs they will fall out in the cap. well my daughter has the bugs in her hair and i did the treatment with listerine but no bugs fell out or when i combed through her hair?

    • profile image

      mod2vint 3 years ago

      Did you leave it on long enough? Most recommend 2 hours. You also still need to treat everything else, bedding, stuffed animals, towels etc.

    • profile image

      Amy 3 years ago

      Trying this tonight since my daughter has it and seems several in the class does as well. REALLY hoping this works instead of the Nix treatment!

    • profile image

      Kim 3 years ago

      Tried this tonight as well. Combed through my daughters hair last night & she was totally infested. I've tried R&C, Resultz & that stupid Nix crap ( they were still alive and wiggling after the recommended 10 minutes grrrrr)

      Did the listerine, and I could see the lil buggers on the shower cap. Took the day off work, washed all the bedding, put stuffed animals, pillows and everything in the dryer, sprayed beds and couches with tea tree oil mixture, vacuumed them....now waiting another hr for my hair to be saturated & hope this works. Been battling these buggers for over 4 months now

    • profile image

      Amanda 3 years ago

      Currently dealing with this with my 4 year old daughter. We had bugs months ago, picked up from a few nieces. We thought we got rid of them but apparently not. I noticed her scratching a lot lately, check and she was infested! I don't seem to be though. She still sleeps in bed with me every now and then and we use the same brush too. So I was wondering why I didn't have them. Well I thought about it and shortly after 'getting rid' of the lice last time I had bad dandruff and started using tea tree oil in my shampoo. I looked it up and I guess its supposed to kill lice. I didn't have a clue. Any ways I figured I could try using it in my daughters shampoo and it didn't do a thing for her. Worked fabulous for me still does. But nadda for her so Im trying the Listerine as I type for her. I have my fingers crossed. Im really thinking different things work for different people. I also read something about using baby powder on hair to kill them? Maybe trying that if this doesn't work.

    • profile image

      Ladyhawk77 3 years ago

      I usually use vasaline. It does work, but it's greasy and I leave it on for 24 hours to triple the 8 hour time that lice can be resistant. AND it takes washing with grease cutting dishsoap, and/or a shampoo that cuts grease. So, between the grease and the time, I started looking for an alternative. Trying this as I'm typing. Daughter and I both smell minty fresh at the moment and have plastic bags wrapped around our heads. Hopefully this is a great alternative that takes less time, less grease, and is inexpensive. I have 4 children, plus Hubby and I. Getting head lice is a nightmare to begin with; getting head lice times 6 people in one house would be HORRIBLE.

    • profile image

      Marecai 3 years ago

      Is it regular listerine the original one or does it not matter what kind you use?

    • profile image

      mod2vint 3 years ago

      We have always used regular.

    • profile image

      marecai 3 years ago

      I am at my wits end and an inch away from loosing my sanity. My daughter got lice this year from school. She is 10 and we have been lucky so far but sure enough this year she got it! I treated her with rid twice and it did nothing! Finally the Dr. Called in a perscription for the strong stuff and i used it and that seemed to do the trick on her its been over a week and i haven't seen anything. However i work at a school and the nurse checked me yesterday and found only one egg in my hair weird huh just one but nothing crawling. I am thinking about doing the listerine treatment on my head tonight and on hers just to be safe! I will be so happy when all of this is a distant memory!

    • profile image

      Holly 3 years ago

      So I've been dealing with lice for almost 2 months on my oldest daughter. We did the listerine Thursday evening and did not find any bugs dead or alive. We are still finding eggs though. 5 Friday. 8 Saturday. And 9 today. She is currently sitting in listerine again....I really hope this works I am beyond wits end!!!!

    • profile image

      Miss jay 3 years ago

      I only have the mint listerine and have no way of getting original should it be ok to use this? I so need to on my 7 yr old girl

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      Mom2Four 3 years ago

      So.. We found out tonight that all 3 of my girls have lice, age 4, 13 , and 15. I tried the rid and it did nothing at all. The bugs were still living. I did then starting looking online and trying to find everything I could. Well I came across the listerine thing. We tried it , left it in for 2 hours and then washed out. Well everything was dead, and the nits even came out with combing. :-) I will be doing this for the next week every 3 days. Cause if u miss a nit or 2 they will become bugs. And then ur problem will start all over again. Who would have thought that mouth wash would work better and cost half of what the lice killer does.

    • profile image

      mrscamacho 2 years ago

      Hi please help how many times a day and would it irratate her scalp

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      rebekah 2 years ago

      I only use the listerine treatment, works every time and my daughter gets it each time it goes around the school cause she loves to hug her friends.

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      tonya 2 years ago

      Will the blue Listerine work because I put that on my kids heads I've been dealing with this for months I've tried everything but listerine.

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      Stephanie 2 years ago

      I am trying this treatment after trying the store brand and natural tea tree oil, olive oil, peppermint oil.. My daughter still has LIVE lice!! So we are treating everyone with Listerine at this moment!!

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