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Old 01-30-2010, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Namche Bazaar
Posts: 2,277
Cleaning a hair brush that was exposed to lice

I suppose the best thing to do would be to throw it out in the trash, but is there some way to clean or sterilize a hair brush that may have been used by someone who has lice in their hair?

Old 01-30-2010, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East Texas
Posts: 9,813
I believe the recommendation is to start with extremely hot water. Here I found some helpful guidelines to begin with.
Old 01-30-2010, 10:56 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17,908
Just do what barbers do soak them in alcohol.
Old 01-30-2010, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East Texas
Posts: 9,813
I'd also heard of cleaning them in bleach, but I don't know how sound a practice that is.
Old 01-30-2010, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 23,028
Boil a kettle of water and pour it on the brush. Repeat.
Old 01-30-2010, 01:10 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Dutch in the Netherlands
Posts: 9,058
Washing it in the washer over 60 degrees Celsius will do the trick; leaving it overnight in the freezer; or leaving it in a plastic bag for two weeks. Neither lice not lice eggs can survive that long without human blood.
Old 01-30-2010, 02:09 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tysons Corner, VA, USA
Posts: 11,980

  • Examine household and close contacts check for nits or live lice. Anyone with visible lice or symptoms of scalp itching should be treated. You do not need to automatically treat everybody that has come into contact with your child. The only exception to this is that you should treat bedmates whether you find lice or not. The best preventative treatment in this situation is permethrin.
  • Disinfect household and personal objects
  • Brushes and combs can either be washed in one of the medicated shampoos or soaked in hot water (more than 128 degrees F) for 10 minutes. Water that is close to boiling is plenty hot enough.
  • Pillow cases, sheets, hats, clothing worn in the past few days, coats and ornamental hair clips and ribbons can be machine washed in the hot cycle then dried on the hot cycle.
  • Anything that cannot be washed can be tied up in a garbage back and placed in the closet for 10 days. This will kill any lice or eggs.
  • Vacuum the bedroom, sofa, bed and pillows will get rid of any stray lice.
  • Check your child's scalp every 2 to 3 days for any new lice or nits. Use a nit comb.
  • You do not need to go all out and disinfect the entire house. You don't need to wash all your child's clothes. You don't need to have the house fumigated.
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