Once you have no more head lice, it is very important to clean your clothing and other cloth items that you have used to make sure there are no more lice in your home. The easiest way to do this is to wash your clothes on a high heat and then put them in the dryer. If you can't put your clothes in a washing machine, you can try other alternatives.
Method 1 of 2: Wash Clothes to Get Rid of Lice
Step 1. Gather all your clothes
If you have lice, you need to wash your clothes to make sure that you and your home are lice-free. Before doing this, you need to determine what clothes you need to wash. Gather all the clothes that you wore a couple of days before you noticed and started treating the lice.
- You should include all the clothes you used, from scarves to hats.
- As you do this, you should also gather your towels, bedding, and other cloth toys that you have used in the previous days.
Step 2. Wash the clothes in a washing machine
When you gather all your clothes, you need to wash them at a high temperature in the washing machine. You should set the temperature at least 54ºC (130ºF). Washing machines at this temperature will kill the lice.
- If for some reason you cannot use a washing machine, you can immerse your clothes in hot water at a temperature of at least 60ºC (140ºF).
- After washing your clothes, tumble dry them on a high setting.
Step 3. Put the clothes in the dryer
If you have clothes that you can't put in the washing machine, you need alternative methods to kill the lice. You can put the clothes in the dryer and kill them there. This is a great way to clean your clothes and kill lice without damaging them.
- This method can be used with wool clothing that you don't want to shrink when washed in hot water, or with silk clothing that is too delicate for a machine wash cycle.
- You should inform the person who works with the dryers that the clothes have lice so they can take extra precautions.
- You can use a dry cleaning kit if this involves putting your clothes in a dryer on high for 15 minutes.
- You will kill the lice as long as you expose the clothing to a temperature of 130 ° F (54 ° C) for a minimum of 5 to 6 minutes.
Method 2 of 2: Try Alternatives for Things You Can't Wash
Step 1. Run a tumble dryer on the hot cycle
Using a dryer after washing your clothes will help ensure that all lice are dead. But if you can't put your clothes in the washing machine, a cycle in the dryer can kill the lice on its own. Put your clothes in a dryer, activate the hot cycle and leave your clothes inside for about 15 minutes.
Step 2. Put the clothes in plastic bags for two weeks
Another way to deal with lice on clothing is to put all of your clothing in airtight plastic bags and leave it inside for two weeks. Store the bags in a safe place, and be sure to leave the clothes inside for a full two weeks before removing them from the bag. This is not the most practical method, it can be useful if your clothes are delicate or cannot be washed normally.
- For example, this method can be used for leather and suede clothing.
- This method can also be used for other fabrics that cannot be washed, such as wool and silk.
Step 3. Clean around the house
The likelihood of lice in your home from lice that get on your carpet or furniture is very small, but taking a few safety measures to kill the lice that have escaped from your body and clothing helps limit the chances of an infestation. Vacuum floors and furniture, paying close attention to where the person with lice has been.
- Wash bedding, towels, and other white or cotton clothing that came in contact with the person infected with lice.
- This step is more important for body lice, which generally live on clothing, than head lice.
- Follow the instructions that come in the packages you buy.
- Wash the brushes in hot water and soap or tea tree oil. If you can't wash the brush, you can leave it to dry in the sun. An alternative is to throw away that brush and buy another.
- Check other family members to see if they also have lice.
- Exposing lice to temperatures above 125ºF (51ºC) for 10 minutes will kill them.