Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-30-2010, 11:50 AM
Mangosteen Mangosteen is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Namche Bazaar
Posts: 2,185
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, 11:55 AM
joyfool joyfool is offline
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, 11:56 AM
don't ask don't ask is online now
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17,792
Just do what barbers do soak them in alcohol.
Old 01-30-2010, 12:31 PM
joyfool joyfool is offline
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, 02:04 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 22,615
Boil a kettle of water and pour it on the brush. Repeat.
Old 01-30-2010, 02:10 PM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Dutch in the Netherlands
Posts: 8,975
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, 03:09 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tysons Corner, VA, USA
Posts: 11,604

  • 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.
Other sites


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017