A man buckles installs a car seat into a car. The words "Best Ways to Clean your Car after Lice" are cover the image.

Lice and Car Seats: 5 Proven Ways to Get Lice out of Your Car

After treating your child for head lice, the last thing you want is to get it back from your car! Discover the 5 best ways to treat your car and car seats for head lice.

Before getting started on cleaning, let’s address the bigger question that I get asked all the time. 

Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice? 

Lice have become immune to everything that used to work in the past. Perhaps you remember your mom using a lice treatment and that doing the trick. Those treatments no longer kill the new strain of head lice, that’s why lice today are termed by people, “super lice.” 

They are called SUPER LICE, because they can’t be eliminated with treatments that used to work. Lice treatments only kill the weakest lice and these SUPER LICE keep getting stronger and stronger. 

Also, lice treatments don’t kill lice eggs, so if you miss just a few lice eggs on the head then they hatch, and lice start all over again.

That’s why, as a lice expert, I DO NOT use lice treatments to cure lice. With my technique, you can be completely CURED of head lice in ONE DAY. No lice treatments or re-treatments required. You can learn more about the method I use here.

Most people with lice are stuck in what I term the “never-ending lice cycle” that looks like this…

You discover lice; you spend hours treating, nit-picking, house cleaning etc.

You think it’s gone for a few weeks…

But then it’s back again!

Many people think that they’re in this cycle because they’ve missed something in their cleaning. Let me assure you it’s not because you missed something in your cleaning. It’s because you never really got rid of lice. Lice are immune to lice treatments.

If you want to be confident that you’ve eliminated lice from your life permanently then check out the page How to Get Rid of Lice in One Day.

Many people spend hours cleaning their house for lice, but completely forget about cleaning their car and car seats! Others believe that using a pesticide lice spray will take care of lice in their car, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Multiple studies show that lice are resistant to these pesticides and that they do not kill lice! 

Instead, here are five proven ways to treat your car and car seat and get head lice out of your car.

#1- Car Seat In the Dryer

Disassembling and Reassembling a car seat is among the most hated tasks for many parents. I'll admit that I hate doing it myself and usually reserve that task for "special" occasions such as when my baby vomits or poops in their car seat (just being honest). Another such special event is head lice. Disassembling the car seat and putting it through the dryer on high heat for 40 minutes is the best way to ensure that no lice are left in your child's car seat to re-infest your child.

#2- Vacuum

One of the easiest ways to clean after an infestation is to vacuum the seats and car seats. For those with cloth seats that have a handheld vacuum or an extension hose for your vacuum, you should be feeling thrilled right now. Be sure to vacuum the child's car seat exceptionally well in the cracks and crevices. If you do not own a vacuum like this, then you can go to almost any local car wash and use a vacuum for about $1.

For those with leather seats, things are much more manageable. Lice do not climb or hold onto leather well. Wiping leather seats down with a damp cloth is all that is needed to remove lice.

#3- Sticky Tape Lint Roller

Another way to remove lice from the seats of a car is by using a sticky lint roller. Some sticky lint rollers are better at picking up things than a vacuum, including lice. Roll all the areas of the car where people sit. Be sure to replace the sheets of the lint roller as they collect debris and lose their stickiness.

#4- Enzyme Lice Spray for Car

Like I said, most sprays these days do not work to kill lice because they are pesticides. There are lots of other household lice sprays out there that claim to kill lice, but they don't so I wouldn't spend time or money on this.

#5- Repelling Lice Spray for Car

There are several essential oil scents that lice hate. When you spray these fragrances on your car's upholstery, lice flee the scene.

Can lice live in cars?

Yes, they can live in cars for a short time, but it is unlikely for them to be in your vehicle. Head lice are called head lice for a reason. Generally speaking, head lice stick solely to the hair and scalp of humans, they do not live in cars. Lice must feed on human blood multiple times a day to survive. Without a human head, lice will die of dehydration.

How long can lice live in a car?

48 hours. Most lice die within 24 hours of being off the head away from a human blood meal. But, when studied in labs with precise temperatures, the longest lice live off the head is 2 days.

Can you get lice from a car seat?

Yes, you can, but it isn't very likely, I'd say less than a 4% chance. In a study, the pillowcases of 48 people were examined for head lice after a full night's rest. Two of the 48 pillowcases had live lice on them. Since most people spend less time resting their heads in a car than they do sleeping on a pillowcase I assume the chances are a little less than 4%.

Can head lice live in a cold car?

That all depends on how cold the car is. A vehicle that is below 0° F is cold enough to freeze lice. Studies show that lice in cold temperatures, but not freezing, LIVE LONGER! Lice in warm temperatures usually die within 12-24 hours, whereas those studied in precise cold temperatures were the ones who lived up to 44 hours.

Can head lice live in a hot car?

In most cases, lice can live in a hot car, but they will dehydrate and die faster. Lice in humid environments die within 12-24 hours. A very hot car, reaching 130° F or more, will kill lice in about 5 minutes.

Summary

Head lice prefer to stay on the head and rarely come off, but they can live up to 2 days in your car before dying of dehydration. It is unlikely for them to be on your car seats and headrests, but not impossible. Always avoid pesticide lice sprays, because they DO NOT work.

The most important thing about getting rid of lice isn’t cleaning inanimate objects--it’s making sure you’ve gotten rid of lice! If you want to get rid of lice fast, then check out the technique I use on the How to Get Rid of Lice in One Day article.

Best of luck on your lice journey! (1)