7 Proven Ways to Clean Out and Disinfect your Lice Comb

If a lice comb is doing its job, then it will be trapping lots of lice and lice eggs in its teeth. Combs like this are the most effective, but they can also be the most difficult to clean. These are the 7 proven ways to clean and sanitize your lice comb that I use every day in my salon.

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 Like a Pro!

Combs like this are the best at removing head lice and lice eggs but are challenging to clean. Here are the 7 proven ways to clean and sanitize lice combs.

How to Clean Your Lice Comb 

If you’re removing lice eggs with a high-quality metal lice comb then it probably looks something like this:

lice-and-eggs-in-lice-comb

All of the black spots are lice eggs and lice trapped in the comb. When a comb gets stuffed with too many lice and lice eggs, it becomes less effective. There are 4 proven ways to clean out these combs:

#1- Under Running Water

Clean-comb-under-running-water
  • Turn on running water in an empty sink.
  • Place the lice comb under the running water.
  • Use one hand to hold the comb and the other hand to open up each of the tongs one at a time in a fanning motion while the comb is under running water.
  • After opening up each of the tongs multiple times, re-examine the comb by holding the lice comb above you facing a light.
  • Repeat the process of running the comb under running water for those lice eggs that you missed
lice-comb-cleaned

Will this ruin my lice comb and make it less effective?

If you are using a quality metal lice comb, then no. I do this every day in my lice center, and they are still just as effective.

#2- In a Bowl of Water

  • Fill a large bowl with water halfway.
  • Place the lice comb in the bowl of water.
  • Use one hand to hold the comb and the other hand to open up each of the tongs one at a time in a fanning motion while submerged under the water.
  • After opening up each of the tongs multiple times, re-examine the comb by holding the lice comb above you facing a light.
  • Repeat the process for those lice eggs that you missed.
  • Pour lice contents leftover in the bowl down the drain or in the toilet.

#3- Purchase a Comb with a Cleaning Tool

The comb that comes with an excellent cleaning tool is the Lice Meister. Below is a picture of the cleaning tool.

Lice-meister-comb-cleaning-tool

#4- Use Dental Floss or “Flossers”

  • Place dental floss between each tong of the comb and wiggle it up and down to remove lice and nits.

How to Disinfect your Lice Comb

#1-Soak in Hot Water

How hot does water need to be to kill lice?

Lice die after 5 minutes in temperatures higher than 130° F, the temperature of hot tea or hot coffee. 

Be careful not to boil combs with plastic handles.

Plastic’s melting point is 212° F, the temperature of boiling water. 

  • Clean out lice comb with one of the above methods.
  • Set hairbrushes in a large bowl or container.
  • Heat water on the stove, just as it begins to boil, remove the water from the heat.
  • Once water is no longer boiling, pour water over lice combs.
  • Let combs soak for 10 minutes.

#2-Dishwasher

Lice die after 5 minutes in temperatures greater than 130° F. The Sanitization setting of a dishwasher gets to a minimum of 155° F (also called SaniWash, Sanitize, or Anti-Bacterial). The Heated Dry setting gets to 180° F. Any of these settings will kill lice.

  • Clean out lice comb with one of the above methods.
  • Set lice comb on the upper rack of the dishwasher.
  • Set dishwasher to Sanitization or Heated Dry setting.

#3- Rubbing Alcohol

Lice die if soaked in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes.

  • Clean out lice comb with one of the above methods.
  • Pour rubbing alcohol over lice combs and completely submerge for 10 minutes.
  • If combs are not completely submerged, then flip brushes and soak another 10 minutes.

How often do I need to clean my lice comb?

I see some people trying to clean their comb after every single swipe through their child’s head for fear that they will inadvertently put lice or lice eggs back in their child’s head. If you are using a less effective treatment like the ones at the store, then I recommend cleaning out your comb anytime you see that you have combed up lice bugs or when your comb is full of lice eggs.

Do I need to worry about accidentally putting live lice back in my child’s hair when I’m combing?

If you are using an ineffective lice treatment, then yes, you need to be worried about putting live lice back in your child’s hair. Clean out lice on your comb frequently. Those treatments don’t kill lice, so you want to make sure you remove them from the head and rinse them down the sink or seal them in the garbage. If you’ve used a good lice treatment, then you don’t need to be as vigilant about rinsing lice off the comb right away, because lice will be dead.

Do I need to worry about accidentally putting lice eggs back in my child’s hair?

You do not need to be concerned about putting lice eggs “back” into the hair. Once lice eggs are pulled off the hair shaft with a lice comb, they cannot be reattached and hatch.

When should I sanitize my lice comb?

Sanitize lice combs in between each use (after the entire treatment not after each sweep through the hair). You should also sanitize combs between each person treat.

Summary

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 Like a Pro! article.

Best of luck on your lice journey! (1)