5 Proven Ways to Clean Your Hair Brushes After Head Lice

Pick any one of these 5 ways to clean and sanitize your hairbrushes and accessories after head lice.


How do I clean my hair brushes, combs, hair bands, hair elastics and other hair accessories when dealing with head lice?

A drawer with several hair brushes in it.

Answer from a Lice Expert:

After you’ve painstakingly removed lice and eggs, the last thing you want is to get it back from your hairbrushes! But while getting rid of lice can be stressful, cleaning your hair stuff isn't that difficult.


Here are 5 easy ways clean and sanitize your hair brushes, combs, and accessories when dealing with a lice infestation.

Let me introduce myself...

Lice nurse helping others

Hi there! I'm Theresa, I'm a lice expert, lice coach, and Registered Nurse. I help people with lice every day! You can get rid of lice in ONE DAY at home by using the same proven professional technique that I use in my lice center.

Just follow the step-by-step videos and be done with lice by the end of the day.

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Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice?

Now that you know what you're looking for I want to talk briefly about your biggest worry (that your child actually has lice) and the question I get asked by parents around the world that have been battling lice….

picture of lice bug under a magnifying glass

Lice bugs are immune!

Parents around the world are all asking me the same question…. "Why is it so much harder to get rid of lice now?"

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

I’ve cured thousands of people of lice in my lice center and let me tell you, I don't do it with over-the-counter lice treatments. 

magnifying glass looking at lice eggs and nits in brown hair

Lice eggs hatch!

Most people struggle with lice because they focus all of their attention on killing lice bugs and not enough attention on GETTING RID OF LICE!

If you want to get rid of lice you have to address all 3 of the problems of lice:

  1. Lice Bugs
  2. Lice Eggs
  3. Getting Lice Back

The best way to get rid of lice is to tackle all 3 of these problems at the same time, which is what I teach in my step-by-step video system.

So, if you discover your child HAS lice, don't panic. Just head over to the video system. Follow along with the videos and you'll be done with lice by the end of the day.

lice bug under a magnifying glass

How to Clean Hair Brushes, Combs and Hair Accessories for Lice

one brush, several combs, and hair bands infested with lice

How long can lice live on a brush and other hair accessories?

A hair brush with a wooden handle and black bristles. There is black hair in the brush with lice in it

48 hours or two days. Most lice die within 24 hours of being off the head away from a human blood meal. But, when studied in a laboratory under precise temperatures, lice can live up to 2 days. 

Should I throw my brushes away and buy new ones?

the words yes or no

You can, but you don’t have to. If you have cheap hair brushes, then go for it. But if you have hair brushes that you love, there is no need to throw them away.

If you want to keep your hairbrushes and hair accessories, these are the proven and easiest ways to clean them.

Can I use lice sprays on my hair brushes?

the word no

Do not waste your time, money, or health on pesticide lice sprays or lice bombs. If you have tried a bunch of pesticide treatments that have failed, you are not alone, and it’s not your fault. The latest stats say that most parents that use over-the-counter kits still have lice even after multiple treatments!

Just like pesticides are an ineffective treatment on the head, they are even more worthless when sprayed in the air or on your couches.

Additionally, they are EXTREMELY toxic and dangerous to you, your children, and your pets. If they actually killed lice, maybe you could rationalize the risk of breathing problems, sickness, or even cancer, but they don’t actually kill lice! The chemicals in lice sprays and bombs are the same pesticides that 98% of lice are resistant to, so you end up just spraying poison all over your brushes for no reason.

#1 - Soak Brushes in Hot Water-Do Not Boil Them

A water faucet with the word HOT on it.

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 coffee or hot tea is hot enough. 

Be careful not to boil brushes

If you are going to take the time to clean your brushes, then I assume that you don’t want to ruin them either. Plastic’s melting point is 212° F, the temperature of boiling water. Be sure not to boil your plastic brushes, or they will melt and be unusable.

  • Remove as much hair from brushes as you can and seal it in the trash or flush it down the toilet
  • 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 brushes.
  • Let brushes soak for 10 minutes.

#2 - Dishwasher

A woman loading a dishwasher with lice infested brushes and combs

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 cycle). The Heated Dry setting of a dishwasher gets to 180° F. Any of these settings will kill lice.

  • Remove as much hair from brushes as you can and seal it in the trash or flush it down the toilet
  • Set hairbrushes on the upper rack of the dishwasher
  • Set dishwasher to Sanitization or Heated Dry setting

#3 - Freeze Lice

woman putting hair brush with lice in the freezer

How cold does your freezer need to be to freeze lice?

Your freezer needs to below 0° F; most freezers are -10° F to -20° F, but if your freezer is cold enough to freeze meat, then it is cold enough to freeze lice. The precise amount of time it takes to freeze lice will depend on your freezer, but 12 hours is plenty.

  • Remove as much hair from brushes as you can and seal it in the trash or flush it down the toilet.
  • Place all brushes and hair accessories in a ziplock bag.
  • Place the bag with brushes and accessories in the freezer for 12 hours (overnight)

#4 - Rubbing Alcohol

A bottle of rubbing alcohol

Lice die if soaked in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes.

  • Remove as much hair from brushes as you can and seal it in the trash or flush it down the toilet
  • Set hair brushes “face down” in a large bowl or container
  • Pour rubbing alcohol over brushes and let sit for 10 minutes
  • If the brushes are not entirely submerged, then flip brushes and soak another 10 minutes.

#5 - Don’t Use Brush for 2 Days

female hand holding 2 fingers

Lice cannot live longer than 48 hours without a blood meal. If kept away from your head, brushes and hair accessories will be ready to use again after 2 days. 

  • Remove as much hair from brushes as you can and seal it in the trash or flush it down the toilet.
  • Place all brushes and hair accessories in a ziplock bag.
  • Mark the bag “DO NOT USE FOR 48 HOURS” with a sharpie.
  • Place the bag out of reach of everyone for 2 days.

The Never-Ending Cycle

Even if you clean your hair brushes just right, most people that use lice kits and home remedies get caught in the horrible "Never-Ending Cycle of Lice"

Three arrows pointing down

First- You Have Lice

lice eggs, baby lice, and adult lice with arrows labeling them

When you first discover lice you have adult lice bugs, baby lice bugs, and lice eggs (also known as nits)

You Think You've Gotten Rid of It.

arrows pointing to lice eggs left in hair

After using an over-the-counter treatment or a home remedy, people think they've taken care of the problem because they aren't finding lice bugs for a while.

But the bigger problem is the lice eggs that are left in the hair. Lice kits and home remedies don't kill eggs, and each of those little lice eggs has a bug inside just waiting to hatch and re-infest your child again.

Then- Those Eggs HATCH!

baby lice bugs with arrows labeling them

Just like lice eggs are tiny, when lice first hatch they are teeny-tiny. In fact, they are almost invisible to the naked eye! So, it typically takes a few weeks for them to grow big enough for you to see them.

And by the time you notice your head is infested all over again!

And Lice Is Back Again!

full lice infestation representation with lice eggs, baby lice bugs, and adult lice bugs

How to Avoid the Never-Ending Cycle

If you want to avoid this never-ending cycle and get rid of lice fast then check out my Step-by-Step Video System. Follow along with the videos and you can be completely done with lice in ONE DAY, no retreatments necessary.

If you choose to go another route...

discouraged mother dealing with head lice

Perhaps you are saying to yourself, "Nah, I think I'll give another home remedy a try."

If that's your plan, then I genuinely wish you the very best. Lice is horrible, and no one should have to endure it for months on end. And I hope you don't.

But, I will caution you... that's most likely what will happen to you. Most people go from lice kit to lice kit and then from home remedy to home remedy. They think it's gone for a week or two, and then it comes back again. That's likely to be your story as well.

I created the My Lice Advice Video System so you can avoid struggling with lice for months, instead, just follow along with the videos and be done with lice by the end of the day!

How to be lice-free by the end of the day...



Get rid of lice the same way the experts do. Your personal lice coach walks you through each step of doing a professional lice treatment at home in a series of videos.



Follow along with the videos on your child in your home. No lice kits or toxic chemicals involved!



When you're done with the videos, you're done with lice. And it's gone permanently!

Summing It Up...

Cleaning your brushes in one of these 5 proven ways will ensure that you do not get head lice back from your brushes.

But remember that the most important thing about getting rid of lice isn’t cleaning inanimate objects--it’s making sure you’ve gotten rid of lice on the head! If you want to get rid of lice = and ensure that it never comes back again, check out my step-by-step video system. Follow along with the videos and be done with lice by the end of the day!

All the best!

lice expert

Theresa is a Registered Nurse and lice expert with years of experience curing children of lice. She owns a lice treatment center in the US which is where she perfected the Step-by-Step Video System proven to get rid of lice. She also works with government agencies and schools helping those with the worst head lice cases in America.

Her greatest passion is empowering parents by teaching parents online how to do a professional lice treatment on their child at home. She is the Lice Coach for the My Lice Advice Step-by-Step Video System.

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