Does Bleach Kill Lice? The Truth

bleach featured image (1)

Discover if bleach can get rid of lice on your head and in your home with this article and experiment.

If you’re struggling with lice, you know how difficult it is to get rid of it. It seems like lice today are immune to just about everything! 

Parents around the world are all asking me the same question….

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 typical lice treatment 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.” They aren’t SUPER because they can fly, they’re called SUPER LICE, because they can’t be eliminated with treatments that used to work. 

That’s why lice experts like myself DO NOT use lice treatments. I’ve cured thousands of people of lice without lice treatments and instead of retreating a million times, they get rid of lice permanently in ONE DAY! You can learn more about the technique 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!

Sound familiar? This cycle will repeat over and over again until you change what you’re doing. Perhaps that’s why you’re researching if bleach kills lice.

This article answers the following (feel free to click a hyperlink to go to any section of the article):

Does Clorox Bleach Kill Lice?

Does Bleaching Your Hair Kill Lice?

Super Lice

Up close image of a super lice bug. Lice have six legs attached to their abdomen. The lice appears golden brown/translucent in color. Its dark stomach can be seen through its shell. The lice is attached to a blonde hairstrand.

Lice today are called “super lice” because they have genetic mutations that make them extremely difficult to kill. 

A recent study shows that almost all lice today have the super lice mutation. So things that may have killed lice in the past no longer kill lice.

If you’ve tried several rounds of over the counter lice treatments and home remedies without success, you are not alone.

Millions of parents around the world are struggling just like you, looking for a more effective way to kill lice.

Before talking about whether or not Bleach kills lice, you should ask yourself a critical question...

Do you want to kill lice or GET RID OF LICE???

Because there’s a big difference! Killing lice today, does NOT get rid of lice. If you focus all of your energy on killing lice bugs, you will NEVER get rid of lice! 

Here’s why...

When you have lice you have 2 problems, lice bugs, and lice eggs. Often people focus all of their attention on lice bugs, but neglect the much bigger problem- LICE EGGS! Those eggs are full of little lice bugs, just waiting to hatch and start this whole lice cycle all over again! That’s why you keep getting lice back!

There’s no lice treatment or home remedy out there that kills lice eggs, except the technique I use.

It’s the only thing guaranteed to get rid of lice in ONE DAY, without any retreatments, because it kills all of the lice bugs and lice eggs. If you plan on using a home remedy and store-bought lice treatment you can get rid of lice, but you should plan on it taking about 3 weeks and multiple treatments.

Let's dig into all things bleach!

Does Bleach Kill Lice?

bleach jar

People online say that all sorts of things kill lice that don’t, and I’ve proved it in multiple experiments and videos on this website.

Because I help people with head lice every day, I’m able to test out different products on lice, including bleach.

lysol, bleach, rubbing alcohol

I’ve tested all sorts of things against head lice: Lysol, rubbing alcohol, Listerine, etc.

Most claims online of something killing lice are entirely false. Lysol doesn’t kill lice; hydrogen peroxide doesn’t kill lice; Listerine doesn’t kill lice etc.

lice near the jar

Following the 15 minutes, lice were placed in an empty jar, on top of a dry white paper towel, and observed for any signs of life for the next 24 hours.

100% Clorox Bleach kills head lice.

Clorox bleach is one of the only household cleaners that I have found that can kill head lice (Besides hot water and enzyme sprays).

If you are looking to use bleach for lice cleaning, go to the “housecleaning” section of this article by clicking here.

What About Bleaching Your Hair?

hair dye (1)

While 100% of Clorox bleach can kill head lice, it SHOULD NOT be used directly on the head! It is extremely dangerous!

Let me be clear. Using Clorox bleach directly on your child’s head could severely burn her and cause other major health issues. Don’t do it.

Products designed to bleach hair do not use Clorox bleach.

Most “bleaching” products contain hydrogen peroxide and ammonium persulfate. Both hydrogen peroxide and ammonium may kill some of the weakest lice on the head, but they WILL NOT get rid of head lice.

I have helped hundreds of people that have attempted to get rid of head lice by bleaching their hair.

One of these situations is especially drilled into my brain because the little girl had struggled with lice for a year, and her parents had attempted to get rid of it by bleaching her hair multiple times.

white lice

By the time I got involved, this little brunette had ridiculously bright white hair with loads of lice. Most of the lice were this translucent white color. Imagine trying to find these translucent bugs in white hair!

The new super lice today are very strong and resistant to almost all treatments, including bleaching your hair.

If you try to bleach your hair to get rid of lice, this is the cycle you will find yourself in:

hair dye cycle (1)

How to Get Rid of Lice Fast! 

Many people struggle with lice for a very long time before finally getting rid of it, if you want to speed up the process then take some advice from others who have been in your situation. Here’s what Sarah did that finally helped her get rid of lice for good.

The How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro! Online Course promises 3 things:

  1. You’ll get rid of lice fast! (In ONE DAY)
  2. You’ll get rid of lice permanently (meaning it’s not going to come back a few weeks later)
  3. And, you’ll gain all of the knowledge and skills you need to prevent a lice infestation like this from happening ever again!

Does Bleach Kill Lice Eggs/Nits?

Not Hatched vs hatched

The next barrier for using bleach or hair bleach (hydrogen peroxide and ammonium persulfate) to get rid of lice is that no form of bleach (including Clorox) has any effect on killing lice eggs.

When one has an infestation of head lice, they have lice of all ages and stages on the head, including lice eggs, baby lice (nymphs), and adult lice.

Let’s say that one used hair bleach and it did kill lice on the head (my experience is that it won’t but let’s say it did), this would not get rid of head lice.

Lice lay 6-10 eggs per day, and the average person with a head lice infestation has hundreds of lice eggs in their hair. Eggs usually hatch in 7-10 days.

severe infestation

Some people get an idea that they can bleach the hair multiple times, and that will get rid of head lice. If that is your plan, then you will be very disappointed.

Some lice eggs will hatch within just hours after the bleach treatment, and others will hatch up to 15 days later. And in all of this time in between and after you will have head lice.

Those that use a bleach-type treatment for head lice usually find themselves in a never-ending lice cycle like this, where the strongest lice live past the bleach treatment, and the lice eggs continue to hatch.

3 Week Plan To Get Rid of Lice

Obviously this is not the regime I use, because I get rid of lice in one day, but it is possible to get rid of lice without my technique, but  prepare for it taking you a VERY LONG TIME. But, many people struggle with lice for weeks, months, or years, trying one lice treatment and home remedy after another and I don’t want that to be your story, so let me get you on the right track...

If you're going to get rid of lice using a home remedy, then plan on being extremely disciplined and focused on retreating, combing, and nit-picking for at least 3 weeks. 

Even the best home remedies and lice treatments do not kill all lice. They only kill the weakest lice, leaving the strongest lice live on, breed with one another, and create even stronger lice! (Gross I know). Also, although many lice eggs hatch in 1-2 weeks, different studies have shown that lice eggs can hatch anywhere between 4 days and 21 days, depending on the temperature and other factors. So, you'll need to keep retreating every 5 days to ensure that you kill lice bugs as they hatch, before they can start laying eggs of their own.

To give yourself the best chances of getting rid of lice you need to be obsessive for 3 weeks.

Here's what you'd do:

Today: Treat with a home remedy that kills some of the lice like the ones in this article (Bleach is NOT one of them!). Comb with a lice comb or nit-pick, and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 5: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 10: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 15: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 20: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

This is what my treatment plan looks like:

Today: Kill all lice and lice eggs

No retreatments.

Never get lice again for the rest of your life.

Learn how my treatment plan works in this article.

Household Products That Kill Lice 

lysol, bleach, rubbing alcohol

Head lice are tough to kill; people claim that a wide variety of household products can kill lice, but they don’t. I’ve tested them all in similar experiments. Feel free to read any of my articles below if you want to learn more about them:

Listerine Mouthwash: Does it Kill Lice?
Does Alcohol Kill Lice?

I’ll give you a hint...bleach is the only one on the list that kills lice.

Enzyme Lice Spray! (Non-pesticide)

Most sprays these days do not work to kill lice because lice are immune to them. 

There are lots of other household lice sprays out there that profess to kill lice, but they don’t. If you are looking for a lice spray alternative, this is the one I recommend.

Should You Soak Your Brushes in Bleach?

hair brush

You can soak your hairbrushes in bleach; it will kill head lice. But, I don’t recommend it, because it’s likely to ruin your brushes. It also won’t kill lice eggs, which I think is essential when it comes to brushes. Here are some better ways to clean your hairbrushes after head lice:

#1 -Soak in Hot Water-Do Not Boil

hot water

Lice and lice eggs die in temperatures higher than 130° F.

Be careful not to boil brushes, or they will melt and be unusable.

Heat water on the stove until it just begins to boil and then remove it from the heat. Soak your brushes in hot water for 10 minutes. Hot coffee or hot tea temperature is enough to kill lice.

#2 - Dishwasher

dishwasher

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 and lice eggs.

#3 - Freeze Lice

freezer

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

Your freezer needs to be 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.

Should You Use Bleach to Clean Furniture with Lice?

couch

This one seems like a no brainer. Unless your couch is white, using bleach on your furniture will ruin it. Here are some alternatives:

#1 - Vacuum

vacuum furniture

The most effective way to treat your furniture for lice is by vacuuming your furniture with either a handheld vacuum or your vacuum’s hand tool. Most vacuums come with this tool specifically designed to clean things such as furniture. Although lice are very good at gripping cloth surfaces, vacuums provide enough suction power to remove them. Vacuuming lice and throwing them into the garbage outside will ensure that they do not survive.

Be sure to focus your vacuuming on the surfaces of the couch that people put their heads on.

#2-Sticky Lint Roller

sticky lint roller

For those without a vacuum, the next best thing is a sticky lint roller. The lint roller’s adhesive tape is strong enough to pick up lice off surfaces.

Roll each surface of the couch, replacing the roller sheet as the stickiness wears off.

#3 - Enzyme Lice Spray! (Non-pesticide)

Most sprays these days do not work to kill lice because lice are immune to them.

There are lots of other household lice sprays out there that profess to kill lice, but they don’t.

#4 - Pillows

pillows

If you have a lot of pillows on your furniture, it will be extremely time-consuming for you to vacuum each pillow individually. Another alternative to vacuuming pillows is to place them in the dryer on high heat for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes in the dryer, your pillows will be safe and can return to your clean couch.

Another option for your pillows is to bag them up for 2 days and keep them away from the family. Lice dehydrate and die after 2 days off the head.

Can I Use Bleach to Clean My Leather Couch?

leather couch

You don’t need to use bleach on your leather; it will likely ruin it! For those with vinyl-leather furniture, you can wipe down the leather with anything. Use a wet cloth, a leather wipe, or a Lysol wipe. None of these things will kill lice, but it will remove them from your furniture. (Just be sure to vacuum your carpet).

House Cleaning for Lice

This article only covers a few items about house cleaning, but you can find everything you need to know about exactly what to clean and how to clean it at the article The Ultimate Lice House Cleaning Checklist

Don’t EVER use Clorox Bleach on the head!

ambulance
  • Bleach applied to the scalp can be absorbed through the skin and cause poisoning, especially if there are sores/scabs on the scalp.
  • Bleach can cause chemical burns, nasty chemical burns. 
  • If bleach gets in your child’s eye, it can cause eye injury, eye damage, and blindness.

Summing It Up…

Soaking items in 100% Clorox bleach will kill head lice, however lower concentrations of bleach will not kill lice. There are better ways to clean your items than bleach, such as soaking your brushes in hot water, vacuuming your couches, and putting items in the dryer.

Bleaching hair is not an effective way to kill lice. Lice today are resistant to most chemicals, so it’s more likely that bleaching the hair will kill some of the weakest lice, but the stronger lice will survive and breed, making even stronger lice. Additionally, lice eggs are completely unphased by harsh chemicals and bleach, so you will continue to go around and around in an endless cycle of head lice.

If you plan to use a home remedy for lice then I DO NOT recommend you use Bleach. Instead I’d recommend you use a more effective home remedy like the ones I cover in this article. But, understand that there is no home remedy or treatment out there that kills all lice bugs or lice eggs, so it’s going to take you several weeks to get rid of lice using a method like that.  If you want to get rid of lice quickly, you should check out the How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro! Online Course and get rid of it in ONE DAY.

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