7 Proven Ways To Treat Your Furniture To Get Rid of Head Lice

A couch with a throw blanket on it.

After treating your child for head lice, the last thing you want is to get it back from your house! Discover the 7 best ways to treat your furniture for head lice.

Many people mistakenly search for a pesticide lice spray, assuming it’ll take care of lice on their furniture. They are unaware that multiple studies show that lice are resistant to these pesticides and that they do not kill most lice. 

Here are the 7 proven ways to treat your furniture for head lice.

A woman vacuuming her couch

#1- Vacuum 

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 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

For those without a vacuum, the next best thing is a sticky lint roller like this. The link 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.

A quick disclosure: all items in this article are affiliate links, and I do earn a commission from qualifying purchases; however, all of my reviews are based on the quality of the product.

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

Most sprays these days do not work to kill lice because they are pesticides. The best household spray that I have found to kill lice is LiceLogic Clear & Free All Purpose Spray.

There are lots of other household lice sprays out there that profess to kill lice, but they don’t. LiceLogic’s spray is different than others because the solution contains enzymes (not pesticides) that break down the exoskeleton of lice and kills them. Lice can not become immune to these enzymes as they can to pesticides. This spray will leave your house smelling like peppermint. 

#4 -Repelling Lice Spray

There are several essential oil scents that lice hate. When you spray these fragrances on furniture, lice flee the scene. My top pick for a lice repellent for furniture is Lice Clinics of America Lice Prevention Household Spray.

Unlike other repellents for furniture, this spray is completely honest about what it does, repel-not kill- lice! It is made with pure essential oils, and peppermint is the strongest. It’ll leave your home smelling like candy canes.

Three Throw Pillows on a couch

#5- 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.

A brown leather couch

#6- Leather 

For those with leather furniture such as suede or faux suede fabric, either vacuum or lint roll your furniture. For those with vinyl-leather furniture that is not easily vacuumed, wipe down the leather with a wet cloth, this is sufficient to remove lice. Alcohol-based wipes are best at killing lice, but I do not recommend using them on furniture surfaces.

A couch covered in a clean white sheet

#7- Barrier

Another option for treating your furniture is to place a barrier between your couch and your family. Laying a clean large sheet or blanket over your sofas and chairs for 2 days will ensure that you do not get lice from your couch. You are welcome to use your furniture while the sheet is placed over it because lice are not capable of climbing through the fabric. Lice die after 48 hours off of a human, so after 2 days, you can safely remove the sheet or blanket.  

Ultimate Lice Cleaning Checklist

If you are doing house cleaning after lice, then you must check out the Ultimate Lice Cleaning Checklist article. It covers exactly what you need to clean and exactly how to clean it to get rid of lice in your house.

If you’ve been down this lice road for a while and you can’t figure out why you are still struggling with lice, you should know that it likely has nothing to do with your furniture. Many people are stuck in the endless cycle of lice (discovering lice, then painstakingly trying to kill it, only to see it again a few weeks later) because they are using a treatment that lice are resistant to. 

Just like lice are resistant to pesticide sprays for the couch, they are also resistant to most lice treatment products. All of the details about which lice treatments work and which ones to avoid entirely is in my article Best Lice Treatment Shampoos for  Head Lice and Super Lice.


Head lice prefer to stay on the head and rarely come off. Lice can live up to 2 days on your furniture, before dying of dehydration. It is unlikely for them to be on your couch, but not impossible. Always avoid pesticide lice sprays, because they DO NOT work, if you’re looking for a good lice spray find an enzyme spray or a repelling spray.

Remember, most people are not getting lice back from their furniture, but instead can’t get rid of lice because they are using an ineffective treatment. Be sure you are using an effective treatment by reading my article 7 Best Head Lice Treatments.

Your next stop for cleaning your house should be the Ultimate Lice Cleaning Checklist to find out what else to clean and how to clean it in your home.