5 Best Ways to Clean Hats, Helmets, and Headphones
After Lice

Discover the 5 best ways to clean hats, helmets, and headphones after lice.


How long can lice live on hats, helmets and headphones? What's the best way to clean my daughter's hats, bike helmets, softball helmets, and headphones?

baseball hats with lice

Answer from a Lice Expert:

After spending hours treating your child with lice the last thing you want is to get it back from a hat or helmet!


Before diving into this article, you should know that there is a FREE, all-inclusive LICE CLEANING CHECKLIST available for you to take with you from room to room as you clean and it covers clothing as well.


In this article let's dive specifically into how to clean hats, helmets, and headphones after lice.

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.

How to Clean Hats, Helmets, and Headphones after Lice

hat, helmet and headphones with head lice
Get the Lice Checklist
It's FREE!
Your checklist is headed to your inbox!

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

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

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

Head Lice: Hats, Helmets, and Headphones: Are they to blame?

Hats and helmets are blamed by many as the chief culprits for spreading head lice. Is it true? Before getting to the 5 Best Ways to treat your hat, helmet, and headphones, let's answer some of the most commonly asked questions. 

Should I use lice sprays to kill lice on hats, helmets, and headphones?

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.


Over 98% of lice have some immunity to pesticides!

How long can lice live on a hat, helmet, or headphones?

picture of woman holding up two fingers

48 hours. Lice can live on hats, helmets, and headphones for up to 2 days. Most lice die within 24 hours of being off the head away from a human blood meal. But, when studied in labs under precise temperatures, lice were able to survive 2 days.

Can you get lice from a hat, helmet, or headphones?

kids putting on hats presumably with head lice

Yes, you can, but it's not as likely as you might think. A study examined the hats of 1,000 people with head lice to see how many lice would transfer to the hat. How many lice do you think they found out of 1,000 hats? 

The researchers found ZERO lice in the 1,000 hats.

However, there have been other studies that indicate the chance of lice transferring to a hat is a little higher, closer to 4%. But still, that is a pretty small risk.

Most lice are passed directly from head-to-head (or hair-to-hair) contact with someone else with lice.

Most don't want to take even a small risk like that, so here are the 5 best ways to treat and kill lice on hats, helmets, and headphones.

What should I do if my child has to share a helmet for sports?

baseball helmets lined in a row. Baseball helmets presumably infested with lice

You can provide your own helmet and ask that it not be shared with the other people on the team. Another way to help protect her head is to wear a hat underneath the helmet. The hat will act as a barrier between your child's head and the lice that may be in the helmet.

Can I get lice from trying on hats at the store?

It's possible but highly unlikely. Three very unlikely things would have to happen: Someone with head lice would have to have tried on the hat within the last 2 days, lice would have had to have left their head to be inside the hat (very unlikely), and the lice would still need to be inside the hat (not crawled out) when you try the hat on.

5 Best Ways to Treat and Kill Lice on Hats, Helmets, and Headphones

child with lice wearing a helmet

#1- Don't Wear Them For 2 Days (Hats, Helmets, Headphones)

picture of woman holding up two fingers

Lice can't survive off the head for more than 2 days. If you don't wear the hat, helmet, or headphones for two days then all lice on them will die, it's as simple as that. Putting the item in a bag labeled "Do not use" can help everyone remember not to use them as well. I know that isn't going to work for every situation, so read on...

#2- Dryer (Hats)

woman putting lice infested clothing in dryer

Lice die at temperatures higher than 130° F. The average dryer gets to 135° F on the high cycle, but it does take some time for the dryer to get to that temperature and to stay at that temperature. 

How long do I put my hat in the dryer to kill lice?

close up of the "eco-dry" button of the dryer

Many will debate the number of how long to put things in the dryer. In a study specifically designed to test lice and dryers, all lice were dead after 40 minutes on high heat in the dryer, so that's the timeframe I recommend.

One word of caution before you put things in the dryer. If you have a newer energy-efficient dryer, be sure to turn off the "eco sensor." The "eco sensor" on dryers is designed to help save energy by automatically turning off the dryer once the clothes are dry enough. In a lice situation, most people care much more about killing lice than about saving money on their energy bills. So, make sure your "eco-sensor" is off, and the hat goes the full 40 minutes on high heat in the dryer. See the picture below.

#3- Wipe Them (Helmets)

sani-wipes to wipe off things with lice

The best thing to wipe down headphones and helmets is alcohol-based wipes. Highly concentrated rubbing alcohol has been proven to kill some lice in studies. If alcohol-based wipes are not available, then any cleaning wipe will suffice. When wiping the inside of a helmet, it's not about killing lice inside the helmet, it's about wiping out any lice that may be hiding inside.

#4- Don't Use Lice Spray!

bottle of lice spray

Unfortunately, most lice sprays on the market today are pesticides that are no longer effective at killing lice on the head or items like helmets and headphones.

#5- Lice Repellent Spray (Hats and Headphones)

spray bottle spraying into the air

There are certain essential oil scents that lice hate. When those fragrances are sprayed on furniture, lice flee the scene. Spraying this kind of repellant spray on your items won't kill lice, but it'll make them less likely to come to you. 

The Never-Ending Cycle

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 that route...

discouraged mother dealing with head lice

Lice is horrible, and no one should have to endure it for months on end. And I hope you don't.

Most people go from lice kit to lice kit and then from home remedy to home remedy and it has nothing to do with dirty hats or helmets.

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…

The risk of getting lice from hats, helmets, and headphones is smaller than many people think. Most lice are spread from head to head contact with someone else with head lice.

Head lice today are extremely difficult to get rid of because they have grown immune to lice kits and home remedies that worked in the past.

If you want to get rid of lice quickly then follow along with my Step-by-Step Video System 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.

Discover the 5 best ways to clean hats, helmets, and headphones after lice. How long can lice live on hats, helmets and headphones?
Get the Lice Checklist
It's FREE!
Your checklist is headed to your inbox!