Using Salt to Get Rid of Lice
Is salt a good way to treat head lice? Discover how saltwater or mixing salt with vinegar affects lice and lice eggs.
I've tried loads of lice kits and lice just keeps coming back! I've heard that salt can kill lice? Is it true?
Answer from a lice expert:
If you have tried other 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!
After no success with lice kits, some turn to home remedies. Salt is one that people may turn to in desperation, but before going down the salt route there are a few things you should know.
So, let's talk about exactly what salt can do and cannot do when it comes to helping with head lice in this article.
Let me introduce myself...
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.
Salt for Head Lice
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….
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.
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:
- Lice Bugs
- Lice Eggs
- 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.
Is Salt A Good Lice Treatment?
NO MYTHS HERE- ONLY THE FACTS.
There are loads of random people claiming different home remedies "cure" lice circulating the internet.
The purpose of My Lice Advice is to give you the undiluted facts about home remedies and other lice treatments- so that you can make good decisions and get rid of lice as fast as possible.
This article focuses on the facts about salt and head lice.
Does Salt Water Kill Lice?
When you submerge lice in saltwater, this is what you’ll see...
Within minutes of lice coming into contact with salt water, they will become immobile and look “dead.”
They’re not dead...the truth is that they’ve closed up their breathing holes and are going into a “survival state.”
This “survival state” actually benefits lice, enabling them to hold their breath for over 24 hours.
Most people will think they’re hurting lice with something like this, but lice are just playing dead.
After you remove them from the saltwater, they resurrect back to life.
When lice resurrect, they are at full strength and capable of breeding just as they did before being immersed in saltwater.
A recent study did just this. It tested multiple salt solutions to see if more or less salt might make a difference in whether or not lice would die.
Researchers submerged lice in saltwater for 20 minutes, and 100% of the lice survived.
Does Leaving Salt Water on Longer Kill Lice?
Using salt water to try to kill head lice is not something new. This is a home remedy from way back when.
In 1919 researchers tested how well lice could be killed in saltwater if they soaked them for long periods. Would the salt dehydrate and kill lice?
Lice submerged in saltwater for 7 hours still survived. Saltwater is no better at killing lice than tap water.
The study found no advantage to submerging lice in salt, even for long periods. In some cases, those covered in saltwater survived longer than those not exposed to salt.
Salt and The Never-Ending Cycle
Most people that use lice kits and home remedies get caught in the horrible "Never-Ending Cycle of Lice"
First- You Have Lice
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.
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 what they don't realize is they've missed the lice eggs and the baby bug. 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!
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 before you know it you are infested with more baby bugs then you may have started with!
And Lice Is Back Again!
How to Avoid the Never-Ending Cycle
Does Salt Water Kill Lice Eggs?
Lice eggs and nits are the same thing.
To start off let's get something straight... Nits and lice eggs are the same thing! Don't make this more complicated then it needs to be. The two words (nits and lice eggs) will be used interchangeably in this article.
Some theorize that salt dehydrates lice eggs and prevents them from hatching. In this same study, researchers submerged nits in salt water for long periods to determine whether they would hatch.
Nits submerged in saltwater hatched just as much as those submerged in tap water.
Which kills lice eggs?
Salt Does NOT Kill Lice Eggs
Saltdoes NOT kill lice eggs (nits) or prevent them from hatching. Whereas, doing a professional lice treatment using the Step-by-Step Video System eliminates 100% of lice eggs (nits) without toxic chemicals, pesticides, or lice kits.
Salt and Vinegar for Head Lice
If you’ve read on the internet that mixing salt and vinegar is going to cure your head lice, you will be very disappointed.
In one study, scientists immersed lice in vinegar for a full 8 hours, and only 2% of head lice died. Even tap water kills more lice than vinegar in most studies.
Salt doesn’t kill head lice.
Vinegar doesn’t kill head lice.
So, a combination of salt and vinegar isn’t going to get you any closer to getting rid of head lice.
Those on the internet that claim vinegar helps lice eggs are very wrong.
One study saturated lice eggs in vinegar to see if it would decrease the chances of them hatching.
It found that lice eggs are MORE likely to hatch when you put vinegar on them!
Lice Eggs in Vinegar: 94% hatched
Lice Eggs Normal: 87% hatched.
Does Sea Water Kill Lice?
What if all you had to do to get rid of lice was take a dip in the ocean? It’s a beautiful dream, but it is far from reality.
In a study, head lice submerged in “sea water” solutions for a prolonged period survived, not a single bug died.
Salt Lice Treatments
There are a few products on the market today claiming salt as their key ingredient. I have seen these products in “action” and I don’t recommend them. Many of the children I help with head lice have already done round after round of “salt products” and still have lice.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d recommend a salt product over a pesticide treatment any day. Pesticide treatments don’t kill lice, whereas some people are successful with salt products.
If you are set on using a salt product, then look on the back of the box and find something that says “Natrum Muriaticum” in the “active ingredients.” This long, fancy name is just another way of saying salt.
But the real “lice killing” ingredient in these lice treatments is not salt, though. These products contain several other ingredients, including benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, isopropyl myristate, geraniol, and anise. Without these “other ingredients”, you’re not going to have to have much luck with salt.
I have seen these products fail for hundreds of people, so I can't in good conscience recommend them to anyone. Instead, follow along with my Step-by-Step Videos and get rid of lice today!
Summing It Up…
Using salt or saltwater on your head is not going to get you any closer to getting rid of head lice. And using something like salt combined with vinegar can make your head lice even worse!
My advice... Put the salt shaker down and follow along with the videos in my Step-by-Step Video System and get rid of lice by the end of the day.
All the best,
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.