Using Salt to Get Rid of Lice

salt featured image

Is salt a good way to treat head lice? Discover how saltwater or mixing salt with vinegar effects lice and lice eggs.

If you’re struggling to get rid of lice, you are not alone! There are millions of people around the world in the same boat as you are. And that's because lice have become immune to over-the-counter treatments that worked in the past.

You may have heard that salt can kill head lice. Is it true?

This article covers the following (feel free to click on any topic):

Does Salt Water Kill Lice?

Can Salt Prevent Lice Eggs from Hatching?

Salt and Vinegar Lice Treatment

How To Get Rid of Lice With Salt- Is it Possible?

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Before reading this article you should WATCH THE VIDEO above so that you can learn these 5 things and be successful.

Here are a few of the key points covered in the video

  1. Some home remedies help with lice and some make lice way WORSE (find out which ones in the video).
  2. Lice can play dead (learn what I mean in the video)
  3. What's DANGEROUS (learn in the video)
  4. Lice eggs and home remedies
  5. Home remedy treatment plan


Here are the links to the two articles I talk about in the video...

37 Home Remedies- The Good, the Bad, The Dangerous

How to Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro! (ONE DAY, NO RE-TREATMENTS)

Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of 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:

  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 Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro.

Super Lice

An enlarged super lice bug

Lice today are called “super lice” because they have genetic mutations that make them immune to most treatments and VERY difficult to kill.

Recent studies show that almost all lice today have the super lice mutation! And that over the counter treatments only “cure” a small percentage of people.

If you have lice, assume it is super lice. It doesn’t matter how many times you use over the counter treatments or how long you leave them on; you will not get rid of head lice.

Super lice are hard to get rid of for three reasons:

  1. Most lice treatments only kill the weakest lice, leaving the strongest lice to survive and breed. (The more times you use an ineffective lice treatment, the stronger the lice become).
  2. Lice treatments DO NOT kill most lice eggs or prevent them from hatching.
  3. The only way to kill super lice eggs is to remove them from the head, but the combs that come in lice kits don’t remove most eggs.

Does Salt Water Kill Lice?

Quick Fact: 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.”

A lice quickly crawling through a woman's blond hair.

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.

salt water 20 minutes (1)

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?

Quick Fact: Lice submerged in saltwater solutions for 7 hours lived longer than other lice.

Using saltwater 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 that not exposed to salt. 

What's the FASTEST Way To Get Rid of Lice?

The purpose of My Lice Advice is to help parents get rid of lice as fast as possible. And the fastest way to get rid of lice is to get rid of lice in one day, no re-treatments. This is how lice professionals like myself get rid of lice in lice centers. Most people assume that lice professionals use some kind of crazy strong lice product or something. But the truth is that's not how lice professionals get rid of lice so fast....

When I treat lice in my lice center I don't use any toxic chemicals or special treatments. In fact, you can do a professional lice treatment at home without buying any lice products. I teach parents how to do this professional technique on their children at home, on my page Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro!

In Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro! you learn how to get rid of lice in less than a day by doing what the pro's do. And it's gone permanently- there are no re-treatments, and no messing around with lice kits. You do the professional  technique on your child at home, you kill all of the lice and the lice eggs in one session and then you're done with lice. 

That's the FASTEST and MOST EFFECTIVE way to get rid of lice. You can learn how to do it by clicking here.

Does Salt Water Kill Lice Eggs?

Lice eggs in black hair

Quick Fact: Saltwater does not prevent lice eggs from hatching.

Some theorize that salt dehydrates lice eggs and prevent 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.

The best way to get rid of lice eggs and nits is with the MyLiceAdvice Video Series.

Salt and Vinegar for Head Lice

vinegar bottle

Quick Fact: Vinegar is one of the worst home remedies out there.

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.

Vinegar and Lice Eggs

Quick fact: Vinegar applied to lice eggs can make them MORE likely to hatch.

Others on the internet claim that vinegar is a miracle for lice eggs when nothing could be further from the truth.

lice eggs hatched

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!

The results:

Lice Eggs in Vinegar: 94% hatched

Lice Eggs Normal: 87% hatched.

Does Vinegar Help Lice Eggs Come Off?

Quick Fact: Vinegar does not miraculously make lice eggs “slide off” the hair.

I wrote a whole article on using vinegar for lice. I did an intense experiment of vinegar and lice eggs, and I’ll tell you…. Vinegar is not going to make removing lice eggs from the hair any easier for you.

Does Sea Water Kill Lice?

swim ocean

Quick Fact: Lice survive in seawater.

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. 

salt lice treatments

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.

I’m not convinced that the real “lice killing” ingredient in these lice treatments is 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 likely to have much luck with salt.

The two that I have seen some people have success with are LiceFreee Spray and Vamousse.

I have seen both of these products fail for hundreds of people, so I can't in good conscience recommend them to anyone. I’m not recommending them, but if you’re set on using salt to kill lice, you’ll have more luck using one of those than trying to do it yourself.

Better Home Remedies Than Salt

If you are looking for an all-natural way to get rid of lice then the very best and FASTEST way to do that is by learning how to do a professional lice treatment on your child at home. You don't need to buy any lice kits or lice products, and you can be done with lice in less than a day. That's what I teach on my page Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro!

If you're set on doing it on your own and you want to hunt around for a home remedy then you can find a list of much better home remedies in my article 37 Home Remedies for Lice. In that article I evaluate every home remedy for lice and let you know how many lice and lice eggs they kill.

You should know that even the best home remedies only kill 80% of lice bugs and no home remedies kill lice eggs. If you decide to go that route then plan on retreating and nit-picking for about 3 weeks.

You can find the Home Remedies article here.

Summing It Up…

Using salt or saltwater on your head is not going to get you any closer to getting rid of head lice. Using something like salt combined with vinegar can make your head lice worse! 

If you plan to use a home remedy for lice then I DO NOT recommend you use Salt. 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.  My advice... put the salt shaker down and check out the How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro! Online Course and get rid of it in ONE DAY. 

All the best,

Theresa, My Lice Advice


Theresa is a lice expert with years of experience curing children of lice. She currently works with government agencies and non-profit organizations to help children with the most severe head lice infestations in the US.

Originally trained as a Registered Nurse, she changed specialties to study lice. Later, she opened a lice treatment center where she perfected the PRO technique she teaches in the Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro online course. She now works helping those struggling with lice around the world.

She is the creator of, one of the top lice informational websites in the world and she teaches parents around the world how to get rid of lice in less than a day in the Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro online course.

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