Droplet of Listerine.

Does Listerine Kill Lice?

We all have our family’s list of home remedies. Most of them have to do with relieving cold symptoms. Some of you may have heard of trying to use Listerine or other mouthwashes to kill head lice. But does it work? After all, Listerine kills the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath. So, can Listerine kill head lice? The short answer is no. Let’s find out why it doesn’t work (and why you shouldn’t even try it!), and what method does.

Listerine Does Not Kill Adult Lice or Lice Eggs

Listerine’s active ingredient is alcohol, and scientists have conclusively proven that alcohol does not kill lice [link to rubbing alcohol blog]. After performing a study where participants’ heads were soaked in straight alcohol for eight full hours, the scientists found that the adult lice and lice eggs were still alive and well.

Why Listerine Doesn’t Kill Adult Lice

Since the alcohol in Listerine does not kill the lice, by trying to use Listerine to kill lice, you would merely be attempting to drown the lice. And as we all know, drowning lice does not work (or head lice wouldn’t survive after you take a shower). The head lice will easily survive this and go on to reproduce more lice!

Why Listerine Doesn’t Kill Lice Eggs

To understand why Listerine doesn’t kill lice eggs, you must know that lice eggs (nits) are encased in a special waxy coating to protect them. This waxy coating essentially waterproofs the eggs. Applying Listerine or any kind of alcohol-based product to your head won’t break that waterproof seal. The nits will continue to hang on tightly to the hair shaft, with the baby lice still safely inside. The eggs will lie dormant long enough to outlast the alcohol—just waiting to hatch and keep the infestation going.

Hazardous to Children

If the fact that Listerine will not work to kill lice wasn’t enough to keep you from trying, there is also the factor of the danger it poses to your child. The alcohol in Listerine can absorb into the scalp and make its way into your bloodstream. Because a lot of the time it’s children who are being treated for lice, this is certainly not something you want to happen to them.

Professional Lice Removal in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL, and Savannah, GA

Using a trusted product that you already have around the house may seem like a good idea, but when dealing with head lice, you want to steer clear of any home remedy. To ensure that you safely and effectively rid your family of lice, trust the professionals. For the best lice treatment in your area, call us at Fresh Heads Lice Removal. We can rid you or your child of head lice in a single treatment. Even better, we don’t use any pesticides or other toxins! Contact us today.


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, our goal is to get rid of lice in schools across the country. We’ve partnered with the Lice Clinics of America to create a program called Schools Without Lice, which gives teachers and nurses free screenings, resources, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!

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