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Does Bleach Really Kill Lice?

Does Bleach Really Kill Lice?
Updated on 
January 19, 2021

There are many questionable remedies for lice out there, most of which have a high failure rate. Many people wondering “does hair bleach kill lice?” are considering a root touch-up as a way to avoid lice treatment. Others are wondering about how to clean lice off their belongings. Let’s dive deeper into the question: “Does bleach kill head lice?”

Can Bleaching Your Hair With Special Products Kill Lice?

can bleaching your hair kill lice

Will hair bleach kill lice? Hair bleach contains damaging peroxide to strip color; you cannot avoid hair damage by using bleach instead of lice shampoo. But when used to go blonde, does bleaching your hair kill lice as a fringe benefit? 

Can hair bleach kill lice? Technically, hair bleach WILL kill lice. But can bleaching your hair kill lice eggs? Nits have impenetrable eggshells, so nothing topical kills nits effectively. The infestation will persist, since the nits will survive to hatch later.

Can I Use Real Bleach To Kill Lice?

can you use real bleach to kill lice

NEVER put household bleach like Clorox bleach on your skin or hair, but can bleach kill lice in the home? Technically, bugs will die in undiluted bleach, but they will also die in the home when off the head for several hours (with or without bleach).  We provide our clients with safer alternatives, for example: 

Will bleach kill lice on household surfaces? Yes, but keeping the hair in the home protected is more effective.

Does bleach kill head lice on laundry? Sometimes, but leaving dirty laundry in the hamper undisturbed for a couple days will also work. 

Bleach As Chlorine In The Pool

woman in a swimming pool with chlorine

Does bleach kill lice in the form of pool chlorine? Chlorinated water won’t harm lice or nits any more than it harms you. But lice can hold their breath longer than you can, and cannot be drowned. Salt water pools also don’t kill lice.

You can’t catch lice from a pool. If lice fall off in the pool, they won’t survive to infest others. Head lice can transfer from head-to-head contact during pool play, even though the hair is wet.

Will Bleach Kill Lice On Hair Brushes And Combs?

can bleach on hair combs kill lice

Will bleach kill lice on a hairbrush? Yes, but safer alternatives include boiling your hairbrush for 1 hour (but this may cause bristles to fall out), leaving it in the freezer overnight, or storing in a cabinet for a couple days. 

Nits stuck to hairs in a hairbrush cannot reattach to the head or hatch, since they need warmth from the head to survive.

woman with a hair dryer


The best lice treatment is removing all lice and nits from the heads. Call LiceDoctors to remove lice, and follow our aftercare plan so lice on other surfaces die without bleach or chemicals.

We provide a friendly in-home lice removal service

Book your appointment today


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Updated on 
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Good old mayo – the hero of countless recipes and a staple in nearly every kitchen in America. Diverse in its abilities beyond sandwiches, mayonnaise can be used for many things around the house, but does mayonnaise get rid of lice? It can but there are better options!

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