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Does Salt Water Kill Lice And Nits?

Does Salt Water Kill Lice And Nits?
Created on 
December 23, 2020
Updated on 
August 17, 2021

If you have small children and are worried about their getting head lice or they already have lice, you may ask yourself some questions when planning a trip to the ocean or when trying to determine what chemical to use for your pool. There are likely many things you will take into consideration; for example, does saltwater kill lice?  Does salt water kill lice and their eggs at the same time?

Does Salt Water Kill Lice?

Saltwater pools are becoming increasingly more popular for a number of reasons. They are easier to maintain than standard chlorine pools and are better for skin, eyes, and hair. They may also cause less damage to swimsuits and your pool toys. If you are pondering salt water use in your at-home pool, you may want to know what other pros there may be to using salt water in your pool.

Since saltwater chemicals are less harsh, can lice survive in saltwater? Chlorine does not kill head lice, but will salt water kill lice, or can salt water kill lice? Unfortunately, the answer is no. When it comes to choosing a type of chemical for your family’s swimming pool, there is no advantage to using salt water over any other chemical when it comes to treating or preventing cases of head lice in your pool.

Does salt kill lice in other applications, like an Epsom salt bath? Unfortunately, you’d have to soak in the bath nonstop all day to have a chance at killing a significant number of lice. And it is even more important to ask, does salt water kill lice eggs?

Does Salt Water Kill Lice Eggs?

does salt water kill lice eggs

Although salt water will not kill lice, we can’t count on lice saltwater treatments, can salt water have any effect on lice eggs? Salt is often used to dehydrate things, so will it damage lice eggs?

If this were the case, one might be hoping that it would help eliminate the most arduous task of a lice treatment, which is the removal of all of the lice eggs. Hypothetically, if salt water or salt could dehydrate and kill these nits, you could end a lice infestation, right? Wrong. Salt and salt water will not affect lice eggs.

No treatment, whether homeopathic or pharmaceutical, including salt, is one hundred percent ovicidal – meaning that it can kill eggs. Lice eggs have a tough outer shell, and salt can not penetrate through them to kill the nymph (baby bug) inside. Some treatments have some success, but none is foolproof, so the lice eggs will always need to be physically removed from the hair.

Does Ocean Water Kill Lice?

Ocean water is made up of several components,  including sodium chloride, commonly known as salt. If you have lice and go to the ocean, you might wonder if ocean water will kill lice? When it comes to lice, ocean water will not have any effect on an infestation. Again, the bugs are impervious to the water, and the eggshell acts as a barrier.

Can Salt and Vinegar Kill Lice?

Can Salt and Vinegar Kill Lice

Highly acidic vinegar could kill lice if left on long enough to dissolve their exoskeletons but is usually ineffective because people wash it off before it can work due to discomfort. Does salt water kill head lice? In theory, salt is abrasive and can damage the exoskeletons but still doesn’t kill the nits.

Side Effects of Using Salt as a Lice Treatment

Salt irritates the eyes and dries the skin. After soaking with salt water, the scalp may become itchy and flaky. This is especially distressing after having head lice, as the continued itching will confuse: is the itching due to dryness, or are there still lice? Are those flakes or nits?

Other Home Remedies That Can Help You Get Rid of Lice

If you’re determined to use salt, you’ll need to understand how to get rid of head lice with salt. While salt won’t eliminate lice, it may weaken them by scratching their exoskeletons and dehydrating them. Damaged lice are slower and easier to remove. You still must physically remove all signs of lice and nits.

There are two home remedies that are most effective:

Salt Water Didn’t Help You Get Rid of Lice?

Salt Water Didn’t Help You Get Rid of Lice

If you’ve been hopeful that with regard to lice salt water would help you get rid of it, then you have likely been disappointed because salt water and lice are not a lethal combination.  If you still have an active case, call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537. Our specialists will help you get rid of lice guaranteed. There are no shortcuts and your technician will take the time to make sure that your family’s head lice problem is a thing of the past!

Can't Get Rid of Lice? We Can Help!

Recurrent head lice can make parents feel hopeless and overwhelmed. When lice recur, no matter what you do, there’s no shame in asking for help. Stop struggling and call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537.



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