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LISTERINE LICE TREATMENT: DOES LISTERINE KILL LICE?

LISTERINE LICE TREATMENT: DOES LISTERINE KILL LICE?
Updated on 
June 22, 2022

A common remedy families ask about is the method of using Listerine to kill lice. Clients often tell stories about relatives who have claimed in the past to have used a Listerine lice treatment and they wonder if it’s a reasonable solution to get rid of their head lice infestation at a low cost. Does it work though? Before dumping Listerine or another mouthwash on your family’s scalps, it’s important to consider the facts.

INGREDIENTS IN LISTERINE

Listerine is the brand name of a mouthwash that is made up of water, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavoring, and coloring. Often, clients claim that blue Listerine for lice treatment is best, others swear that brown Listerine lice treatments are the only ones that work. The fact is that, outside of the coloring used in the solution, there is no difference between the different colors of Listerine for lice. But does Listerine kill lice?

DOES MOUTHWASH KILL LICE?

If you’ve come here looking for Listerine lice treatment instructions, we hope we do not disappoint you by asserting that using Listerine on lice does not work. Unfortunately, mouthwash is not effective at killing adult lice. Effective lice treatments will work to kill the live bugs present in a lice infestation as a first step. While there is a mixture of chemical oils in Listerine that are, in fact, known to be effective at repelling lice (like mint), they do nothing to kill the bugs on your head during an active infestation.

CAN LISTERINE KILL LICE EGGS?

During effective treatment of head lice, more than the live bugs need to be addressed. All of the lice eggs (lice nits) need to be removed from the hair. Some claim that Listerine kills the eggs, but the truth is, nothing is strong enough to penetrate the shell of the lice egg. Inside of the shell is the baby bug that will continue to grow until it hatches. If these eggs are not removed, these bugs, when hatched, will start an infestation all over again.

DOES LISTERINE KILL LICE ON FURNITURE?

Seeing as how Listerine is not effective at killing lice on the head, it would be reasonable to expect that it would not be effective on furniture. This is correct. So what should you do regarding the furniture? Nothing. Lice on furniture do not need to be killed because they cannot survive in or on furniture for more than 24 hours as they are separated from their food source - blood from the human head. If you are too worried about bugs or eggs on the furniture waiting, then use a vacuum or lint roller to pick up any errant remnants of the case.

IS LISTERINE HARMFUL AND WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?

Used as directed for mouth washing, Listerine is not harmful. However, when any product is used in a way that it is not intended to be used, there are risks involved. In this case, there could be undesirable effects of using mouthwash as a lice treatment.

EYE DAMAGE

While you likely would not intentionally use Listerine in your eyes, since it is a liquid, Listerine can easily flow down the head and onto the face where it can make contact with the eyes. This can cause pain and damage to the eyes.

ALCOHOL POISONING

One of the ingredients in Listerine is alcohol. In the mouthwash, it is meant to be an antiseptic. If ingested, just like any other alcoholic beverage consumed in excess, it can lead to intoxication. Drinking Listerine will not kill lice.

ALLERGY AND CHEMICAL BURN

When choosing lice eradication methods, it’s important to consider the individual being treated. If you attempt to treat someone with Listerine who has an allergy to one of the ingredients, you may activate an allergic response. Additionally, alcohol left on the skin for an extended period of time may cause a chemical burn.

DAMAGE TO THE HAIR

Listerine is very drying owing to the alcohol content. When you pour it on your strands you will likely experience a problem with dry hair. There are better options that do not harm your locks.

WHY HOME REMEDIES FOR LICE ARE STILL SO POPULAR?

Many people seek home remedies for lice when chemical treatments that worked in the past prove to be ineffective. As these chemicals become less and less effective, these families look for alternative solutions to head lice, like how to get rid of lice with vinegar and Listerine? Additionally, some families will look for these alternate solutions in an attempt to save money. There are some lice remedies that could work, however, there are more simple treatment options that are effective.

CONCLUSION

At LiceDoctors, we appreciate when families do their research prior to treating head lice. While bogus DIY treatments can be found all over the internet, we are happy to offer a service to clients all over the United States that we know works. The removal process provided is all-natural, safe, and effective. To schedule your appointment, or to learn more, call us at 800-224-2537.

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