Discover the Most Effective and Natural Lice Treatments Using Products in Your Home

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: December 7, 2023
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Small parasitic insects called head lice can lay eggs on your hair shafts called nits that cause a terribly itchy sensation. While lice is most common in juveniles, adults can still get it. There are plenty of ways to remove lice and nits and free your scalp from these itchy pests.

1. Wet Comb Your Hair

person checking wet hair for lice, with a yellow lice comb

Lice can live up to two days from when they fall off their host.


A popular, effective, and great lice treatment to remove lice in younger children is wet combing. This involves wetting the hair of the person with the lice to prevent the nits from moving around. If you want to make this as easy as possible, we suggest using an oil or leave-in conditioner. 

Take a fine-tooth comb and brush the hair while it is still wet. There are combs specially designed for lice that work perfectly! You should be able to see all types of lice appear on the comb. 

Wipe off the brush after each pass to prevent putting any lice back on the scalp. You may need to repeat this process every few days for two weeks. 

2. Skin Cleanser

Head lice (louse) - view through a magnifying glass and human hair with head lice (louse). Macro. All objects Isolated on a white background.

Lice cannot fly or hop and only transfer via direct contact.

©Protasov AN/

Another way to get rid of lice is by coating your scalp and all of your hair with a thick amount of skin cleanser. Once your scalp and hair are covered, take a hair dryer until the cleanser becomes brittle. 

Keep your hair like this for at least eight hours. This causes the lice to become stuck and eventually suffocate. After eight hours, wet your hair and comb out all of the nits. You may need to repeat this process depending on how bad the lice infestation is.

3. Petroleum Jelly

high angle view of white petroleum jelly on blue background

Using Vaseline to kill lice will also moisturize your scalp.

©Towfiqu ahamed barbhuiya/

On our list of things you can use around the house for a lice treatment, look no further than petroleum jelly. This is one of the most effective ways to treat the issue at hand. While there are many smothering agents, such as mayonnaise, petroleum jelly stops further lice eggs from hatching. 

This involves simply covering your head with petroleum jelly and waiting a few hours. Run a lice comb through your hair while remembering to wipe it after each brush. Wash your hair as normal and repeat as necessary. 

4. Essential Oil

Fresh tea tree branch and essential oil on white background. Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Essential oils should always be diluted before putting them anywhere near your skin.


Both lavender and tea tree oil can work great to kill lice. If you don’t have any sensitivity to tea tree oil, it may be worth a try. There are a variety of tea tree oil shampoos on the market that you can use. 

One study shows that after just 30 minutes, all the lice die. Be careful using tea tree oil on children as it is an endocrine disruptor. When using lavender essential oil, be sure to dilute it to avoid any skin irritation. 

This may be a better option for people who are sensitive to tea tree oil on its own. 

5. Heat

Overflowing laundry basket. Household chore concept on white background

Temperatures higher than 129 degrees Fahrenheit will kill lice.

©Paul Michael Hughes/

One of the easiest and most natural lice treatments is heat. Thankfully, lice and nits will die if they’re in temperatures higher than 128.3 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a few minutes. 

If someone in your home has lice, it is essential to wash their clothing and bedding in extremely hot water. You’ll also want to soak any brushes or combs that they’ve used in boiling water for around 10 minutes. 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Vladimir Gjorgiev/

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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