If you or someone you know has recently come out of a head lice infestation, then you know that there is work to do. On the day of you or your family member’s treatment at Pediatric Hair Solutions, set aside some time to clean specific items around your home to ensure a complete removal of any nits or adult lice. Here are the things you need to clean after a lice infestation:
- All bed and bath linens that have come in contact with an infected individual will need to be dried in the dryer on high heat for 30-40 minutes before being washed and dried again. Be sure to include any quilts, comforters, blankets, and pillows. Items that cannot be placed in the dryer should be placed in plastic bags and then set in a freezer for 48 hours. If that is not an option, then simply place the item in a plastic bag and put somewhere in isolation for at least 48 hours. Head lice do not survive off of the human host for more than 48 hours.
- Similar to linens, all clothing that has been worn or in contact with an infected individual will need to be dried in the dryer on high heat for 30-40 minutes before being washed and dried again. If an item cannot be machine dried, bag and place in a freezer for 48 hours. Dry cleaning is not guaranteed to rid clothing of lice, so take special care to either freeze or isolate special clothing items. These cleaning methods should also be used for all outerwear, including hats, scarves, jackets, coats, sweaters, etc.
- Brushes, Combs, and Hair Accessories. Take all hair brushes, combs, and accessories, label appropriately to avoid sharing, place in plastic bags, and set in a freezer for 48 hours. After that, wash thoroughly with hot, soapy water and allow to air dry. Clean any containers, holders, and drawers before putting items back to get a fresh, clean start!
- Place any helmets in a freezer or, if they cannot fit, set aside in a plastic bag for isolation. We recommend items to be isolated for at least 48 hours before being wiped down to ensure a complete clean.
- Stuffed Animals. Don’t forget about stuffed animals! We recommend drying in the dryer on high for 30-40 minutes, and if possible, washing and drying afterward. If the stuffed animal is fragile, the use the freezer method mentioned above. If you are not comfortable placing the stuffed animal in the freezer, then set in isolation for at least 48 hours.
- Items to clean or set in isolation, if used while an individual was infected, include: headphones, baseball caps, graduation caps, and anything else that came in contact with the individual’s head or hair.
Phew! There are a lot of things to consider when cleaning after a lice infestation, but it is well worth the time. After our comprehensive treatment at Pediatric Hair Solutions, you want to have a clean, lice-free home. Keep in mind that items such as countertops, carpets, floors, etc., do not need to be deep cleaned. A simple vacuum of the home will suffice, in addition to the above. Now you can look forward to a happy, clean, lice-free home.