How to Kill Head Lice in Hairbrushes

Updated February 21, 2017

Head lice are tiny, bloodsucking parasites that can live on your scalp and in your hair. When infected, you will experience severe itching and risk spreading the louse to anyone you meet. After curing the infection with lice-killing shampoo, you must treat your hairbrushes to ensure you do not spread the infection back to yourself. Killing head lice in hairbrushes requires only simple supplies and a few weeks of time to complete. When killing lice in your hairbrushes, you must use replacements as you will not have access to the infected ones.

Remove the infected hairbrushes from your bathroom so they cannot contact any other hair care supplies. If they encountered hair ties, combs, hair clips or anything else in your bathroom, throw the item away or treat it along with the hairbrush.

Put on rubber gloves and pull off any hair tangled in the hairbrushes. Discard the hair and rubber gloves afterward.

Place each hairbrush, and any other infected items, into a plastic sandwich bag. Seal each bag tightly so nothing can escape. The idea is not to suffocate the head lice, but rather to ensure they do not have a feeding source.

Put each sandwich bag into the freezer. Placing the item into the freezer will prevent lice eggs from hatching. Leave the infected hairbrushes in the freezer for three weeks.

Remove the hairbrush and other infected items from the freezer. Allow them to set out in the plastic bags and come to room temperature.

Bring a pan of water to a low boil on a hob.

Remove each item from its plastic bag and set the items on a working surface. Grasp one with a pair of metal tongs and dip it into the boiling water. Hold it in the water for 30 seconds before removing it and repeating with the next item. This kills any louse that might have survived the freezing process.


If you are unsure whether a hairbrush contacted lice-infected hair, treat it to ensure the infection does not return.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Freezer
  • Pan
  • Hob
  • Metal tongs
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