Here is all about cleaning combs and brushes after lice treatment.
Head lice infestations tend to be challenging to treat due to the ease of spread and sharing hair accessories like combs and brushes, among others.
Head lice parasites need the warmth and blood provided by hosts to thrive. Improper use of hair accessories will expose you to infestations.
Let’s discuss how to disinfect hair brushes after lice.
How to Clean Brushes After Lice
Your best bet for minimizing or better-controlling head lice problems is appropriate cleaning actions. This helps you stay ahead of lice spread by destroying nits and eggs.
However, we must state that it’s much safer to avoid sharing hair accessories and other head wearables like scarves, ribbons, etc.
The Following can spread head lice.
Apart from sharing combs, hair brushes, and towels, head lice can be spread by several methods, including clothing like coats, hats, scarves, ribbons, and barrettes.
Head-to-head contact is another way humans can spread these pests.
What more? Head lice infestation can happen when you lie on couches, beds, carpets, pillows, and stuffed animals that infested persons have recently been in contact with.
Avoiding the problem will require taking preventive action. Here, most of our focus will be on effective ways to clean your combs and brushes.
Sharing Combs and Brushes & Lice Spread
A lice infestation is spread via head-to-head contact and, in rare cases, through shared hair accessories like comes and brushes.
The reason for this is simple. Lice need the warmth of the human body (scalp) and the blood supply to survive. As such, lice nits found on combs won’t survive for long.
While that is true, you’re still exposed to the risk of lice infestation, especially after using combs or hair brushes just used by a lice-infested person.
A thorough cleanup of these hair accessories is vital. How this is done is essential. As you read, you’ll find detailed information on how to make your combs and brushes safe.
How Long Will Head Lice Survive on Combs and Brushes
To better understand how combs and brushes are cleaned, you’ll need information on the survival chances of lice on your hair accessories.
When using combs and brushes, some of these parasites are dislodged in the process. Once they’re off the scalp, there’s no food source and warmth.
Without these conditions, it’s difficult for lice to live. As such, they begin to die off within 24 hours. Close inspection of your brushes or grooming supplies might reveal a louse or several.
Nits may also be observed with the help of a magnifying glass.
Now the problem is how soon these combs or brushes are used. If these accessories are used immediately after being used by a lice-infested person, the chances of spreading such infestation will be higher.
To be on the safe side, thorough cleanup will be necessary.
How to Clean Lice Combs and Hair Brushes
As stated earlier, there are multiple ways to clean lice-laden combs and brushes.
Some of the most effective strategies include the dishwasher, soaking in water and alcohol, and freezing your brush. Another alternative is to avoid using your comb or brush for 24 hours.
i. Using a Dishwasher
This method might sound a bit strange for some people, but it’s one way to clean your combs and brushes, especially after being used by a lice-infested person.
When exposed to temperatures greater than 130 degrees F, lice cannot survive beyond 5 minutes.
A sanitation setting of 155 degrees F on your dishwasher will serve your purpose. Under such temperature, lice and nits on combs & brushes are unable to survive.
Before placing these grooming accessories into the dishwasher, remove as much hair from the brushes. Place hair brushes on the upper rack and start.
ii. Soaking in Water
One of the simple methods of cleaning combs and brushes is soaking them in water.
There are two options here; the use of cold or hot water. When using cold water for cleaning, you must fill up your sink with water, place your hairbrushes, and come.
These must be submerged for a minimum of 8 hours. This is enough time to suffocate or kill lice. Remove and rinse with new water.
On the other hand, instead of using cold water, you can use hot water to eliminate lice. Boil some water and pour into a container before placing your combs and hairbrush.
These (combs and hairbrushes) should be allowed to soak for about 10 minutes before removing.
iii. Using Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol has proven helpful in cleaning combs and brushes with lice.
To start, have as much hair removed from brushes. Now your brushes should be set face down in your bowl or container. Pour rubbing alcohol onto the combs and brushes and leave for 10 minutes.
Either pour rubbing alcohol to submerge the combs and hairbrushes or flip over the brushes after 10 minutes (to cover all parts of the hairbrush).
Remove and have them rinsed after 10 minutes.
iv. Freezing your Brush
Another way to eliminate lice on combs and hairbrushes is by placing them in a freezer.
To make this possible, ensure your freezer is below 0 degrees F to make it cold enough. Again remove as much hair as possible from the brush and place same (combs and brushes) in a Ziploc bag.
Place in a freezer and allow to freeze overnight for 12 hours. Remember we said suitable part conditions required by lice to survive are warmth and blood. Under extreme temperatures, lice are unable to survive.
There will be no lice remaining after removing your combs and brushes.
v. Avoid Using Hair Accessories
Sometimes, all you have to do to eliminate lice on combs and hairbrushes are not to use them for a while. In the absence of favorable conditions, these lice die off.
We earlier stated that lice wouldn’t survive beyond 24 hours when taken off the scalp. So, allow 24 hours to pass before using combs and hairbrushes.
With the methods discussed above, you should be able to clean your combs of lice and nits thoroughly. These preventive strategies help with the control of lice problems.