Skip to Content

Does Listerine Kill Lice? (Answered)

Does Listerine Kill Lice? (Answered)

Listerine is an essential mouthwash product used for oral health and dental hygiene. But it can also prevent tooth decay and other related issues. Listerine contains active ingredients like methanol, alcohol, eucalyptol, and thymol that help to kill bacteria inside the mouth.

Aside from using it as a mouth-washing product, most people use Listerine for other practical functions at home. These include treating cuts & scrapes and treating athletes’ foot infections.

Listerine has variations like the original, fresh burst, cool mint, and total care that serve many purposes. Continue reading to know if Listerine can kill adult lice & their eggs or do other hygienic functions.

Does Listerine Kill Lice?

No scientific proof shows that Listerine can kill lice, even with its insecticidal properties. Listerine will not effectively kill lice compared to the recommended lice treatment products. Remember that Listerine mouthwash contains alcohol and other valuable ingredients that kill mouth bacteria. So, most people believe that it can still kill lice.

Unfortunately, lice will not feel any effect if sprayed with Listerine. Lice eggs will also hatch even after applying Listerine to the hair. Alternatively, use the recommended lice treatment shampoos and lotions to kill lice and their eggs.

Some affected patients still believe Listerine used at home will eliminate lice and their eggs because of its high alcohol concentration levels. So, they repeatedly coat their hair with Listerine to deal with adult lice. Unfortunately, this technique will not solve the problem.

Occasionally, Listerine can affect the scalp, causing severe itchiness and irritation. So, you must consider other better products to deal with the situation.

How Long Does it Take Listerine to Kill Lice?

It is difficult to tell how long Listerine can kill lice because this product has not yet been proven to work on lice. Furthermore, lice are stubborn and resilient parasites that can be hard to contain. So, you must always use the correct lice treatment products to kill them.

To kill lice, always use a product that interferes with the respiratory system or paralyzes its body. Mostly, products containing pyrethrins or permethrin can be effective to use at home. But unfortunately, Listerine does not have these ingredients, and it is not the best product to use.

Overall, always use other recommended products instead of Listerine. Also, maintain hygiene at home to keep lice from multiplying.

Does Listerine Kill Lice on Furniture?

As seen earlier, Listerine is not an effective or practical product used to kill lice, no matter the variation. It is a mild mouth-washing product with alcohol content used to kill bacteria. So, it will not guarantee faster effects on furniture than other lice treatment products.

Again, using Listerine on furniture can be dangerous because it is highly flammable. You risk fire hazards in case of an accident after using this product. Luckily, there are other safe ways of getting rid of lice on furniture.

Remember that adult lice are resilient and will not feel the effect of Listerine on their bodies. So, using the product on the furniture will cause insignificant effects, and the lice might still multiply, causing an invasion.

If you must use Listerine to kill lice, include other effective medicinal treatment products to boost its effect.

How Can You Use Listerine For Lice?

Listerine is an easy-to-use and ready-to-use mouthwash with different functions at home. But there are a few steps you can use to guarantee the best outcome. While Listerine is not the best choice of product that kills lice, some people still use it as a remedy.

  1. Wet the hair with enough undiluted Listerine before handling all the affected spots.
  2. Cover the scalp for 30 to 45 minutes with a shower cap and allow the Listerine to work on the lice.
  3. Next, remove the shower cap and comb the hair with a fine-toothed comb. Make sure to cover all areas and start on the roots of the hair, working your way to the ends.
  4. Apply enough shampoo to the hair and gently scrub the entire scalp. You can use regular shampoo, including your favorite brand. Also, cover all areas and leave the shampoo for a few minutes.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and dispose of the dirty water appropriately to avoid re-infestation.
  6. Air dry and comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb to remove adult or lice eggs from the hair.
  7. Repeat these steps daily for a week to guarantee effective results.

It is necessary to note that Listerine is not the best or recommended product to deal with lice infestation. Also, it is a dangerous product to use on the head due to its high alcohol content.

Instead, always use the recommended product to guarantee the best outcome.

Does Listerine Kill Lice Eggs?

No research has proved that Listerine is an effective remedy against lice and their eggs. Despite its alcohol content and other insecticidal ingredients, Listerine is not formulated to kill lice and will not effectively deal with lice infestation. Moreover, lice eggs are resilient and require tougher formulas to eliminate.

Dealing with lice eggs is more challenging than handling adult lice because the eggs (nits) are tiny and have a sticky adhesive that attaches them firmly to the hair and the scalp. To effectively eliminate them, use concentrated lice treatment products that guarantee improved results.

The best products contain pyrethrins and permethrin that are safe to use and the most effective in killing adult lice and their eggs.

Thoroughly comb the hair after using any lice treatment product.

Does Vinegar Kill Lice?

Not yet fully proven, but vinegar might kill a few lice if used correctly. However, using white vinegar is not the most practical choice, even if it contains acetic acid that breaks down the lice shells and the sticky adhesive that glues nits on the hair shaft.

While vinegar might not be scientifically proven to kill lice, affected homeowners still believe it will kill a few. When adult lice and nits stick to the hair shaft, you can use a comb to scoop them from the head.

White vinegar is ineffective in destroying lice nits or preventing them from hatching. So, you can apply it to your hair and use other treatment methods to improve the outcome. But always remember to cover your scalp for several hours with a hair cap after applying the vinegar.

What Kills Head Lice Instantly?

To kill head lice instantly, use anesthetized shampoos or insecticides specifically designed to kill lice and their eggs. The correct product should contain pyrethrins, permethrin, and other chemicals that paralyze lice, killing them instantly. However, you must use these products appropriately to guarantee fast results and avoid health-related issues.

You can alternatively use other techniques besides insecticides to kill lice.

Here are the most effective ones.

Wet Combing

Wet combing is an effective technique for dealing with lice.

With a fine-toothed comb, pour enough medicated shampoo or lotion into a container and thoroughly comb your hair. The tooth comb will scoop lice and other tiny eggs deep inside the hair.

Essential oils

Some essential oils like lavender, olive, neem, anise, and tea tree oil can effectively kill lice if used correctly. Most essential oils contain insecticidal properties that can deal with head lice.

Apply enough essential oil on the head to suffocate the lice, and use a fine-toothed comb on the hair.

Petroleum jelly

The greasy properties of petroleum jelly can kill head lice. However, you must know how to use the jelly correctly to avoid trapping the eggs in the hair and causing a severe infestation.

After applying the jelly, use a fine-toothed comb to scoop the lice and their eggs from the hair.

Medical medication

You can use any recommended medical medication supply to kill lice if the home remedies do not work. 

Overall, lice eggs hatch rapidly over a short time. So, you must regularly use any of the above discussed remedies to prevent re-infestation and boost the effect.


Using heat is another approach to killing lice and their eggs. Remember that lice cannot survive for more than five minutes in temperatures above 128.3°F. So, you can only use heat to kill lice in the bedding or clothes but not the head.

Thoroughly soak & wash all affected bedding, clothing, and personal items in hot water with temperatures more than 128.3°F to kill them instantly and avoid re-infestation.

Expert Tips

Here are two tips to help you prevent further lice infestation.

  1. It is necessary to comb hair thoroughly with a fine-toothed comb to remove lice and their eggs.
  2. Always soak the comb in boiling water after using it to kill any stuck eggs.


Lice are stubborn and tiny insects that mostly live in the hair. Adult lice feed on human blood and can be a nuisance if uncontrolled. The eggs hatch rapidly, causing discomfort in human and pet hair.

Killing lice and dealing with their eggs requires patience and expertise. Use essential oils, insecticides, and other recommended home remedies to kill lice instantly at home.

This article has looked at how to use Listerine and other products to kill lice at home.