How to Kill Head Lice With Salt Water


The head louse is a small, wingless parasitic insect that can establish and maintain themselves on human hair. They feed on very small amounts of blood that they draw from your scalp. Although not dangerous, their presence can cause discomfort in the form of constant itching and redness. Head lice cannot jump or hop, but they can crawl very quickly. They are usually spread by head-to-head contact such as sharing a bed with an infected person. They seldom spread through the sharing of personal items such as combs, brushes or toilet seats. By employing all the methods below, you can effectively eliminate head lice with salt water.

How to Kill Head Lice With Salt Water
(Michele Rider/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Pail
  • Scooper
  • Epsom salts
  • Lice comb
Step 1

Wet your hair. Fill a large basin or pail with warm water. Pour water on your hair either with your hands or a scooper such as a measuring cup. Wetting your hair will help moisturize it and prepare it for the salt solution. When wetting your hair, do so over a sink.

Michele Rider/Demand Media
Step 2

Add one pound of Epsom salts to the basin and stir. Add more water if necessary should you happen to put too much salt for over saturation. Keep stirring the salt until it dissolves.

Michele Rider/Demand Media
Step 3

Bend over the sink and apply the solution. Ensure you do so carefully and slowly, and avoid contact with the eyes.

Michele Rider/Demand Media
Step 4

Massage your head while pouring the salt water for five minutes. Wait about two minutes for the salt solution to do its work against the lice. Rinse your hair with fresh water after massaging.

Michele Rider/Demand Media
Step 5

Comb out the dead lice with a lice comb or other fine comb. Rinse your hair out with water again. Dry your hair with a towel afterward.

Michele Rider/Demand Media


  • "Medical Diagnosis and Treatment"; Stephen J. McPhee, MD; 2006
  • "The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies"; Vasant Lad; 1999
  • About Head Lice
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