How to Kill Nits With Heat

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Getting rid of a lice infestation means nipping it in the nits. Even after using expensive lice treatments on hair, the infestation can occur again and again if you don't get rid of the nits. Nits are the hardened eggs that attach to hair, clothing, sheets and furniture, and even after you've treated the infestation, existing nits that get left behind can hatch and start the cycle over.

How to Kill Nits With Heat
(Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Boiling water
  • Steam vacuum
Step 1

Gather all clothing, bedding, towels and curtains from the infested area.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 2

Wash fabric items in the washing machine on high heat in regular detergent. The heat will help detach any nits that are stuck to clothing, and wash them down the drain. After removing the items, pour one cup of bleach into the washer, and run the cycle on empty using hot water to kill and dispose of any lingering nits in the basin.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 3

Dry fabric items in a machine dryer on high heat for at least sixty minutes. This will detach and kill any nits left behind during the wash cycle.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 4

Steam vacuum all furniture, mattresses and draperies. The heat from the steam will detach stubborn nits and kill any remaining lice before vacuuming them up.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 5

Deposit all hair care items, such as brushes, combs, ponytail holders, barrettes and clips into the sink and pull the stopper up. Pour boiling water over the items and allow them to soak for up to thirty minutes. Inspect them after soaking to make sure they are clear of any nits that may have gotten stuck between bristles. Wash out the sink with boiling water and bleach, flushing all debris down the drain.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not try to use heated hair care items, such as hair dryers or flat irons to kill nits. The temperatures required to kill the eggs could severely damage your hair and burn your skin.

References

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