Head Lice: 4 Ways To Get Rid Of Them Using Alcohol

Head lice are most common in young children. If you have a head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice, it is very likely that they will infest your head too. They may also spread through clothing like hats, scarves, shawls, and jackets and combs of those who already have head lice.

The most common symptom of head lice infestation is an itchy head. You may also feel as though something is moving or crawling on your head. Generally, they do not cause any serious illnesses; however, if the scratching increases, they may cause sores on the scalp that may lead to infection.


Getting rid of head lice can be tricky. Before using medications from drugstores that have chemicals in them, try these home remedies using alcohol to treat them.

4 Ways To Get Rid Of Head Lice Using Alcohol

1. Alcohol Rub

Rubbing Alcohol Can Be Used To Treat Head Lice


The alcohol generally used in all these methods is also known as rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol or ethanol-based liquids.

Method 1 – How To Use

  • Bend your head over a tub or basin and pour alcohol on your head, thoroughly soaking the hair.
  • Gently massage the alcohol into the scalp with your fingers.
  • Let it remain on the scalp for a few minutes.
  • Apply some conditioner on the scalp.
  • Wash your hair normally.
  • Follow this treatment once a week for at least two months.
  • You can also use cotton swabs to apply alcohol on the scalp.

Method 2 – How To Use

  • Dip your comb in alcohol placed in a bowl.
  • Comb your hair with it.
  • Make sure you dip the comb in alcohol after every stroke of combing.
  • Repeat this process until your hair is evenly wet.
  • Let the alcohol remain on the head for a few minutes and make sure you comb your hair, preferably with a head-lice comb.
  • Apply shampoo and wash your hair normally.
  • You can repeat this method two to three times every day.

2. Alcohol And Lavender Oil

Alcohol And Lavender Can Be Used To Treat Head Lice


Lavender oil is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also an effective treatment for burns and insect bites.1

How To Use

  • Mix enough amount of alcohol and a few drops of lavender oil in a spray bottle.
  • Spray this mixture onto the scalp and hair.
  • After applying this solution on the hair, comb thoroughly with a head-lice comb.
  • Wash your hair normally with shampoo and water.
  • Repeat these steps once in a few days.

The results of a study involving 123 subjects with head lice showed the high efficacy of lavender oil product for the treatment of head lice.2

3. Alcohol And Vinegar

Alcohol And Vinegar Can Be Used To Treat Head Lice


Vinegar is recommended for treating head lice. The acetic acid in vinegar can help kill the head lice and the eggs, also known as nits.3

Method 1 – How To Use

  • Stir equal amounts of rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and baby oil.
  • Apply this solution on the scalp and hair.
  • Cover your hair with a shower cap and let the solution remain for about an hour.
  • Comb your hair thoroughly using a head-lice comb.
  • Wash your hair normally with shampoo and water.
  • Repeat this process twice a week.

Method 2 – How To Use

  • Make a paste comprising four tablespoons each of rubbing alcohol, vinegar, bleach, and enough water.
  • Stir this mixture well and pour it into a spray bottle.
  • Shake the bottle before use; spray it onto the scalp and hair.
  • Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it overnight.
  • The following morning, comb your hair thoroughly with a head-lice comb.
  • Wash the hair normally using your regular shampoo and water.
  • You can follow these steps two to three times in a week.

4. Alcohol And Tea Tree Oil

Alcohol And Tea Tree Oil Can Be Used To Treat Head Lice

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has been found to be toxic to head lice when mixed in an alcoholic solution.4 In addition, this oil also has antimicrobial properties.5

How To Use

  • Mix about 4 oz. (approximately 30 ml) of rubbing alcohol and 20 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Pour this solution into a spray bottle and shake well before use.
  • Spray the solution onto the scalp and hair.
  • Let it remain on your hair for about an hour and then, wash normally.
  • Use a head-lice comb on the hair, while it is still wet.
  • Dry your hair.
  • Repeat these steps twice a week.
  • You can use other essential oils like coconut oil and aniseed oil instead of tea tree oil.

Tips For Preventing Head Lice Infestation

The following tips may help prevent the spread of head lice, especially in school children.6

  • Teach children to avoid head-to-head contact with others at school, home, playgrounds, camps, and parties.
  • Ensure that children don’t share clothing like hats, uniforms, scarves and other supplies like headphones, helmets, combs, and brushes.
  • In case of head lice infestation, soak combs and brushes in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
  • Avoid beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals used by an individual with head lice.
  • Vacuum carpets and furniture regularly.
  • Always try a patch test before applying solutions of alcohol over a large part of your body.

If the head lice still remain, contact your health professional and follow the medications prescribed.