It's every homeowner’s worst nightmare come true:
You recently discovered that you or someone in your household has head lice. Naturally, your first instinct might be to panic. The thought of something creepy and crawly in your home (and in your hair) is downright upsetting.
Dealing with a lice infestation is also immensely inconvenient, and even expensive. But the important thing is to not panic and to deal with the issue head-on. (Quite literally.)
To help, we're here to discuss everything there is to know about lice removal. That way, you can eliminate the lice from your life - once and for all. Let's begin with the basics!
Understanding Head Lice
You may think of lice as insects - and this is partially correct. Lice are a type of wingless insect. But they’re technically considered parasitic insects. They thrive on warm-blooded animals and live burrowed in hair.
Head lice are the most common and you're likely most familiar with them. In addition to the scalp and hair, head lice can survive on the neck and ears. There are even lice that affect the skin and hair of the pubic regions. These are otherwise called "crabs."
A louse begins as an egg, otherwise known as a nit. Nits hatch into nymphs anywhere between 7 and 10 days after the adult female lays them. In less than a couple weeks, a nymph will grow into a full-size louse.
Human head and body lice need to feed on the blood of a human several times a day to survive. Head lice are often transmitted by sharing hats, brushes, combs, clothing, or towels. They can even crawl onto soft surfaces, clothing, or bedding when hair falls on them. If they can crawl onto a warm-blooded host within 24 hours, they can survive.
Do You Have Lice?
Head lice affect 6-12 million children in the US per year. But that’s not to say that only children get lice. Anyone can fall victim to lice infestation. It doesn't matter how old you are, where you live, or how well your personal hygiene may be.
So, how do you know if you or someone you know has lice?
The most common sign is intense itchiness. But sometimes people don't experience itchiness early on in an infestation. It can often take a few weeks before profuse itchiness occurs and for the signs to become more apparent. Many will experience the sensation of something crawling in their hair or on their skin. Others may develop sores from itching so much.
If you notice small, red bumps on your scalp, body, or pubic area, lice may be to blame. You may find these red bumps on your neck or shoulders, as well.
Lice are most active at nighttime. If you’re tossing and turning at night and are feeling itchy, lice could be the culprits.
Identifying Nits, Nymphs, & Lice
Before going to the trouble of lice removal, you should first determine if you even have them or not. Bed bugscould be the cause of any itchiness or red bumps. You could be experiencing another type of allergic reaction. So, it's important to get down to the bottom of your symptoms and check for lice regardless. But what do they even look like?
Fresh nits are practically microscopic. But within a couple of days, they start to take on the appearance of small, white-yellowish specks.
Once a nit hatches into a nymph, it becomes larger and grayer in color. A nymph will eventually grow as large as a sesame seed.
How to Check for Lice
To check for lice, you'll need to perform a comb-through inspection. First, you'll need rubber gloves and a fine-tooth comb. Have someone shine a flashlight on your hair while inspecting your own hair or someone else's. Or, you can perform the inspection under a bright lamp.
Taking the comb, part your heart into small sections. Check each section of hair from root to tip. Be sure to use the comb teeth to help you check as many individual strands as possible. If you notice small specks in your hair or someone else's, double check with a magnifying glass. You should even check for lice and nits on eyelashes and eyebrows, as well.
Still, nits and nymphs may be too small to detect. If you suspect that your home still has an infestation, check again after a couple of days. You should check everyone in your household. If someone in your home does have lice, you should notify anyone who comes into close contact with them.
Lice Removal for Hair
Discovering that you have lice is not the best news - but it's not the worst, either. You can put an end to this pesky calamity, and we’ll explore some different ways how.
We wouldn't blame you if your first instinct is to jump in a shower and wash your hair and body. But this will do you no good. Clean hair makes it easier for lice to lay their eggs. Dirt and oil make it harder for them to lay their eggs and feed on the scalp. So, the dirtier your hair, the better.
But not washing your hair won’t get rid of them, either. So, what's the best head lice treatment?
Wet combing is the classic, go-to method for lice removal. You'll need to repeat this technique every 3-4 days during an infestation. You should also continue to wet comb up to 2 weeks after the last sight of nits and lice. You'll need:
Before beginning, cover the person's shoulders with a towel or a salon apron. Make sure their hair is completely dry. Then, apply and evenly distribute liberal amounts of conditioner to their dry hair.
Taking the tail-pin comb and hair clips, separate their hair into four sections. Once you do this, you can begin to go to work with the fine-tooth comb. Position the fine-tooth comb as close to the root as possible. Slowly comb from root to tip both on the topside and underside.
Wipe the comb on a towel and see how many lice and nits you were able to pick up. Using the magnifying glass, check to see how many nits and live lice there still are. You can also use the tweezers to pick up individual nits and lice.
You may need to perform a comb-through of each section several times. Before applying the comb, make sure to dip it into the bowl of hot water each time. Afterward, rinse out the hair and wash all tools with warm, soapy water. Give your tools - especially the combs and tweezers - a final soaking in boiling water.
Wet combing is one of the most effective lice removal methods. But it should serve as a supplemental practice. A pediculicide is the best head lice treatment and only a doctor can prescribe them. So, upon discovering that you or someone in your household has lice, call your doctor. They may prescribe or recommend an over-the-counter pediculicide.
There are anti-lice hair shampoo, conditioners, and soap, as well. Using these are not required, however. After removing lice manually, you can apply an anti-lice product to be on the safe side. Still, you don't want to overuse these products, either, as they can contain harsh chemicals.
Natural Lice Killers
After applying a pedulicide, you may be wary of using more chemicals on your hair. Luckily, there are natural ways to kill lice.
If you're wondering how to remove lice eggs from hair naturally, try mayonnaise. It's a tried and tested method and it works by suffocating the lice and their eggs. Lather up the person's hair with mayonnaise and let it soak under a shower cap for a couple hours. Be sure to get behind the ears and the hair on the neck, as well.
Afterward, wash with shampoo a few times over and rinse with hot water. You can even rinse hair with vinegar to help loosen any remaining eggs. But the mayonnaise method is not effective after one use. You may need to repeat this technique for days and weeks.
If you'd rather not use mayonnaise, there are lots of essential oils that can kill lice. Lavender, rosemary, mint, and tea tree essential oils can all work - especially as a combination. If you’re wondering how to remove lice eggs from hair, try neem leaf oil. A mixture of coconut oil and anise is another effective form of treatment.
If your hair is long, you can also kill lice and their eggs by running a flat iron over your hair. However, if you're using a pedulicide or an anti-lice product on your hair, as well, it may dry out.
How to Remove Lice from Your Home
Removing lice and their eggs from where they thrive should be the first order of business. Once you've eliminated them from your hair, it's time to get down to the rest of your house.
What's the best lice treatment when it comes to cleaning out your house? Here we'll explore a few different ways you can eliminate lice from your home once and for all.
Cleaning the Fabric
Again, lice do not survive very long without a human host. But you should still wash all fabric a person has come into contact with nonetheless.
We're talking their clothing, bed linens, towels, hats, and other fabric items they have used. You should machine wash all these in hot water that's at least 130°F. Afterward, you should dry them in a high heat cycle. Run any pillows, blankets, duvets, and quilts in the dryer on high heat, as well.
If something can't go through the machines, send them to a dry cleaner. You can also store them in plastic bags for 2 weeks - no more, no less.
It's rare for lice to infest carpets, floor rugs, area rugs, and curtains. But if you suspect someone with lice has been in close contact with these, vacuum them. You can steam clean them, as well.
After cleaning all the clothing and linens, you'll want to vacuum the mattresses. Give a thorough vacuuming of the seams and creases. You also shouldn't overlook your couch and plush furniture. People tend to lay their heads on the armrests as much as the headrests. You should vacuum underneath the cushions, as well.
Cleaning the House
After cleaning the fabrics and linens in your home, it's time to tackle the hard surfaces.
After vacuuming any and all floor linens, vacuum the floor themselves. Sweep the corners and out from under any furnaces and appliances. Afterward, clean your floors the right way by giving them a thorough mop and shine.
Giving your home a good dusting can't hurt, either. Be sure to dust and polish before sweeping and vacuuming the floors. There are even all-purpose, anti-lice cleaners you can apply to hard surfaces. Go for a non-toxic brand as these won't leave behind any residue or fumes.
To be on the safe side, you should also wash any linens and fabrics that came close to infested clothing. For example, if you hung an infested jacket next to another coat, hat, or scarf, you should wash those, as well.
If your child has lice, be sure to dry any stuffed animals and plush toys on high heat. You can also place them in a plastic bag for a few days.
You should sanitize any hair products, like combs, brushes, and clips, too. Create a solution of hot water and anti-lice shampoo and soak these items in it for up to an hour.
It's also important to clean your car if there is a lice infestation in your home. Remove all belongings from your car and wash all laundered items in a hot water cycle. If something can't go through the wash, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag for a few days.
After removing everything from your car, give it a good vacuuming. Pay close attention to the headrests. Be sure to vacuum the seats, floors, and the dashboard.
It's not uncommon for pets to get lice, as well. If you suspect your pet has lice, take them to the vet. Your vet will prescribe an anti-lice medication or shampoo. You should isolate your pet from the home to avoid spreading the lice. Wash their bedding, plush toys, collars, leashes, and any furniture they sit on.
Burning Down the Louse
Dealing with a lice infestation is quite memorable - and not in the good sense. Luckily, lice removal is easier than you think. By following these tips, you’ll make every louse wish they had never latched onto your hair.
See more on our Get Rid of Lice page.
But surely there are other messes and events that can wreak havoc on your home. Be sure to stay tuned for more cleaning tips so you can handle anything life throws your way!
When was the last time you cleaned your floors?
We’re not talking about the last time you ran your sweeper-mopper across the floor, either. We’re talking about the last time you gave your floors a good, thorough washing. In fact, it was so good, you called yourself the cleaning machine afterward.
... Maybe that wasn't you. And it could be the case that its been ages since you busted out your mop and bucket.
It's okay! Not everyone enjoys cleaning, nor has the time to stay on top of it. But if you're wondering how to clean floors, you've come to the right place. Whether you have hardwood, tile, ceramic, or a combination of all different types of floors - we're here to help.
Say no more to sloshing around warm water and calling it a day. Here's the best way to clean floors the right way!
We don’t recommend using a wobbly mop at home, kids. The sturdier your mop, the more thorough of a job you'll be able to do. Sponge mops are great for small areas while string mops are better at covering larger spaces.
Personally I like a microfiber strip mop - (see Clean Floors page). My favorite is the O’Cedar Tuff Mop. I also like use a Flat Microfiber Mop system for cleaning large areas quickly. (See my Floors page).
The same goes for your broom. If the bristles are falling off or curl upwards, it’s time to for a new one. There's no sense in mopping if you can’t get a good sweeping beforehand. When sweeping, create smaller piles with short, contained strokes.
What about that lone line of dirt that your dustpan always seems to leave behind?
We hate it, too. To combat that obnoxious dirt trail once and for all, wipe it up with a wet paper towel.
Or you can pul out the vacuum and really remove the dirt from crevices and grout lines! This can be the best thing for removing hair, which can be a real bugger to remove if you get it wet.
And that's it for the pre-mop basics!
The O'Cedar Tuff Mop
How to Clean Floors with the Right Cleaning Solution
Mopping may seem pretty straight forward. But the key to shinier, cleaner floors boils down to the type of cleaning solution you use.
So, which kinds of cleaning solutions should you use? We'll explore how to clean floors with the right solution next.
How to Clean Laminate Floors
Some commercial cleaners can be harsh on laminate. If you're wondering how to clean laminate floors naturally, try a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water.
Or you could try a little bit of Fantastik or 409 diluted in your mop bucket. I happen to like to use Murphy’s Oil Soap. Jeff Campbell likes to use a drop of clear ammonia.
For tough stains on laminate, put some jojoba oil on a towel and hold it over the stain. Then, wipe it away with a clean towel and some water.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors
Things can get a bit tricky when it comes to cleaning hardwood. Commercial hardwood cleaners can produce harsh and harmful fumes.
But never fear! If you're wondering how to clean hardwood floors, we've got you covered. First things first:
Standing water is the biggest thing you want to avoid when cleaning wood. Even the smallest puddle can cause wood to warp after a couple of minutes.
The key is to use a spray bottle. What should you fill it with? A 50/50 solution of warm water and vinegar works wonders on wood. If you don't prefer the smell of vinegar, you can add essential oil to the mix. A lemon oil and warm water combination is also a classic cleaning solution for hardwood.
Again I prefer to use Murphy’s Oil Soap diluted in your solution, especially on wood floors.
This method is especially good with a Flat Microfiber Mop System _(see Clean Floors page). I usually wet the pad in water or solution first.
How to Clean Vinyl Floors
What's the best solution for cleaning vinyl floors? A 50/50 mild dish detergent and water solution are great on vinyl. But it's not unheard of for people to use an apple cider vinegar and water solution. Add a tablespoon of mild dish detergent to this solution for tougher messes. Jeff Campbell recommends a drop of clear ammonia in your bucket.
For stains that won't go away, you can apply rubbing alcohol or a baking soda paste. If a cloth can’t break away grime, try it with a soft-bristled scrub brush. I have used a non scratch scrubbier sponge too.
How to Clean Ceramic Floors
Are your floors made of marble, quartz, porcelain, or some other type of ceramic? The best way to clean floors made of ceramic involves a couple of easy tricks.
Try a mild dish detergent-water solution on your ceramic floor. You can add a splash of white vinegar, as well.
When cleaning tile floors, you'll want to use a string mop. A string mop can pick up more water and debris in the cracks between tiles.
Over time, the grout that holds your ceramic floor together can lose its color and durability. If you haven't sealed your grout in a while, you may want to put this on your project list.
Now that you know which types of cleaning solutions you should be using, it's time to get down to business. First, make sure your bucket or sink is clean before filling it. Use warm (borderline hot - don’t burn yourself here!) water to fill it with the cleaning solution. I like the O’Cedar Mop bucket with a strainer basket. You won’t have to touch the water!
Again I like a microfiber strip mop - (see Clean Floors page). My favorite is the O’Cedar Tuff Mop.
After immersing it in the water, wring out the mop. Water should not stand for long periods of time after running the mop over. Large amounts of water can seep through your floors and baseboards, causing damage. The water should dry almost instantaneously.
As you begin mopping, make sure you start in the farthest corner of the room. You'll want to work your way backward and towards the entrance - not away from it. (Otherwise, people will be able to tell your shoe size after the floors dry.)
Mop in small sections at a time. This will help you cover more space with the solution. Mop in a back-and-forth motion along the baseboards without hitting them, (unless you are using the O’Cedar Tuff Mop, good for cleaning the quarter rounds along the floor edges). As you move to open areas of the floor, overlap your previous strokes. Passing over your floor a second time will help pick up any residue from the solution. You can use a scrub pad to wipe away any crusted dirt, tough stains, or grime.
It's important to replace your water as soon as it becomes murky. After the first and second mopping dries, give your floors a rinse mop with clear water.
Dump the bucket out in the toilet or outside and rinse it well afterward. Give your mop a good wringing out and stand it upright. You don’t want to leave it to dry downwards or inside the bucket.
Make Your Floors Sparkle & Shine
Well, there you have it, folks!
By following these tips, you'll not only create more lustrous floors. You can prolong your next mop job, leaving you more time to do the things you enjoy. (So long as you do maintenance sweeping on a regular basis and clean up any spills as they happen.)
See Floors page
If you still have questions on how to clean floors, leave us a comment!
Why be a slave to the banks? You work hard for your money. Keep all that you can,
Many people live paycheck to paycheck. So what happens if you lose your job or have a medical setback? You may want to be in a better position. Pay down your debt!
There is a method called the Snowball effect to pay down your debt.
You can download a free Excel spreadsheet to help you with that:
Here is a video to help you understand.
There is also an "Avalanche Effect" which pays down the debt with the highest interest first. People don't ususally do this because it may take a long time to see any results, but you do save money in the long run.
Download the free spreadsheet
People like to feel safe. Here the cleaning service has access to a business or a family's valuables. The cleaner has to value honesty or they will soon lose jobs and their good reputation.
I recently found $180 cash in a money clip at an office I was cleaning. I was offered a reward for turning it in which I turned down. Now the whole office is talking about me and everyone feels safe! This is of the utmost value to me!!
Your reputation is everything. That's how you gain customers!
Be very careful about advertising on Home Advisor! You only have 30 days to cancel so I am stuck with a bill!
The sales guy knew I only wanted commercial bids for my town of Spartanburg SC and I wanted regular weekly cleaning jobs. My first opportunity came in for a bid. It was for Greenville 30 miles away and it was a one time clean! Not good. I only need one commercial job.
I called them to cancel and the guy talked me out of doing it right then, he said he could just turn the bids off. I figured I could think about the things he said for a few days. Well I missed the 30 day cancellation window and now I owe more money even though my credit card gave me a credit!!
I am not happy! You cannot get a customized setting on your bids. You get whatever they want to send you at $35 or $40 a pop beside the $280 sign up fee.
I believe you do better building your good reputation by word-of-mouth advertising or just listing your business on Google My Business for free. Facebook advertising can work too or by advertising on Google with ads. Offer your customers a credit or a free cleaning if they find you another regular account.
Save your money unless you are a large company. Home Advisor is not for the small cleaning business.
Do you have the oval toilet paper holders?
It took a few minutes to figure these out. On one end there is a hole that you insert the end of a paper clip into, to release the holder.
Slide old roll off
Slide new one on
Insert the wider side into the left side of holder. It has a black pin.
Push the silver pin in so you can slide it into the hole on the right side of holder.
You are good to go!
Do you have this kind of toilet paper holder?
First push one end towards wall, the end with 1 rod and 1 metal stem catch, (which is the loading side).
The end releases and it pops open.
Take old roll off. You can see the mechanism in this photo.
Slip new roll on, all the way over to the end.
Make sure the rod and metal catch are lined up to the hole in the arm
Push arm to connect.
These reusable sponge cloths are by "If You Care". I bought them at a grocery store called Ingles. They work well, dry out between use so less chance of mildew, and you can put them in the washer 300 times it is claimed.
The dirt and dust rinse right off so you can continue using them.
I like them very much. Stop wasting paper towels! I use them for:
- as a face cloth,
- Cleaning rag for my bathroom sink.
The only thing I need to have changed is a larger size, perhaps an inch or two. They are a little stiff when dry so you need to wet and squeeze them for use.
These cloths are great for no streaks or lint residue. Just dampen and wipe! From Rubbermaid. I got this at Supplyworks.com
Ask Mrs Clean
Just my thoughts on cleaning and other more important things.
Office Cleaning Services in Spartanburg SC
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