How to Clean a Nit Comb

by Melissa Morang ; Updated September 28, 2017

Nits may survive a lice treatment, so always use a nit comb after treating hair.

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Head lice are tiny insects that live in hair. The adults have six legs and a tan or gray color. They are very hard to see, however, because they are so tiny. In fact, you may not know you are infected until you develop uncontrollable itching, which occurs when the lice bite into your skin. Infected people must use a lice shampoo along with a nit comb to get rid of these parasites. However, you must clean the nit comb thoroughly to remove any remaining live eggs or adult lice.

Wipe off nits and lice on the comb with a clean tissue. Run the tissue down the comb and throw the tissue in a plastic bag. Seal and throw away the plastic bag to prevent another infestation. The lice will die in the sealed bag because they don't have a food source.

Fill a pot with water and bring the water to a boil. The hot water will kill any remaining nits or lice on the comb.

Turn the stove off. Place the comb in the water. Soak the comb for 15 minutes.

Dry the comb with a paper towel and pour rubbing alcohol over the comb. Place the comb on a clean paper towel until the alcohol dries.

Brush any remaining debris or dirt from the comb with a toothbrush. Run the toothbrush down the length of the nit comb from top to bottom.


  • Lice can live without blood for up to four days at 74 degrees Fahrenheit and up to two days at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Nits may live for up to 10 days when they are removed from a person's head.

    Do not soak a plastic comb in boiling water because it may melt. Disinfect a plastic comb in a solution of water and ammonia. Pour 2 cups hot tap water into a bowl. Add 1 tsp. ammonia. Soak the comb for 15 minutes.

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About the Author

Melissa Morang began writing professionally in 2002. She has created sales scripts for telemarketing companies and contributes to online publications. Morang has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Minnesota.