Kill Lice With Mayonnaise

Kill Lice With Mayonnaise

If you or your kids end up with a head lice problem, you don’t necessarily need to invest in expensive and harsh shampoos to solve the problem. A jar of mayonnaise can do the trick. Daniel Packer, writing for frugal living blog Wise Bread, shares his discovery:

Photo by Bradley P. Johnson.

A few years ago, I unfortunately got lice. I tried all the products that the local drug stores had to offer and found that nothing worked. Afraid of killing more brain cells than lice, I refrained from using any more toxic chemicals on my hair and resorted to mayonnaise. It is a safe way to kill lice, and it works! Massage mayonnaise into your hair and cover it with a shower cap before you go to sleep. Wash it out in the morning and use a fine comb to comb out any dead eggs. If needed, repeat 7-10 days later.

I read this with a healthy amount of scepticism because it seems a little like a snake oil proposition. As it turns out, snake oil could kill the lice as well, because any oil or product with a lot of oil (like mayonnaise) serves to suffocate the little monsters. One US government department lists mayonnaise as an acceptable treatment for head lice. Oil and petroleum jelly are listed as well. A thick coating is necessary, and because you’re not actually poisoning the lice, you have a higher margin of error. However, suffocating them with an oily product can and has worked for many people. It’s worth a try if you’re particularly averse to using harsh chemicals.

10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise [Wise Bread]


  • I use the old tried and true method, although it does have chemicals. Spray a little fly spray onto a comb, then comb it through the hair. Repeat a few times over a few days. The cost is a few cents! Much better than those expensive sprays. So far, this has worked 100% of the time for my family. Use sparingly on the kids. Got this tip from an old pharmacist years ago.

  • For what it’s worth, I have found that rubbing Listerine into the hair and scalp, leaving it for an hour and shampooing removes all trace of lice and eggs – and the kids smell minty fresh all day!

  • Every morning before school, we spray our kids hair with a mix of 10 drops of tea tree oil in 500mL of water. This amount lasts for weeks. Just enough to wet it to tame the wild wisps of hair. But it is a natural repellent, and very cheap. We haven’t had head lice for ages, even though they are rife at school.

  • My mum figured this out after a few years off and on of me struggling with lice in primary school. She’d use oil and conditioner as well which worked to suffocate them. But the best solution I came up with in the end was inadvertent – when I was around 15 I started straightening my hair daily, and when my little brother caught lice I was the only one in the family who got away scot-free. Fries the lice and the eggs. Considering cheapie straighteners can be $30-50 it’s not bad value in the long run if you’ve got a kid in primary school who catches them regularly!

  • We had this problem with my ltlite cousin, first you need to get the special shampoo for lice and nits. Also after you’ve used it a few times, put white conditioner in her hair and run a comb through it, if there are any lice left you will easily be able to see it in the conditioner. You need to wash ALL your bedding your house, sterilize her hairbrush and possibly if the problem persists get a special kind of chemical bomb that can kill all of them. If you keep having problems with her coming home from school with them you need to talk to the school and possibly call the board of health and tell them about the problem.

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