I got a new clothes dryer a couple of weeks ago. This was because my washer that was only 2 years old broke in the middle of a cycle, resulting in water EVERYWHERE. It ended up taking over 10 days from contacting the manufacturer until someone finally came out to fix it. Which is why we bought a new washer the day after mine broke. (I can not be without a washer with a family of 5, most playing sports daily…) And that is why we also decided to buy a new dryer, ours was much older than our washer, and now we shouldn’t have to worry about it for a while (hopefully).
And I digress…
As I looked at my new dryer, I saw this:
And the thing that came to mind when I saw a SANITIZE setting was: that setting is for lice.
Lice SUCKS. I mean SUUUUCKS!
2014 brought the first and second rounds of lice into my life.
My youngest’s head itched one day. Not something that overly alerted me, thought maybe the new shampoo was the culprit. A couple days later, really itchy. As I looked at the back of her neck, little red marks. I was pretty sure that wasn’t normal. And I began to get panicky. I started talking myself out of the lice possibility. ‘Maybe I’ll get her some Head and Shoulders.’ I googled dandruff, and then…..lice. The red marks were eerily similar to what came up on google images for lice.
And then all hell broke loose.
I called two of my closest friends, both who had dealt with this crap before. One, spent a nice chunk of change to go to a special salon where they manually picked all lice and the junk that comes with it out of her kids hair. Very safe, no chemicals. My other friend also spent a nice chunk of change and had used the chemicals, as well as tea tree oil, and an ultrasonic comb that zapped the lice when you combed through hair (like a mini bug zapper).
I left Walgreens with an arsenal of supplies aimed to kill these suckers. I started with the shampoo. The good old, been around forever, super toxic I’m sure, but going to kill these bad boys shampoo. I was not ready for what came next.
As I combed through my daughters very long hair, wiping the comb with a paper towel and putting it into a plastic bag as per instructions….there were actual bugs. It truly makes me squirm and feel like puking, as well as feel a sense of guilt and horrible parenting when I think about it. I know the guilt and bad parenting feelings are unjustified, but it’s pretty nasty to comb bugs out of your kids hair. I guess I thought that I’d be combing out little white eggs that are hard to see, not true, lice. So gross.
Then came the cleaning. Because, if there has ever been a time I could eat off of any floor, let alone any other surface in my home, it was after the lice outbreak. Sprays on the couches, washing each and every piece of all of our family of 5’s bedding. Bagging up the ridiculous amount of stuffed animals, pillow pets, and tooth fairy pillows that have hogged the kids beds leaving a splinter of room for them to sleep in for years. (This, by the way was a bonus, I stuck these bags in the office, and they didn’t ask for them for months. Every now and then ‘hey mom, what about our stuffed animals from the lice, are they ready yet?’) The amount of laundry and scrubbing I did in that 48 hour period was in no other words, insane.
I washed everyone’s hair with tea tree oil in their shampoo daily, and continued to do ‘lice checks’ for days afterwards.
I breathed sighs of relief and exhaustion, feeling that I had overcome the evil lice. Until, 2.5 weeks after the first outbreak, while doing a ‘lice check’, I found more.
The neighbors may or may not have heard me yelling, crying, and then weeping.
This time, I couldn’t go through with all I did the time before. I gathered up the culprit kid’s bedding, jackets, and anything else they may have touched with their head, and washed those. That’s all I could muster. I washed the hair with the toxic shampoo, and I used the little comb. I got so itchy that I was certain I had lice too, and just for safe measure, and a slight ‘screw it’, washed my hair and used the little comb too. And everything turned out to be ok. Lice was officially gone after that.
But of course not before having to tell anyone that had been over to our house and used a bike helmet that our family had had lice (such a fun phone call), as well as become permanently paranoid over these ridiculous, evil creatures.
So, back to the new dryer. The amount of laundry that I had done on the first round was out of control. I sprayed down furniture and decorative pillows. If these evil guys ever make their way into our hair again, I now have a setting so that I can shove all the things into, and kills these buggers. Heat kills them, as well as not having a host (hence, the bagged up stuffed animals for over 1 week).
I told my husband after our rounds, that if we got lice again, I wanted to move to a hotel for a week, then when we returned, they would all be dead. But now, I don’t need to go to a hotel, I can shove things that can’t really easily be washed into the dryer and run it on SANITIZE.