How Can I Get Rid of the Smell of Moth Balls

The smell of mothballs is so characteristic that most of us can recognize it even months after mothballs have been removed from a home. The good thing about the smell of mothballs that lingers for so long that it keeps protecting clothes even after the ball itself has dissolved. The bad thing is that the smell of mothballs will usually stays on clothes even after they have been washed repeatedly.

If you have tried to get rid of the smell of mothballs from clothes, you know how hard it cann be. The most common way of doing it is to hang the clothes in the sun on and off for at least a week. This seems to work well if the clothes are hung dry, before attempting to wash them. After the smell had dissipated, it could also help to wash the clothes with a little vinegar added to the water. If you cannot place clothes outside, put them in the dryer on “fluff” with a dryer sheet.

Sweep, mop and exposed areas to remove old and broken mothballs or other debris. Wipe down walls with a damp cloth.

Open all ventilation sources to the room or closet. This includes doors, windows and vents.

Place an activated charcoal disc on the floor of the closet or one every five feet in a room. You can buy activated charcoal at a local pet store. It absorbs the smell of mothballs and other unwanted odors.

Spray fabric freshener on all un-laundered fabrics. This will help neutralize any remaining odors from the mothballs.

Getting rid of the smell of mothballs from furniture may be trickier, as the odor can get into the wood grain and become as one with the piece. Baking soda and charcoal may help absorb the smell from the inside of drawers or cupboards, and furniture polish can sometimes help with the outside. The best solution, however, is to let the wood breathe. If you have a chance to put the furniture outside, do it, but make sure it won’t get wet. Water will embed the odor even further into the wood grain.

The best thing you can do to  avoid the smell of mothballs is to use them as little as possible. Choose natural scents like lavender, mint, and rosemary, which are natural moth repellents. Mothballs are extremely toxic to pets and children, and should be avoided in houses trying to keep their surroundings green.