There are only a few remedies that are available and these are the ones that work:
SMELLEZE MOTHBALL DEODORIZER is a product that actually removes the smell by attracting it and capturing the molecule from the air. Most every other idea is smothering or covering the odor or masking it.
Napthaline is no longer used in Mothballs. Read above (or below) and some folks have already stated that. Furriers used Napthaline and managed to remove the horrid clinging odor from their garments by using the same formulation in Smelleze.
The new Mothballs, crystals, and disks, usually a blue box, will desicate or turn to a gas in about a month or so. But, that gas then still clings to your linens, clothing, everything. And the more porous the item ie: fur, towels, or carpet, the worse off you are. If you have a sensitive nose, you are in trouble.
The best thing to do is clean, clean, clean. Vaccum your rugs, wash your clothing with plenty of solvents like OXI CLEAN, wipe down your furniture and walls with cleaning solutions, use charcoal in open bowls or BBQ charcoal, real charcoal, not self starting, and just lay out Charcoal sticks on paper towels. Anything that will absorb gases and odors will help. Time will heal this problem completely.
Warning: Never ever allow your children to play near a mothball odor filled area. This chemical is not just toxic and carcinogenic, it acts as a neural destabilizer that can retard intellectual growth over time. And it doesn't take much, just long term exposure. Just like lead painted toys made in China. (09/06/2008)
Use ozone from an ionizer. It is a free radical. It is like using gaseous bleach, in other words. Seal up the area if necessary. I just turn on the ionizer until I can smell ozone and then let it go another 5 minutes or so. The best way is to turn up the ozonizer and leave the house. Go shopping or go to the mall. Ozonizers can be strong enough to clear out an entire hotel. They come with timers and instructions. (09/18/2008)
Where it's feasible, I'd definitely second the fresh air and sunshine. I got a military surplus blanket that reeked of mothballs, and I soaked it in water with blue liquid Dawn dish detergent and rinsed it, my standard treatment for wool, then hung it up on a line for several days,during the day and flipped it so that all sides were exposed to the sun and wind. I did all this maybe three times over a month or two, when I had the time.
The sun and air seemed to be the real magic, but I think the soap and water helped, because in the later rounds, the blanket would smell worse once it got wet, to me this says more of the stuff is evaporating. Anyone know for sure? And then the smell would improve as it dried each time. It got much better after just the first two rounds and by the end of the third wash and dry it was so much better that I packed it in a cloth bag and let it sit and breath for a year or so. If I stick my nose in the blanket now, I don't notice the smell, so I figure I'll try just airing it out for a week or two in the spring, and maybe then I'll want to sleep with it. (12/23/2008)
We received a bag of baby clothes that smelled really bad from moth balls. I tried washing in white vinegar which did not help. It was winter in New England so I couldn't hang them out. I was getting ready to throw out when I found 2 items and decided to try once again.
First I soaked in Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator (Walmart) I have a front loader so I let run 5 minutes till clothes were soaked then let sit for 2 hours. Then I washed them in Tide with Febreze. I then repeated the soak and wash two more times and the clothes are good as new. Good luck. (01/05/2009)
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