Removing Mothball Smell From Your House

The strong odor of these moth deterrers can linger in your home. This guide is about removing mothball smell from your house.

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Question: Getting Rid of Mothball Odor in Cedar Chest

I have a cedar chest that had mothballs in it for about a year and I am trying to get rid of the smell. Can anyone help me?

By Lucretia D.

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By nanax2 1 Flag

September 2, 2014

I used a charcoal closet deodorizer I bought at the hardware store. I put it in, and I honestly forgot about it. I don't know how long it took, but it got rid of the odor .

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Question: Removing Moth Ball Odor From a House

By MizAyo 2

I am moving into a home that was occupied by an elderly couple who had an extreme fondness for mothballs. The entire house reeks of the odor. How can I remove, not mask with Febreze or the like, but actually remove the odor permanently without tearing out the entire interior of the house. Please please help me.

By MizAyo from Chicago, IL

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By Sheilah Link 5 328 Flag

August 29, 2011

Air the house thoroughly. Put fans in the windows turned to pull the air out, not in. I use mothballs and to remove the odor from clothes, I hang them somewhere with good air circulation. Good luck. At least you do not have a house full of insects.

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Question: Removing Mothball Smell

By avaloslupe50 1

How do I get rid of mothballs smell out of my house. I just recently moved in and the previous owners had them all over.

By avaloslupe50 from Baytown, TX

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By Rebecca O. 1 Flag

July 25, 2014

Mothballs will be the death of me. Bought a house that reeked of those suckers. Had owner get rid of them and that helped, but not much. What's really helping me is small bowls of white vinegar all over the house. Helps get rid of cigarette odors also. Going to have to get rid of carpet going upstairs and that will help too. I'm winning but not very fast.

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Question: Moth Ball Smell on New Jacket

By Bonnielou 1

My daughter bought a jean jacket at Kohl's a couple of weeks ago. A few days later she removed the tags and went to put it on while noticing a strange smell like moth balls. So she figured she would wash it, but that didn't help so she washed it 3 more times, but still nothing. She remembered that putting something in the sun outside would do the trick, but it's been outside in rain and shine and it still stinks.

What she really should have done is return it right away, but she didn't stick her nose in the jacket at the store and when she noticed at home after several washings it's too late. I went to her house and smelled it myself and it still smells like moth balls. What should she have done or what can still be done? Thanks. How in the world did this happen from a Kohl's store?

By Bonnie H

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By Jamie W. 1 Flag

July 21, 2013

I've had this happen a few times from J.Crew and from Hollister and Express and when it happened with Hollister and Express it was much stronger. The smell is formaldehyde. It gets on random pieces of clothing. It really doesn't come out. It's permanent. Both Express and Hollister refunded my money without the receipt, not sure how long ago it was now, but for future reference, take it back as soon as you notice. Tags or receipt are helpful, but not necessary if they ever want your business again.

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Question: Getting Rid of Mothball Smell in House

I need to know the best and fastest way to rid my home of mothball smell. We had critters in the ceiling of our trailer (no crawl space) at least not for people. Anyway the good ol hubby decides to put not just the half box of mothballs, but a full one as well. No need to say they work well at getting people out and I'm sure the critters would not want to stay (I hope).
Is there a sure way to get my home back? Do I have to replace my furniture? This really is stressing me out, out of my house. How long do I need to stay out of the house? Are there any companies out there that can help?

By MT

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By Marie Brack 131 Flag

July 3, 2012

Are the mothballs still up there? If so of course they have to be gotten out.

For the interior, anything that can safely be set out in the sun should be, including upholstered furniture. Vinegar is a good deodorizer, you could set shallow bowls of it around the house, and wash clothes and bedding in it.

Heat intensifies the release of odors - you could let it get real hot in there, maybe turn on the heat even though it's summer, and go somewhere else for a few hours. Then open all the doors and windows to let out the released odors.

Consider renting an ozone air cleaner - they're available for use after house fires to clear the smell out.

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Question: Removing Moth Ball Odor from Clothing

How do I remove moth ball smell from a blouse purchased at a thrift store? I washed the blouse once, in the washer and dried it on a hanger.

By lUPE

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By mcw 80 1,751 Flag

September 4, 2011

Try soaking the blouse in a solution of water and white vinegar.

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Question: Removing Mothball Smell

By ANNA 1

We are moving in to a small trailer and it reeks of mothballs. Could someone please tell me how to get rid of the awful smell it left behind?

By Anna from Gray Court, SC

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By Mary 5 51 Flag

February 20, 2011

Put out bowls of vinegar to help absorb the smell. You may also try some eucalptus scented candles. The best thing though is to remove all moth balls that remain, and keep airing out the house.

I once had a battle with mice, and my house reeked of moth balls for a year. I overdid it on the moth balls, but I never had a mouse invade the house again, lol. :)

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Question: Getting Rid of Mothball Odor in the House

We have a serious problem with a mothball smell which has been an issue for selling our home. Buyers has been turned down because of this. We even painted the whole inside of the house along with an entire carpet shampoo. I mop the floor with Pine Sol everyday, but no luck. Can anyone help with how to get rid of strong mothball odor?

By Sang C.

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Question: Removing Moth Ball Odor From Luggage

Moth balls were put in plastic bags with luggage stored in a barn. Now I can't use luggage for intense moth ball smell. Please help. Thank you.

By Charlsa S.

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Question: Removing Mothball Smell from House

I am buying a new house. The previous owners put moth balls in every room and closet drawer. The entire house is saturated with this smell. How can I remove it?

By V.C.W.

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Archive: Removing Mothball Smell


I stored my car for over a year. To keep varmints out we used mothballs in and around the car. I know now that this was a bad idea. Inside the car reeks, and it clings to clothes. How do I get rid of the stink that's in the seats and upholstery?

Charles from IL

Answers:

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

The absolute ONLY WAY to remove moth ball odor is to expose the item to as much fresh outdoor air as possible for several days (bring it in at night). Fresh air is the only way...nothing else (cleaning solutions, washing, etc), does not work. Then after hanging items in fresh air (not in direct sunlight as it can cause fading), you may also put items in dryer on FLUFF or AIR for a while too. IT DOES WORK! (04/15/2006)

By Pam

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

NEVER USE MOTH BALLS ANYWHERE IN YOUR HOUSE!!! Because I was feeding birds in my yard, small grey mice got in my attic. I could hear them scratching at night, and my dog brought a couple of them (that she had killed) into the house. I informed a friend who was a building contractor...who told me he could rid my house of the mice by putting moth balls in my attic. I questioned him about this, asking "wouldn't the smell come down into the rest of the house?" He said "no way"...as heat rises in the attic and goes out the vents, taking the smell with it. I told him to go ahead and put the moth balls in the attic...which he did. That night, I could not even sleep in my bedroom from the smell...which was making my chest (lungs) hurt. I called and told him about the smell and he told me that was "impossible" as he had done this to other homes before. To make a terribly long story short, after a week of moth ball stench which forced me to move into a guest room and run a fan pulling fresh air into the room, I found another contractor who came and completely removed a section of the wall going into the attic and removed as many moth balls as possible (removed about 80 of the 120 that had been placed there, as it was hard to find white moth balls in the white insulation). He then put in an additional attic vent and a large fan (that works with a thermostat) in my roof, which pulled fresh air through the attic from the 2 vents, removing about 95% of the smell withing 1 hour. I think in a day or so all the smell will be gone completely....I am convinced that only fresh air and sunshine will kill mothball odors . (07/11/2006)

By Charlotte Sarti

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

I have the exact same problem as the last posting from Charlotte!!! We just purchased a home after making a cross country move and let me tell you I have gone through a phase of "buyers remorse" !! MOTH BALLS ARE HORRID! I just cant take the smell in the slightest! And what I thought is my dream home I cant even bring myself to MOVE IN! The sellers put moth balls in the attic! Thier reasoning was to keep a squirrel out from trying to make a home, and probably so but the one and only night I stayed there after buying the home over 3 weeks ago I heard scratching sounds up in the attic. And they were avid bird feeders and squirrel feeders! So I'm sure there are cute little fuzzy grey mice prowling around too! So now I just want to cry! This smell is a serious issue! The seller said he put about 50 moth balls up there and my husband has scoured it and found around 30 - He said the rest may have dissolved from the heat in the attic. So far I haved ordered 6 pouches from http://www.noodor.biz/ AND I plan to order a cleaning solution from http://odormedic.com/
AND to go to the extreme measure I will call a contractor like Charlotte did because at this point I am desperate! BTW I'd love to hear your outcome Charlotte! This has been such a LEARNING experience! One that has caused me some sleepless nights! (07/12/2006)

By nixiedoll

Archive: Removing Mothball Smell

I have recently purchased a car from a family member. They put moth balls in the car because it had been setting up for a while. How do I get the moth ball smell out of the car?

Nancy From Birmingham, AL

Answers:

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Ventilation is the key to eliminating Mothball's odour. If the odour prevails, check to make sure you have removed all of the Mothballs from the area. Always remember that the vapour is not harmful to humans or animals and acts as the preventative of moths and pests. To speed up the elimination of odour, place bowls of activated charcoal in the room, or spray fabrics with fabric deodorizer (11/14/2006)

By Brenda from Texas

Archive: Removing Mothball Smell


How do I get rid of moth ball odor in clothes and furniture? The smell just permeates anything it comes in contact with.

Joe from Reading, PA

Answers:

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

I have acquired a down comforter that reeks of mothballs. I have tried every remedy imaginable, and have been unable to get the smell out. the weather has been rainy for many days so I have not had a chance to hang it outside. That will be my last resort. Right now I can't have the comforter anywhere in the house because it makes us all ill. I have to store it in the shed.

The reason older people aren't bothered by mothballs and other chemicals is that they have become acclimatized to the odors over many years. This does NOT mean that the health risks do not apply to them. Mothballs contain a known carcinogen in large doses. Anyone who still uses them is crazy, and they are banned in many places in the world. (01/03/2007)

By rumbledoll

Getting Rid of Moth Ball Smell

Since most moth balls are made from napthalene which is a volatile...heat and water do wonders if the fabric can take it. Napthalene is one of the heavier volatiles so it takes more heat to evaporate than say acetone that will evaporate at room temperature. I purchased a new maternity jean jumper that smelled horrible of moth balls. I could not even stand to be in the same room with it. For good reason napthalene is no good for you. Anyway, a hot iron on full steam took care of the smell after several washings and hangings inside did nothing. For cars...a suggestion would be to steam clean and leave in the sun on a really hot day with the windows only slightly open to relieve steam but not heat. For fabrics that cannot be ironed hang wet outside in the sun (they might fade but who can wear a smelly sweater). Just remember napthalene evaporates with heat and water helps. Good luck! (03/23/2007)

By Preggo

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

That's why you dont put that many, read the directions, something like 1 mothball per 50 cubic feet. Try to get the uncscented mothballs or the ones that actually smell good. (04/02/2007)

By Brian

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Instead of using mothballs to keep mice away, I've read that you could place a few drops of peppermint essential oil on some cotton balls & put around. The scent is supposed to confuse them & keep them away. Just a few drops as it can be very powerful. I put this in my car after having mice get in. And the smell will go away with airing, unlike I've found mothballs to do. Plus I'd rather small peppermint than mothballs. I'm still trying to get mothball odor out of our camper. (06/26/2007)

By Rose

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Charcoal briquettes in a pan overnight - this works in fridges/cars etc. They absorb all odors. (08/01/2007)

By Shantygirl

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Ditto on the horrid experiences with moth flakes. I was told by the roofer that spreading moth flakes in the attic would deter the rodents that I had heard, as opposed to spreading moth balls that they would be able to remove. Within minutes of me spreading this awful product, my house wreaked from the attic all the way to the basement. Neighbors even smelled the odor, several houses down. I called the NPIC and they strongly recommended getting rid of the flakes, even if it meant removing the insulation.

Turns out the product in the moth flakes is toxic, and because this product produces a vapor, it releases into the whole house. What a nightmare! Turns out, getting emergency removal of insulation is close to impossible! My neighbor and friend climbed up in the attic and helped me remove 40+ bags of blown insulation, as we wore respiration masks, goggles, and were covered head to toe in 120 degees for hours. We are all beat, so after taking off of work, making approximately 20+ phone calls later and learning that there are not many companies to install insulation in a private residence (not even handy men) in less than a week's notice, I've finally found someone and am having new insulaltion installed tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, I continue to be sick to my stomach, have a loss of appetite and the flakes have cost me at the very least $1500. I'd hate to think how much it would have been if I had found a professional to remove them. If anyone knows of a miracle product to rid my home of this foul stench before my domestic pets and myself are permanantly ill from inhaling this junk-please post ASAP! As for now, I'll try the vanilla extract and the charcoal. (08/09/2007)

By yokingirl

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

My back bedroom smelled awful when my friend moved out, so I sprinkled moth balls all over the room to kill the smell. It killed the awful smell but then I had to get rid of the moth ball smell. I sprayed febreeze on all carpets and fabrics, then I put a small bowl of ammonia & set it in there and closed the door. After one night the room smelled better, after a couple hours with a window open it smells fine! (09/24/2007)

By Brigitte Carpenter

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Eureka!
I bought this beautiful dresser and I didn't realize how much of a oder it had from moth balls. I've had it for a few years, using it for odds and ends but not clothing.

This summer I decided to bake it outside in the sun - didn't work. Then I washed the drawers and the inside of the cabinet with Murphy's Soap - didn't work. Then I spray everything with Febreze on top of the Murphys Soap - WAS THAT A WRONG MOVE!

The smell got worse. So I put a 4" x 4" x 2" container in each drawer and filled them 3/4 of the way with baking soda. So every once in a while I would stick my nose in there to no avail - the smell was still there, worse than when I started.

However! Two weeks ago I stuck my nose in to smell a drawer just for the hell of it, because I had given up and lo' and behold the smell had diminished, so I shut the drawer quickly because I didn't want the workings to stop. I went in today and the smell is just about gone, it is very faint.

So I think that maybe people are just giving up to soon.

Today I put in fresh baking soda, I am so impressed. Looks like I will be able to use this dresser after all. I believe the solution is baking soda and time. (10/24/2007)

By Ean

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

TO remove the smell of moth balls from anything you must remove a solid hydrocarbon called Naphthalene. This is a highly toxic solid that sublimes into a gas at room temperature. Airing clothes in a warm ventalated enviroment (outside preferably) will do the best job. It is a function of temperature, ambiant saturation of Naphthalene gas, and time. Good Luck kittens. (11/24/2007)

By Tiffany

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

My son moved into an apartment which had mothballs scattered around it. We removed them, aired the place out, vacuumed with "Pet Fresh". Then it rained and rained, and the place flooded. We got him out of the lease--he lived there for 6 days--but his clothes smell of mothballs even from that short time. I tried TSP, then 1/2 vinegar and water solution, then washing them in Sunlight to no avail.

I have discovered that soaking washable clothing in a solution of orange scented 4 in 1 Lysol (the kind that removes 99.9% of bacteria/germs) did the trick, thank goodness!! I let the clothes soak for an hour, turning them now and then, then washing them as usual with Sunlight detergent. It was the Lysol that did it though. What a relief! I hope this helps. (12/30/2007)

By Sandy

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Naphthalene is insoluble in water, somewhat soluble in methanol/ethanol, soluble in organic solvents and very soluble in ether, chloroform, or carbon disulfide.
You could therefore use alcohol or methylated spirits. (01/03/2008)

By Mark from Perth Australia

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Hardware store told me to put mothballs in my crawlspace where I had squirells. Dropped them in through a very small opening at the door threshold and sealed the hole (two boxes worth). Checked into the local Marriott by that night from the intense fumes. Drilled pilot holes and pumped in 20 cans of triple expanding foam to try and encapsulate them as there is no access to remove them. Also left all the windows in the room open and sealed the romm for 2 months. The odor is 90% gone but the room is still not usable. There should be a warning label on a box of mothballs. (04/05/2008)

By John

Archive: Removing Mothball Smell


We used moth balls in our camper last season to get rid of the mice. Now the camper smells awful. Any suggestions how to get rid of the moth ball smell in our camper?

J.H. from Colorado

Answers:

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Trader Joe's 'Next to Godliness' air freshener [$3.99] will take care of the smell! If it neutralizes what 2 non-housebroken dog's 'presents', will work on moth ball odor. (04/29/2008)

By JoanDogs

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Fennel seed. Take a small bowl with fennel seed and place it in there. Works wonders for moth ball scent, smoke, pet odors, etc. (05/01/2008)

By Michael the Moe

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

My car smelled terribly of moth balls after a winter in storage. Mothballs were used to fend off mice. I sprinkled baking soda on my upholstered seats and the floor mats. I left the baking soda on for about 24 hours, and then vacuumed it up! I have also been leaving my car in the sun. For the most part, this has worked. Be generous with the baking soda! (05/06/2008)

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Naphthalene has not been used in mothballs for many many years. Due to safety concerns they are now made out of paradichlorobenzene. Time and fluffing my friends, time and fluffing.

Editor's Note: Although paradichlorobenzene does break down in about a month, it still can be harmful. Time and fluffing, probably about a month of it will work.

From Wikipedia:

The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that p-DCB may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen, although there is no direct evidence. Animals given very high levels in water developed liver and kidney tumors. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a maximum contaminant level of 75 micro grams of p-DCB per liter of drinking water (75 g/L). p-DCB is also an EPA-registered pesticide. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a maximum level of 75 parts of p-DCB per million parts air in the workplace (75 ppm) for an 8-hour day, 40-hour work week.

Little information is available on how children react to p-DCB exposure. (05/08/2008)

By Gandalf

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

I bought a brand new jacket off Ebay. Everything is fine except it has moth ball smell. It is very strong, and have gone through many steps already. I have washed it with other clothes and the other clothes now have a hint of moth ball smell. Ayayay! I didn't know better, I thought the smell would go away with washing.

After washing, I left it in our small laundry room to air out and the next day when I opened the door, I almost past out because of the moth ball smell. After than I put it in the bathroom before we go to sleep and turned the exhaust fan on all night. Next morning, smell is still there and unwearable. I have also gone through 1/2 bottle of Febreeze, didn't work.

We live in a condo and unfortunately, I don't have an outdoor area to hang it. It has been a week now. Although it is not as strong as it was, the smell is still there and I cannot tolerate it. I will try it with hot steaming and baking soda this time and continue turning on the exhaust. What a pain. If you're reading this, it's probably too late and you probably know it already, but please spread the word, SAY NO TO MOTH BALLS. (05/10/2008)

By Kate

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Folks, use cedar balls if you want to keep moths away.

I rent the upstairs of a house and the landlord apparently had just set a box in the attic at each end of the house before I moved in. I'm guessing that it was small boxes (thank god!) because while I could smell it, it wasn't as bad as it could have been, like yokingirl's and others' nightmares.

Yes, we are being sold a bill of goods by the government on many products--about their supposed safety, not the dangers. After all, they are in the pockets of big business.

Of course Febreze and other fabric "fresheners" don't work for this because you're just adding to the mix of chemicals. You'd be surprised at what's in some of these things. Did you know, BTW, that the main ingredient in Lysol is registered with the gov't as a pesticide?

A good book to get is Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan. She is a mom who got wondering just how safe household products really were and did research to find out. This book is where I read about the Lysol.

Just my $0.02.

I am wondering if putting a bit of fennel seed in a cloth bag with the wash will get the mothball reek out of fabric? Will have to try it.

(05/20/2008)

By Guest

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Have you tried a product called Atmosklear? I used it to rid a home of cigarette smoke and mold smells. I probably used a gallon to wash walls, spray curtains, carpet, furniture, etc. - 1800 sq. ft. home. It worked well on what I was tackling. Available over the internet.

http://www.maryellenproducts.com/shop/home.php?cat=7 (06/30/2008)

By Barbara

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

I moved into an apt that was littered with mothballs in every conceivable place. I only lived there for 3 weeks before I had my fill of the smell (which lingered long after the balls were removed) and now everything I own reeks of them. My main concern is my mattress. Any ideas? (07/26/2008)

By Benjamin

Archive: Removing Mothball Smell


I am in the process of purchasing a new home and the house smells like moth balls. The current owner has a chest of animal pelts in the master bedroom with moth balls in it. What is the best way to get the odor out?

rngrass from Mount Shasta, CA

Answers:

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

I suggest burning a candle while, you are at home to watch it or several candles, good luck. (01/25/2009)

By k w

Archive: Removing Mothball Smell


Does anyone have a remedy to remove moth ball odor? I purchased a used auto. The previous owner had put moth balls in the car to cover the smell of mouse urine. I do believe the moth balls smell worse! Any suggestions would be welcome.

Pat from Texarkana, Texas

Answers:

REMOVING MOTHBALL SMELL

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)

By DAVAD

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

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)

By DG

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

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)

By

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

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)

By Donna

Archive: Removing Mothball Smell

How can I remove a strong moth ball odor from a pop-up-camper? I'm asking for a family member who has a 2 year old and they bought a used camper thinking the smell would dissipate. I'm going to tell her about charcoal, baking soda and vanilla.

I would think they don't just want to mask the odor, but eliminate it completely. I've read that naphthalene is a suspected toxin. I would love your ideas on what to tell her to make this camper safe. Thanks.

By sandy/pittsburgh from Pittsburgh, Pa

Feedback:

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

I use mothballs all the time in storing clothing (especially wool ones) and in our RV over the winter. Usually just opening everything up for a couple days, windows open and such the odor is gone. Have they tried airing it out it outside; not in a garage, but outside in the sun? (09/12/2009)

By mom-from-missouri

Archive: Removing Mothball Smell

We used moth balls to prevent getting mice. Now how do you get rid of the moth ball smell in the RV? We have opened all bay doors and aired out several times and smell is still in the RV.

By Mary from Valdosta, GA

Feedback:

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

First, set up some fans so they'll blow through your RV, and try to eliminate as much of the stagnant air as you can (a breeze through the door/windows is nice, but you need stronger air circulation). That will help get rid of some of the dangerous chemicals in the air.

Then, here's my answer to just about every obnoxious odor: Oranges!

Buy several, cut them in halves or fourths, and leave them on plates in different areas of the RV. (Try to avoid paper plates, as the juice can seep through.) Replace them as they shrivel up, until all the odor is absorbed. As a bonus, your RV will have a nice citrus scent for a while! (04/17/2010)

By WildIrish

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

You could try the activated charcoal, and coffee grounds will work on some odors. Set dishes of grounds around to absorb the odors. Mothballs are a truly horrible smell, and it may take some time to dissipate. I used them once - never again. They are worse than whatever you are trying to prevent. (04/19/2010)

By louel53

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

Next time use mousetraps or D-con. Mothballs are toxic to humans too. The smell gives me a migraine.
To get rid of the smell try diluting some white vinegar with an equal amount of water, put it in a spray bottle and spray the RV inside surfaces, esp fabrics and rugs with it. Vinegar gets rid of a lot of smells and disinfects as well.Let sit overnight and then air it out.
Febreeze can be used also. (04/19/2010)

By kemperjl

RE: Removing Mothball Smell

We've successfully removed a mothball odor that was pervasive throughout an entire house that we had just purchased.

First, we entirely demolished and removed the cedar closet in the basement that was the source of the problem. Though there were no mothballs present, just opening the door of the closet made one's eyes sting. Getting rid of the closet did not solve the whole problem, however, as the whole house still had an odor. It was discovered that the heating duct on top of the closet was punctured by nails in the building of the closet, causing the smell to be distributed throughout the house (if it hadn't already done so through osmosis).

These were the steps that were taken to eradicate the smell:
1) Opening all windows and turning on ceiling fans and exhaust fan in basement all day of each non-rainy day for over a month during the summer.
2) Purchasing and turning on four large dehumidifiers during the night to make the air as dry as possible.
3) Removing the wall to wall carpeting that was present in the entire home.
4) Having the entire home including basement washed by professional cleaners.
4) Getting the ducts cleaned by a reputable duct cleaner.
5) Changing and upgrading the filter on the AC system.
6) Painting using nontoxic AFM SafeCoat Transitional Primer and then a top coat of SafeCoat on the walls and ceilings.

The smell is gone! (07/16/2010)

By ember0775

Mothballs
Categories
Home and Garden Cleaning OdorsDecember 20, 2012
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