To remove mothball odor from an old trunk use cheap coffee. Just put it in a nylon that you tie or just sprinkle into the trunk. I did this to a 1800 trunk that even smelled up glassware. It really works.
Source: A friend
By blhooper from Greenback, TN
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How do I get rid mothball smell from cedar chest?
By PAT3511 from Phoenix, AZ
How do I get rid of moth ball smell in drawers?
Jeff from Philadelphia, PA
I was just told that soaking a cotton ball in vanilla extract and putting it with your items in a storage bin for a couple of days is supposed to work. I'm in the process of trying now. (11/06/2006)
For bare woods:
Don't waste time with surface treatments as your first step, you risk etching in the odor deeper by laying on top of it. Sand down the wood. Take off a millimeter or so and that should do it. Maybe even less. It'll bring back the cedar smell and remove the mothballs. IF anything remains, throw a box of baking soda in for a bit before your return blankets or whatever to the box.
Hang it up in the sun for a few days. A little each day for sensitive fabrics. Make sure to flip which side gets exposed. Breezy days are best so pin it up well. Sealing it when dry into a bag with odor picker-uppers like carbon charcoal, baking soda, or even a strong scent like dryer sheets, for a few days will help neutralize the odor.
I have a dresser in my son's nursery that has been used as a storage chest at my parents house for the last ump-teen years. When I brought it home, I let it sit outside and air out to get rid of the odor. Well, that didn't work and now everytime I take something out of the drawers to put on him, he reeks of eau-du-moth ball. I've tried white bread in white vinegar, lysol and baking soda. What can I do to get rid of the moth ball scent so that I can use the dresser. Currently I'm using our guest bed as his dresser. I don't want to get rid of the dresser as it was used in my nursery. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get rid of the moth ball stinch? Thanks so much for your help!
This might seem a bit radical, but if all else fails you may want to try painting the inside of the dresser (and the interior surfaces of each drawer) with the paint they use in houses that have been exposed to fire. They call it perfume paint and it is supposed to absorb odors in the house so you can't smell the smoke that has soaked into the walls.
It seems I've read somewhere of a way of using newspapers crunched up and put in the drawers, or even putting chunks of charcoal in the drawer. They are both suppose to absorb odors.
Good Luck with that. Diane (07/09/2003)
I know this post was a while back, but for future purposes..
Try placing a bag of cedar chips in the dresser. You can get ziplock bags with holes in them for storing vegetables in your refrigerator. You could place the cedar chips in the bag and place it in the drawer. The cedar should absorb the odor and replace it with a kinder cedar scent. (05/07/2004)