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


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 Joan

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

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)


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

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

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.



By Guest

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. (06/30/2008)

By Barbara

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

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