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Removing Mothball Smell From Your House

March 18, 2017

How do I get rid of a moth ball smell inside my house?


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
March 18, 20172 found this helpful
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Activated charcoal and a spray bottle of diluted vinegar will work.

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22 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 27, 2011

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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August 27, 20112 found this helpful
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A old trick to remove bad odors from a house or room, is placing small bowls of vinegar around.
Place them at the course of the bad smell, or generally around in eye height.

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Ofcourse the acid smell of the vinegar will dominate locally for some time, but that's easy to get rid of, by opening a window.

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June 3, 2014

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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July 25, 20142 found this helpful
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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.

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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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November 23, 2016

How can I get rid of the smell of moth balls in my basement?


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Bronze Tip Medal for All Time! 86 Tips
November 27, 20162 found this helpful
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Place charcoal briquettes all around the room. Do not use the ones with lighter fluid added. I place them in an old pie tin. Works great.

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September 3, 2014

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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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
December 7, 20170 found this helpful

Normally it fades away after the mothballs are removed. Do you still have mothballs out? Are they under the house, in the attic, or in a basement? Try putting out activated charcoal.

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Keeps windows open with possible. If you are using the A/C or heat, you can even put charcoal in bowls in the vents.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 7, 20170 found this helpful

Nok-Out is a product recommended by Mary Hunt. You can buy it on Amazon

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June 29, 2012

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?
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By MT

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July 3, 20121 found this helpful
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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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July 5, 2013

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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