How to Get Rid of Mothball Smell from Your House

Mothballs emit a bad odor plus the chemicals present in them are not to be inhaled for far too long as they can cause headaches, confusion, and other health problems. The odor has to be done away with for which this HomeQuicks article lays out methods to get rid of mothball odor from your house.
HomeQuicks Staff
Most Effective Way
Placing bowls of activated carbon around the room can help get rid of the mothball smell. The activated carbon sucks the vapors of the mothball and neutralizes the air around.
Mothballs are a commonly used pesticide in almost all houses to keep away pests and moths. Other than the many advantages it is endowed with, for many people, getting rid of its odor is a primary concern. Being formulated by a compound known as paradichlorobenzene or simple polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, these mothballs sublimate and spread around the place to provide protection. These fumes are toxic and not good for humans or pets. The toxic fumes reduce the oxygen content by oxidizing the air, where they are present.
You shouldn't be living with the unpleasant odor of mothballs, and there are ways of getting rid of it. HomeQuicks presents to you some of the best ways to get rid of mothball smell.
How to Get Rid of Mothball Smell
In Clothing
  • Prepare a mixture of vinegar (white) and lemon juice in a bowl. Then with the help of a cloth, dab this solution on the areas of the cloth that emit mothball smell. Let the cloth soak in the solution for a while and then rinse it off with warm water.
  • You can also use a hot iron to press through a cloth with mothball odor. The heat will help to remove the stink. But if the cloth cannot be ironed, then hang it out in the sun. This has to be done as often as possible till the smell doesn't dissipate. Also remember, mothball smell takes a long time (at least a month) to get off.
  • Usage of deodorants or perfumes on such clothes will help to mask the odor temporarily.
In Shoes
  • Put the shoes in an area that has plenty of fresh air. Air will naturally help get rid of the smell. You will have to continue the procedure for at least a month. Remember not to expose it directly under the sun. Even if you do so, don't leave it unattended for more than 10 minutes. Excessive sunlight might harm the texture of the shoes.
  • Enclose some freshly ground coffee beans in a paper pouch. Stuff this pouch into the shoes. Then tie up the shoes in a plastic bag. Leave it alone for a week. Your shoes will smell like coffee.
  • Other than the above tips, you can expose the shoes to an ozone machine. This machine will suck away the stink. However, if you or people at your home suffer with asthma, then strictly do not try this step.
  • You can dab or spray the shoes with a solution of white vinegar and lemon juice. Rinse it off later with normal water. Do this only if they are canvas or nylon shoes. Avoid it if they are leather or suede shoes.
From Blankets
  • You can also put the blanket in a dryer and switch on the 'air only' mode. Repeat the process till the smell disappears. Excess air helps the blanket to escape the smell.
  • Either bask the blankets in sunlight or press it with a hot iron. Exposure to direct sunlight can fade off the color of the blanket. So, be careful.
From Wood
  • Zeolite, a mineral absorbent used as an air freshener in bathrooms and refrigerators, can be spread across the wood or furniture. Leave the wood with the mineral absorbent on it for a week.
  • Place a bowl of freshly ground coffee or charcoal on the furniture. You can take the bowl off the wood, once the smell dissipates.
  • You can expose the wood to plenty of heat and air. For this, try turning the heater of the room (where the wood emitting mothball odor is placed) to the maximum. Or simply leave the object of wood under the sun.
  • If the wood is bare, sand it with a sandpaper. But if it is finished, use a finer. Use gloves and a respirator during the process, and once you are done, paint a coat of varnish or penetrating oil over the wood.
  • There are deodorizers present in the market that are exclusively formulated to remove mothball odor from wood and furniture.
In Trunks
  • Trunks and odor are like gloves and hands. They always go together. To ward off the smell, we always use mothballs. But what about the never-ending mothball smell? You can enclose the trunk with cat litter. Cat litter naturally consists of Zeolite. This will absorb the stink efficiently. Do not expect the odor to vanish overnight; it will take time, at least a month or so, depending on the strength of the smell.
  • You can also use the coffee pouch tip (if it is a metal trunk), sanding tip (if it is a wooden trunk), or sun basking tip mentioned above, to get rid of the odor.
In a Closet
  • In order to deodorize the mothball smell from a closet, initially you should make all the clothes in it odor-free. Read the step above, where 'deodorizing clothes from mothball smell' is mentioned.
  • Then after removing all the mothballs from the closet, put a bowl of vinegar or vinegar and lemon juice in the closet. This will suck away all the odor from the closet.
  • Spray the closet with strong air fresheners and place blocks of cedar in the closet.
In a Room
  • While mopping, use a wet mop. Add some baking soda or small quantities of scented oils to the water (warm) used to wet the mop. There are scented house cleansers available in the market. Make use of them.
  • Let the room be properly ventilated, and if there is a window to the room, then keep it open for the sun to kill the odor.
  • Make use of air fresheners and turn on the room heaters to heat up the room.
Mothball odor can be really frustrating when there are unexpected guests at home. Using an air freshener is a method to quickly mask the odor, but this is just a temporary rescue option.