How to Get Rid of Mothball Smell

Bad odors and smells always present a problem for people. Whether they’re coming from another person, an animal or from an unknown source around your home, bad smells are almost impossible to ignore. One such smell that a lot of people have trouble with is mothball smell. Mothballs are commonly used to keep moths from chewing on clothes, especially ones that may be stored deep in a closet or attic. Since the use of mothballs themselves is so common, so is the problem with the smell of mothballs. In the guide below, we’ll teach you some different ways to get rid of that nasty mothball smell for good!

Preparing for Cleaning

Before you get into the cleaning aspect, you need to know a little something about mothballs. The way they keep moths away is by releasing a gas – a gas that doesn’t smell all that great. Therefore, conventional cleaning methods like soap and water won’t really do much to disperse the gas. I just wanted to share that little lesson with you before you get on your hands and knees and start scrubbing away! Now, onto actually getting rid of the smell…

Proper Ventilation

Because the bad smell of mothballs comes from gas, fresh air and proper ventilation are powerful forces in the fight to get rid of the smell. The better the air circulation and ventilation in the affected area, the quicker the mothball smell will disperse and eventually go away completely. If the smell is just affecting one room or so, you need to make a strong effort to keep the windows open and get an area fan in there. Depending on the weather, this may be uncomfortable at times, but it’s completely necessary to get rid of the smell.


Dry Heat

A dry heat source is also effective in getting rid of the mothball smell. This means cranking up the heat! You’ll need to bear with some warmer temperatures throughout your whole house if everything smells; if it’s just one room, you can get away with a space heater. And, if the mothball smell is concentrated on a piece of furniture, you can simply point the dry heat source directly at it to help speed things along.

Getting Rid of Mothball Smell on Clothes

If you stored away from your winter clothes with a load of mothballs and have pulled them out only to find them reeking of that awful mothball smell, here are some tips. Pour a healthy amount of baby powder on the affected clothes and proceed to dry them off with either a hairdryer or by letting them dry naturally on a clothesline outdoors. After they’ve sufficiently dried, shake out the excess powder and put them in the dryer for about 10 minutes with a few sheets of fabric softener. If they still smell, run the whole process again and you should be all set.

Alternatives to Mothballs

You can easily avoid the problem of mothball smell altogether by not using them at all! There are plenty of alternatives to mothballs that work just as well or better when it comes time to store your clothes. The first way is the most natural: simply store your clothes in a place that’s cool and dry – like a closet or a spare room. Make sure the area is clean before storing the clothes and when it comes time to take them out, they should be in great shape.

Another alternative to mothballs is to use vacuum-sealed bags. You can buy these at any home or department store for a relatively low cost. You simply place your clothes in the bag and then suck out all the air with a vacuum cleaner. Without any air, there is very little chance of bugs getting inside and wreaking havoc on your clothes.

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