In this article, I will show you how to get rid of the mothball smell from inside your house with some simple yet effective methods.
What are mothballs?
Mothballs are small balls that are usually stored with clothing. They usually repel insects.
How to get rid of mothball smell
There are a lot more things that smell way worse than mothballs, but that doesn’t mean no one including myself likes it and I heard of people saying that the smell of mothballs makes their nose burn. So while it may not be the most disgusting smell, I will show you a couple of ways how to remove the smell completely from your home.
Removing mothball smell from clothing
While the smell of mothballs might not be the worst it is definitely noticeable especially when it’s on your clothes. No one wants to go out in public smelling like mothballs. So I am going to show you some different ways in which you can remove the mothball smell from your clothing.
This is one of the best and most successful ways you can use to remove the mothball smell from your clothes. All you have to do is to get a large bucket of water and add 3 cups of vinegar into it. THen place the affected clothes into the water and let them soak for 1-2 hours. After letting them soak take them out place them into the washing machine and add 2 cups of vinegar into it. Then wash them. After the first cycle wash them again and rinse them. After doing this the mothball smell will no longer be inside the garments.
A lot of people don’t like to use bleach because it is very harsh and it can irritate not only your skin but also your eyes and nose as well. But don’t worry because I am going to show you the right way to remove the mothball smell from your clothing with bleach.
When using bleach or other products that contain bleach be sure to wear a facemask and gloves. Also, remember to only use bleach on white clothing.
The first thing you should do is to get a bucket of water add 1 cup of bleach into it and place the garments inside of it. Let the clothes soak for 30 minutes to an hour. After that, you should take them out and rinse them.
You can also wash them in the washing machine instead. Just place them into the washer and add bleach into it. Then set the clothes to wash on a regular run cycle. After that just place them into the dryer and you’ll realize that the mothball scent is no longer on the clothes.
Even though bleach may be too harsh, it is still one of the best products to use when cleaning a lot of things.
Wash it with detergent
For this, you can either do the soaking method or the washing method. For the washing method, all you have to do is place the clothes inside the washer and add a little of your favorite and best smelling detergent into it as well. Then wash the clothes. After washing them if you still smell the mothball scent on the clothes then you may have to do it again.
For the next method, you have to place all the garments that smell like mothballs into a large bucket filled with water. Then add the detergent into it and mix the water around so that it can become soapy. After that place the clothes inside the bucket and let them soak for an hour. THen place them in the washer to rinse them (only rinse).
Doing this will definitely get rid of the mothball smell from your garments.
This is a really simple method because all you have to do is place the garments inside the washer and rinse them (don’t wash, just rinse). Doing this one time may not get rid of the mothball smell so you probably have to repeat the step again until the clothes aren’t smelling like mothballs.
This is another simple yet effective method. I know that I told you different ways you can soak your clothes to remove the bad smell that they had. But this method is similar yet different. For this method you need to fill a large bucket with warm water, then add 2 cups of vinegar,1/2 cup of dish soap, detergent, and fabric softener into it, then mix everything together into the water so that it can become soapy. After doing that you should place the clothes inside of the water and allow them to soak for 3 hours. If they are all white then allow them to soak up to 5 hours. After letting them soak place them into the washer and set it to rinse. After rinsing them place them into the dryer and allow them to dry.
Doing this will not only get rid of the mothball smell from your clothes but it will make their way cleaner as well.
For this method, all you have to do is place the clothes into the washer and add a lot of fabric softener onto them. Then wash and dry them.
Removing mothball smell from rooms and closets
If your whole room and closet have a mothball smell then maybe it’s time to fix that. The scent of mothballs isn’t a good thing to have in your closet and especially in your room because for some people the smell can be way too strong. But don’t worry I will show you how to get rid of the mothball smell from both your closet and room.
Remove any clothing that smells like mothballs
Let’s say you found and removed the mothballs from both your closet and bedroom but for some reason, you still smell the scent in them. Now you might think that you need to wait a couple of days so that the smell can be completely gone but even after 2-3 days you still smell the mothballs. Well, this may be because your clothes might have absorbed the smell, especially the ones in your drawers. This shouldn’t be a big issue especially if you follow one of the methods I used earlier in this article. A quick way to remove the mothball scent out of clothing is to soak it with your favorite detergent. If that doesn’t work then you can use any other method I mentioned previously.
Vinegar is not only great for cooking but it is also good for cleaning as well. Vinegar can be used to clean, remove stains, disinfect and deodorize things. Now for getting rid of the mothball smell I am mostly going to rely on the deodorizing use of vinegar. There are actually two different ways you can use vinegar to get rid of the mothball smell from your room or closet.
The first method is to get 2 bowls to fill them up (not all the way up) and place them in different parts of the closet or bedroom. Make sure to place them where the smell is really strong. After placing them in their spots, wait for a day or 2 to pass (without moving them) and the smell will be gone.
The other method you can use is to wipe down the areas in your room with vinegar. For this, you’ll need a soft damp cleaning cloth and dip it in a bowl of vinegar. Before you wipe make sure to squeeze or wring out the excess vinegar from the cloth. Then wipe down the surfaces in your closet and in your bedroom. The places your should wipe down are the areas where the mothball was and other surfaces such as the top of any table.
This might seem a bit weird but activated charcoal works almost the same way as vinegar when it comes on to removing bad odors. To use activated charcoal to remove the smell of mothballs you need to pour a lot of it into multiple bowls and place them all over your room and closet. Let the bowls of charcoal sit in your room for a couple of days up to a week. This should definitely get rid of the smell out of your room and closet.
If you don’t have activated charcoal then you can use ground coffee instead. Just fill 2 bowls halfway up with ground coffee and place them in your room and closet. After a couple of days, the smell should be gone.
If you don’t have ground coffee or activated charcoal then you can use baking soda. Baking soda is very good at cleaning areas but did you know that it can be used to get rid of bad odors as well?. These bad odors include a lot of things and mothballs are one of them. To get rid of the smell of mothballs using baking soda, you need 2 bowls filled with baking soda. Then place them in your closet and room. You can also add vinegar to the baking soda and create a mixture. This mixture will get rid of the bad odor in your room and closet.
This last method is probably the simplest one. All you have to do is find and remove the mothballs from your room and closet, then spray everywhere with the air freshener. You can even use automatic air fresheners as well.
Removing mothball smell from furniture
The smell of mothball usually lasts longer in furniture, especially ones that are made of fabric. Here are some ways to get rid of the mothball smell from your furniture.
Use vinegar and water
When you mix vinegar and water together this will create one of the best all-purpose cleaners. This mixture can clean almost any surface, get rid of any stain, and deodorize any area.
To get rid of the mothball smell from wood furniture all you have to do is spray it and use a clean cloth to wipe down the furniture. After doing this the smell should be gone.
For fabric furniture such as sofas, chairs, etc, you should spray the mixture all over them and let them air dry. You can also use a mini vacuum cleaner to help absorb the smell out of the furniture.
This method works best for fabric-covered furniture. All you have to do is sprinkle the baking soda all over the furniture and let it sit there overnight. The baking soda will definitely get rid of the mothball smell. After that just vacuum the baking soda residue.
Murphy’s oil soap
Murphy’s oil soap is really good at cleaning and polishing wooden surfaces so it’s most likely going to help remove the mothball smell from your wooden furniture. All you have to do is spray the murphy’s oil soap onto the furniture and use a clean microfiber cloth to clean it. Make sure that you wipe everywhere on the wooden furniture. After wiping it not only will the mothball smell will be gone from the furniture but it will also look very clean and polished as well.
If you are interested in more ways you can use murphy’s oil soap then you should click here.
Fabric softener spray
fabric softeners are great at removing odors from things because it smells really good. I am going to show you how you can use fabric softener to get rid of the mothballs smell from your fabric furniture.
The first thing you need to do is to get a spray bottle and add 1-2 cups of fabric softener and equal parts water into it ( or more). The reason why it’s best to add water is that the fabric softener liquid will probably stain the fabric if you use it too much. Spray all over the furniture with the fabric softener spray. Make sure not to spray too much, because doing that will make the furniture damp. After that let the furniture dry by air drying it or warping a thick large towel over it and using an iron to heat dry it.
Disinfectant is great at cleaning while also making the area that is being cleaned smell great. One of the best disinfectants to use clean is Fabuloso or Lysol disinfectant sprays. Both of these products are really good at cleaning things.
To get rid of the mothball odor from your wood furniture with disinfectant, just spray it with the Lysol spray or wipe it down with the fabuloso. This will make your furniture smell great again.
If you want to deodorize your fabric furniture then it’s best to only use the Lysol disinfectant spray. All you have to do is spray the furniture (don’t spray too much), and the odor will be gone in no time.
Removing mothball smell from clothing drawers
There are a few things to follow if you want to get rid of the mothball smell out of your clothing drawers. The first thing you need to do is to remove the mothballs from the drawers. I know it might seem weird to have mothballs inside of clothing drawers but I know a few people who used to do this. So just locate and get rid of them. The next thing you should do is remove the clothes from the drawers and spray the inside with an air freshener. After spraying takes out the drawers or opens them for 2-3 hours so that the mothball and air freshener scent can go away.
I hope these methods were useful to you.
Alternatives for mothballs
While mothballs are great for keeping insects away from your clothes, they come with a couple of issues. First of all, they have a very strong odor, which for some people can cause dizziness and nausea and they also make your clothes smell bad.
But did you know that there is a different alternative for mothballs? These alternatives are essential oils. If you are planning to use any essential oil as a mothball alternative, then it’s best to use lavender, clover, and mint. All you have to do is place a drop of any of the essential oil that I’ve mentioned in your drawers and closet areas. One of the best things about using essential oils is that you won’t have to worry about the scent since most of them usually have a great aroma.