How To Get Rid Of Mothball Smell From House

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How to Get Rid of Mothball Smell (Quick and Easy Methods)

How to Get Rid of Mothball Smell from House: A Comprehensive Guide

I vividly remember helping my grandmother clean out her attic as a child. Among the dusty boxes and forgotten keepsakes, the pungent smell of mothballs permeated the air. I couldn’t wait to banish that musty odor from her house.

Understanding the Mothball Problem

Mothballs are small, white or gray balls containing chemicals like naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. These chemicals release vapors to deter insects and prevent damage to fabrics. However, the same vapors that protect fabrics can create an unpleasant, lingering smell in indoor spaces.

Health Effects of Mothball Smell

Exposure to mothball fumes can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea, and other health issues. Prolonged exposure may even lead to more severe conditions like anemia or liver damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to remove the mothball smell from your house to ensure a healthy living environment.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Mothball Smell

1. Ventilate the House

Open windows and doors to air out the house. Create a cross-breeze to circulate fresh air and dissipate the fumes. If possible, use fans to accelerate ventilation.

2. Remove the Source of the Odor

Identify and remove all mothballs from the house. Discard them properly in an outdoor trash receptacle. Clean any surfaces that came into contact with mothballs, such as shelves, drawers, and linens.

3. Clean Fabrics

Wash all fabrics that may have absorbed the mothball smell, including clothes, curtains, and bedding. Use warm water and a strong detergent. If the smell persists, soak the fabrics in a solution of baking soda and water (¼ cup of baking soda per gallon of water) for several hours before washing.

4. Use Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a natural adsorbent that can trap odors and pollutants. Place bowls filled with activated charcoal throughout the house, especially in areas where the smell is most prevalent. Replace the charcoal every few days until the odor subsides.

5. Try Vinegar

White vinegar is a mild acid that can neutralize alkaline odors like those from mothballs. Fill shallow dishes with vinegar and place them around the house to absorb the fumes. You can also spray a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water onto surfaces and fabrics.

Tips and Expert Advice

  • Avoid using air fresheners or scented candles to mask the mothball smell. These products can contain chemicals that interact with mothball fumes and create unpleasant odors.
  • If the mothball smell is particularly strong or persistent, consider hiring a professional cleaning service that specializes in odor removal.
  • To prevent future mothball odors, store fabrics in sealed containers or use cedar blocks or lavender sachets as natural insect repellents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to remove mothball smell from a house?
A: The time it takes to remove the mothball smell depends on the severity of the odor and the ventilation in the house. Small, well-ventilated spaces can be cleared out in a few days, while larger or more affected areas may take several weeks.

Q: Is it safe to stay in a house with a mothball smell?
A: Prolonged exposure to mothball fumes can be harmful, so it’s best to remove the odor as soon as possible. If the smell is strong or you’re experiencing any health effects, it’s recommended to leave the house and seek medical attention if necessary.


Getting rid of mothball smell from a house requires patience and effort, but it’s essential for maintaining a healthy and pleasant living environment. By following these steps and tips, you can eliminate the musty odor and restore the freshness of your home.

Are you facing a mothball scent issue in your house? Don’t let it linger! Take action today and breathe in a fresher, healthier tomorrow.

How To Get Rid of Mothball Smell - Odorless Alternatives

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