How To Get Rid Of Mothball Smell

Here is how to remove mothball smells.

Mothballs are pungent substances mostly white in color and largely consisting of naphthalene. The name is derived from its usage as a cloth moth repellent. Mothballs can also be used to deal with bed bugs, fleas, and rats.

Now, the odor is quite strong and sticks to areas applied as well as clothing.

For most people, this odor is unpleasant. As such, ways by which to get rid of it is often asked. This article has been written as a response to the need to have mothball smell removed.

Here, we’ve included practical and easy steps on how best to proceed.

Is There Any Danger Asides the Unpleasant Smell?

Some people might wonder if there’s any harm posed by mothballs. They’re meant to be used on clothing and other stuff right? Therefore mothballs shouldn’t pose any risks.

In reality, you’d have to take a look at the ingredient(s) they’re made of. The primary ingredient here is naphthalene.

Naphthalene has been known to cause a wide range of health issues, especially for kids. This active ingredient is considered a carcinogen (cancer-causing). It gets released through sublimation (changing from solid to vapor state) which is the process by which mothballs get distributed.

This is scary information for people with kids who have used mothballs with reckless abandon.

Now that you know about its risks, you have an even greater motivation to get rid of its smell from your home.

  • Do Safer Alternatives Exist?

Here, we’re talking about the active ingredient (naphthalene) used in making mothballs.

If such an ingredient is considered a carcinogen, are there alternatives to consider? Paradichlorobenzene has been used as a replacement for naphthalene. However, this too is being considered a possible carcinogen.

About Mothball Smell

The mothball smell permeating or hanging everywhere within your home is mainly due to the presence of the product itself. Now, such a smell gets released through sublimation.

So, whenever you perceive the odor, you’re actually inhaling the product itself.

Having learned about the health risks involved, it’s natural to want to remove or eliminate such a smell from your home.

Mothball Odor Eliminator

Mothball smell is quite strong and hangs in the air for as long as the product remains. Even after mothballs have been removed, you’d have lingering odors around your home.

Now, when mothballs are placed in target areas, the initial smell is quite pleasant.

However, with continued exposure, such a smell turns unpleasant. Now, the good news is that there are ways to actually get rid of such lingering smells around your home.

The following measures should help eliminate them.

  • Deep Cleaning

You’re likely to notice that long after removing mothballs from where you placed them, the smell still lingers around your home. This is even after performing the necessary cleanup.

For such situations, deep cleaning will be necessary. This is more thorough and deliberate.

Now, the mothball smell you perceive long after mothballs have been evacuated could stem from the presence of small particles within wood pores and cracks. This is mostly the case when these balls disintegrate.

One strategy to adopt is to clean the area or closet as usual and apply varnish or paint over the target area. It’s difficult to clean up tiny wood pores. As such, sealing these over with paint will do justice to the problem.

  • Mothball Smell From Clothing

One of the primary targets for the placement of mothballs is in clothing. This action is likely to create a disturbing scenario as the smell sticks to clothing even after disposing of such mothballs. Such smell follows you wherever you go.

Now, there are ways to get these odors out of your clothing

All you have to do is to soak affected clothing in a solution of water and vinegar. A concentrated solution needs to be made. Therefore, equal parts of water and vinegar should be mixed before soaking such clothes.

If you prefer using your washing machine for this, a vinegar-only wash cycle should be run. A diluted solution such as the one mentioned a moment earlier should be used for delicate fabrics.

With your vinegar-only wash cycle completed, another wash cycle should be run, this time with washing detergent and softener.

This process should be enough to eliminate mothball smell. However, if by any chance you have no vinegar at home, an alternative method can be used for the elimination of this smell.

Durable garments should be soaked in hot water while adding non-chlorine bleach.

After soaking for some time, wash soaked garments normally using detergents and softeners. You should have odor-free clothing after this process.

  • Using Odor Absorbing Materials

Mothball smell can be eliminated through the use of odor absorbing materials. Some excellent materials to use in combating such smells include coffee grounds and activated charcoal.

One of the advantages of using such materials is that they can be easily applied.

You only need to place your preferred odor absorbing material around affected areas. A fresh replacement can be done if the previous application has stayed long enough.

This is one way to get rid of the mothball smell from clothes without washing.

  • Cleaning of Floors and Walls

Mothball particles are likely to stick around walls and floors. These find their way into tiny pores which makes the smell ever-present. Consider conducting some cleanup. This is done by focusing on the floor and wall areas.

Vacuuming your floors is the best action to take. This should be followed by mopping. If you can, wash your walls as well. Wall cleaning should be done using a mild detergent solution.

This cleaning action should be sufficient to eliminate lingering mothball smells within your home.

  • Ventilation and Heating will be Helpful

We discussed the presence of mothball particles as being the sole reason why you can perceive mothball smell around your home. Now, such a smell can be dissipated through the application of heat and ventilation.

Natural heat sources like sunlight will be of great help.

Therefore, all you have to do is take out furniture for a few days. The heat from the sun activates faster sublimation to take place. Leave the windows wide open and allow free movement of air.

These are ways to get rid of the mothball smell. You don’t need to endure such. Taking action saves you the trouble of having to sit through an unpleasant smelling ordeal.

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