How Do I Get Rid of Mothball Smell?

To get rid of mothball smell, ventilate the affected areas of the home, and remove all visible mothballs and mothball flakes in the home. Wash hard surfaces with a general-purpose cleaner, and continue exposing the home to fresh air and sunlight to remove any remaining odors.

  1. Ventilate the area

    Naphthalene, an active ingredient in mothballs, can cause illnesses when inhaled, making it necessary to work in an area with proper ventilation. Open windows and doors, and place fans in open windows to promote airflow in the room.

  2. Clean the area

    Remove any visible mothballs, vacuum mothball flakes, and safely dispose of the mothballs according to local regulations. Wash hard surfaces, such as tile flooring, with a general-purpose cleaner. Do not wash wooden surfaces, as the water may cause the wood to further absorb the odor.

  3. Expose the home to continuous fresh air and sunlight

    Repeated exposure to sunlight and fresh air is an effective method of removing the odor of mothballs. Place large furnishings in a sunny location outdoors for several days, and keep windows and doors open for as long as necessary to remove the odors. Turn the heat up inside the home to encourage the odors to dissipate quickly.