How Do You Get Rid of the Smell of Moth Balls?

rid-smell-moth-balls Credit: Kondoros Éva Katalin/E+/Getty Images

Fresh air, laundry refreshers and commercial mothball-odor-removing products can be used to eliminate the smell of mothballs. Ventilating the home is recommended when the odor is present throughout the house.

Remove any mothballs that are present and dispose of them by complying with local safety regulations. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and turn the heating unit on. Heated air helps to remove the odor because the heating system draws in fresh air through the ventilation system, reducing the contaminated air inside the home. Small areas that smell like mothballs can be treated with a hair dryer that is set on low heat.

Clothing is typically washed in cool water with a cup of white vinegar to remove mothball odors. Wash the clothing twice with vinegar, and then allow the garments to dry outdoors in a sunny location. Allow the garments to remain outdoors for as long as possible to ensure the odor dissipates. Some clothing, such as woollen items, cannot be washed with vinegar. To remove the odor from woollen and other nonwashable garments, put the clothing into the dryer on the no-heat setting with a clothing refresher sheet.

Furnishings, carpet and other items can also be deodorized with commercial mothball-odor-removing products. Mothball-odor removers are designed specifically to remove the chemical odors caused by mothballs, and they are widely available in local shops and from online vendors.