How Do You Get the Smell of Mothballs Out of Clothes?

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To remove the odor of mothballs from clothing, wash the clothes and allow them to line dry. The clothing may require several washings and several days in the outdoors before the odor completely dissipates. Clothing refreshers, such as fabric softener sheets, can be used to help remove the odor of mothballs.

  1. Wash the clothes with vinegar

    Separate the clothing that smells like mothballs from other laundry, and fill the washer with cool water. Add regular laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the filled washing machine along with the clothing that smells. The clothing can be washed several times with white vinegar or until the smell has significantly lessened.

  2. Dry the clothing

    Allow the clothing to hang outdoors for several days after washing if the weather permits. When drying the clothing indoors, use the low heat or no heat setting. Drying the clothing on high heat can cause the odor to become permanent.

  3. Use clothing refreshers

    Any remaining odors may be removed with odor refreshers such as dryer sheets or commercial odor removers. Opt for a commercial odor remover that is designed specifically for removing the scent of mothballs, and use it according to the directions on the package.