How To Get Rid Of Mothball Smell In Your Home | 5 Effective Techniques

Aug 30, 2021 | Home Remedies, Mothball Smell

You’re probably familiar with the smell of mothballs permeating through an older home. While they’re useful for protecting against moths and other bugs eating their way through your clothes, they can cause your home to smell unpleasant over time. So in this post, we’ll show you how to get rid of mothball smell inside your home.

Explaining Mothball Smell

Mothballs are small crystalline pucks that you can put in spaces that are vulnerable to insect infestation. In particular, they are put near clothing storage spaces such as wardrobes or closets. They contain chemical pesticides, such as naphthalene or para-dichlorobenzene (PDB). These chemicals are also present in urinal cakes, which is why they share the same distinctive odor.

However, these chemicals have significant disadvantages that have ultimately resulted in mothball formulations no longer including them in the modern era. Naphthalene is flammable, and while PDB is less so, they both pose health risks and can cause cancer. Therefore, several countries have banned their use in mothballs.

So, it makes perfect sense that you want to get rid of the pungent smell of mothballs, especially if you’re performing a home restoration on an older property.

How To Get Rid Of Mothball Smell

1. Air Out The Area

One of the first things to do is to air out the area where you smell the mothballs. The chemicals in mothballs sublime (change state directly from solid to gas without turning to liquid first) and can permeate a room quite quickly. So, open any doors and windows to let fresh air into the space. Using a fan, especially a powerful one, can speed the process up.

2. Use an Air Purifier

Commercially available air purifiers have several filtration systems that can remove microscopic particles and harmful vapors from a room. They are relatively inexpensive and can be left running inside a closed space to remove the odor.

3. Discard or Deep Clean Any Old Furniture and Curtains

The crystalline chemicals in mothballs don’t just turn into gaseous vapors; they also break down into smaller fragments. These fragments turn smaller still over time, and soon, they become difficult to spot, lodging themselves into crevices in floors and furniture. Over time, the smell seeps deep into porous materials like fabric and wood. This is why you should get rid of or thoroughly clean furniture or drapery that has spent extensive time sitting in mothball vapors.

4. Wipe Down Surfaces

Use an all-purpose cleaning solution to clean and wipe down all smelly surfaces, like closet shelves, kitchen counters, and the insides of cupboards. You can make your own with some diluted white vinegar if you’d like.

5. Use Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal can absorb vapors and works as a deodorizing agent. Place small bags of charcoal around the house and allow them to absorb the odors slowly.

Conclusion: Save Time With A Professional Restoration Company

We hope this guide has given you an idea of some steps you can take to get rid of mothball smells in your home. However, you can save time and get better results by contacting a professional company specializing in this area.

Kraft Roofing is your expert family-owned home restoration company. We provide various construction services, including roofing and home restoration, for our customers all over southeast Texas. Our focus remains to exceed industry specifications and practices. So, we promise top-quality services at fair, honest prices. We also provide free inspections and estimates! If you have any questions, please give us a call at (281) 816-7101. You can also send us an email at