Have you ever experienced the overwhelming smell of mothballs? The scent of mothballs is almost impossible to ignore, and unfortunately can linger for a long period of time. If left untreated, the smell can become deeply entrenched in the space it occupies. At the same time, it might seem like an insurmountable task, getting rid of mothball smells can be done with relative ease. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to get rid of mothball smells.
What Is A Mothball?
Mothballs are aromatic, solid products used to protect fabrics and other materials from moths and other insects. While mothballs have been around for centuries, their composition and use have changed drastically over time.
Today’s modern mothballs are generally made of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, which are both effective insect repellants.
The primary purpose of mothballs is to keep moths away from items stored in closets, attics and other out-of-the-way places. When the odorous vapors released by the balls come into contact with the moths’ antennae, they act as a deterrent that keeps them away from fabrics, carpets and woolens.
Mothball vapors can last for several months depending on environmental conditions such as heat or humidity levels. Mothballs are a great tool to prevent excess moisture from entering your living space. Excess moisture can cause mold growth, which requires mold remediation.
How To Stop Mothball Smells
Mothball smell can be a source of embarrassment for homeowners. Not only is it unpleasant, but the odor of mothballs may also become trapped in your clothing and linens, causing a lingering smell.
Fortunately, getting rid of mothball odor doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. With the right approach and products, you can quickly remove this scent from your home.
To get started, it’s important to locate where the mothballs are stored or used in your home. Look in places like closets and drawers for any containers that may contain them. Once you’ve identified where they are located, it’s time to start removing the odor from your living space.
An effective method is to open windows and doors of the affected room or area to allow fresh air flow in and out naturally. Be sure to use air fresheners and even candles to slowly remove any foul odors.
For more severe cases, use a ventilator to remove any foul odors rapidly. Ventilators increase the circulation of new air throughout the household. Test for mold as well since mold can have an effect on the odor of a home as well.
How To Get Mothball Smells Out Of Clothes
Do you have a piece of clothing that has been stored away and now smells like mothballs? Perhaps it’s an heirloom passed down to you or a favorite item of clothing that’s been in storage. Getting the smell out of your clothes can be tricky, but there are some simple steps you can take to get rid of the musty mothball smell.
Start by washing your clothes in cold water with 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 teaspoons baking soda. This solution will help deodorize the fabric while also helping remove any stubborn stains caused by moths. After washing, hang your items outside to air dry – direct sunlight will help break down any remaining odors from the mothballs.
Do this process at least two times to breakdown any foul odors that are trapped deep into the fibers. Lastly, use powerful fabric softeners and detergents to completely remove any smells and stains that are remaining on the piece of clothing.
How Long Does Mothball Smell Last
Mothballs are a popular way of keeping clothes and other items protected from moths, but their odor can linger for quite some time. The smell of mothballs is often difficult to tolerate in a home or office environment and it can be very difficult to get rid of the smell without taking certain steps.
It’s important to understand how long does mothball smell last, so you know what measures you need to take in order to fully remove the scent from your space.
The length of time that the mothball smell will linger in your home depends on several factors including ventilation, temperature and humidity levels, as well as the type of fabric used. Generally speaking, it usually takes two weeks or more for the scent to dissipate completely.
However, moisture and mold growth and make mothball smells last even longer. Restoration services may be needed to completely remove any moisture, smells and any other elements that are affecting the home.
Have you been using mothballs to keep pests away from your home? Mothballs are an incredibly common way that homeowners deter moths (and other pests like rodents and even bats) from eating through fabric, insulation, and wood in our home. The smell of naphthalene, which gives mothballs a strong odor, is used to repel animals from your home, but it can also leave a strong, recognizable scent in your home that is quite unpleasant. While it may be tempting to demo your closet and start over, there are ways that you can get rid of the odor. At Supreme Restoration, we often help homeowners restore their property after a storm or water damage, so we know a thing or two about restoring your home to the condition it was before the unpleasant smells. Use these tips to get rid of mothball smells.
What Causes a Mothball Smell in Your House?
As we mentioned above, there is a chemical that is used in the production of mothballs that gives it a distinct odor. Naphthalene is a hydrocarbon that is obtained from coal, tar, and petroleum distillation making it pretty unsafe to inhale. Quite toxic in fact. It’s this odor that it creates that keeps moths and other pests away, but it can also be harmful so it’s important to get rid of the odor when it lingers in your home.
How Long Will It Take To Get Rid of the Smell of Mothballs?
Depending on how intense the odor is, it may take up to a month before you can fully get rid of the mothball smells. This time frame ultimately depends on what your method of choice for removing the odor is. There are methods of removing the smell of mothballs quicker than other methods but these methods require the use of abrasion and strong chemicals. For methods of getting rid of mothballs smells, plan on needing about a month.
Use Fresh Air and Heat
If the smell of mothballs is coming from an item or furniture that can be moved, then your best bet is to take it outside and let it sit in the open air and under the heat of the sun. Remember that this could still take weeks before the odor is eliminated, so plan around inclement weather.
Use Absorbent Odors
When you want to get rid of mothball smells the natural way, the best thing to do is to use odor absorbent scents that will not only mask the smell of mothballs but also eliminate it. A great odor eliminator to use is cat liter which is used to absorb the smell of odors of… well, cat dropping and urine. Other odor absorbents are white vinegar and coffee grounds which are both very aromatic and work wonders on mothball smells.