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.