Mothballs can leave an unpleasant odor in the room, on clothes, and even on your hands. Odor-absorbing substances, such as vinegar, can remove the smell of mothballs from clothing. Wash your hands with lemon-scented toothpaste or soap to remove mothballs from your hands. Once you've dealt with the smell of mothballs, use one of the proven methods to avoid this problem in the future.
Method 1 of 3: How to remove mothballs from clothing and indoors
Step 1. Use charcoal
If the clothes were in a closed room, not only the clothes, but also the room itself could smell like mothballs. In this case, activated charcoal tablets can be used to eliminate the odor. Leave the activated charcoal bowl in a closed room where clothes are hanging. The charcoal will absorb the smell of mothballs from your clothes and room.
You can buy activated charcoal tablets at the pet store, drugstore, or department store as granules
Step 2. Treat clothes with vinegar
If the clothes are washable, wash them in vinegar to remove the mothball smell. Wash your garments by hand using equal parts white vinegar and water, or in the washing machine replacing the detergent with vinegar.
Hand or machine wash should be sufficient to remove mothballs from clothing. However, delicate garments require a hand wash. Read the manufacturer's label on the garment to see if it is machine washable
Step 3. Leave the vinegar bowl in the cupboard and room
If the room smelled of mothballs and your clothes cannot be washed, leave a bowl of vinegar in the room. Place the bowl near the most stinking spot in the room. The vinegar should absorb odors from the room and clothing.
If you don't have white vinegar, use coffee grounds
Step 4. Ventilate the room
A cool breeze from outside will help naturally remove mothballs from your clothes. If the clothes are stored in the attic, leave the windows open on a windy night. Remove clothes from a closed drawer or chest and then hang the clothes on a hanger or spread them out on a flat surface. Leave your clothes exposed to the wind to get rid of the mothballs smell.
- In the same way, you can ventilate the room from the smell of mothballs.
- If you are going to use this method, be sure to check the weather forecast. Do not leave windows open if rain or other precipitation is possible.
Step 5. Use cedar shavings
Place cedar shavings in drawers, dressers, or wardrobes with clothes that smell like mothballs. This will not only remove the smell of mothballs from clothing, but also in places where it is stored. Cedar shavings absorb odors very well.
You can find cedar shavings at most hardware stores
Method 2 of 3: How to eliminate the smell of mothballs on your hands
Step 1. Wash your hands with lemon-scented cleanser
The lemon scent is strong enough to mask and remove any other odor, and the grease-removing ingredients found in detergents will eliminate unwanted odors. If you want to get rid of the mothballs smell on your hands, wash your hands thoroughly with lemon-scented cleanser.
To eliminate the very strong smell of mothballs, apply baby powder to your hands and rub it over your skin. Baby powder will allow you to finally get rid of the smell of mothballs
Step 2. Use toothpaste
Rub non-gel toothpaste into your hands, and then wash your hands using it as a soap. A dime-sized toothpaste should be enough to remove the unwanted mothball odor.
Step 3. Use baking soda
Baking soda is great at absorbing and removing unwanted odors. To get rid of the naphthalene odor with baking soda, mix it in a bowl with water to form a paste. Rub the paste into your hands. Leave it on for three minutes and then rinse it off.
Step 4. Use tomato juice
Tomato juice is quite effective in eliminating unwanted odors. Fill a bowl with tomato juice and then soak your hands in it. Rinse off the tomato juice after five minutes. This method should significantly reduce the smell of mothballs on your hands.
Step 5. Use oranges
The citrus scent is able to eliminate unwanted hand odors. Peel the orange and then rub the skin on your hands to reduce the smell of mothballs on your hands.
Method 3 of 3: How to store clothes without mothballs
Step 1. Before you hang your clothes in the closet, wash and dry them
To avoid the smell of mothballs in the future, completely avoid using mothballs. To do this, clothes need to be washed and dried. This will eliminate odors that could attract moths.
Step 2. Store clothing in closed containers
To dispense with mothballs, store clothing in closed containers. This will keep your clothes moth-free without resorting to mothballs. Vacuum bags are especially effective in protecting clothing from moths.
Vacuum bags can be purchased online
Step 3. Use natural repellents instead of mothballs
Place a bowl of natural repellent next to your clothes. Rosemary, cinnamon sticks and eucalyptus leaves are natural repellents and do not leave behind such a strong scent. Plants such as wormwood and peppercorns are also great for repelling moths.