Even if you never use them in your home, it’s essential to understand how to get mothball smell out of clothes. Despite containing toxic chemicals and having an undesirable aroma, mothballs are still widely used for storing fabrics. The goal of mothballs is to deter the clothes moth and its larvae from damaging clothes, bedding, towels, rugs, and more, while in storage.
While their pungent smell is effective, it also makes you appear unclean and unprofessional if you don’t remove it before wearing the clothes later. Knowing how to remove mothball smell from clothing ensures you can get rid of the musty smell whether you purchase or unpack fabrics stored with mothballs.
While it might seem daunting, getting mothball smell out of clothes is easy with the proper techniques and supplies. Explore everyday items with the power to eradicate the stench of mothballs, and put some tricks in your arsenal so that next time you go thrifting or unpack old clothes, the smell of mothballs won’t pose an issue.
- DIY Spray for Removing Mothball Smell from Clothes
- Baking Soda for Moth Ball Smell on Clothes and Furniture
- Oxygen Bleach for Removing Mothball Odor on Clothes
- Get Rid of a Musty Smell with Fresh Air
- How to Get Mothball Smell Out of Clothes in the Laundry
- Activated Charcoal Solves Mothball Odor
- Air Freshener Masks Mothball Odor
- How to Remove Mothball Smell from Clothing Using White Vinegar
- Make Over Your Closet with Coffee Grounds and Cedar Wood Chips
Fantastic Methods for Getting Mothball Smell Out of Clothes
Find out how to get mothball smell out of clothes and avoid the lingering, undesirable fragrance of chemicals on your favorite outfit. Many people who shop at thrift stores or purchase second-hand clothing are eager to learn how to remove mothball smell from clothing.
Mothballs have a recognizable musty, off-putting stench and are often described as smelling like chemicals. Getting mothball smell out of clothes may seem challenging, yet with a few helpful tips, it’s easy to freshen up your garments.
DIY Spray for Removing Mothball Smell from Clothes
Whether you’ve used mothballs to store clothes at home or purchased some thrift or second-hand garments with the smell, this DIY deodorizer smells amazing and uses readily available items to get rid of the stench. Distilled white vinegar removes the unwanted odor, while your favorite essential oil leaves clothes smelling fresh and clean.
Add the deodorizer ingredients to the sprayer and shake until well blended. Spray generously over your clothes to remove the musty smell and allow them to dry.
Baking Soda for Moth Ball Smell on Clothes and Furniture
Baking soda is renowned for its multitude of uses, from cooking and cleaning and everything in between, so it may not be surprising to discover it works as an odor eater to eradicate mothball stench from clothing.
It’s pretty simple to take smell out of clothes without washing them – sprinkle baking soda on the clothes with an unwanted smell and cover as much of the fabric surface as possible. Let the baking soda sit on the smelly garments for at least one hour, though 24 hours is ideal, before shaking or vacuuming it off.
This strategy works best for light-colored clothing and fabrics, as removing all the powder from dark colors takes more work.
Oxygen Bleach for Removing Mothball Odor on Clothes
Oxygen bleach is known for removing challenging stains, yet it works equally well on persevering smells. When combined with water, oxygen bleach releases tiny oxygen bubbles that penetrate deep into your clothes’ fabric to oust the musky, mothball smell from the inside out.
Choose a color-safe oxygen bleach and perform a test patch on a hidden area, as oxygen bleach isn’t suitable for every fabric. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to eradicate the musky chemical smell of mothballs without damaging your clothes.
Get Rid of a Musty Smell with Fresh Air
Whether you have few supplies or need a more straightforward solution, fresh air works wonders on the musty stench of mothballs. If you have a clothesline, gather the offending items and hang them out securely, checking back in 4-6 hours to see if the smell has dissipated.
If you don’t have a clothesline, grab a hanger from the closet and secure your apparel to the rail on your balcony or the handle of your front door so it airs out. On rainy days, take your clothes out of the closet and hang them indoors in an open, airy room.
How to Get Mothball Smell Out of Clothes in the Laundry
Running your clothing through a regular wash cycle may not be enough to tackle the lingering odor of mothballs. Fortunately, getting mothball smell out of your clothes in the laundry is still possible by taking a few extra steps.
Place clothes in the tumble dryer with your favorite scented fabric softener, and tumble on low heat for at least 20 minutes before washing on a regular cycle with detergent. Running the clothing through the dryer first lifts the heavy odor, making it easier to wash away in the machine.
Activated Charcoal Solves Mothball Odor
Activated charcoal is well known for its absorbent properties. Thanks to its unique chemical structure, this fine black powder draws in many substances, including the toxic chemical odor of mothballs, while being odorless. A small amount of active charcoal is all you need to soak up unpleasant smells.
A teaspoon of active charcoal has the surface area of a football field, and all this space traps bad smells like the mustiness of mothballs and removes them from your clothes.
Pour half a cup of active charcoal into a shallow bowl and set it inside your closet where there’s a mothball aroma. The charcoal works to draw in any scents; change it out monthly so it continues to keep your clothes fresh.
Air Freshener Masks Mothball Odor
If you find yourself in an unfortunate wardrobe situation where your clothes smell like mothballs, yet you have no time to clean them, don’t panic. While the techniques to remove the stench from the fabric all take time to complete, it is possible to mask the odor temporarily so you can wear your clothes now and clean them later.
Cans of air freshener are available at most grocery and home stores and in most bathrooms. When you need a fast resolution to musty-smelling clothes, take a canister of air freshener with a scent you like and hold it about six inches from your apparel before spraying well.
Work methodically, aiming to apply a light mist of spray to most of the fabric surface. The pleasant aroma of the air freshener binds to the fabric and covers up the chemical mothball smell short-term, leaving your clothes smelling fresh.
How to Remove Mothball Smell from Clothing Using White Vinegar
For particularly stubborn cases, an unpleasant smell may persist even after laundering or attempting the above methods. White vinegar is tough on chemical smell while safe for delicates like silk and wool. Make a simple solution using distilled white vinegar and water to remove the mothball scent from your clothing.
Combine in a sprayer and test a small area of the fabric to ensure the treatment is safe. Spray liberally over the garment and hang to dry to remove the lingering stench of mothballs. Launder as usual to remove the vinegar smell and leave your items clean, fresh, and ready to wear or store.
If your dryer starts to get an unusual and unpleasant odor, it’s probably time to clean it. Spray the interior with this mixture for getting smell out of your dryer and wipe away the cleaner. Ensure the lint trap is clean.
Make Over Your Closet with Coffee Grounds and Cedar Wood Chips
Sometimes vintage clothing or new purchases from the thrift store come with the unpleasant odor of mothballs. If apparel coming out of your home closet is the issue, it’s time to fix your wardrobe to prevent the problem from continuing.
While they effectively deter clothes moths, the odor of mothballs seeps deep into wood and fabric fibers, persisting for years even after you remove the balls. If there are still mothballs in the closet, take them out, along with all your clothes and shoes.
Vacuum if necessary and mix equal parts water and vinegar to wipe down all surfaces, including wood. Fill little bowls or small mesh bags with a fragrant substance such as dried coffee grounds or cedar chips and set these inside enclosed spaces like drawers and around the area.
With the mothball smell cleaned out and pleasant fragrance in its place, it’s safe to add your clothes and belongings back to the closet, but consider cleaning them first so they don’t reintroduce the unwanted smell.
Use a baking soda, vinegar, and water mixture for cleaning closet and pantry areas as a way to get rid of moths in closet and deter them from the area. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to get rid of pantry moths. Cloves, mint, and lavender are good choices.
While mothballs are brilliant for keeping the clothes moth and their moth larvae out of your closet, the smell is troublesome. Naphthalene mothballs have a musty and chemical-like smell which is unappealing and makes you seem unhygienic when it clings to your outfit.
Explore tips to eliminate the mothball smell from your clothes using everyday items and straightforward techniques to keep your apparel smelling its best.
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