Moths, their larvae, and any variety of other insects that could harm your clothes, mothballs are an excellent deterrent. Mothballs are a poison that contains naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene chemicals. They have a pungent scent, unfortunately.

They not only make the clothes smell, but an entire room can consume the smell of mothballs.

Naphthalene is the compound that triggers the scent of a mothball. Also found in cigarette smoke is naphthalene, and also in the air in heavily contaminated areas. Extreme headaches, nausea, dizziness, exhaustion, loss of appetite, restlessness, etc., can result from excessive exposure to these gases.

Mothballs can last for up to four to six weeks, and if you store your clothes in a closely packed bag, they can last much longer. The scent would last longer, irrespective of how long the mothballs stay before they disappear. This is how to remove mothball smell from clothes.

Get Rid of Mothball Smells in Clothing

The scent of a mothball clings to your skin, which brings a pungent and disgusting smell to your winter garments.

Here are a few easy ways to remove mothball smell from clothes to avoid that mothball scent for products that can be washed and dried.


These are some of the easiest ways to brush the scent of mothballs clear from garments to water the contaminated clothes into a solvent vinegar.

  • Make a vinegar and lemon juice solution, and then apply this mixture to the clothing areas that smell mothball. Before you clean it off with warm water, let the solution stay for a moment.
  • Place the laundry machine’s clothes and run a rinse using just vinegar; use detergent and softener to accompany the wash cycle. Depending on the clothing, change the treatment; for example, you might consider mixing the vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritzing the fabric for more fragile materials.
  • Leave vinegar bowls in closets and rooms. Put a bowl of vinegar in the room whether the mothball scent persists in a room or clothes cannot be cleaned. Leave the bowl in the room’s most odorous places. The fragrance of the space and the garment can be consumed.


How to remove mothball smell from clothes using bleach?This is another reliable odor reduction option if you have durable garments that can withstand bleach’s effects.

Next, ensure that you have enough non-chlorine bleach. Then, in the washing machine, you should run a laundry cycle of bleach and water. To guarantee that this procedure is suitable for your clothes, read the treatment notes on your clothing and the bleach bottle’s instructions.

Use charcoal

When the clothes are in a sealed space, both the room and the garments will have a mothball smell. In this case, to eliminate the odor, You should use activated charcoal tablets. Charcoal tablets are commonly sold in pellet form at pet or department shops.

Leave your garment in a secured space with a cup of activated charcoal.

The charcoal can contain clothes and space odor.

How to remove mothball smell from clothes using baking soda

To eliminate the appliance’s smells, you can be familiar with having a baking soda bottle in your refrigerator. Baking your winter clothes with the absorbent forces of soda will also help. You soak your clothes in the pan with a cup of bakery soda, or you can use a bakery soda and the usual detergent to wash the unit. Repeat the procedure if any scent exists.


Extreme heat will also help minimize the scent of a mothball to use a hot iron to hang the sun’s laundry. Another way to use bleach instead of a laundry washing machine is to place the clothes in the washer.

Fresh air

Fresh air is a natural, hands-off approach to removing the smell of mothballs. Take your clothing outside and hang it in the sun for several hours. The open space can help the smell dissipate without allowing it to spread indoors.

This option is typically best for mildew odors. Make sure to check the weather report. You don’t want any rain to soak your clothing and add the smell of mildew to your list of concerns.

Try airing clothing out immediately, or you can hang wet clothes outside to dry on a sunny day.

Before bringing them inside again, check to see if the smell has completely gone. If not, you will need to try another method.

Cedar chips

How to remove mothball smell from clothes using cedar chips? Place cedar chips with clothes containing a mothball fragrance in drawers, dressers, or closets. Besides removing the mothball’s scent from the dressing, it will clear the smell from storage areas. Easily odor-absorbing cedar chips.

Run clothes through the dryer on the “air fluff” setting

A low heat environment may also be used, but be vigilant of materials vulnerable to shrinkage or otherwise need to be air-dried.

Storing Clothing Without Mothballs

Although they’re perfect for shielding fabrics from insect ravages, mothballs have more significant disadvantages than just their scent. To stop the future mothball scent, store your clothes absolutely without mothballs.

  • You should wash the clothes and dry them before storage to do this. By eliminating odors that attract them, will help repel moths.
  • Store clothes in well-sealed bins or vacuum storage bags to limit the access of moths.
  • To remove any existing moth eggs before use, clean out all containers or drawers.
  • Check for the moths’ origins or entry points to stop potential infestations. Clean the affected area thoroughly: clean the carpets, dust, and wipe down all surfaces with bleach, vacuum, or steam.
  • In dim, humid environments, moths flourish, so consider having a dehumidifier to manage their populations. Toss them in the fridge for four days if you’re concerned about secret eggs on those clothing.

Mothballs alternatives

How to remove mothball smell from clothes using other alternatives? You may start choosing an alternate option if the smell of mothballs becomes too much of a nuisance, even if you feel the downsides outweigh the advantages. There is some value in looking for substitutes that won’t make you want to cover your nose and hold your breath, considering the commitment and time to get rid of the mothball scent.

Use natural repellents instead of mothballs.

With bowls of natural repellents, store your clothes. Herbs such as rosemary, cinnamon sticks, and eucalyptus leaves make excellent natural repellents and do not leave behind a fatty odor. Plants like wormwood and peppercorns can also be used. Essential oils are a common and natural way to protect the clothes from being harmed by insects.


The wood of cedar is a powerful moth repellent. Clothes in a cedar chest may be kept by homeowners, including in the cedarwood cabinet. Because of its good fragrance, the red cedar is the best-known sort for wardrobe and storage.

The use of cedar chips in bags to spread the scent of cedars is an alternative. When the odor is running off, replace the chips. It doesn’t matter, just scent cedar. It doesn’t have the destructive (or stinking) side-effects of mothballs.

Although helpful, mothballs can be unsafe for long periods in your house. It is in your favor and the interests of your family to extract and scent mothballs. It’ll be more fun to be at home anyway! This is how to remove mothball smell from clothes in no time.

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