Mothballs are a convenient way to protect your clothing and other fabrics from being eaten by moths, but the smell of mothballs can be overpowering and difficult to remove. If you have stored any leather items in containers that were previously filled with mothballs, you may find that the odor has permeated the leather and is impossible to get rid of. In this article, we will discuss how to get mothball smell out of leather and provide some tips for preventing it from happening in the first place.
What are Mothballs?
Mothballs are small pellets, usually made of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, that emit an odor which is unpleasant to moths. This scent is designed to keep moths away from stored items such as clothing and other fabrics. It can also be used in closets and attics to discourage moths from entering those areas. While mothballs are effective at preventing fabric damage caused by moths, they have a strong smell that can linger long after they have been removed. 
Will Mothball Smell Go Away?
The smell of mothballs can be difficult to remove from leather and other fabrics. This is because the molecular structure of naphthalene, the main active ingredient in most mothballs, bonds with the fibers in leather and many other fabrics. Unfortunately, once this bond has been made it is almost impossible to break without damaging the material.
Can You Get Mothball Smell Out of Clothes?
Yes, it is possible to get mothball smell out of clothes. The key is to use a combination of airing out, washing with detergent, and using natural odor removers.
The first step in removing the mothball smell from clothing is to air them out outdoors or inside with an open window or fan. This will help draw off some of the fumes that contribute to the unpleasant odor. Afterward, place the articles of clothing into a standard washing machine and add a regular dose of laundry detergent. Leave the washer on its medium-hot setting and run through a complete cycle until finished.
For particularly odorous clothing, you can use a natural odor remover like borax or activated charcoal. Borax should be sprinkled directly onto clothes and left overnight before adding detergent and starting the wash cycle. Activated charcoal is usually sold in powdered form which should also be sprinkled on clothes prior to laundering. 
How to Get Mothball Smell Out of Clothes: 6 Methods
One of the best and most natural ways to remove mothball smell from clothing is by using vinegar. Fill a sink or bathtub with warm water and add one cup of white vinegar. Soak the clothes in this solution for at least 30 minutes before laundering as usual with detergent. This will help get rid of any lingering odors that might be causing the unpleasant smell.
OxiClean bleach can also be used to remove mothball odors from clothing. Simply add the OxiClean bleach to a wash with your regular detergent and wash as usual.
3.Without Washing/Activated Charcoal
If you don’t want to wash your clothes, you can also put them in a plastic bag with activated charcoal or baking soda. The charcoal or baking soda will absorb some of the odor over time.
Cedar chips are also a great way to absorb mothball odors. Place the cedar chips in the same plastic bag as your clothing and leave it for several days or until the smell has dissipated.
Hanging your clothes outside on a sunny day may help dissipate the smell more quickly.
There are also several commercial products available specifically for removing mothball odors from clothing. These products typically contain enzymes or other chemicals that help break down the molecules in the fabric, allowing them to be washed away.
Is Mothball Smell Toxic?
The smell of mothballs is not considered to be toxic, but it can be an irritant to those with sensitive noses or allergies. It is also important to keep in mind that prolonged exposure to the vapors of mothballs can cause headaches, nausea, and other symptoms. For this reason, it is best to take steps to remove the odor as quickly as possible.
Can You Wash Mothball Smell Out of Clothes?
Yes, you can wash mothball smell out of clothes. The best way to do this is to first use a stain remover or laundry detergent specifically designed to remove odors. Next, soak your clothes in cold water for about 30 minutes before putting them in the washing machine with a cup of white vinegar on a normal cycle and no fabric softener. Lastly, hang your garments outdoors in the sun until completely dry—the fresh air and sunshine will help eliminate any lingering odors.
Additionally, it’s important to note that even after laundering, some fabrics may retain the scent of mothballs. In these cases, it may be necessary to repeat the above steps a few times or try using baking soda or charcoal instead of vinegar for soaking. 
How to Store Clothes Without Mothballs
To store clothes without mothballs, you should use airtight containers. These can be mason jars, plastic or glass storage containers, vacuum seal bags, or even zip-top plastic bags. You can also add cedar chips or lavender to your container for extra protection against insects and pests. Additionally, make sure that all of the items you are storing are clean and free from dirt and dust. Finally, check the stored clothing periodically to make sure no infestation has occurred.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Mothball Smell?
The best way to get rid of mothball smell is to remove the source of the odor. This can be done by airing out the room and washing any items that may have been exposed to mothballs. Additionally, you can use air-purifying machines or natural odor absorbers such as activated charcoal or baking soda. Finally, there are several commercial products available specifically for removing mothball odors from clothing and other fabrics. These products typically contain enzymes or other chemicals that help break down the molecules in the fabric, allowing them to be washed away. 
What kills the smell of mothballs?
Mothballs are made from either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, both of which are effective insecticides. Unfortunately, the smell of mothballs can be quite strong and unpleasant for many people. To get rid of this odor, you can try some of the following tips:
- Place bowls of white vinegar or baking soda around the areas with mothball odors. Both substances will absorb bad smells in the air and neutralize them over time.
- Put a few drops of essential oil such as lemon, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, or rosemary into a bowl with water and simmer it on your stovetop to help reduce the scent.
- Hang natural moth repellents such as cedar chips, lavender sachets, or cloves around the home. These scents will help to mask the smell of mothballs and naturally repel moths from entering the area.
- Place a few sheets of newspaper in a plastic bag with baking soda and seal it. Put this bag near areas where you are trying to get rid of the odors, and replace every few days until the scent has gone away.
- If possible, open windows and doors to increase ventilation and allow fresh air into your home. This will help remove some of the old, stagnant air that may be carrying mothball odors.
- Wash walls, floors, furniture, and other surfaces with hot water and a few drops of dish soap. This will help to remove any lingering smells that may have settled into fabrics or carpeting.
- Cut lemons in half and leave them around the house overnight to absorb bad odors. You can also try using citrus peels by placing them in small bowls throughout the home.
- Make an odor neutralizer using 1 cup of baking soda, 2 cups of warm water, several drops of essential oil, and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Mix together the ingredients until they are fully combined and then spray it around areas where you’re trying to get rid of mothball smells.
Following these tips should help reduce or eliminate mothball odors in your home. It’s important to keep in mind that it may take a few days or even weeks of regular airing out, cleaning, and using natural odor repellents to get rid of the smell completely. Keep trying different methods until you find one that works best for you.
Does the mothball smell ever go away?
Yes, the mothball smell will eventually go away if you allow enough time and use the right methods. Air circulation, using odor absorbers such as baking soda, vinegar or coffee grounds, and placing an open bag of charcoal in the same container as the item can help get rid of the smell of mothballs faster.
Will baking soda absorb mothball odor?
Yes, baking soda is an effective odor absorber and can be used to help get rid of the smell of mothballs. Placing a bowl of baking soda in areas where the smell is most prominent and leaving it for several days will help eliminate unpleasant odors.
How long does it take for baking soda to absorb odors?
It depends on the strength of the odors and how long they have been present, but typically it takes several days for baking soda to absorb odors. Place a bowl of baking soda in areas where the smell is strongest and leave it for at least a few days before expecting results. If the odor is still present after that time, you may need to repeat the process or try a different method. 
What is the most powerful odor eliminator?
Activated charcoal is the most powerful odor eliminator, as it is able to absorb odors from the air. Place an open bag of charcoal in the same area or container as the items that have been exposed to mothballs and allow it to sit for several days until the smell dissipates.
What chemicals remove smells?
Odor-eliminating detergents, such as Arm & Hammer Odor Neutralizer, can be used to help remove strong odors. Additionally, activated charcoal and odor absorbers such as baking soda, vinegar or coffee grounds can all be used to absorb odors from the air. Finally, fans can help circulate air and remove any lingering odors.
Useful Video: How Do I Get a Mothball Smell Out of a Leather Jacket? : Leather & Fabric Care
All in all, getting the smell of mothballs out of leather is possible! With a few household items and some patience, you can restore your favorite leather items to their former glory. The most important thing is to be mindful of how you want to treat the item – whether that means allowing air flow, cleaning with a damp cloth or using an appropriate product suited for the job. Whatever method you choose, keep at it until the odor disappears and voila – your leather item will be like new! Don’t forget to condition your leather afterwards with a natural product to help keep it looking nice and healthy. Take action now and don’t let mothball smells take over your life any longer!