Is there a lingering mothball smell in your home? Are you looking for the most efficient method to get rid of it? Then this article will show you some of the best ways you can do so. 

To get rid of the smell of mothballs in the home, try the following:

  • Mop the Floor With Part Baking Soda and Warm Water
  • Leave Out Bowls of Vinegar
  • Ventilate the Room
  • Use an Ionizer
  • Use Odor-Eliminating Air Fresheners

Fancy looking at some of these tips in more detail? Then make sure you check out the following mothball smell elimination guide.

How to Get Rid of Mothball Smell

We’re no doubt fans of the work mothballs do behind the scenes.

They work as a pesticide against moths, mice, and other insects. They also help to protect your home from mold. But as for the smell of mothballs. Now, that’s where the problem lies. 

Mothballs have that damp storage smell. It’s the kind of odor that makes you think that your home could use a deep clean. It’s that smell that your partner is completely oblivious to. This makes you feel like you’re going crazy because you’re the only one that smells it and you just can’t pinpoint it. It makes your nose twitch every time you step into the house. 

Well, that’s enough talking about the horror that is known as the mothball smell. So, let’s move on to combating it.

What can you do to get rid of a pungent mothball smell from your home?

I’ve gone through 4 different options you can use – with pros and cons for each one. Let’s dive in.

Mop the Floor With Part Baking Soda and Warm Water

Baking soda is one of those cooking ingredients that doubles as a great house cleaner. Baking soda is awesome at tackling the following household tasks:

  • Unblocking the drains
  • Cleaning the washing machine
  • Cleaning the oven
  • Cleaning the carpet

But, the secret’s out! – Baking soda is also fantastic at getting rid of the smell of mothballs in the home. There are so many advantages to using baking soda to get rid of the smell of mothballs.

Here’s a list of some of its pros and cons:

Pros Cons
  • Baking soda is a product we pretty much always have at hand in the home. That means you can start eliminating your mothball smell today!
  • Baking soda is inexpensive to buy.
  • Baking soda is a natural product. It doesn’t give off any harmful chemicals. This makes it the perfect cleaning solution for those with children or allergies.
  • It is not convenient to clean everything in the house with baking soda. Sofa’s, clothes, and other items will have to be cleaned using a different method.

Ok, so now we’ve finished singing baking soda’s praises, it’s time to talk about the method. The following is information on how you can remove the smell of mothballs from your home:

  1. Half fill a mop bucket with warm water
  2. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the water. 
  3. Mix the two together. 
  4. Use the solution to mop the floors of your home.

Leave Out Bowls of Vinegar

Vinegar is also another one of those top-rated multi-purpose household items. It can be used to clean a bunch of places around the home that are difficult to polish with elbow grease alone. Vinegar is ideal for:

  • Removing limescale from the bathroom faucets
  • Removing limescale from the washing machine and dishwasher
  • Cleaning the windows
  • Cleaning the carpet

And the list goes on!

Vinegar is a great household cleaner for more than one reason. Among its list of abilities is that it is proficient at removing the smell of mothballs from the home. Here’s a list of pros and cons for its use:

Pros Cons
  • Vinegar is another product that we always have at home. That means that nothing will stop you from being able to stamp out that mothball smell today!
  • Vinegar is inexpensive to buy.
  • Vinegar is a natural product. It doesn’t give off any harmful chemicals. This makes it the perfect cleaning solution for those with children or allergies.
  • Some people really don’t like the smell of vinegar. If you’re not keen on it yourself, then this will not be the right solution for you.  

Are you ready to start using vinegar as your perfect solution to a lingering mothball smell? Then take a look at the method below:

  1.  Pour white vinegar into open bowls in the affected rooms in the house. 
  2. Leave the bowls out. The vinegar will absorb the mothball smell.

Ventilate the Room

Now, this suggestion may seem rather basic. You probably have the windows open in your home periodically and that’s never been enough to get rid of the mothball smell. But there are ways to ventilate a room that will help to push the smell of mothballs out of the home. Take a look at the method below:

  1. Open up the windows and doors in the home to get a good contraflow going. Use door stoppers to stop them from slamming shut.
  2. Turn on the wall and ceiling fans while ventilating the house. This will help to push the mothball smell outside the home. It will get the air circulating better. 

Use an Ionizer

Do you have an ongoing problem with the smell of mothballs in your home? It is at the kind of intensity that makes even natural cleaning products powerless against it? If so, then you should consider using an ionizer around the home. 

An air ionizer will help to keep the air in your home fresh. It uses electricity to generate negative ions. These ions are then released into the air and bind to particles that release odors such as mothballs. 

Here are some of the pros and cons that come with using an ionizer to get rid of the smell of mothballs around the home. 

Pros Cons
  • Some natural odor-removing methods take time to show results. But, using an ionizer will help you to instantly smell the difference in the air in your home. 
  • An ionizer will also reduce allergens in the air. This makes an ionizer a good solution for those with allergies. 
  • An ionizer could be an expensive solution to getting rid of the mothball smell.
  • The mothball smell is likely to return not long after turning the ionizer off.

Use Odor-Eliminating Air Fresheners

Air fresheners are a great way of removing an unpleasant mothball smell from the home. They come in some of the following forms:

  • Sprays 
  • Plug-ins
  • Incense sticks

Some air fresheners come with an adhesive back. This is so that they can be conveniently left in a problem area and activated when needed. Others spray on a timer so that you don’t even have to think about them.

Take a look at some of the pros and cons that come with using an air freshener:

Pros Cons
  • Air fresheners will help to better your air quality in an instant.
  • Unlike with natural remedies, air fresheners help you to fill the air with a fragrance that you’ll love.
  • Air fresheners that work to cut odors instead of simply masking them are quite expensive.
  • Air fresheners may not be the best solution for those with allergies. 

Will the Smell of Mothballs Go Away on Its Own?

Have you been grinning and bearing the smell of mothballs for a little while now? Perhaps you’re hesitant to spray your house with the chemicals in air fresheners. Or maybe you’re a little wary of balancing bowls of vinegar around a home with small children about. 

If you’ve decided you’re going to turn a blind eye (or should I say nose) to the mothball smell, there’s no doubt one thing on your mind. Just how long will you have to put up with the smell? 

The answer to that question all depends on how long it’s been since you had the last mothball in your home. It will take between 3 and 6 months for a mothball to dissipate when left in the open air. But, if your mothball is tucked away in a corner somewhere it will take longer. It could take up to a year for it to dissipate. 

But what about the smell? The smell of a mothball can linger in the house months or even years after dissipating. And those with the most sensitive noses say that the smell never goes away. 

Don’t think you can handle the smell of mothballs long-term? Then take a look at some of the tips mentioned in this article to remove the smell.


That musky, damp mothball smell can be really annoying and unpleasant. I hope that this article has provided you with some suggestions that will help you to remove the smell from your home. 

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Thanks for reading, and have a great day!