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How to Remove Mothball Odor


Do you have mothball odor in your shed or garage?

For years, people have used mothballs to keep critters such as insects and rodents out of homes and sheds. Well, if you’ve ever used mothballs, you know that they leave an odor behind long after they’ve been removed. Fortunately, there are some ways to get rid of that awful odor. Check out these ideas.

White Vinegar

One idea is to place a bowl of white vinegar in an area where there’s mothball odor. Many people like to use white vinegar because it is a natural, inexpensive solution. It works especially well in enclosed spaces. For instance, if you have a drawer in an old wardrobe that smells like mothballs, try putting a bowl of white vinegar inside it and closing the drawer. In a few days, open the drawer to see if the odor is still there. I like using natural materials for cleaning jobs and odor removal; don’t you?

Charcoal Briquettes

Do you have a grill? If the answer is yes, you probably have a bag of charcoal briquettes. Put five to ten briquettes on a plate to absorb the mothball odors in your home or shed. Or you can dump them into a small mesh bag and hang it in a stinky closet or pantry. This is a popular method of odor removal because charcoal briquettes are relatively inexpensive. Be sure to use plain charcoal briquettes as opposed to the kind that have lighter fluid in them.

Improve Air Circulation

Sometimes, a little extra air circulation is all you need to clear the odor of mothballs out of a home or shed. For example, if you have mothball odor in your shed, open the door of the structure as well as any windows. Then, set up a portable fan so it circulates the air, moving the odor outside.

Sanding and Sealing

Sometimes, particles from mothballs settle into the cracks and joints of furniture made of wood. This can cause a lingering odor. You can remove the odor from a piece of wooden furniture by sanding it. Sand the furniture outside, and wear goggles as well as a mask to protect yourself from flying particles. After sanding the furniture, apply a sealant to prevent more mothball particles from getting down into the grain of the wood.


Zeolite is an odor-remover found in cat litter. It’s available in rock or crystal form and can be used to get rid of mothball odor. If you have a piece of furniture that smells like mothballs, move it into an enclosed area like a garage. Next, take a mesh bag of zeolite or a bowl of zeolite rocks and place it on the piece of furniture. Leave the piece of furniture in the enclosed space for a few days to give the zeolite a chance to work.

Lavender Sachets

Putting sachets of lavender in a shed or closet at home can help to absorb the odor of mothballs. Plus, it leaves behind the pleasant fragrance of lavender. Alternatively, you could apply a small amount of lavender oil to a wooden shelf inside a closet or shed to get rid of mothball odor.

Try a few of these ideas and let me know how they work for you. Thanks for reading! – Alan

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