7 Ways to Eliminate Mothball Smell from Your Home

Mothballs are a great way to protect clothing and other fabrics from damaging insects. 

Unfortunately, the smell of mothballs is not pleasant. After extended use, they can leave your home smelling like chemicals. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to eliminate the smell with minimal effort and cost. 

As little as one or two mothballs at a time won't do much damage to an average-sized home. But if you have enough stored in one space – especially an enclosed one – the results will be noticeable for quite some time after their removal.

In most cases, these smells are temporary and will disappear over time. However, if it persists for too long, it could permanently alter the scent of your home. 

Fortunately, some simple solutions can help get rid of that pungent odor quickly and easily...

1. Air Ventilation

People often try eliminating mothball smells by plugging in air fresheners, candles, or sprays. While this will temporarily cover up the odor, it doesn't get rid of it. 

The best and easiest way to get rid of mothball smells through ventilation. Simply opening windows and doors and letting the airflow through the area quickly eliminate any scent. 

In most cases, this process will be completed within a few hours.

If you want to be extra cautious, you can leave the windows and doors open while you're away during the day. 

2. Dry Coffee Grounds

The smell of coffee beans is an excellent alternative to mothballs. 

While it won't protect your fabrics from insects, it will make your home smell better. But even better than that, it won't leave behind an intense aroma after being removed from your closets. 

Using coffee grounds to repel moths is a practice that dates back to the early 20th century. At the time, many people purchased and used them as natural moth repellents. You can use coffee grounds for the same purpose in your home. 

Simply place them in a container and place them where you're storing your fabrics. It doesn't take very many grounds to do the trick. You can also use coffee grounds to repel other unwelcome pests. 

Simply sprinkle them around the outside of your home to keep mosquitoes away.

3. Lemon and Coffee Bean Mix

This excellent alternative combines two of the best ways to get rid of mothball smells. It's made by combining fresh coffee grounds and fresh lemon peels. 

Both of these items are great at repelling moths while leaving a pleasant scent behind. 

However, they don't last as long as mothballs do. You'll need to replace the mixture every 3 or 4 months. 

To make the lemon and coffee bean mixture, use a blender to mix 1/2 cup of coffee grounds and 1/2 cup of lemon peels. You can put the mixture in an airtight container to make it easier to store. Simply place it in the area where you're storing your fabrics.

4. Change the Location

If you have a specific area where you're storing your mothballs, you can often get rid of the smells by simply changing their location. This is particularly true if you're using a closet or a cabinet. 

Simply move the mothballs out of a closed-in area and into an open one. If you're using a cardboard box, simply move them out of the box and onto a table. This will allow the smells to escape and make them much easier to deal with. 

You may need to leave the area open for a few days. This will give the smells time to escape and be distributed throughout your home.

5. Open the Windows and Doors

Mothball smells can travel through your home, especially if you use many of them. If this is the case, opening the windows and doors in your home may be helpful. This will allow the smells to escape. 

The best way to do this is to close off your HVAC system. This will cause the smells to disperse throughout the entire home. 

You can open the windows and doors for a few days. This will give the smells enough time to escape and close them again. 

This will keep the smells from entering your home while allowing them to exit.

6. Dry Out the Areas Where You've Stored Them

While most people store mothballs in a closed area, this is actually the worst thing you can do. The best place to store them is in an open place, preferably outside. This will allow the moisture to escape. 

You can leave them outside for a few days. This will allow the area around them to dry out.

After a few days, bring them back inside and store them in a dry area. This will help them last longer and will reduce the amount of chemicals that are released into the air.

7. Febreze and other sprays

Sprays are excellent at getting rid of mothball smells. They also don't require any effort. Simply spray a few sprinkles around your home. This will cover up the odors and make it easier to enjoy your home again. 

However, they're not as effective as ventilation or changing the location of your mothballs. They'll work best in combination with one of the other methods. 

One of the best sprays to use is Febreze. It has a unique scent similar to the smell of coffee. This will help cover up the mothballs' chemical smell while also giving your home a pleasant aroma.


Mothballs are great for getting rid of pests or odors. 

Unfortunately, they also have a very strong smell. When you have too many in one area, it can make your home smell like chemicals. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of mothball odors.

 Air ventilation is the best and easiest way to get rid of smells. It's also helpful to change the location of your mothballs or to open the windows and doors.

 Sprays are another option if you want to get rid of the smell more quickly.

Call our team to get a free estimate.

A weekly house cleaning service is the perfect way to spend quality time with your loved ones without having to worry about getting everything done around the house.

You spend so much time providing — let us take care of the cleaning.We'll come in every week (or every other week) and refresh everything just the way you like it. After just the first couple of regular cleans, we'll learn things about you that you wouldn't even know to let us know about