Why Does My House Suddenly Smell Like Mothballs?

What else could smell like mothballs?

Your house suddenly smells like mothballs, and you are wondering why this is happening. You open the windows and doors to get rid of any smell that might be coming from your walls or ceilings but only in so much as it will help with the actual problem at hand.

The first thing you will notice is that the smell in your house suddenly becomes stronger, and it’s not a pleasant one. It can be quite strong for some people and with others it just seems to disappear when they walk into the room. This article helps you find out what’s causing your home to smell like moth balls and how to get rid of it.

Why Does My House Suddenly Smell Like Mothballs?

Mothballs are used to deodorize rooms or closets, but the ingredients can get into the air and affect people.

Although the smell of mothballs may be unpleasant, it can help protect your belongings from pests. The stench in the house may be coming from furniture that was left by the previous owners, but some of the smell may have been triggered by moth balls that were used on the walls and floor.

The pungent odor from mothballs is best removed by using charcoal or vinegar. Some people recommend baking soda as a household odor remover. Cedar chips or balls can absorb other odors. Zeolite absorbs different smells and helps prevent them from permeating wood and furniture. Mop floors and use air fresheners to help remove mothball scent from your home

What causes a house to smell like mothballs?


Mothballs are toxic fumigants that volatilize into the air. Most mothballs come in either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene form, and both of these chemicals are toxic fumigants that cause an odor. Traditional mothballs contain hazardous chemicals, which can result in health problems for those in the house.

Alternative options to traditional mothballs still contain toxins that are harmful to indoor air quality and human health. Camphor mothballs are newly-used in place of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Camphor mothballs have risks which house smells like mothballs produced into the indoor environment.

Lingering naphthalene odor

If you’ve ever noticed a lingering naphthalene odor in your home, it’s likely that you’ve used mothballs at some point. Mothballs are made from the chemical naphthalene, which is a primary skin irritant. In high doses, naphthalene can be lethal to adults and children.

The moths that make their home in your mattress and clothes are the culprits for the smell. Fortunately, there are ways to dispel the mothball odor. Activated charcoal can be used to absorb the smell, and Nok-Out is a recommended product which can be bought on Amazon. Nok-Out is a mothball substitute that doesn’t contain any of the harmful chemicals found in traditional mothballs.

Tobacco Smoke

Third-hand smoke is the residue from tobacco smoke that clings to walls, furniture, dust, and other surfaces long after a cigarette has been extinguished. It can stay for years after a smoker has left the premises.

There are a few different reasons for the smell of smoke in your home – including electrical wiring and fire. The burning smell may be coming from your outlets, but you can’t tell if it is because of the electrical sparks. If the smell is unexplained, check for a possible leak or to see if there is mold near the area where the smell originates from.

What does it mean when you smell mothballs?

When you smell mothballs, it can mean a few different things. One possibility is that you have a severe liver problem, usually due to diabetes or high blood sugar. Another possibility is that you may have diabetes and belly fat, which is often an indication of heart failure. In some cases, people who haven’t yet been diagnosed with diabetes may experience these symptoms.

Naphthalene is the chemical in mothballs that causes the smell. It’s also what makes them poisonous if ingested. Naphthalene can cause skin and eye irritation, gastrointestinal symptoms, neurologic problems, respiratory problems and kidney issues.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone who smells mothballs will experience these negative side effects. It could simply mean that a burner valve is slightly open or pilot light is out. If you’re ever worried about the smell of gas in your home, the best thing to do is leave immediately and call the gas company.

Is it Safe to Have Mothballs in the House?

Mothballs are a common way to get rid of moths, but they’re not without risks. All mothball products contain the pesticide naphthalene, which can be toxic to humans and animals. When mothballs turn from a solid to a gas, they release toxic fumes into the air that can cause health problems like headaches, nausea, and eye and nose irritation. In extreme cases, naphthalene exposure can even lead to hemolytic anaemia.

So is it safe to have mothballs in the house? No, mothballs should never be left open and accessible to children or pets. If you need to use them, store them in a sealed container instead. And remember that there are other ways to get rid of moths without using dangerous pesticides!

How to Get Rid of Mothball Smell in House

Locate and Remove Mothballs from your home

Mothballs are a common way to keep pests away from clothes and other items, but they often release an unpleasant smell that can last for months or even years. If you’ve just moved into a home where mothballs have been used, or if you’ve recently discovered them in your basement or attic, the following tips can help you get rid of the smell:

Remove the offending item from the room, but do not replace it.

If you smell a musty odor in your clothing, try washing them with washable fabric softener sheets or some other type of mild detergent rather than bleach-based products.

Removing the mothballs can be difficult. One method is to pour vinegar over them and then cover them with a plastic bag overnight. The vinegar smell will dominate locally, but that can be remedied with opening windows. Febreze cannot remove these smells completely, and will only mask them temporarily.

The best way to remove mothball odors is to use a dehumidifier in your basement, which will remove any moisture that has collected in the walls and flooring over time due to the mothballs being stored there for years without being removed (and possibly not ever).

This tip is for bad odors in rooms or houses. If you only have a few mothballs, the vinegar method may work for you. However, if there are dozens or hundreds of mothballs involved, it would be better to call a professional to help with the removal.

Deep Clean your house

It’s finally time to get down and dirty with a good, deep clean of your house! Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. De-stink your garbage disposal by pouring in a cup of baking soda followed by a quart of vinegar. Let it sit for half an hour before flushing with hot water.

2. Tackle the bathroom – Deep clean Week 10 is the perfect time to scrub down the tub, shower, and toilet.

3. Give all of your furniture and surfaces a good scrub – use Murphy Oil Soap for tough stains or grease buildup.

4. Vacuum every nook and cranny, including under the beds and behind furniture.

5. Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, and blinds/curtains.

Put out a bowl of cedar chips or activated charcoal in tight spaces in your house

The cedar chips or activated charcoal will absorb any fumes, so you can enjoy your home again.

Ensure Proper Ventilation of Your House

Air quality is a major issue in the home. Mothball odor can linger for days if not treated correctly. One of the most common causes of this problem is improper ventilation. Ensure to ventilate the home by opening windows and doors for at least 20 minutes after clothing or household goods have been brought inside. If you are unable to ventilate your home, deodorizers may be used to help eliminate the mothball smell.

Use Hamilton Beach Room Odor Eliminator

If you’re looking for a way to get rid of the mothball smell in your house, the Hamilton Beach Room Odor Eliminator might be the perfect solution for you. The device comes in three different styles, so it can fit any needs you have. It’s also small at just 8 inches, and the fan is surprisingly quiet.

But what makes this product really great is that it uses charcoal to remove odors and smells. Charcoal has a large surface area which absorbs moisture, making it a great way to get rid of musty smells. And if that’s not enough, there are also air purifying bags available that work by neutralizing odors instead of masking them. For a natural deodorizer that works well in homes, bamboo charcoal is hard to beat.


Why Your Breath Smells Like Mothballs

When you eat foods that are high in tryptophan – like turkey, red meat, and cheeses – the amino acid can lodge between your teeth and under your gums. This produces a molecule called skatole, which smells really bad. A 2018 study found that it is specifically tied to mothball breath

Can mold smell like mothballs?

If you smell an odor of stale, old moth balls or mildew, chances are that you have mold living somewhere in your building. The smell is often caused by the mold spores and if you can smell it, there’s a good chance that you can see it too. Chances are if you have mold, it’s because of the moisture and darkness found in your building – both perfect conditions for mold to grow.

Is mothball smell harmful?

Mothballs contain a variety of different chemicals, including paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene. These toxic chemicals can cause a number of harmful effects when inhaled or ingested, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even death in some cases. For this reason, it is important to take precautions when dealing with mothballs and to make sure that they are stored safely away from both people and pets.

What else could smell like mothballs?

Naphthalene is a white solid or liquid that has a pungent, mothball-like smell. It is used in various products such as dyes, explosives, plastics and lubricants. It can also be found naturally in crude oil and coal tars.

How long does it take for the mothball smell to go away?

Mothball odor takes time to dissipate because the active ingredient in mothballs, naphthalene, is a solid that slowly vaporizes. It can take 3-6 months for the smell to completely dissipate, but it may linger for up to 12 months in some cases.

Additionally, the speed at which the odor dissipates depends on how many mothballs are used and how close they are to people or objects. One mothball per day is generally enough for clothing storage, and multiple balls dispersed throughout an attic will take longer to disappear.

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