Mothball smells are one of the most challenging odors to remove from clothing, and require special treatment and precautions in doing so. The chemical odors left from items are impossible to ignore and require attention before being considered for use.
There are a set of steps that can be followed to ensure that the chemical stench is removed and is not transfered to any other clothing or appliances in the process. The following solutions will make sure that your mothball infused clothing area freshened to make the characteristic odor a thing of the past.
One of the most important things that you can consider before taking action to freshen your mothball affected clothing is that the smell can easily transfer to anything that it comes into contact with. Often, the clothing affected by mothballs are old and of little importance. for this reason, you do not want to wash this clothing with new and expensive clothing in which the smell can easily rub off on.
While the mothball smell is still at its height, you will want to make sure not to place the clothes within your washer or dryer. The smell of many mothball affected clothing is so intense and sticky that it can be transfer to these machines and present a entirely new problem centered around getting the smell out of a clothing appliance. In addition to smelly appliances, you will also need to worry about then spreading the odor to any clothing that should subsequentially pass through the machines.
Your first action should be to fill a large bucket with a solution of enzyme cleaner and water in equal part. A gallon of this solution is available at pet stores and large supermarkets. Place the mothball clothing within the bucket to soak. The active enzymes in the solution will go to work in literally eating through the chemical residues causing the odors. After 24-48 hours soaking within the bucket the clothing can be removed and hanged within the sun.
Hanging within the sun is important for multiple reasons. Not only does it provide a safe location away from the dryer to dry the clothing, but it also carries its own deodorizing properties. The fresh air, open space and ultraviolet ray will all work to neutralize the chemical stench and carry it away. Once the clothing has dried, you will need to do an important smell test of the clothing. You will be ready to move on to the next step if after taking a good smell whift of the clothing you notice a sizable freshening effect.
As an additional step before running a detergent wash through the washing machine is to soak the mothball affected clothing within a new bucket of white vinegar solution. This household acid also works well at cutting through the chemical odor that mothballs place within clothing. Mix a solution of one part white vinegar with eight parts warm water and allow the clothing to soak for a minimum of one hour before placing within a detergent wash cycle.
Baking soda has a power absorbent ability to remove odors from smelly clothing and can add a boost to any washing machine cycle. Measure a cup of baking soda to add within the wash cycle along with the affected clothing and normal amount of detergent. Upon completion, hang the clothing outside within the sun one final time to remove any remaining smells from the clothing fiber.
If you are in need of deodorizing a huge amount of clothing that has been affected by mothballs, you want want to consider buying or renting a ozone machine. These devices start have the starting price of $200.00 and can go as high as $1000.00, so you will want to make sure that it is really work the investment. Though they can be dangerous and down right deadly if improperly used, they remain effective at eliminating odors within short periods of time. The machine effectively works by removing the air surrounding the clothing fiber and neutralizing the odorous residues within the fabric.
Moth balls work by producing a gas (napthalene). Hanging clothes outside, or
in a breezy area, does a lot to get rid of the smell.