Another mothball question

Just saw the “mothballs in the mailbox” thread and it reminded me I have a mothball question of my own.

What’s the best way to get rid of the mothball smell?

I have a piece of furniture, a console (like a small bookcase with doors), whose previous owner stored many boxes of mothballs in it for years. I’ve had it for going on 10 years now and it still smells of mothballs.

I’ve tried a volcanic-rock odor absorber thing I got at Home Depot a while back, to no avail.


You might get some ideas here…

Do you have a hot place, the hotter the better, such as a garage or shed that you can store it in for several weeks ? Mothballs are usually made of napthalene and/or paradichlorbenzene. Both of these compounds have a pretty high vapor pressure even at room temperature; so if you keep the piece of furniture warm and well ventilated the residue should sublime off in relatively short order.

Thanks to both. Once the weather warms (back) up, I might be able to put it in the attic or on the back porch.

I forgot to mention that you should leave the doors of the cabinet open to speed the diffusion of the chemicals into the air.

The mothball smell has probably diffused into the paint and wood of the console; the odor may take quite a while to dissipate. It might be better to try to mask it with another scent.