Ever Smelled Mothballs?

Dear Home Ec Gurus,
My husband and I have been house hunting lately and tonight we think we have found The One. There’s only one little problem with our dream home: it smells a bit of moth balls. I’m hoping that most of the stench is attached to the current owners’ furniture, but some of the smell has certainly transfered to the walls and floors of the house. So what is a gal to do? I’ve heard about ways to remove the toxic stench of moth balls from clothes, but what about an entire home?
Nervous in North Cackalacky

house smells like mothballs

Heather says:

Nothing says welcome home like the chemical stench of 1, 4-dichlorobenzene.  That’s nerdspeak for the chemical in mothballs.  The good news is ridding your dream home of the smell should be relatively easy.  It may be as simple as placing newspaper and coffee grounds in the closets and shutting the doors overnight; both the paper and grounds readily absorb odors.  This trick may need to be repeated several times.

Guide to Household Odors

Click the picture for lots more tips!

If the first method is ineffective consider sealing the drywall with with a coat of primer such as Zinsser or Kilz followed by the paint of your choice.

Be sure to provide adequate ventilation while painting and until odor has dissipated.  You don’t want to replace one chemical odor with another.

Best of luck!

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



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