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How to get rid of mothball smell in fabrics?

How to get rid of mothball smell in fabrics?

Old 02-07-2012, 10:03 AM
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Default How to get rid of mothball smell in fabrics?

I need some suggestions for getting mothball smell out of some fabrics.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:07 AM
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I washed it and then hung it out to dry in the sun.. it wasn't totally gone but it is a WHOLE lot LESS strong.. I then added to my other fabrics and I can't smell it at all when I open the drawers.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:08 AM
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Hi Bear!!


what have you tried so far? Can you air them out?
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:25 AM
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Wash/rinse with yellow cider or white vinegar. If it'll get rid of cat pee it'll get rid of anything.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:28 AM
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Thanks -was wondering if vinegar and/or baking soda would do the trick.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:37 AM
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If you actually get the smell out totally will you pm me and let me know what worked for you? My mil uses more mothballs in her home than anyone I have ever known. Everything that comes through her home reeks of mothballs. Even cookies. My kids wouldn't wear any clothing she gave them, even new, as it always smelled of moth balls. PS. we have allergies and a few family members can pick up even a faint whiff of smells. Over the years I have tried almost every idea I ever read. A few years ago she gave me a few tablecoths to be embroidered. I would love to do them and display them in our home but I can't get the mothball smell out of the tablecloths. Help....

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:40 PM
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Does your mom not know how incredibly dangerous these can be?

From the National Pesticide Information Center: [email protected]
"Mothballs are nearly 100% active ingredient, and the active ingredient may be either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Each active ingredient can cause different health effects if the exposure is high enough. Mothballs slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor. When you smell mothballs, you are inhaling the insecticide."

Acute Effects: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/naphthal.html
  • Acute exposure of humans to naphthalene by inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact is associated with hemolytic anemia, damage to the liver, and, in infants, neurological damage. Symptoms of acute exposure include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise, confusion, anemia, jaundice, convulsions, and coma.
  • Cataracts have been reported in humans acutely exposed to naphthalene by inhalation and ingestion.
Chronic Effects (Noncancer):
  • Chronic exposure of workers to naphthalene has been reported to cause cataracts and retinal hemorrhage.
  • Chronic inflammation of the lung, chronic nasal inflammation, hyperplasia of the respiratory epithelium in the nose, and metaplasia of the olfactory epithelium were reported in mice chronically exposed to naphthalene via inhalation.
  • EPA has calculated a Reference Concentration (RfC) of 0.003 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m[SUP]3[/SUP]) for naphthalene based on nasal effects in mice. The RfC is an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a continuous inhalation exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without appreciable risk of deleterious noncancer effects during a lifetime. It is not a direct estimator of risk but rather a reference point to gauge the potential effects. At exposures increasingly greater than the RfC, the potential for adverse health effects increases. Lifetime exposure above the RfC does not imply that an adverse health effect would necessarily occur.
  • EPA has medium confidence in the RfC based on: 1) medium confidence in the principal study because adequate numbers of animals were used, severity of nasal effects increased at higher exposure concentrations, high mortality, and hematological evaluation not conducted beyond 14 days; and 2) low to medium confidence in the database because there are no chronic or subchronic inhalation studies in other animal species and there are no reproductive or developmental inhalation studies.
  • The Reference Dose (RfD) for naphthalene is 0.02 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg/d) based on decreased body weight in male rats.
  • EPA has low confidence in the RfD based on: 1) high confidence in the principal study because adequate numbers of animals were included and experimental protocols were adequately designed, conducted, and reported; and 2) low confidence in the database because of the lack of adequate chronic oral data, dose-response data for hemolytic anemia, and two-generation reproductive toxicological studies.
Reproductive/Developmental Effects:
  • Hemolytic anemia has been reported in infants born to mothers who "sniffed" and ingested naphthalene (as mothballs) during pregnancy. The mothers themselves were anemic, but to a lesser extent than the infants.
Cancer Risk:
  • Workers occupationally exposed to vapors of naphthalene and coal tar developed laryngeal carcinomas or neoplasms of the pylorus and cecum.
  • PA has classified naphthalene as a Group C, possible human carcinogen.
Jan in VA
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:48 PM
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I did not know you could still purchase moth balls!
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:40 PM
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use vinegar in the rinse water. It will take out the smell.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:45 PM
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Good luck, yuck I can not stand that smell.
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