Few things can compare to the cozy joy and familiar comfort of taking your favorite wool blanket out of storage when the weather turns cold. However, that joy can quickly turn into disappointment if the blanket smells strongly of mothballs.

If you have ever stored clothing and other textiles with mothballs to protect them from moths as well as other insects and pests, you are probably familiar with the pungent, strongly medicinal, and highly unpleasant odor that lingers long after the mothballs have been removed.

But don’t despair. There are several effective ways to get the smell of mothballs from your wool blanket, and I’m here to share them with you.

Here’s How To Get Mothball Smell Out Of A Wool Blanket

First, hang your wool blanket in a well-ventilated area to air out the mothball smell. If possible, expose the wool cloth to direct sunlight, as this will help break down the many organic volatile compounds left behind by the mothballs.

You should also sprinkle the blanket with baking soda, letting it sit for at least a couple of hours before vacuuming it up to absorb some of the pungent mothball odor.

Finally, you can wash the wool blanket in a vinegar wash, to help you neutralize the highly medicinal smell.

Pro-Tip: Place a few dryer sheets on top of your wool blanket, then leave them overnight to get an extra bout of deodorizing.

Mothballs Stink

Step-by-Step Guide To Getting Mothball Smell Out Of Wool Blankets

  1. Air it out
  2. Give plenty of direct sunlight
  3. Sprinkle with baking soda
  4. Wash in white Vinegar
  5. BonusTip: Dryer sheets

Air Out Your Wool Blanket

To get the particularly stubborn smell of mothballs out of your wool blanket, start by airing it out. You can do this by hanging your wool blanket in a well-ventilated open area to ensure that fresh air circulates around the cloth. This will help to disperse the pungent mothball odor by carrying away any lingering mothball VOCs.

Give Your Wool Blanket Sunlight

The next thing you should do is give your blanket direct sunlight. Do this by hanging your blanket outside under the sun. You can do this at the same time as step number 1 as long as the weather permits it. Hang the wool blanket for at least a few hours, or until the mothball odor is no longer noticeable.

Treat Your wool Blanket With Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most common and most effective household deodorizers available. As such, if you are looking to quickly get the mothball smell out of a wool blanket, simply sprinkle the textile with plenty of baking soda and let it lay for a few hours before vacuuming it off. This will allow the white powder enough time to absorb as many odor-causing molecules as possible.

Wash Your Wool Blanket With White Vinegar

Another highly effective method that can help you get the mothball scent out of textiles like your favorite wool blanket is to use white vinegar. To do this, fill a wash basin or sink with enough clean water to fully cover your blanket, then add one cup of white vinegar.

Allow your blanket to soak in this vinegary wash for two to three hours, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. At this point, I recommend you give your wool blanket a regular wash with traditional detergent to remove any traces of vinegar.

Bonus Tip: Dryer sheets are one of the best-kept secrets in the world of deodorizing. These thin, fabric-like sheets are used in clothes dryers to reduce static cling and make clothes feel softer. However, an added benefit that dryer sheets provide is that they make your clothes smell better. So place a few dryer sheets on your wool blanket to absorb any remaining mothball smell.

Pile of fresh smelling wool blankets

Saying Goodbye To The Smell Of Mothballs

Mothball smell can be very persistent and somewhat difficult to remove, especially from thicker textiles such as wool blankets. This is important to remember because you may not be able to successfully remove the smell of mothballs on your first attempt.

It may take some time and effort to do so. With persistence and the tips above, you should be able to get rid of the smell.