Mothball Odor Removal

Mothballs are generally composed of either para-dichlorobenzene (tolerance in air is 75 PPM) or naphthalene (tolerance in air is 10 PPM). The vapor from mothballs as they evaporate is heavier than air, so the vapor sinks down through underlying materials. Mothballs are not water-soluble, so they are resistant to conventional cleaning processes. Mothballs are soluble in alcohol (denatured, ethyl, isopropyl, etc.). Mothball odor problems generally occur when people over apply them.


Base pricing on this job on a time and material basis. Wear appropriate respiratory protection (a respirator with organic vapor pesticide canisters). Rely on engineering controls, ventilation, etc. to lower the respiratory protection levels required. Follow the basic method listed below. Vapors may be desorbed from affected materials by spraying affected areas with denatured alcohol and water solutions. The starting formula for desorbing would be 40% water and 60% denatured alcohol. Be careful because denatured alcohol is highly flammable and poses an inhalation risk.


The following are definite DON'TS in mothball odor removal: 



Basic Method

  1. Remove as much of the dried product as possible.
  2. Ventilate the area.
  3. Add activated carbon to affected areas. This can be placed in containers, which maximize the surface area. It can also be placed into women’s pantyhose or men’s tube socks and hung in HVAC system air handler. Activated carbon filters can be placed in air scrubbers for cleansing the air.
  4. Set up a negative pressure containment. Using a 6-mil poly sheeting and Zipwall poles, build a containment area around the affected area.
  5. Measure the cubic feet of your containment (Length x Width x Ceiling Height) and size the proper-sized air scrubber. You should try to attain 4-6 air exchanges per hour. Figure this out by using the following formula: Cubic Feet x 4, divided by 60 = CFM needed to obtain proper negative pressure. Install the air scrubber either inside or outside the containment. .
  6. If the HEPA air scrubber is inside the containment area, use lay flat ducting to duct the exhaust air outside the containment area. If the air scrubber is outside the containment area, use reinforced flexible ducting to duct the air from the containment area into the intake on your air scrubber .

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  1. Denatured Alcohol (5 GL)

    Denatured Alcohol is a high-powered, fast-drying solvent for thinning epoxies, fiberglass, and other resins. Mainly used for the clean-up of tooling.

    • Fast drying
    • Ideal for thinning epoxies and resins
    • Great for cleaning up tooling
  2. Fresh Wave IAQ Gel

    Airborne odors don't stand a chance with Fresh Wave IAQ gel. This amazing compound works around the clock to provide 24/7 odor elimination. Simply set it out in a room and let ambient airflow do the work for you!

    • Non-toxic, natural odor elimination
    • Powerful gel activated by ambient airflow
    • Effective for persistent odor problems
    • Can be set out in any type of container
    • Ready to use

    Starting at: $5.20

  3. Dri-Eaz DefendAir HEPA 500 Air Scrubber, Red

    Lightweight, compact, and easy to maneuver, this machine adapts quickly to any job. The HEPA 500 filter offers multi-filtration, an optional carbon filter, variable speeds, and a built-in duct ring.

    • CFM: 250-500 (variable speed)
    • 2-stage standard filtration
    • 3rd stage optional filtration
    • 115V, 3 amps
    • Rotomolded housing
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  4. Odorcide 210 Concentrate, Fresh Scent

    Unlike enzymes, Odorcide 210 works fast on the worst urine, organic decay, feces, and mold and mildew odors with no dwell time and no danger to pets or people. Use it on carpets, canvas, clothing, floors, and walls. It's also effective as a laundry soak or rinse, and as a surface spray.

    • Permanently eliminate odors
    • Works fast with no dwell time
    • pH: 6.8
    • Safe for stain-resistant carpet and wool
    • Variable dilutions depending on severity of odor

    Starting at: $11.26

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