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Can You Put Mothballs in Closet? (Quick Answers)

Mothballs certainly do an amazing job in protecting your clothing items from moths which can make you want to use mothballs in your closet to keep moths away from your clothes. 

But since using mothballs comes with many restrictions and safety measures, you may wonder if it would be just fine to put mothballs in the closet or not. 

Therefore, let’s put an end to your wonders here and find out the answers discussed ahead.

Putting Mothballs In Closet

Mothballs should never be put in a closet unless they are being used in airtight garment bags or sealed containers in a closet because using mothballs in a closet actively releases toxic chemicals into the surrounding air. And if the fumes break into the home, it can cause several health issues.

These days both closed closets and open closets are equally popular and being used in our households, so even though it has already been mentioned that you can’t use mothballs in closets, you still may want to know the answer from both aspects. 

Thus, whether or not you can put mothballs in closed closets and open closets has been answered below. 

Open Closet:

Using mothballs in open closets is strictly prohibited by the health departments in every hospital and the manufacturers of mothballs themselves so you can never use or store mothballs in an open closet. 

This is because mothballs are made using concentrations of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene as the main active ingredient that helps to keep fabric pests away. 

And both of the chemicals are highly toxic fumigants, which means evaporative chemicals will turn into fumes at room temperature. 

So, when you will be using mothballs in an open closet, they are going to vaporize and release chemicals actively into the surrounding environment’s air which eventually is going to break into the house. 

Once the fumes are in the house, the odor is going to permeate the entire room, making it hard to remove and you evacuate the home for a few days. 

Moreover, the main concerning issues are that staying in an exposed area with mothballs fumes for a prolonged time can severely deteriorate the health of you or other family members. 

Continuous breathing of mothballs fumes can lead you or others to experience health issues such as dizziness, nausea, breathing problems, and bad headaches. So, you better not consider using mothballs in open closets ever. 

Closed Closets: 

You can not put mothballs in closed closets either, in fact, putting mothballs in closets regardless of an open closet or a closed closet is strictly forbidden unless you use them in airtight bags or sealed containers for keeping clothes. 

You may think that since it’s a closed closet so putting mothballs in it won’t do any potential harm but you are completely wrong because even in a closed closet the mothballs will actively discharge chemicals and upon opening the closet the vapor will spread into your home. 

As a result, your other clothing items, furniture, and floor will smell like mothballs for a long time which will be hard to get rid of. Not only that, your family members or you can undergo from the above-mentioned health issues too.

How Many Mothballs To Use In The Closet?

An exact number of mothballs to use in the closet isn’t described anywhere

People generally read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding mothball usage written on the mothball packets/ containers, and use according to the instructions or sufficient amount to repel moths in the closet. 

If you really want to use mothballs, simply follow the instructions or use an adequate amount of mothballs in your closet keeping the mothballs in airtight garment bags or sealed containers.

How Long Do Mothballs Last In The Closet?

Usually, a single mothball will last about 3-6 months in the closet, and if you put them with clothes in airtight garment bags or sealed containers, they will last up to 12 months at least. 

However, how long mothballs will last in the closet always relies on the room temperature and surrounding environmental conditions. 

Also, know that the odor of mothballs will last really long in the closet even after the mothballs have dissolved. 

How Do You Put Mothballs In A Closet Safely?

Maintaining safety measures while putting your closet is important even if you are using them in airtight garment bags or sealed containers. So, to help you out in putting mothballs safely in your closet below a step-by-step guide is provided. 

Clean The Garment Bags/Sealed Containers: 

Start with cleaning the airtight garment bags or sealed containers that you are going to use to store clothes with mothballs in the closet. You can either use a disinfectant spray or just plain water to clean the garment bags or containers and after cleaning wipe them nicely. 

Also, ensure that there isn’t any lint or other materials in the garment bags or containers. 

Store Clean And Washed Clothes: 

After that, you should store the washed, clean, and dry clothes only in airtight garment bags or containers with mothballs. 

Put Mothballs In The Containers/Garment Bags: 

Now it’s time to put mothballs in sealed containers or garment bags where you have already put clothes. Go through the instructions written on the mothball packet/container to know how much mothballs you will be needing. 

Follow the direction and put sufficient mothballs around or over the clothing items. Putting mothballs in airtight garment bags or sealed containers won’t let the fumes spread in your home, and also the mothballs will work effectively.

Close The Containers/ Zip the Garment Bags: 

After putting the mothballs, seal the container tightly or zip the airtight garment bags. Do double-check and make sure that no air/odor is escaping from the containers/garment bags. 

Store The Containers/Garment Bags In Your Closet:

Lastly, store the containers or garment bags on the highest shelves in your closet.

How To Get Rid Of Closet Moths Effectively?

Finding your favorite clothes eaten by moths is a common problem faced by many people like you. Thus, here some very effective tips to get rid of moths from your closet have been listed, check them out to tackle the closet moth issue effectively. 

Wash All Clothes:

As soon as you’ll find signs of moth infestation, take out all of the clothing items from your closet and wash the salvageable and uninfested ones at 120 F (49 C) which is the warmest cycle on the washing machine for 30 minutes. 

If some clothes aren’t machine washable, dry wash them. 

Hang Clothes Under Sunlight:

Moth eggs can’t survive under scorching sunlight, so always hang washed clothes under sunlight to eliminate any remaining moth eggs. 

Freeze Delicate Items: 

Yes, you’ve read right! Freezing delicate and infested clothing items, purses, and accessories that can’t be dry washed either actually do help in getting rid of moths from the closet as moths can’t survive in freezing cold. 

So you can put such items in airtight plastic bags and put them in your freezer for 2-3 days at 18 F ( -8 C). Then, take them out, defrost, and wash/clean in a regular manner, this should repel moths. 

Vacuum The Closet Thoroughly: 

Vacuuming your closet very thoroughly is the most important tip for you to keep your closet and clothes moth-free. Start off vacuuming the baseboard of your closet, then gradually vacuum every crevice and nook of your closet as moths are likely to hide in such tiny spots. 

Vacuum the dresser drawers too

Deep Clean The Closet: 

You can use either a solution of vinegar and water or an all-purpose cleaning solution to clean the closet. Just soak a cloth in the vinegar-water solution or all-purpose cleaner and wipe the closet shelves, walls, dresser drawers, and every small crevice and nook. 

It will make sure to remove any larvae or moths from the closet. 

Iron Your Clothes And Store Them In Airtight Garment Bags/Sealed Containers: 

Before you restore your clothes, iron every clothes to make sure there are no moths/larvae left as iron heat will eliminate anything. Then store the clothes/ purses/accessories in airtight garment bags or sealed containers and keep them in the closet. 

Use Moth Traps And Lavender Sachets: 

Put pheromone traps in your closet to check if there’re any more infestations or not, and hang lavender sachets in the closet to repel moths. Lavender has insecticidal elements that work effectively in keeping moths away. 

Take Help From Professionals: 

If nothing seems to work, call the pest control professionals and take their help to get rid of moths.

Final Thoughts 

Mothballs can’t be put openly in an open closet or closed closet because they vaporize and release harmful chemicals into the air, and breathing mothball fumes can cause several health issues. So only if mothballs are put in airtight garment bags or sealed containers, they can be used in closets.