No, I never have smelled mothballs

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Hello ladies,
Recently I bought a nice tote bag at an airport shop while travelling. As soon as I got it onto the plane, I realized it reeeeeeeeeeeeeeks of mothballs. How does one get rid of this smell; a smell that permeates everything it contacts? I tried Febreeze, I tried leaving it ouside overnight…still stinky. I’ve heard about putting it in the dryer with fabric softener sheets but haven’t tried that yet.

Help! I love this bag but I don’t want to smell like an actual bag lady when I use it.
Malodorous in Maui

remove mothball odor


WinkIvy says:

Napthalene is the primary ingredient in most mothballs. Heat and water is the way to get rid of that smell. So what’s the best way to do that? I have a couple of ideas, one of which I tried with good results.

If the fabric of the bag can take it,  I suggest using a hot iron with full steam on it. I used it on a skirt my grandma gave me that had been stored in a mothbally-closet, and it worked well. First, I sprayed the skirt with Febreeze and then I ironed it with steam. It got the smell right out.

Guide to Household Odors
Click the picture for lots more tips!

My other thought is to toss the bag into a hot dryer with a damp towel and a dryer sheet. I think the damp towel will really help with getting the smell out, as well as the heat. Good luck!

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