How to Remove the Smell of Mothballs From Leather Clothing

April Ort

Leather is an attractive and durable fabric that is used to manufacture many items, including clothing. Although there are many benefits to this wonderful organic material, draw backs include the challenges of cleaning and eliminating odors.

Remove mothball smell and other unpleasant odors with a few simple ingredients.

Moisture can damage the appearance of leather and, therefore, you must use it minimally in your efforts to remove smells such as those from mothballs. By incorporating specific cleaning techniques with the proper odor reducing agents, you can successfully remove the smell of mothballs from leather clothing.

  1. Dampen a clean sponge with a solution of one part white vinegar to three parts water. Thoroughly wring out the sponge.

  2. Test a small inconspicuous portion of the leather garment with the damp sponge. Allow the area to dry and check for any damage. If no damage is present, proceed to the next step. If the results are not desirable, then skip the next step and proceed with Step 5.

  3. Lightly wipe the leather clothing with the damp sponge so that the vinegar has an opportunity to neutralize the mothball odor.

  4. Hang your leather clothing outdoors or in an open garage, but make sure that there is a tarp or some covering to protect the clothes in case of rain. Airing out the leather is the safest and most effective way of eliminating mothball odor.

  5. Leave the clothes to air out for two to three days.

  6. Gently wipe down with a good quality leather conditioner. This should sufficiently remove any remaining odor as well as protect your leather from future stains or odors.

  7. Warning

    Be careful in your application of vinegar on the leather as moisture can cause it to harden. Apply very sparingly with a completely wrung-out sponge.