Poor Oral Hygiene As these bacteria digest the food that they’re thriving on, they can often produce volatile sulfur compounds that smell like mothballs.

Why am I smelling moth balls?

Conditions that generate excess mucus in the nasal cavities may cause you to breathe through your mouth, making it dryer than normal. For that reason, having dry mouth can intensify mothball breath. Many conditions and medications also cause dry mouth.

What else can smell like moth balls?


Naphthalene is either a white solid or a liquid with a strong odor like mothballs. It’s used to make dyes, explosives, plastics, lubricants, and is found naturally in crude oil. It is also found in coal tar wastes at former manufactured gas plants.

Why does everything smell like moth balls?

People with sinus problems often emit a scent reminiscent of mothballs. This is because the mucus formed when you have a stuffy nose or congested throat contains very dense proteins.

What bacteria smells like moth balls?

Some bacteria in your mouth can feed on proteins that are found in mucus. These bacteria produce a chemical called skatole. Skatole is not one of the major contributors of bad breath, but can add to it, and the smell can resemble that of mothballs.

Is mothball smell harmful?

Moth balls contain a toxic chemical, either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Both become a gas when exposed to air and cause that pungent moth ball smell. These gases are irritating to the eyes and lungs and may cause headache, dizziness and nausea. They are both suspected of causing cancer.

Can mold smell like moth balls?

If you smell an odor of stale, old moth balls or mildew, chances are that you have mold living somewhere in your building.

Why does my bathroom smell like moth balls?

NOT SO GOOD. It may not be a household name, but 1,4-dichlorobenzene is a common household smell. It is the whiff of mothballs, the aroma masking a damp basement, the essence of an under-ventilated bathroom.

How do you treat skatole?

When you have chronic sinus issues, the bacteria in your mouth can convert the proteins in mucus into a stinky compound called skatole. Taking allergy medication or (if your doctor determines you have a bacterial infection) starting antibiotics should help.

What happens if we smell naphthalene balls?

Inhalation of naphthalene may cause skin and eye irritation; gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea; neurologic symptoms, such as confusion, excitement, and convulsions; renal problems, such as acute renal shutdown; and hematologic features, such as icterus and severe anemia

How long do moth balls smell?

about 3-6 months

Mothball odor is a terrible smell to have clinging to your clothing. And we have some shocking news for you: a single mothball takes about 3-6 months to dissipate completely. If you put the mothball under fabric or someplace where there is no air circulation, it takes about 12 months to dissipate!

How do you get mothball smell out of your chest?

Make a mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol and vinegar OR lemon juice. Dampen a cloth and rub the inside of the chest. Lemon or vinegar might help counteract the mothball odor. It’s very important to keep the lid open until the chest dries and even leave it open for several days.

How do you get rid of Hope chest smell?

Vacuum inside the chest, and wipe the inside and outside with a lint-free dust cloth. Air the chest out, ideally outdoors, on a non-humid day. A screened porch is perfect, as it helps keep the chest as clean as possible. The fresh air and daylight will help banish musty odor.

Can moth balls make you sick?

Some of the chemicals in mothballs can cause reversible health effects that include headaches, nausea, eye and nose irritation and coughing. Exposure to naphthalene can cause more serious effects, including hemolytic anemia.

Are mothballs toxic to breathe?

Exposure to these chemicals can be harmful whether you breathe in the vapors or touch them directly with the skin. They are also harmful if ingested, which typically happens accidentally. For example, if you fail to wash your hands after touching a mothball and then handle food.

What kind of animals do mothballs keep away?

Mothballs sometimes are used illegally to repel pests not listed on labels. Some of these “off-label pests” include: squirrels, skunks, deer, mice, rats, and snakes, among others animals.

Do moth balls keep mice away?

Do mothballs keep mice away? Mothballs repelling mice and rats is a common misconception. Mothballs contain a small amount of naphthalene and can be a deterrent in large quantities, however, they aren’t powerful enough to get rid of mice and rodents.