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Use Cedar Balls Instead of Mothballs

Updated on October 13, 2010

A Better Alternative

Completely effective and environmentally friendly, cedar balls serve as a preferred alternative to mothballs and other naphthalene-based products.
Completely effective and environmentally friendly, cedar balls serve as a preferred alternative to mothballs and other naphthalene-based products.

Who Likes the Smell of Mothballs?

The season changes. You decide the time has arrived to remove your more appropriate clothing from storage. In accordance with a practice to which you have adhered for as long as you can remember, your garments have been packed away with mothballs for the past few months. As you remove your clothing, the distinctive odor of naphthalene, the active ingredient of mothballs, permeates the air. You realize that this harsh smell now emanates from your retrieved clothing as well as the mothballs. So you vigorously wave each item several times, attempting to fan out as much of this strong odor as you can. Then you hang each piece with plenty of space surrounding it so that the lingering smell will dissipate.

The next morning, you are in a hurry. You have to arrive at work on time. Your stern boss does not tolerate tardiness. Depending upon how the weather has changed, you snatch a sweater or a short-sleeved top from the apparel that you have just removed from storage. In your haste, you have assumed that the smell of naphthalene has sufficiently vacated the garment. You arrive at the office, which is situated into adjoining cubicles.

Suddenly, before you even have a chance to take your seat, a nearby coworker blurts, "I smell mothballs." You realize that this distracting odor originates from your clothing. And, if one person can smell it, others can, too. Thoroughly embarrassed, you wish that you could simply vanish into thin air right then and there.

Manufactured to kill moths, including their eggs and larvae, mothballs and other naphthalene-based products do indeed protect your garments while they are stored in chests, trunks, garment bags and other airtight containers. However, the naphthalene subsequently imbues your clothing with a harsh, chemical odor that is somewhat difficult to remove. Prolonged exposure to air gradually alleviates this stubborn stench. However, as the foregoing scenario illustrates, you may not have the time to wait for this aeration to achieve its full effect. And, despite this alleviation, the complete removal of this lingering odor usually must be obtained through laundering the garment.

Naphthalene is extremely toxic. However, mothballs appealingly resemble pearls or hard candy. Consequently, these shiny, white balls can entice a small child to handle and possibly ingest them. Thus, the use of mothballs in households where young children are present can be hazardous.

Fortunately, a vastly superior alternative exists. For centuries, man has relied upon cedar wood to freshen, protect and preserve stored clothing. Possessing the approximate circumference of a nickel, cedar balls consist of 100% red cedar--a naturally self-renewing, non-endangered wood species. This completely natural product contains no added chemicals whatsoever. Thus, cedar balls are environmentally friendly and absolutely safe to use. These aromatic balls effectively repel moths, mildew and mustiness.

After years of storing my off-season clothes with mothballs, I have recently begun to use cedar balls instead. I can attest to the appeal of this miraculous product. Naturally aromatic cedar balls have effectively protected my stored items from moths, mildew and mustiness. Moreover, unlike mothballs, cedar balls do not imbue my clothing with any lingering, harsh odors. After several months of storage with cedar, my clothes always emerge with a faint, freshly laundered scent. This subtle but pleasant fragrance is ideal, because it ensures that my recently retrieved apparel will never draw the attention of any sensitive noses.

Now I always store my off-season garments with cedar balls instead of mothballs. Moreover, I strongly recommend their use for this purpose over mothballs and other naphthalene-based products.

I have consistently purchased the Wal-Mart store brand Mainstays pack of 24 cedar balls. Nevertheless, since the quality of this product is not likely to vary by brand, you should always search for the lowest price.

As with any product, always follow the instructions that the manufacturer has printed on the package.

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