Forget mothballs– using an alternative to naphthalene balls is the new ‘in’ thing. Sure, mothballs do what they’re tasked to and keep bugs away from your precious winter wear. However, it smells awful and stains your clothing with a scent that no amount of perfume can mask. It’s also toxic and unsafe to have in homes with children, pets and overly-curious adults.  Pick an alternative to naphthalene balls from this list to keep your clothing protected without the chemicals!

Alternative to Naphthalene Balls #1: Soak Cotton Balls in Lavender Essential Oil

Alternative to Naphthalene Balls-Lavender oil
Cotton balls soaked in lavender essential oil keep insects at bay

This old-time homemaker’s trick remains a great alternative to naphthalene balls. Consider soaking cotton balls in lavender-scented essential oil and placing them in corners of your closet and drawers. Not only does the oil repel moths and other insects, but it also leaves your clothes smelling pleasant without applying anything on them directly.

Alternative to Naphthalene Balls #2: Place Spices in Sachets

Alternative to Naphthalene Balls-spice sachets
Spices from your kitchen can save the day too

Spices such as dried rosemary, cloves and cinnamon drive away moths but smell amazing to humans. You could choose just one spice or combine a few in cotton sachets to create a stronger scent. Hang these up in your cupboard to repel moths and bugs. Consider changing the spices once every six months as the smell might wear off due to continuous exposure.

Alternative to Naphthalene Balls #3: Use Herbs as Repellants

Alternative to Naphthalene Balls-herbs
Dried herbs work just as well

Just like spices, herbs such as thyme, mint and spearmint are also effective in repelling moths and bugs without releasing harmful chemicals and staining your clothes. You could place dried-out herbs in sachets to both prevent a moth infestation and reduce an existing one. These sachets will have to be switched out a lot more regularly than spices, especially if they get mushy and lose their smell.

Alternative to Naphthalene Balls #4: Arrange Red Cedar Shavings in the Corners

Cedar closets keep insects away. If you don’t have one, use cedar shavings!

Red cedar shavings have long been hailed as an alternative to naphthalene balls. Traditional cedar closets do the work for you but, if you don’t have that, don’t fret. Source some red cedar shavings and place them in corners of your drawers and closets. If you find that the shavings are losing their scent (which is what drives away the moths), consider rubbing the pieces with some cedarwood oil. This DIY repellant also works on other insects– but its best to make sure that you or your family members aren’t allergic to this alternative.

Pro Tip: You could extend these tricks to the rest of your house– they work through every season. Natural fragrances are head and shoulders above artificially-scented sprays and candles because they’re safer and less heady. You could place the herbs or spices in sachets or create a potpourri out of them so they pull double duty as decor. 

You don’t need to put away seasonal clothes only to have them reeking of mothballs anymore. By choosing an alternative from this list, you’ll have clothing that is sweet-smelling and free of damage, too!

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