Naphthalene Balls: 10 Surprising Facts and Practical Uses

July 7, 2023


Naphthalene balls, also known as mothballs, have been a common household item for many years. They are small white balls with a distinctive odour that is often associated with closets and storage spaces.

While most people are familiar with their use in repelling moths and insects, you may need to know several surprising facts and practical uses of naphthalene balls.

This blog post will explore these facts and explore how naphthalene balls can be utilized in your daily life.

Surprising Facts about Naphthalene Balls:

Fact 1: Chemical properties and structure of naphthalene

Naphthalene has a strong, pungent odour and is a white crystalline solid. It has the chemical formula C10H8 and is generated from coal tar. Because of its unique structure, naphthalene can emit a gas that repels moths, insects, and other pests.

Fact 2: Long-lasting odour-repellent capabilities

One of the critical properties of naphthalene balls is their ability to repel insects and pests through their strong odour. These balls slowly release a gas that creates an environment inhospitable for moths, silverfish, booklice, and other unwanted creatures. This long-lasting odour can protect your belongings for extended periods.

Fact 3: Non-toxic nature and safe usage

Contrary to popular belief, naphthalene balls are non-toxic when used as directed. However, handling them with care and avoiding direct contact or ingestion is essential. They should also be kept away from children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

Fact 4: Effectiveness in repelling pests and insects

Naphthalene balls have proven to be highly effective in repelling a wide range of pests and insects. They work by emitting a strong odour that interferes with the insects’ ability to locate and infest clothing, textiles, and other susceptible items. This makes them an ideal choice for protecting your wardrobe and valuable possessions.

Fact 5: Usage as a moth deterrent and clothing preservative

The capacity of naphthalene balls to repel moths and protect garments is one of their most well-known applications. You may easily protect your garments against moth larvae and the harm they cause by placing these balls in your closets, drawers, and storage boxes. Furthermore, by preventing musty odours and mildew, naphthalene balls help preserve the freshness and quality of your clothes.

Practical Uses of Naphthalene Balls:

Use 1: Protection of clothing and textiles from moths and insects

As mentioned earlier, naphthalene balls are commonly used to protect clothing and textiles from moths and other insects. By placing a few balls in your wardrobe, you can create a moth-free zone and ensure that your favourite garments remain intact and free from damage.

Use 2: Preventing musty odours in closets and storage spaces

Naphthalene balls have excellent deodorizing properties that help eliminate musty smells in closets and storage spaces. By placing a few balls in these areas, you can keep them fresh and odour-free, making it a pleasant experience to retrieve your belongings.

Use 3: Safeguarding books and documents from silverfish and booklice

Silverfish and booklice are typical pests that can destroy your valuable books and paperwork. Naphthalene balls can be employed to keep these pests at bay while also protecting your literary treasures. To keep these pests at bay, simply throw a few balls in your bookcases or storage bins.

Use 4: Application in gardening and plant care

Naphthalene balls can also be used to protect plants against pests in the garden. By strategically positioning the balls near vulnerable plants, you can keep insects at bay while ensuring your garden’s health and lifespan.

Use 5: Utilization in household cleaning and deodorizing

Apart from their pest-repellent properties, naphthalene balls can be employed for general household cleaning and deodorizing. Placing a few balls in areas prone to unpleasant odours, such as trash cans or shoe racks, can help neutralize and eliminate unwanted smells.


Naphthalene balls are more than moth repellents; they have many facts and practical applications that make them helpful household items. Naphthalene balls have many applications, from protecting clothing and textiles to safeguarding books and records.

They significantly aid in maintaining a clean and pest-free environment due to their non-toxic nature, long-lasting odour-repelling qualities, and efficiency against pests and insects. So, the next time you come across these tiny white balls, consider their potential beyond moth prevention and investigate their myriad practical applications.

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