Natural Moth Balls – DIY Diva
As the snow melts and winter gives way to spring, it is time to pack away sweaters, hats, socks, and more. The key is packing wool away with skill, so that it is protected from clothing moths (which don’t feed on cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers).
The first key to protecting wool is to make sure that it is clean before it is packed away. If possible, freeze for two days or air in the sun for a few hours before packing. You want to make sure that all moth eggs are dead; freezing or even putting clothes in a dryer on high heat for 15 minutes, should kill them.
The second key is to do your best to repel moths from finding and feeding on the clothes. Even if Grandma used moth balls, avoid them, as they are recognized carcinogens and highly neurotoxic. (The fumes are also very hard to remove from a home; airing contaminated clothes and chests in the sun is your best bet.) You can easily go natural instead with this herbal moth ball solution that is used by weavers to protect their skeins of wool.
2 ounces each dried rosemary and mint
1 ounce each dried thyme and ginseng
8 ounces whole cloves
Muslin tea bags, available in most health food stores and herbalist supply stores (or make your own sachets)
Note: Other herbs that repel clothing moths include lavender, lemon, cedar, and sassafras.
Combine herbs and spices in a bowl. Spoon fill sachet/muslin tea bags, and draw closed. Set the “natural moth balls” in chests of drawers or cedar chests where woolens are stored.
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).