Making Moth Balls

Keep moths at bay with these homemade moth balls.

| January 2019

 moth ball
Photo by Nassima Rothacker


There is nothing more irritating than pulling out your favorite sweater at the beginning of winter to find it has holes in it, having been munched on by the moths. Shop-bought moth repellents can be full of nasties, such as camphor and dichlorobenzene, and often smell awful. These handmade ones are not nasty at all and will also make your clothes smell delightful. In short, the moths hate these smells and should stay well away from your cashmere.


 Makes 3 moth balls


  • an old pair of tights or stockings or some old thin muslin
  • 2 cotton wool balls
  • ribbon or twine
  • some dried rose petals for an extra appealing scent (optional)
  • a few drops of essential oils to match the scents of the herbs chosen below
  • choose from one of the following dried herb (and fruit/spice) mixtures      
  • 1/2 handful of rosemary and 1/2 handful of peppermint or garden mint
  • 1/2 handful of lavender and 1/2 handful of rosemary
  • 1/3 handful each of dried citrus peel, broken-up cinnamon stick and lavender


  1. Cut off the legs of your stockings or tights – you only need the foot part for this. Mix your chosen herbs together, adding some dried rose petals to the mix, if you like. Add the drops of essential oils to the cotton wool balls.
  2. Fill each stocking/tight foot with a cotton wool ball and half of the herb mix, or use two squares of the muslin measuring about 15cm x 15cm. Tie a knot in the top of each, then finish with a piece of ribbon or twine. Place in your drawer, give each sachet a scrunch and hey presto!
  3. Scrunch to release the oils every so often (about once a month) to keep the moths at bay. Replace every couple of months with a fresh sachet.

More from The Art of Natural Cleaning:

 “The Art of Natural Cleaning” by Rebecca Sullivan
Cover courtesy Kyle Books

Excerpted from The Art of Natural Cleaning by Rebecca Sullivan published by Kyle Books, 2018

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