Did you ever go to jump start your car, and notice that you can barely see your battery underneath all the gunk? This ‘gunk’ is actually battery corrosion, which is formed by acid condensation. Since this is formed by acid, a basic chemical solution will do the cleaning trick. Battery acid is actually very easy to clean away with a common household item- baking soda! But still, precautions must be followed. This article will inform you step by step how to clean the battery while keeping safe.
- First, you will need to gather supplies for this project. Most of these items you may already have in your home.
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Box of baking soda
- Adjustable pliers with insulated handles
- Screwdrivers with insulated handles
- A small, stiff-bristled brush (an old toothbrush will work just fine!)
- Assorted small open-end and box wrenches
- Small metal or plastic scraper
- Special battery tools, including a cable puller and cable terminal cleaning brushes
- A turkey baster or small funnel
- All-purpose household cleaner in a spray bottle
- Sponges or clean cloths
- A source of ample clean water such as a garden hose or a large bucket and sponge
- Rubber gloves for protecting your hands
There are a few safety tips to keep in mind when getting ready to clean the battery. First of all, you safety glasses and gloves must be worn to protect your eyes and skin from sulfuric acid that can linger in the corrosion deposits. Also, this material can eat away at your car’s paint, so keep it away from that as well.
Because the amount of dirt and corrosion on batteries may differ from one another, battery cleaning will vary, so some of the steps below may or may not need to be performed. Sometimes, to thoroughly remove severe corrosion and dirt, you may even need to remove the battery from the vehicle.
First, scrape off any white or greenish corrosion deposits with the stiff-bristled brush or small metal or plastic scraper. Next, use the solution of baking soda mixed with water, approximately one heaping tablespoon to each pint of water. Carefully apply it to the outside of the battery and its cable connections with the turkey baster or small funnel. Then, you can use your brush to work the baking soda solution into the heavily corroded areas. If you find that the cable clamps or terminals are badly corroded at the battery, you can disconnect them for easier cleaning. For this, you may need to use pliers, assorted wrenches and a small battery cable puller to disconnect them. You should disconnect the negative first, followed by the positive.
Then, use your battery cable scrapers or brush to remove the corrosion from the terminals, battery posts and hold down clamps and brackets. Flush these parts with your baking soda solution to rid them of any trace of corrosion. After this, wash the outside of the battery, the cable ends and the hold down parts with a liquid cleaner in a spray bottle. After that, use a sponge or rag to get off any remaining dirt or grease. After everything is clean, dry off the battery and all its parts with a dry rag or cloth.
The final step is just reinstalling any part that was removed and tightening everything so it is secure. Reconnect the battery, positive cable first. You’re done! You’re battery is now safe and clean.