Clean Up Your Battery Corrosion Safely And Easily For Long-Lasting Benefits
This effective treatment for battery corrosion leaves you with a car battery that has clean connections. Connections that stay clean for a long time.
Clean connections mean an excellent current flow between the battery and the engine’s electrical systems.
Begin by visually checking your battery cables and posts for corrosion. If there is any battery corrosion at all, I recommend taking the time to clean it. Once you have everything at hand, the process should take about 20 to 30 minutes.
What You Will Need.
– Wrenches to remove battery cables
– 2 elastic bands to hold cables aside
– Baking Soda
– An old cup
– An old toothbrush
– Rubber gloves
– An old towel and some rags
Follow these photos and explanations to make it easy for yourself. If the battery corrosion is not too bad, you can clean it without taking the battery out of the car as in the above photo. This is the preferred method.
Loosening the battery holder can get complicated because it is often more corroded than the battery posts. Unless you are used to working on your car, this is probably best left for your mechanic. Often parts can break when removing the clamp.
Your mechanic has done this before and probably has a few tricks and special tools to prevent breakage. He will most likely have something that can replace the broken Part if it happens or order it.
In the past, I have used what I call the scrape-and-file or hard method. This involved tools that would scrape or file off bits of the post’s surface and the inside of the cable to improve contact.
I could never really clean off all the battery corrosion, and I’d have to do it all over again in a few months.
I also learned from my research that this method could cause problems. The fit of the cable over the post changes over time. This can eventually cause connection problems. That was enough for me to try another soft method, which is described below.
There are two posts on the battery. The one you see here has the posts on top and is the most comfortable kind to work with. Some batteries have the posts on the side and require more care to work with. I’ll be addressing ‘top post’ types here.
There is a positive post (live/anode) and a negative post (ground/cathode). The positive is usually a little larger and marked with a ‘+.’ Part or all of the cable attached to the positive is red. This cable takes power from the battery to the car’s electrical system, so it is called the live cable.
Always disconnect the negative cable first. If you do accidentally hit any metal with your wrench, it will not affect you.
Shorting out the positive cable with the negative still attached can cause sparks, burns, and possibly even an explosion.
I used elastic bands to hold the unattached cables away from the battery and each other.
Pack the old towel around the battery to cover any wiring or engine components.
Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda in about 2 ounces of water. The mixture should pour without being too runny. Put on your rubber gloves.
Pour the mixture carefully toward the post with the corrosion. Use it sparingly. Wait for the reaction (bubbling) to finish. Use the toothbrush to scrub the mixture around the post.
Rinse carefully with a little water, again pouring toward the post. You do not want the water to connect the two posts, so use it sparingly.
Wipe the battery with a rag or a corner of the towel. If there is still some corrosion after the initial cleaning, pour a little of the mixture directly on the missed spot and wait for the reaction to finish.
Brush again with the toothbrush to make sure it is clean.
Pour a little solution over the metal cable ends while holding them over the towel. Use the toothbrush to clean the lots, inside and out. Then wipe with a corner of the towel.
The negative post was clean on my battery, so I did not use any solution on it. Wipe down the entire battery carefully, especially around the caps. Remove all moisture from around the bottom of the caps where they meet the battery.
When reattaching the cables, attach the positive first, then the negative. Make sure that they are tight on the post. You should not be able to move them by hand.
Now you can cover all the metal of the cable and the posts with Petroleum Jelly. This provides a barrier against the gases that escape from the battery as it continually recharges through regular use.
This is the cleanest car battery I have ever had. It looks like new and performs like new.
May your battery keep going like that energetic bunny!