Learn how to clean alkaline battery corrosion safely and effectively so that you can clean it by yourself.
Did you discover a significant corrosion mess when you opened the battery cover? The device can be cleaned after a battery leak. As long as you carefully follow the instructions, it’s not a challenging process. If the corrosion is discovered quickly enough, using the following cleaning advice should prevent the device from suffering long-term damage.
Items for Cleaning
When a corroded battery is discovered in any electronic device, you should put on gloves and safety glasses right away. This is crucial because if the battery’s leaky substance, potassium hydroxide, gets on your skin or into your eyes, it can irritate you. Now you need:
- Cotton swabs or an old toothbrush
- Vinegar or lemon juice
- Baking soda
Cleaning the Electronic Device
Wearing gloves, carefully remove the batteries, and dispose of them properly. After the batteries are taken out, the device needs to be cleaned of any corrosion. Use cotton swabs or a toothbrush that has been dipped in vinegar or lemon juice for this. These will help dissolve the corrosion on the device with the aid of their acid. Scrub with the swab or toothbrush to remove as much corrosion as possible.
With a little bit of water and baking soda, any lingering residue can be eliminated. Repeat the cleaning process using an old toothbrush or cotton swab. If any baking soda (or other substances) are still present, remove them with a damp swab. Before inserting fresh batteries, let the device fully dry.
Preventing Battery Damage
If you treat your batteries carefully, you can lessen the amount of corrosion from alkaline batteries that need to be cleaned.
- Remove the batteries before storing the device for any length of time. That way, if the batteries leak, you won’t have to worry about damage to the electronic device.
- Remove the batteries while the device is plugged in if it has an AC adaptor and you are using it.
- Do not store your batteries anywhere that gets extreme (hot or cold) temperatures. Storing in the refrigerator will not prolong the life of your batteries. As a result, the battery’s lifespan will be shortened and it may leak.
- Make sure the batteries are the same when you do insert batteries into a device. Do not put an old battery and a new battery together in the same device. Make sure the brands match as well.
- When changing the batteries, use an eraser to clean the new battery’s surface and the connectors in the device. This makes for the most effective contact.
If Damage is Severe
The battery manufacturer may replace the item or make repairs if your device sustains irreparable damage from battery corrosion as a result of a battery flaw. You will have to pay to send the device to the company. Popular battery companies:
Take Safety Precautions
The toxic and corrosive potassium hydroxide that leaks from batteries is a corrosive substance. Your eyes and skin could be harmed by the caustic substance. It can also cause respiratory problems. The following safety measures must always be observed when cleaning batteries.
- Avoid contact with your skin. Wear latex or rubber gloves at all times.
- Put on safety glasses to protect your eyes.
- Ensure that the space is properly ventilated.
- If potassium hydroxide comes in contact with your skin, thoroughly rinse it with water.
What Causes Battery Corrosion?
Batteries can leak if they are kept inside inactive devices for extended periods of time. The batteries in the devices will eventually discharge even when they are not in use, which is the cause of this.
In the meantime, the accumulation of gases inside the battery may seep out through its vents, causing it to leak potassium hydroxide, also known as battery acid. See Can Lead-acid Batteries Explode?
How Dangerous is Battery Corrosion?
Battery acid is a dangerous, corrosive material that can cause chemical burns if contact is made with your skin or eyes. The device into which the battery acid has leaked may also suffer damage. Be careful to avoid physical contact with any battery corrosion that you encounter.
Does a Corroded Battery Need to Be Replaced?
Once an alkaline battery has corroded, it is no longer safe to use and needs to be replaced. Make sure to take the necessary safety measures before attempting to remove a leaking battery to prevent getting burned. Wearing a set of protective gloves and safety glasses is advised.
Remove the leaking batteries from the device after putting on the appropriate safety gear, and then use a wet rag to wipe away any battery acid that may have leaked. When the battery is clean, place it in a plastic bag so it can be recycled. Do not forget that in some states and counties, it is illegal to dispose of alkaline batteries.
Your local Batteries Plus store or a recycling facility are both locations where you can recycle used alkaline batteries. Please be aware that recycling costs could apply and would differ depending on location.
Here is something you should pay attention to alkaline batteries:
- Are Alkaline Batteries Allowed on Planes?
- Lithium Vs Alkaline Batteries
- Carbon Zinc Battery Vs Alkaline
- Are Alkaline Batteries Rechargeable?
Conclusion: Clean Alkaline Battery Corrosion
The right methods and techniques for cleaning up battery corrosion can help you save your belongings. A mild acid, such as white vinegar or lemon juice, can be used to neutralize corrosion for the best results.
It’s time to start cleaning your remote-control or remote-controlled car, so go get some white vinegar. Remember that cleaning the battery contacts won’t be enough to restore your device if the corrosion has spread to the circuitry, which means it’s probably beyond repair.
Do Extreme Temperatures Make An Alkaline Battery More Likely to Corrode?
Yes, alkaline batteries will work in temperatures up to 130°F, but they run the risk of leaking more if used for an extended period of time above this temperature. Your batteries will last longer if you keep them in a dry, cool environment that is ideally between 30 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can Battery Corrosion Be Cleaned?
Apply baking soda over the entire area that’s affected by corrosion. The battery acid will be neutralized in this way. To activate the baking soda and trigger a chemical reaction that will eliminate the corrosion, add a small amount of water. With a paper towel, wipe the area clean and dry. A scrub sponge should be used to remove any leftover grime.