How To Clean Battery Terminals With 6 Easy Steps 

Car Battery

One of the primary causes of decreased battery life and performance is corrosion. Not only may built-up battery corrosion prevent your car from starting, which is inconvenient in the morning while you’re rushing to work, but it can also cause harm to the vehicle’s air conditioning and electrical wiring.

Fortunately, automotive battery deterioration is easy to detect. Frequently, and especially with older batteries, you will notice a white, green, or blue-tinged layer surrounding your vehicle’s battery connections, posts, or wires. This buildup of chemical waste diminishes the battery’s conduciveness and causes a transitory current flow, which might result in a failing battery owing to electrical resistance.

Keeping your car batteries free of corrosion enhances battery life and performance. But don’t worry! Cleaning battery corrosion is a basic and simple method that everyone can perform.

What You’ll Need 

  • Protective gloves, like dish gloves
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Rag
  • Petroleum jelly

How To Clean Battery Terminals With 6 Easy Steps 


The majority of automobile batteries are found beneath the hood, on either the left or right side of the engine compartment. The battery is housed in the trunk of some vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and BMW 5 Series. The battery in other cars, such as the Grand Cherokee, Audi A7, Ford Transit, or Mercedes ML, is positioned beneath one of the front seats. Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Mercedes have also hidden batteries behind the back seat. The battery is even hidden under the front wheel inner fender liner by the front bumper in Dodge automobiles. Owners of older Corvettes may need to remove a fender panel to access the battery. Consult your owner’s handbook if you can’t find your battery.Depending on where the battery is positioned, you may need to remove a cover or shield. You’ll need full access to the region where the battery wires connect to the battery, which might be on top or on the side of the battery.


Most batteries are protected by plastic or rubber covers, which must be removed to have access to the clamps that connect the wires to the terminals. Take care with the terminal covers, since they may be fragile due to age and heat. In rare situations, a white powder residue buildup may need to be removed using a paper towel or clean shop cloth. Don’t forget to put on your work gloves and safety eyewear. While the chances of something awful happening are low with this project, it is always a good idea to be safe.


For the cleaning to be successful, each clamp or bolt secured to the terminals must be detached. You will accomplish this by first releasing the negative clamp or bolt, then the positive clamp. Bolts and nuts are typically used to secure battery cable clamps to top post batteries. Side post batteries are typically secured with a single bolt that runs through each battery cable connector. If there is excessive corrosion, you may need to separate the terminal from the battery post with metal pliers. If the terminal is very jammed, you might need to use a battery terminal puller.Avoid touching other metal things, such as the automobile frame, while working on the battery; otherwise, you risk shorting out the battery. Keep an eye on your work environment. Wrap electrical tape around the end of any instruments you use to work on the battery connections if necessary to avoid the chance of a short.


When it comes to cleaning the automobile battery, there are two simple cleaning solutions to choose from. The most popular is regular baking soda. In a clean container, combine two teaspoons of baking soda and an equal quantity of water. Stir the solution to make a paste, then apply it to each terminal with a toothbrush (or equivalent plastic bristle brush). As the solution reacts with the corrosion, it will begin to sizzle. Remove any leftover residue with a wire brush. You may also clean the terminal with a cola product.Simply purchase one fresh 12-ounce can. Then, to finish the task, evenly pour the full contents straight on the battery connections. The advantage here is that no paste is required. If required, use the wire brush to finish the job. We recommend selecting your cleaning chemical depending on how difficult it will be to remove afterwards. If the battery is inside the car, you probably don’t want to utilize the cola approach.


With the terminals almost clean, you’ll need to remove the paste or soda to finish cleaning. A spray bottle of water will suffice; simply wash each terminal with paper towels or clean shop rags to remove the dregs. Resist the want to take the lawn hose and blast everything with it. Use only enough water to clean up and avoid getting water into spots that might cause a problem. Then, with a cloth, dry each terminal. Finally, apply battery terminal protector to each post to prevent further corrosion.


First, connect the positive battery cable clamp or bolt, then the negative battery cable clamp or bolt. If there is residue on the connectors, wipe it off before reattaching. Tighten as required using a wrench. Finally, cover each junction with rubber or plastic coverings. If you removed any access panels or covers, you can replace them now. You’ve finished your job, the battery is clean, and you’re ready to put your tools, cleaning chemicals, and gloves away.Maintaining your car’s battery should keep it in good operating order until it’s time to replace it. A car battery has an average life of four years, thus it should be examined with a multimeter on a regular basis. Hot weather is its worst enemy, since it degrades batteries faster.


Can Vinegar Be Used To Clean Battery Terminals?

As a result, it is best to clean a battery leak using a moderate household acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. The alkaline discharge is neutralized by both liquids. Apply a drop of vinegar or lemon juice to the corroded region and wait for the neutralizing action to take effect.

Can Wd40 be used to clean battery terminals?

If the battery terminals and cable connectors are also grimy, spray WD-40 on them. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with the brush and rinsing with hot water. Rep this procedure until the corrosion is gone.

How Can I Clean Battery Terminals?

Scrub the terminals with an old toothbrush that has been dipped in baking soda cleanser. This will need some elbow grease, and you will need to clean off the toothbrush as you work. Thoroughly clean the terminals until all buildups have been eliminated.

How Can You Remove Corrosion From Battery Terminals?

Apply baking soda to the whole corrosion-affected region. This will neutralize the acid in the battery. To activate the baking soda and initiate a chemical reaction that will eliminate the corrosion, add a tiny amount of water. Use a paper towel to wipe and dry the area, then a scrub sponge to remove any residue.

Can Coke Be Used To Clean Battery Terminals?

An anthill can even be eliminated by extensively dousing the area with Coke. Coke can be used to clean automobile battery terminals because its minor acidity does not react with battery acid, allowing you to pour it over the battery and let it wash away the corrosion.

Car Battery

What Causes Battery Terminal Buildup?

Corrosion happens when the acid in the battery interacts with the metal terminals. It comes in brown, white, or blue/green. Sulfation happens when lead sulfate crystals accumulate on the battery terminal as a result of the battery failing to sustain an electrical charge. It’s often grey in hue.

What is the best way to clean battery terminals without using baking soda?

Make the vinegar solution for cleaning the battery terminals of your automobile. Submerge and soak the battery connections in the vinegar. Allow them to rest for a few minutes before cleaning them off with water spritzes. Allow them to completely dry before reconnecting the cords to the battery.

If you want to know about How to Clean Car Battery Corrosion, please click here.

Joyce He

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