How to Clean Car Battery Corrosion (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Car Battery Corrosion

Are you having difficulties starting your car or experiencing other problems with its performance, and have you observed a flaky white or blue-ish material on your car battery? Battery corrosion is your issue. But don’t panic, since this article will show you how to clean automobile battery corrosion.

You can simply remove rust from your automobile battery. Simply unplug the wires carefully, use your cleaning solution, scrape off the corrosion, rinse, and dry the battery, then rejoin the cables.

Preparation for cleaning 

There are solely a few matters wished for cleansing automobile battery corrosion. Some are even easily accessible at domestic or simply cheap.

1. Wrench

A wrench would be wanted for disconnecting and reconnecting the cables. What kind of wrench you want would rely on your automobile battery’s terminal configuration. There are two kinds of terminal configuration, which are on the facet and on top.

For terminals on the side, a 5/16-inch (8 mm) wrench would be required. For terminals on top, both a 3/8-inch (10 mm) or 1/2-inch (13 mm) wrench would be needed.

2. Baking Soda With Hot Water or Battery Cleaner

You can dispose of corrosion from the auto battery with a baking soda plus warm water answer or a battery cleaner. Both choices can correctly clear away the corrosion from the battery as properly as neutralize its acid.

A couple of blessings that the battery cleaner has over baking soda is that it’s prepared to use and can be without difficulty applied, as it comes in a spray bottle.

3. Battery Terminal Cleaner Brush or Old Toothbrush

For scrubbing off corrosion, you can use a historical toothbrush. But if your auto battery has cussed corrosion, a battery terminal cleaner brush would do the trick.

4. Cool Water

While warm water would be used for growing your baking soda cleansing solution, for rinsing the battery, cool water would be required.

5. Towel, Cloth, or Air Compressor

After rinsing, it is necessary to totally dry the battery. You would want both a towel, cloth, or even an air compressor if you prefer the battery to dry faster.

6. Petroleum Jelly, Terminal Protection Spray, or Anti-Corrosion Pads

With the use of both petroleum jelly, battery terminal safety spray, and battery anti-corrosion pads, you can stop corrosion from forming on your battery in the future.

Instructions for cleaning step by step

Cleaning automobile battery corrosion may be done in a variety of ways, including using a battery cleaning chemical or baking soda and hot water. Whatever technique you pick, you must take preventative precautions both before and after cleaning. Either technique is simple to implement.

Step 1: Ensure That Your Car Had Been Turned Off


Your vehicle has to become off earlier than cleansing the automobile battery. This step ought to be executed for protection because you’re going to contact the battery. It additionally prevents the unintended grounding of cables.

Step 2: Remove the Cables, Working on the Negative One First


To be capable of fully smoothing the corrosion off of a vehicle battery, you would want to get rid of the cables first with a wrench. But you should first perceive the poor and superb terminals from the place you are going to disconnect cables. For safety, the terrible cable must be disconnected first to keep away from electrocution and burns.

The bad terminal can typically be recognized by using a marking of the bad sign, the abbreviation “NEG” written on it, and/or the color black. The fantastic terminal comes with a marking of the high-quality sign, the abbreviation “POS” written on it, and/or the shade red.

Also, whilst you disconnect the bad cable, you ought to attempt now not to let the wrench contact the tremendous terminal. You would possibly get startled if they touch. Then pass on to the fantastic cable after disconnecting the bad cable.

But if you are having a challenging time getting rid of any of the cables, attempt to twist the cable whilst pulling it up.

Step 3: Check the Car Battery for Any Damages

If you discovered any warping, bulging, dents or cracks in the place acid is leaking, that is a signal that the battery is damaged. If so, you would have to substitute it.

Step 4: Check the Car Battery Cables and Clamps for Any Damage

If you located that any of the cables’ insulation has been torn, frayed, splintered, peeled, dried, cracked, or corroded, that is a signal that they are damaged. Damaged auto battery cables are typically the motive of a non-starting engine. If you discover any of these symptoms of harm on any of your car’s battery cables, you will have to exchange them.

Car Battery Corrosion

Step 5: Clean off the Corrosion With a Cleaning Agent or Baking Soda With Hot Water


When dealing with battery corrosion, you can both go for a battery cleansing agent or baking soda plus hot water. Just discover and comply with the steps for anything approach you pick below.

Method 1 – Using a Battery Cleaning Agent

On the corrosion located on the battery, terminals, and cable, practice the cleansing agent. Be cautious now not to let the cleansing agent contact the car’s paint, as some cleansing dealers can create an everlasting stain.

Let the cleansing agent soak on the corrosion for a few minutes. Then scrub out the corrosion with a toothbrush or battery terminal cleaner brush.

Method 2 – Using Baking Soda With Very Hot Water

A baking soda & warm water cleansing answer can be utilized in three ways:

  • You can create a battery cleansing answer by using mixing a tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of very warm water. Then you would dip the toothbrush into the solution. Using the toothbrush, scrub off all the corrosion from the battery.
  • Or after growing the solution, you can follow it with the aid of at once pouring a small quantity on the corroded areas and scrubbing away with a toothbrush or battery terminal cleaner brush.
  • You can additionally pour and coat baking soda on the areas with corrosion. Then you would pour the water slowly on the battery. Afterward, scrub off the corrosion with a toothbrush or battery terminal cleaner brush.

Additional tip: If your battery clamps are corroded, you can let them soak in your baking soda answer for a few minutes. Thereafter, scrub them. Repeat if necessary.

Step 6: Rinse the Car Battery and Cables

Using cool water, rinse the auto battery and cable ends. Make certain that all the corrosion and cleansing answers are absolutely washed away.

Step 7: Dry the Battery

Water getting in contact with electric-powered factors can be hazardous. So you have to make certain that the battery, battery terminals, and battery clamps are completely dry earlier than reconnecting the cables.

Dry them all off with both a towel and cloth. Or if possible, you can pace up the drying with the use of an air compressor.

Step 8: Apply Petroleum Jelly, Terminal Protection Spray, or Anti-Corrosion Pads

Prevent your vehicle battery from being corroded in the future via making use of a beneficial coat of petroleum jelly or battery terminal safety spray on the terminals, posts, and clamps. You can additionally use anti-corrosion pads lined with a corrosion preventive compound.

Step 9: Reconnect the Cables, Starting With the Positive Cable

As adversarial to the procedure of disconnecting cables, in reconnecting cables, you have to begin with the advantageous cable to keep away from getting injured. Afterward, pass on to reconnecting the bad cable. Use the wrench to tighten the cables.

Again, be cautious about the place the wrench is moving. Once the cables are reconnected, take a look at if they are tightly connected via twisting them by way of hand.


What Is Battery Corrosion?

Battery corrosion suggests up as a white-, green-, or blue-tinged substance on your car’s battery posts, terminals, or cables. Battery acid releases hydrogen gasoline that reacts with the air and varieties a corrosive environment. These surroundings permit the battery to corrode.

Is Battery Corrosion Dangerous?

Yes, battery corrosion is dangerous. Battery corrosion is caustic and can irritate or burn your pores and skin or eyes if they’re uncovered to it. Battery corrosion left unchecked can additionally lead to similar harm to your automobile that will be greater steeply-priced to restore the longer you wait.

Car batteries comprise sulfuric acid, so you ought to be cautious when dealing with them. Because battery acid can produce explosive gases, the batteries are designed with vent caps to launch these gases. You need to solely work with batteries in well-ventilated areas. You must additionally preserve any steel equipment or different metallic objects away from the pinnacle of the battery to stop a brief circuit. Finally, by no means try to cost a broken battery.

After dealing with an auto battery, take the following precautions:

  • Wash your gloves off with water.
  • Wash your palms with cleaning soap and water.
  • Neutralize any spilled battery acid with baking soda.
  • If battery acid receives on your skin, flush the vicinity with clean, lukewarm, gently flowing water for 30 minutes. If it is nonetheless annoyed after that, proceed to flush and are trying to find scientific treatment. If battery acid receives in your eyes, flush them in the equal way as you would flush your pores and skin and for an identical quantity of time. But in this case, you must are looking for instantaneous scientific treatment.

What Causes Battery Corrosion?

Battery corrosion has numerous exclusive causes, including:

Overcharging. If you overcharge your battery, the temperature can get too high. This can also reason electrolytes in the battery to expand. Batteries have vents for pressurized battery fluid to get away so that they do not explode. If battery fluid leaks from the vents, it can reason corrosion.

Damage to the battery. Cracks and injury to your battery can motivate battery fluid to leak. Leaking battery fluid can purpose electrolyte buildup on the terminals, which reasons corrosion.

Overfilling your battery. Some batteries want to be refilled with water to function correctly. If you overfill a battery, the extra water comes out via the battery’s vents. If water comes in contact with the battery terminals, corrosion can form.

Copper clamps. If your battery is leaking sulfuric acid and it comes into contact with copper clamps, a chemical response will take place. The ensuing copper sulfate motives corrosion.

Age. Car batteries frequently have a 5-year lifespan. If yours is nearing the quit of its life, it is regular to begin to see corrosion.

Car Battery Corrosion


It is critical to keep the car battery free of corrosion in order to keep the automobile in excellent functioning order. Fortunately, the technique for cleaning automobile battery rust is fairly simple. It merely takes a few easy steps and some prudence.

Did this guide assist you in resolving your automobile battery corrosion issue? If it did, perhaps you can share this post with other automobile owners to help them as well. If you have an idea, please share it in the comments section.

Joyce He

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