How To Clean Battery Contacts

All of a sudden, discovering an old and reliable electronic device is always a good thing, especially if you are fond of it. However, the possibility that it doesn’t function anymore is inevitable, mainly when it is a battery-operated device and has been gone for a long time.

But don’t lose hope since, in most cases, old battery-powered devices like these need to be freed from the nasty mess on the metal plates within their battery compartment.

How to clean battery contacts? Cleaning battery contacts is a process that can be done in various ways, depending on what you are going to clean. When you say cleaning battery contacts, it can be done on battery-operated devices as well as batteries. It is the process that gets rid of the nasty corrosion, leaks, and buildups on battery terminals and contact plates of electronic devices.

The cleaning method and the materials to be used will depend on what you are about to clean. If you are cleaning the contacts of a device, you will have to use a set of materials different from the set of materials you will need for cleaning battery terminals.

Here, I will talk about the process of cleaning battery contacts. I will also guide you through the process of cleaning the terminals of an automotive battery, which is useful for all the car owners out there. So, sit back, relax, and learn the proper way of cleaning battery contacts as you read along.

The Ways of Cleaning Battery Contacts on Batteries and Devices

As mentioned earlier, there are different methods for cleaning battery contacts since it is a process applicable to battery-operated devices and power cells as well.

In this part, we are going to take a look at the different cleaning methods suitable for battery-powered devices, alkaline leakage, and automotive batteries. I will also walk you through each cleaning process by giving step-by-step guides to help you carry them out.

Cleaning Battery Contacts of Devices or Alkaline Leakage

The first method of cleaning battery contacts we are to take a look at here is the one used for most battery-powered devices. This is the method commonly used in toys, TV remotes, and other similar devices we use daily.

Devices that are typically victimized by alkaline battery leaks, the nasty brownish mess we usually found on their battery compartments. Here, I will provide you with a list of the materials you will need, then walk you through all the steps. Let’s begin!

Materials Needed for the Method:

● Mild acidic liquid – lemon juice or vinegar
● Unused toothbrush
● Paper towels (barely wet)
● Gloves (optional)
● Goggles (optional)
● Small screwdrivers (optional)
● Silicone-based grease (optional)

Step by Step Procedure:

Step1: This is an optional step that involves the safety gears mentioned above. If you have them, then you have to prioritize your safety by wearing safety gear.

Step2: If you are going to clean the battery contacts of an electronic device or gadget, the first thing you have to do is to open its battery compartment.

In most cases, devices use snap-off or slide-off compartment covers. However, there might be some devices that you can use small screwdrivers to do that.

Step3: Take the batteries away from the compartment if there are, then use the brush to get rid of the loose buildups on the battery contacts. This is to prepare the contacts for the next step, which will further get rid of the entire corrosion.

Step4: Apply enough amount of the acid that you have, whether it is vinegar or lemon juice. And then gently brush off the buildups sticking to the contacts.

Since most battery leaks are base solutions, the acidity of the liquid you applied will neutralize the leakage. Make sure to get rid of all of them to ensure a smooth transfer of energy.

Step5: After making sure that the device’s battery contacts are free from any corrosion or build-ups. Take the damp paper towel of yours and then slowly wipe them off.

Consider this as the rinsing process that will ensure the contacts are totally free from any buildup that will prevent the transfer of energy.

Step6: If you have a dielectric or silicone-based grease (optional material), you can apply it to the contacts to prevent any corrosion or buildup from happening in the future. This is a preventive measure that will make sure that no the same issue will occur.

That is how you clean the battery contacts of electronic devices. Keep in mind that you can use a sturdier brush or sandpaper for more substantial buildups.

As long as the contacts will still be intact after cleaning them. You also have to make sure that the contacts are completely dry before you try the device.

How to Clean the Battery Contacts of A Lead-Acid Car Battery

The next cleaning process I am going to carry out here is the method commonly used in most of the typical lead-acid automotive batteries.

In this part, I will also provide you a list of the materials that you need. And then walk you through the steps that you have to take to be successful. So, be sure to take notes and pay attention.

Materials Needed for the Method:

● Baking soda
● Water
● Small dipper
● Used toothbrush or brush
● Dry cloth
● Silicone-based grease or petroleum jelly (optional)

Step by Step Procedure:

In this method, it is also recommended that you prioritize your safety by wearing the proper safety gear like rubber gloves and goggles. Although not required, they are to be used as preventive measures.

Now, to proceed to the appropriate process, here are the steps that you have to follow. Make sure to take some notes!

Step1: Preparing the Cleaning Mixture Needed for the Process

Prior to the cleaning process, the first thing you have to do is to prepare the cleaning solution that you will use. Simply take the dipper, add a cup of water in it, and then dissolve a fair amount of baking soda in it.

Make sure that the baking soda you added is completely dissolved in the water for a potent solution.

Step2: Detach the Cables Connected on the Automotive Battery

After making sure that you have a potent cleaning solution, you can now turn the engine of your car off and pop its hood open. Start detaching the cables connected on the automotive battery, and make sure to use the proper tools.

Take note of which one is for the negative terminal and then the one for the positive terminal.

Step3: Start Cleaning the Terminals with the Brush and the Prepared Solution

Once the battery is free from the cables connected to it, dip the old toothbrush or brush on the solution that you prepared earlier. Start scrubbing the battery terminals of the car power cell. Dip the toothbrush or brush again if you think you need to apply more of the cleaning mixture that you prepared.

Make sure that the battery terminals are entirely free from corrosion and any kind of buildup.

Step4: Rinsing of the Automotive Battery Terminals and Dry

The next step after making sure that all the buildups on the battery terminals are entirely gone. You can start rinsing them with water and let it air dry for a while.

Then you can take your dry cloth and wipe the entire exterior of the battery to make sure that it is completely dry.

Step5: Complete the Cleaning Process and Reconnect the Cables

If you have a silicone-based grease or a petroleum jelly, apply some enough on both the battery terminals. This is to make sure that no corrosion or buildup will happen in the future. After using the grease or the petroleum jelly on the battery terminals, you can now start reconnecting the cables that were attached to both of the terminals.

Keep in mind that you have to connect the negative cable with the negative post and then the positive to the other post.

That is how you clean the battery contacts of an automotive battery. As you can see, it is a straightforward process that only needs household materials. The only thing that you have to do is to exert some effort and time to get the job done.

For more information about cleaning your car battery contacts, then read my another article here.

Final Thoughts

With the methods that we have discussed above, you are now ready to clean the battery contacts of your long-lost gadgets or electronic devices. You can also apply the other method if you need to clean the contacts of your automotive battery to make sure that it will continue to deliver the optimum performance that you need.

All you need to do is to gather all the materials that you need and then follow the proper steps we mentioned above.