How To Neutralize Car Battery Acid

The acid in your car battery can significantly ruin your battery. It destroys and shortens your battery life without you knowing it. As car owners, it is our responsibility to maintain and protect our car battery. The battery is the life of our car.

But how can we avoid the build-up of car battery acid? There are possible ways to prevent the spill of battery acid. Know the simple steps here.

How to Neutralize Car Battery Acid? Here are some of the simple solutions on how you can neutralize the acid in your car battery:

Step 1: Battery must be disconnected/detached from the car or vehicle or any other terminals.
Step 2: Using a baking soda mixture, mix three parts baking soda and one part water, and create a paste mixture.
Step 3: Using the paste mixture and a damp cloth, try to scrub the terminals of the battery and free it from any corrosion, including the inner side of the connectors.
Step 4: Use another damp cloth to clean off the excess paste residues that were left on the connectors of the battery.
Step 5: Air-dry the battery before reconnecting it back to the terminal.

How to Clean-Up Spills of Battery Acid

Cleaning up the battery acid spills is very important. Acid can build-up and hinder the flow of electrical current from the battery to the car. An acid build-up may also create corrosion on the battery, which naturally shortens its life.

Here are the proper ways on how to clean-up the acid spills on your battery:

Part I: You Have to Identify the Type of Battery

This procedure is the first of the two-part method of cleaning battery spills. You need to identify which type of battery you have. It will avoid further damaging the battery in case you proceeded with a wrong cleaning method.

1. Make sure that you wear protective clothing.

Your hands and face should be adequately protected. The leaks on your battery may cause the chemicals to irritate your skin, the eyes, and even your lungs. Remember always to wear rubber, latex or nitrile gloves. Keep in mind that you will be dealing with a leaking battery.

Safety goggles and face mask must also be worn when you are working with a leaking car battery. Make sure that you work in a well-ventilated area. It will blow the chemicals away from you.

If ever there is a burning sensation that you felt on your eyes or skin, the acid spill has got on you. Immediately leave the area and remove your clothing. Rinse the affected area with lukewarm water for about 30 minutes. Acid leaks that come from the car battery are even more dangerous than the leaks from alkaline batteries.

2. Place the battery on a double plastic bags.

If you have a small battery, you can place it inside a transparent plastic bag. It will help you identify which type of cell you have before you proceed. If you have a car battery, you can place them inside two garbage bags. You must tie or seal the bag, or closed it immediately.

3. Identify the type of battery.

Always identify the type of battery you have. Car batteries and other vehicles always used a lead-acid cell. Meanwhile, smaller batteries that are often used for electrical devices are more different. Check the label to identify which type it is. Small batteries are usually classified as lithium, nickel, alkaline or cadmium. Never rely on the size and shapes of the cells alone.

4. Determine the type of battery based on its voltage.

It works on a smaller variety of cells. Alkaline batteries always have a voltage of 1.5V. Lithium batteries often have 3 to 3.7V. NiCd comes in the multiples of 1.2 V, and lead-acid batteries are in multiples of 2.4V.

5. If you have correctly identified your battery, you can now proceed to part II, which is cleaning the spill.

Make sure that you follow the necessary instructions for the specific type of cell. Using the wrong chemical in cleaning the spill may cause the battery to explode.

Part II: Spill Cleaning

This part is the cleaning of the acid spill. It follows a specific instruction on how to do the cleaning and the right materials to use in cleaning up the acid spill on your particular battery type.

1. You have to use baking soda in neutralizing the spills of a lead-acid and NiCD batteries.

The two types of batteries mentioned are two of the cells with the most potent acid leaks. It can eat up on your clothing, carpets, and even metals. You have to be extra careful when dealing with this battery. Use protective gloves and face shield.

Cover the terminals with a lot of baking soda. Add new baking soda when it is no longer fizzing. Clean the residue by using a paste made out of baking soda and water. If there is a damaged battery, pour an adequate amount of baking soda into the garbage bag.

2. The alkaline spills need to be cleaned up with a mild household acid.

Alkaline batteries may use a vinegar or lemon juice. You may dip the cotton swab in the vinegar solution then apply it on the spill to neutralize the leak.

You may also use an old toothbrush dipped with vinegar or lemon solution and scrub it in the dried spills. Applying water may cause additional corrosion. So you can use a paper towel instead to wipe out the acid.

Repeat the process until it is thoroughly clean. Allow it to dry for several hours.

3. For lithium batteries, you can wipe up the spills with ordinary water.

Lithium batteries are often used in mobile phones. You may place it in a sealed bag because it can cause an explosion.

4. Batteries need to be disposed of.

Some states and countries allow the disposal of alkaline batteries in ordinary trash. However, some states require the cells to be recycled instead of throwing. Car batteries can be recycled, and you can bring in your old batteries for a discount or a free replacement.

5. All electrical contacts must be cleaned.

The device’s electrical connections should be cleaned if the battery leaks while it is connected. You may scrape off any residue by using a plastic or a wooden stick. A damp paper towel can also be used in wiping off the residues, throw the towel right away after using it.

Do I Sprinkle Baking Soda on the Acid to Neutralize it?

Yes, you may use baking soda to neutralize the acid. However, instead of sprinkling it, you may pour the baking soda to produce quicker and better results.

Is it dangerous to have a car battery leak?

Yes, a car battery that has leaks can be very hazardous and dangerous. It is also an indication that you needed a new battery. Be sure that you will never get in contact with a leaky battery. Do not even attempt to touch it.

3 Reasons Why a Car battery Leaks

There are three main reasons why a car battery leaks. You should better check out the signs and immediately replace your battery.

1. Battery Age. If your cells are already past the warranty period, then it could be needing replacement.
2. Overcharging the Battery. An overcharged battery may bring problems and issues like leaks. Avoid overcharging your batteries.
3. Extreme Temperature. Whether it is hot or cold, cells are never in tuned with extreme weather conditions. It can lead to leaks during an extreme temperature.

The basics of knowing how to neutralize car battery acid can save and even prolong your battery’s life. The proper procedure will also help you prevent hazardous circumstances or situation that could be risky. Remember always to practice cleaning your cells with caution.

Sources:
1. How to Neutralize Battery Acid With Baking Soda – It Still Runs
2. How to Clean up Battery Acid Spills – wikiHow
3. What Every Auto Owner Needs To Know About A Car Battery Acid Leak – Car Battery Advice