5 Steps To Safely Clean A Corroded Car Battery

Are you experiencing issues with your car battery? If so, there’s a high chance it’s corroded. In this guide, we will cover how to clean a corroded car battery. Is your car taking forever to start up? Are your car’s headlights dim? The chances are that your car battery may be corroded, and you need to clean it right away.

How To Safely Clean A Corroded Car Battery 1 5 Steps To Safely Clean A Corroded Car Battery

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How do you clean a corroded car battery? 

To clean a corroded car battery, you will need to gather the necessary supplies, disconnect the battery, remove corrosion from the battery using a battery cleaner, rinse and dry the battery, allow the battery to dry, and then reconnect the battery.

You may have been experiencing battery issues and you’ve determined they are arising because the battery is corroded. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know on how to clean a corroded car battery. We will also share tips on how to prevent battery corrosion in the future.

Our main objective is to provide our readers with helpful, relevant, factual and dependable information. To this end, we’ve assembled a highly proficient team, featuring experts from relevant areas of expertise. Therefore, you can be assured you are getting reliable and credible information whenever you are reading any of our guides.


Car battery corrosion can lead to decreased battery performance. And as you may already know, the battery supplies the power needed to start the vehicle. So, if the battery is corroded, it may prevent your car from starting. And this can be a major inconvenience in the morning, especially when want to head out for work.

Furthermore, a corroded battery can also to other serious issues. For instance, it can damage the vehicle’s wiring and air conditioning. Also, a corroded battery can interfere with the functioning of your vehicle’s stereo and power windows, among other issues.

Fortunately, car battery corrosion is easy to identify. Also, the cleaning process is straightforward. Anyone can do it, and you don’t need complicated cleaning supplies or tools.

Causes of Car Battery Corrosion

Car battery corrosion usually presents as a white-tinged, blue-tinged or green-tinged substance on the battery’s terminals, posts or cables. So, what causes car battery corrosion?

Car battery corrosion is usually caused by hydrogen gas and sulfuric acid escaping from the battery. The hydrogen gas vapor will then mix with various other gas under the car’s hood as well as the heat being released by the car, thus forming a corrosive environment. And this environment will eventually cause battery corrosion.

How to Clean Corroded Car Battery

How To Safely Clean A Corroded Car Battery 1 1 5 Steps To Safely Clean A Corroded Car Battery

As mentioned above, cleaning a corroded battery is not a complex process. And, anyone can do it. You don’t have to rely on advanced techniques or complicated tools or even take your car to the mechanic.

You can simply clean battery corrosion from the comfort of your home, using readily available battery cleaning solutions. Here are the steps to follow when cleaning battery corrosions.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

When it comes to cleaning a corroded car battery, you will first need to gather the necessary cleaning supplies. Fortunately, you don’t need fancy or expensive supplies. Some of the supplies that you will need for cleaning car battery corrosion include stainless steel wire brush, microfiber cloth, battery cleaning agent or baking soda, water, gloves, wrench and pliers.

Disconnect the Battery

Once you’ve assembled the necessary supplies, you can now proceed to the first step of cleaning your corroded car battery. You will start by putting on your pair of gloves. These gloves will help to protect your hands, in case you encounter acid. If you have one of the newer or modern cars, you will first have to key in some type of security code into its navigation system. From there, you can now disconnect the cables. 

Disconnecting the cables from the battery will help to prevent electric shock, in case you accidentally touch both terminals simultaneously. You will begin by removing the cable from the negative terminal. The negative cable is usually black and bears the abbreviation NEG. From there, you can proceed to the positive one, which is red.

You may have to use your set of pliers to disconnect the cables. After disconnecting the cables, you should inspect them carefully, for any signs of peeling insulation or excessive wear. If the cables are excessively frayed, damaged or won, you should consider replacing them.

Remove Corrosion from the Battery

Once you’ve finished disconnecting the cables, you can now begin the process of neutralizing the corrosion and removing it from the battery. And, you have two methods that you can use to accomplish this step.

First, you can use a commercial-grade battery cleaner. Commercial battery cleaners are readily available in auto shops and various retail outlets. And, they are available under different brands.

After you’ve bought your preferred battery cleaner, you should then apply it thoroughly to all the corroded areas. The battery cleaner will play two roles. First, it will neutralize the battery acid on the corroded areas. And second, it will help to remove the corrosion from the battery.

Second, you have the option of preparing your own battery clean. And all you need is a teaspoon of baking soda and some water to prepare the cleaning solution. Once you’ve prepared this paste, you will then apply it to the corroded terminals and posts.

After applying the paste to the corroded terminals, you should then pour some water on it. You may notice some bubbling taking place. The bubbling is due to the two ingredients reacting and neutralizing the acidic corrosion.

Rinse and Dry

After applying the cleaning solution thoroughly to the corroded terminals, you should then use your bristled brush or toothbrush to scrub and remove the corrosion. You will scrub as long as it takes to remove all the corrosion.

During this step, you need to be extra cautious not to allow the corrosive elements or the cleaning solution to fall on other components of the engine. If these elements fall on other components, they may cause damage.

Also, you should ensure the cleaning solutions and the corrosive elements don’t fall on your vehicle’s paint job, since they can cause permanent stains. To this end, you should clean the battery when it’s completely out of the car.

After you’ve scrubbed and removed the corrosion from the battery, you should then rinse the terminals and cable ends with clean water. From there, you should give it ample time to dry. In case you are in a hurry, you can use an air compressor to fasten the drying process.

Reconnect Your Battery

Once your battery is completely dry, you can then reconnect the cables. But, avoid tightening them too much, as you may end up distorting the posts and clamps. This will also be the time to install new cables if you replaced the old ones.

Tips for Preventing Battery Corrosion

In this section, we will share some tips that you can use to prevent your car battery from corroding.

Apply Anti-corrosion Pads

One of the most effective ways of protecting your car battery against corrosion is by applying anti-corrosion pads. These pads will help to protect the battery posts against corrosion.

Apply Petroleum Jelly or Battery Terminal Grease

Apart from anti-corrosion pads, you also have the option of applying petroleum jelly to the battery terminals. Applying petroleum jelly will not only help to protect the terminals against corrosion, but it will also improve the battery’s electricity conduciveness.

Ensure Your Car Battery is Properly Charged

Undercharging or overcharging the battery can also cause corrosion. So, if your car battery is routinely undercharged or overcharged, you should consider taking it to an auto technician, so that they can inspect and determine the issue.

Wrapping It Up

Removing corrosion from a battery will help it to maintain optimal performance levels at all times, thus reducing battery issues. Also, it will add a couple of years to its lifespan. And as you can see, it’s not a complicated process. By following the steps and tips above, you should be able to get the job done.

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