Home : Handyman and DIY : Car care : Cleaning Car Batteries

(21) comments about this tip

Clean Car Batteries and neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars

Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc. , because it is a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part water, apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and re-connecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery--they contain a strong acid.

You can also use Coke or Pepsi to clean the posts on your car battery. Simply pour on and it will clean them almost like magic.

If you inadvertently spill battery acid on any of your clothing then you could risk holes appearing in your clothes. Wash any clothes that have been affected in a strong solution of baking soda and water. The solution will neutralize the acid preventing damage.

Visitors comments

much needed advice Comments By: Anon on 2005-09-06
We were transporting a car battery in our van and saw that it leaked and the acid ate the carpet. This article helped us figure out what to use to clean up the spill to reduce additional damage.
thanks! Comments By: Michelle on 2006-02-22
answered my question exactly...
Clothes Comments By: Otto on 2006-04-04
Can you please tell me the solution of bi-carb and water to stop holes in clothes?

TipKing says: Speed is the key to this tip. I would say that a solution would be 1 tablespoon to a cup of warm water

all your advice helped out alot. Comments By: Michele on 2006-08-05
I was wondering ,if the damage is done, could battery acid stains on a counter top (from brown-2-white) be fixed without having to change the whole counter . I think its too late for the baking soda. Much mahalo...~a worried renter
Clean car battery Comments By: Anon on 2006-10-26
Do you rinse the car battery after you put the coke on it? Thanks!

TipKing says. Yes and you can apply some grease to the terminals to prevent further build up.

Leaking Auto Battery Acid on carpet Comments By: Elisa on 2007-01-08
Thank you!!! I was also transporting an automotive battery in the back of my van and the acid leaked onto the carpet and turned it green.

Thank you for your help!!!!

Just what I needed Comments By: Cathy on 2007-08-13
My husband had leakage from the battery in his tractor and wanted to know the mixing ratio for baking soda to be effective. Thanks!
Disconnect??? Comments By: According to Me on 2007-08-13
The build up is so much that I can't disconnect the terminal from the battery post. Can I still just pour Coke on the connected battery post?

TipKing says: I would but if you are in any doubt consult a mechanic

STEPS TO FOLLOW? Comments By: Kelly on 2007-10-01
1. Do disconnect the battery cable (positive) before pouring coke on the corrosion? 2. Then how do I rinse with water? 3. Follow with jelly before reconnecting or after connecting the cable to battery? Please advise. Thanks
IF Floor Tiles Damaged can be cleaned with Coke or Pepsi or any other Compound? Comments By: Vinayak Medhi on 2008-06-18
IF tile floor can be cleaned with pepsi or any other compound?
Important Question about car battery corrosian. Comments By: Anon on 2008-10-08
We recently had a battery replaced by AAA and the tech placed the old battery on my concrete walk way. Two days later I noticed the white powder corrosian in an area about the diameter of a football and I'm very worried that this powder was tracked inside my home by my wife, kids or dog. How would I know? Please.....this is a totally honest and serious question. I have a big phobia about toxic chemicals so needless to say this is making me a nervous wreck. I can't tell you how much I would apprieciate any answers or advice anybody has regarding question. Thanks so much.
WORKED GREAT!!! Comments By: Chris on 2008-12-28
Thanks worked great.... however I may have made it too thick.. was using 3-to-1 ratio and was kinda thick solution, but cleaned all battery acid right up!
great tip Comments By: bill on 2009-01-23
spilt battery on car floor and it burnt the carpet used the solution and it fizzed alot, seems to work. what do i do next?
And Then . . . ? Comments By: KK on 2009-01-09
This is a great tip but I have an additional question. I've neutralized battery acid that spilled onto the carpet of my car with the paste, but now what? Does just scraping it out solve the problem or should I be hosing it down with water and sucking it out with a wet vac?
Thank You Comments By: sahoo on 2009-03-19
My husband brought home the battery from the cricket ground roller to recharge ready for ground preparation,your site answered his problem.
Battery. Comments By: Davey on 2009-07-02
where do i get some battey acid. I need to add some acid to 2 of my batteries or is their some thing else I can use to add to the Battery besides water. Thanks
H2O important? Comments By: Micah on 2009-12-16
Is H2O an important part of the chemical reaction? Or is the water simply helpful to transport the acid?
Ta muchly Comments By: Gerald on 2009-12-20
Thank you, having thrown away all my car manuals etc, it was a great help to find you and have my question answered straight away. Thanks again
exploded battery Comments By: Adrian on 2010-03-09
have a battery that exploded in my truck. the top blew off and the acid is exposed. can i just pour baking soda on to it to neutralize???
Mayonnaise works better. Comments By: Bob Johnson on 2010-04-28
If you don't have any Baking Soda you can always use Mayonnaise. Open up the little black covers in between the corroded posts/terminals and carefully fill with mayonnaise. Close covers and in about a day the corrosion will dissipate on it's own.
battery acid dripped on undercarage Comments By: vincent cimino on 2010-10-04
I had a bad battery and the acid dripped down on the under carriage of the car and now it is all dark brown in color, how dangerous is this and can i clean it up?

Ask a question Send in a tip Contact TipKing Books Privacy Disclaimer Feed
Tipking 2000-2011 All rights reserved Last update: Thu Nov 17 2011