Although various metals and chemicals are used to create different batteries, all batteries feature a negative and a positive terminal and an electrolyte.
This electrolyte can leak out of the battery casing, causing corrosion and mess. Most of us will have encountered a battery leak at some point when changing household remote control batteries. This type of battery leak is usually minor, but the chemicals from a battery can damage electronics and engine parts. The corrosive or acidic chemicals are also potentially dangerous to humans.
Learning how to clean different sorts of battery spills can protect your household equipment, and more importantly, your loved ones.When attempting to handle chemical substances, certain precautions must be taken. The same goes for any attempt to clean battery spills.
Batteries contain caustic or acidic chemicals such as potassium hydroxide and ammonium chloride, so always clean battery leakage in a well-ventilated area.Using gloves and eye protection is also recommended. It goes without saying that before you start to clean the inside of an electronic device, it should be switched off and disconnected.
Remove the leaking batteries and dispose of them according to instructions.Next, you need to determine whether you are cleaning an alkaline battery leak or a leak from an acid battery. Chances are you will have discarded the packaging, but the battery itself often indicates its type. If unsure, do not proceed because using the wrong cleaning method is risky. Use the label as a guide and check online, or call the manufacturer to be certain.
To clean battery spillage, you need to neutralize the leaking chemical. Alkaline batteries contain caustic base solutions. To clean an alkaline-based battery leak, you will need an old glass, lemon juice, some water and a rag. Create a solution by adding water to lemon juice at a ratio of 3:1, for example, 30 ml of water to 10 ml of lemon juice. Soak up the solution with your rag and wipe any area affected by the battery spill.
On the other hand, acidic batteries such as nickel cadmium batteries leak chemical acid, so the idea is to neutralize the acidity. Making a paste out of baking soda and water is the simplest way to clean an acid battery leak. Water should never be applied directly to an acid, so the paste should not be too watery. Add water gradually to the baking soda and stop when the paste is spreadable.
Instead of a rag, you can use cotton buds to or a toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas. Spread the mixture on the affected areas and wait a few minutes before wiping it off. Whichever type of battery leak you are cleaning, make sure that you remove all traces of the solution or paste before putting in new batteries.