How To Clean Corroded Battery Terminals | Car Batteries

How to clean corroded battery terminals?

In this post, we shall tackle the topic on how to clean corroded battery terminals, specifically car batteries. Financially speaking, having a car is a liability. However, having a car may be a necessity, if not convenience. You will surely prefer riding in the comfort of your own car than battling in the long lines of rail transits or bus.

The most convenient and practical way is to buy the brand-new car in full or buy a refurbished or repossessed ones from car dealers through bank. Most second cars have old batteries.

Car battery is the main heart of the car. Without it, the car will not run. First things first, one need to get safely to his destination and as a precautionary measure, you need to check out the batteries.

The most often sickness of a car is that battery terminals get corroded easily. Just at a first glance, by using our eye, you can identify that such terminals are corroded.

The effect of pandemic forced the most of us stay at home, and since the cars are not regularly used, tendencies are, the car may wear out or in some cases, the battery terminals corrode.

Why do car batteries corrode? Oftentimes, that scientific reaction is the result of some careless factors like loose terminals, hydrogen gas, and or electrolyte overfilling.

Can corroded terminals drain battery?

Battery terminals, which are corroded, may barely drain a car battery. Nonetheless, when the corrosion happens between the battery post and the cable terminals, it may result into broken or less than fixed connection. If this transpires, it may resemble a low-charged battery. Hence, it is as if he same has been drained of power.

Terminals corrode on the positive battery terminal, maybe, because of overcharging. When there is corrosion in the negative battery terminal, probably than not, that is because the battery is undercharging.

Scientifically speaking, battery corrosion is caused by hydrogen gas being released from the sulphuric acid inside of the battery. As the gas reacts in the ambient atmosphere or to air outside it, it begins to release corrosive elements.

Corrosion can be identified by the naked eye as the white marks or deposits on the car battery terminals. Regularly checking the car terminal for some corrosion is one way of taking care of the same.

Corrosion on the battery terminal may prevent or block the connections of positive terminal and negative terminal. This can cause delay in transferring energy from one mechanism to another, in order to make the car function properly.

Does vinegar clean corrosion?

Vinegar is one of the best cleaning solutions. In fact, washing the clothes with vinegar is the number one stain cleaner. Vinegar works as neutralizer of the alkaline discharge.

Vinegar or also known acts as acetic acid as a cleaning agent when mixed with water. In the following topics, I will be discussing cleaning agent to clean corroded car terminals and acetic acid. Vinegar will be one in the list.

Can you use apple cider vinegar to clean battery corrosion?

As you can you vinegar in cleaning, it follows that you can utilize as well Apple Cider Vinegar to remove corrosion from battery terminals. This proves effective as vinegar in itself is a cleaning reagent.

In some instances, a white vinegar is not available and may resort to an Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is a kind of vinegar that comes from the component of fermented apple juice.

Many believe that apple cider vinegar has many cooking and health benefits. The downside is, Apple Cider Vinegar here is a little bit pricey than the regular white vinegar.

Primarily because of their major components that Apple Cider Vinegar came from — well, apple that can only be grown in western countries while White Vinegar typically came from sugar cane which is massively grown in the humid areas.

Can you clean car battery terminals while connected?

Cleaning car battery terminals while connected may be safe. Of course, caution is still the best advice. Cleaning corroded battery terminal can be done at home and not hiring car technicians at car repair shop that at times would over charge you.

To start with the safe DIY (do-it-your-own) cleaning, you must wear gloves and safety googles or protective eyewear. Prepare necessary cleaning agent such as one cup of vinegar diluted in one bottle of water.

Ensure that the engine is turned off. It is recommended that car battery terminal is not hot. Meaning when you just turned off the car, leave it for few hours before doing the cleaning.

Now that you are safely ready and the car battery is not hot, spray hot water on the terminal. Apply hard pressure on the nozzle of the spray. The warm temperature of the water and the pressure on it helps loosen and remove the dirt deposits in the car battery terminals.

Don’t have spray bottle available at your home? Don’t worry, you can still do it by pouring a warm water from an ideal height. Be careful in doing this as not to let the liquid flow in other parts of the engine. After which, use your old toothbrush or wire brush to remove the rust and corroded area. Use a clean towel to let it dry.

How do you clean car battery corrosion with vinegar?

Now that you already know that a vinegar can clear car battery corrosion, let me teach you how to clean it. By following the instructions carefully, you can achieve a cleaner corrosion-free battery.

And sometimes it may look as good as new. To clean the car battery corrosion, you need to prepare a wrench, baking soda, vinegar, dry clean towel or cloth and toothbrush or wire brush, petroleum jelly. Prepare the right amount of mixture of baking soda and vinegar.

Do not forget to wear gloves and googles for your safety before doing this. Use the wrench to disconnect the terminals. Do not forget to remove the negative terminal ahead and then the positive terminal.

With the use of toothbrush or wire brush, apply a small amount of our cleaning mixture which are the vinegar and baking soda, then gently brush off the corroded parts of the terminals.

Apply small amount of water, then, use the clean towel to dry off the terminal. Now that your car battery is clean, connect the terminal back to the engine this time by connecting the positive terminal first then the negative terminal. To ensure the durability of the terminals and to avoid further corrosion, apply a grease to it or petroleum jelly.

Will baking soda and vinegar clean battery corrosion?

Powerful cleaning ingredient are baking soda and vinegar. These two have been tried and proven to be effective. I, myself use it in cleaning our stainless utensils and sink.

And mind you guys, the result is magically immaculate clean. Baking soda or sodium hydrogen carbonate is a chemical compound that are good cleaning agent which reacts with rust and corrosion.

The baking soda and vinegar break up the dirt from the corroded part of the car battery and grease out. It is undisputed that baking soda and vinegar will clean battery corrosion. Safe and cheap.

Can you clean corroded battery terminals with coke?

In some households, baking soda cannot be evidently available but a Coke is. Who would not love this beverage? But little that you know, Coke act as a cleaning ingredient as well.

Undoubtedly, baking soda and vinegar can clean battery corrosion. Yet, others believe that a staple beverage like Coke can do some cleaning trick as well.

You may be wondering what on earth this Coke is doing on the list of cleaning agent? More importantly in cleaning corroded car terminals?

Well, thanks to phosphoric acid. This is the key ingredient to your Coke which is not only safe but also relegated your favorite beverage to the list of cleaning agent. Phosphoric Acid helps cleaning rust stains in clothes and in toilet bowl.

Therefore, let’s roll on the materials. You need the following: Coke, toothbrush or wire brush, screwdriver or anything that would scrapes, clean cloth.

Before doing anything, ensure that the ignition is turned off. Prepare your gloves and googles as your protective equipment.

Start by disconnecting that battery terminals by getting rid of the negative then the positive. Cleaning off the deposits on the corroded car terminal by using the screwdriver.

This time, while the area is dry, use some toothbrush or wire brush to remove the dirt and some corroded area. Pour the Coke on the corroded parts. Let it sit it for about six to ten minutes.

You will notice that the are where you pour your Coke is being cleaned. This is brought about by the cleaning reagent in Coke. Follow this step again for the upper part of the car battery.

Wipe off the area with clean cloth and let it dry. Reconnect the terminals again, this, time by connecting the positive terminal first, the negative.


Owning a car is a liability if not properly taken care of. The car battery engine is one of the most important part of the car. It is the powerhouse of the case and thus susceptible to corrosion.

The corroded car terminals can affect the life and the performance of the car. If not prevented immediately, it can ruin the car, and to fix it, may cause hundred or thousands of bucks in car workshop.

Applying science, creativity, and patience, cleaning corroded battery terminal may not otherwise be expensive. There are other ways to clean corroded battery terminals.

You may use vinegar, may it be white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, baking soda, coke, or hot water. Others may recommend WD40 and Battery Anti-corrosion Washers.

You should take care of your vehicle, most especially, the battery terminal because the state of the car’s health is the determining factor for you to arrive safely to your home and to your loved ones.

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