How to Clean Out Battery Corrosion: Easy Solutions for Acid Buildup

Battery corrosion is a common problem that can occur due to a buildup of acid on the battery terminals. This can cause damage to your battery, and in some cases, even cause your car to stop working. However, there are some easy solutions for acid buildup that you can use to clean out battery corrosion.

What Causes Battery Corrosion?

Battery corrosion occurs when the sulfuric acid inside the battery reacts with the lead in the battery terminals. This reaction produces lead sulfate, which can build up on the terminals and cause corrosion. Over time, this corrosion can reduce the flow of electricity to the battery, which can cause problems with the vehicle’s electrical system.

What Are the Symptoms of Battery Corrosion?

The symptoms of battery corrosion are fairly easy to spot. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • A battery that is difficult to start
  • A battery that loses power quickly
  • An engine that hesitates or stalls
  • Dashboard warning lights that appear randomly

If you notice any of these symptoms, it could be a sign that your battery is suffering from corrosion.

How to Clean Out Battery Corrosion

Tools Needed

Before you get started, it’s important to gather the right tools for the job. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Baking soda and water
  • A wire brush or battery terminal cleaner
  • A wrench or pliers
  • A clean rag

Step-by-Step Process

If you have all of the above tools in your arsenal, you’re ready to begin the process of cleaning out battery corrosion. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure that the engine is turned off and the vehicle is parked in a safe place.
  2. Put on your safety gear (safety goggles and gloves).
  3. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water. Be sure to stir the mixture well.
  4. Use a wrench or pliers to disconnect the battery terminals. Start by disconnecting the negative (-) terminal first, then the positive (+) terminal.
  5. Use a wire brush or battery terminal cleaner to scrub away any corrosion on the battery terminals. If the corrosion is very thick, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to help break it down.
  6. Once the terminals are clean, dip a clean rag in the baking soda and water mixture and wipe down the terminals to remove any residual corrosion.
  7. Reconnect the battery terminals, starting with the positive (+) terminal first and then the negative (-) terminal.

That’s it! Your battery terminals should now be clean and free of corrosion. However, it’s important to keep in mind that battery corrosion can happen again, so it’s a good idea to check your battery periodically and repeat the above process as needed.

Preventing Battery Corrosion

Now that you know how to clean out battery corrosion, let’s talk about some steps you can take to prevent it from happening in the first place:

  • Keep your battery clean and dry.
  • Avoid overcharging your battery.
  • Invest in a battery terminal protector spray.
  • Check the battery regularly for signs of corrosion and clean it as needed.


Battery corrosion is a common problem that can cause damage to your battery and your vehicle’s electrical system. However, with the right tools and a little bit of know-how, you can easily clean out battery corrosion and keep your vehicle running smoothly. Be sure to follow the steps outlined above and take preventative measures to keep your battery in good condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use vinegar to clean out battery corrosion?

A: Yes, you can use vinegar to clean out battery corrosion. However, vinegar is an acid, so it’s important to dilute it with water before using it to clean your battery. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water for best results.

Q: Can I use Coca-Cola to clean out battery corrosion?

A: Yes, Coca-Cola can be used to clean out battery corrosion. Like vinegar, Coke is an acid, so it can help to break down the buildup on your battery terminals. However, it’s important to rinse the terminals thoroughly with water after using Coke to avoid leaving behind any sticky residue.

Q: How often should I check my battery for corrosion?

A: It’s a good idea to check your battery for corrosion at least once every three months. However, if you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to check the battery more frequently.

Q: What should I do if my battery is severely corroded?

A: If your battery is severely corroded, it may be time to replace it. Corrosion can cause damage to the battery that cannot be repaired, so it’s important to keep an eye on your battery and replace it if necessary.


  • How to Clean Battery Corrosion: 6 Steps for Safety and Success (
  • Battery Terminal Corrosion: A Quick Fix (
  • The Effects of Corrosion on Battery Performance (

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