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Batteries need to be clean in order to work properly. This means that the terminals on the battery need to be clean and free of corrosion. If there is any build-up on the terminals, it can impede the flow of electricity and cause your battery to work less efficiently. All of this can cause a number of problems, including decreased power and even a fire.
In order to avoid this issue, it is best to clean battery terminals with baking soda and water. Baking soda, a moderate alkaline, can be used to quickly and easily eliminate corrosion from the battery terminals. Electrolyte deposits of chloride can be removed from metal surfaces by using baking soda.
This article will explore 4 easy steps on how we can restore battery with baking soda to remove corrosion, dirt, and grime.
What is Battery Corrosion?
A fuzzy-looking substance around battery terminals and cable ends is one of the most common problems regarding batteries. It forms a mess around and can cause problems with the electrical connection and lead to decreased performance and shorter battery life. Battery reconditioning becomes necessary when faced with such a situation.
The process of charging and discharging creates a byproduct i.e. Hydrogen gas. Corrosion is a result of the gas discharged reacting chemically with the surrounding environment. Because of the corrosive environment created by these acidic gases, the terminals are more prone to corrosion.
The terminals are frequently surrounded by greenish components. A wet lead electrode reacts with the copper on the terminal clamp, resulting in this sort of corrosion. White parts may be visible around the terminals if the clamps are made of aluminum.
At last, we come to sulfation, a corrosive process that may be encountered by people. Batteries use sulfation as a means of storing energy.
When a battery isn’t charged properly, crystals begin to develop inside of it. These crystals have the potential to proliferate and induce corrosion, resulting in the leakage of acid and the expansion of the cell, both of which are harmful to the cell. The longevity of a battery can be greatly reduced by these crystals.
If the battery terminals are corroded, battery reconditioning is required. It can improve the battery’s long-term performance. In this post, we’ll show you how to clean battery terminals with baking soda in just four simple steps.
What Causes Battery Corrosion?
Battery corrosion is a common problem that can occur in any battery-powered device. This problem is caused by a build-up of deposits on the battery terminals. These deposits can cause the battery to short out and stop working. There are several causes leading to battery corrosion, however, the most common of them are as follows:
If you find that your battery is not holding a charge like it used to, there’s a good chance that corrosion is the culprit. Corrosion can form on the battery terminals from a buildup of dirt, grime, or acid. This can cause problems with charging and lead to battery failure.
When a battery is overcharged, the electrolyte (a sulfuric acid and water mixture) starts to decompose. This decomposition causes hydrogen gas to form, and the gas can escape from the battery if it isn’t sealed tightly. The hydrogen gas when reacted with the external environment, can cause the corrosion of the battery terminals and connector wires.
An Overfull Battery:
One of the most important parts of a battery is its fluid which helps ensure that the chemicals stay apart and don’t mix together as they react. As the terminals are made up of metals, hence, overfilling the battery can cause corrosion.
Besides causing corrosion, the battery fluid must be dealt with care as it can cause other serious issues as well.
Reaction to Copper Clamps:
The clamps that connect the batteries to the cables are made of copper. Corrosion of the terminal can be caused by overpassing current, which generates copper sulfate.
The average lifespan of a car battery is around 4-5 years. After this time, the battery will start to experience corrosion. This is due to the battery age and the natural degradation of the chemicals inside the battery.
The older the battery, the more likely it is to corrode. Corrosion is a natural process that occurs when two materials with different levels of oxidation meet. In the case of batteries, this can mean that the lead and acid within the battery mix create a corrosive gas. This gas can then eat away at the metal casing of the battery, leading to eventual failure.
When age is the factor, the process to recondition battery with baking soda is not helpful, rather you need to consider getting a new battery.
The last reason for the battery corrosion can be electrolyte leakage. Poor maintenance can cause electrolyte leakage which can accumulate on the terminals causing corrosion.
Now that we know the common cause of the corrosion, let’s find out the steps to clean battery terminals with baking soda. Let’s get started.
How to Clean Battery Terminals With Baking Soda?
Before we begin to restore battery with baking soda following are the things you need to gather:
Things to Gather:
- Protective gloves like dish gloves to protect your hands
- Baking soda
- Soft-bristled brush or wire brush
- Petroleum jelly to lubricate
- Cloth to dry
Step-1) Remove Terminal Connector Wires:
To restore battery with baking soda open the hoof of your car and use a wrench to disconnect the battery (located to your right as you stand in front of the car). Make sure to keep your car turned off to be on the safer side.
Start by removing the negative terminal first and then the positive one. Removing the positive terminal first can give you a shock because the current remains connected to the car. Make sure to inspect the battery for signs of cracks when it is removed. If a crack is discovered, a new battery must be installed.
The battery wires and clamps should also be inspected for damage. Replace any parts that show signs of wear and tear.
Step-2) Make Cleaning Paste:
Put 2 to 3 tablespoons (depending on corrosion) of baking soda into a small bowl and 1 tablespoon hot water in it and mix it well until you have a paste for battery reconditioning.
This paste will help to remove the corrosion from the battery. The alkaline baking soda paste will work to break down the acidic corrosion, and then can be easily brushed or wiped away.
Step-3) Start Cleaning the Terminal:
This is the most critical step in battery reconditioning. Scrub the battery connector wire head using a cleaning paste-dipped soft-bristled brush. Corrosion will have the most impact on the ‘O’ ring, so be sure to thoroughly clean it.
Before you remove the wires from the battery connection pegs, make sure to scrub them clean. Consider the thickness of your paste before applying it. If you have a battery pack, you don’t want it to become wet. After applying the paste, you want to ensure it doesn’t come loose or fall off.
Use a wet towel to wipe the battery wires and the battery connection pegs. Rinse well to remove any residue of cleaning paste or corrosion that may be left behind. If the corrosion persists, repeat the procedure.
Allow for complete drying of the battery connection pegs and wires. The connection terminals should not be reconnected unless they are wet.
Step-4) Lubricate and Reconnect Terminals:
Lubricate the connecting pegs with a little amount of petroleum jelly to help prevent further corrosion. Everything should be absolutely dry before you begin.
Ensure that both positive and negative cables are connected before reinstalling them. At last, remove any extra petroleum jelly.
Congratulations! You just finished the steps to clean battery terminal with baking soda. After battery reconditioning, you’re all set.
Important Tips to Remember:
- Clean the batteries before driving anywhere to keep the undercarriage components cool. If you try to perform anything under the hood after you’ve driven the car, you risk burning yourself.
- If you’re applying the cleaning paste, be sure it’s thick enough to stay put. If it’s not thick enough, add additional baking soda.
- Allow the paste to settle for a few minutes if the corrosion is particularly obstinate.
- Keeping a close eye on the battery for signs of corrosion will help it last longer. A typical car battery lasts up to five years, however, this depends on how much you drive and the extreme temperatures in which it is used.
In conclusion, battery reconditioning with baking soda is an easy and effective way to keep your battery functioning properly. By keeping your terminals clean, you can prevent corrosion and extend the life of your battery. These simple steps ensure that your car will start every time you need it. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and give it a shot right now!
Use a soft-bristled brush to begin cleaning the battery terminals, then lubricate and reattach them. Make sure you gather all of your supplies and disconnect the battery properly. And you are done with battery reconditioning.