Car batteries tend to corrode if they are not cleaned on a periodic basis. Exposure to moisture is the main reason behind this phenomenon. If left unattended, the rusted parts of your car battery can hinder the smooth performance of your car.

  1. Check your Battery

Owing to a corroded car battery may often cause difficulty in starting your car. In order to check the condition of your battery, you would need to examine it directly.

  • Turn off the car before you open the hood of your car. This can avoid untoward damage to the cables inside.
  • Check the nature of the terminal configuration your battery has. This is important to determine the type of wrench you would need.
  1. Remove the Cables

For batteries that have their terminals on the side, you would require an 8mm wrench for removing the cable nuts. And for batteries that have terminals on the top, you need to get a 10mm wrench.

  • Once you find the right kind of wrench, start loosening the negative cable clamp and slowly detach the cable.
  • Repeat the same procedure for the positive cable clamp. Slowly pull up the cables by twisting them if needed.
  1. Look for breaks

When you are removing the battery for a general cleanup you can easily detect issues like breaks or dents.

  • Check the top and edges of your battery for small breaks or openings. Such breaks can lead to acid leakage which can be dangerous.
  • If you happen to find any breaks or dents, you can abandon the cleaning process because you would need to replace the entire battery.
  1. Prepare a Safe Cleaning Solution

Once you have located the areas that are rusted, you need to make arrangements for cleaning them in a safe manner.

  • Take a cup of hot water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to it. Stir the mixture to create a strong cleaning solution.
  • Apply the solution to the corroded parts of the battery using an old toothbrush. Scrub gently to loosen the layer of dust and debris.
  1. Clean the Cables and Clamps

Corroded batteries often require thorough cleaning as the rust tends to spread to different parts of the battery including the cable tips.

  • To clean corroded cable ends you can immerse them in the hot baking soda solution and then scrub gently with the brush.
  • Also, rub the baking soda solution around the posts and battery clamps to remove any trace of corrosion.
  1. Rinse with Cool Water

After scrubbing the battery and its parts with a baking soda solution, you need to rinse thoroughly with cool water.

  • Rinsing with cold water is an effective way to dislodge the corroded layers that have been loosened up with hot water treatment. Also, clean the cables and clamps with cold water.
  • After rinsing, use a clean cotton cloth to soak up all the water. Wipe again using another dry cloth to remove the leftover trace of moisture.
  1. Lubricate the Battery Terminals

In order to prevent corrosion in the near future, you need to lubricate the metallic parts around the battery terminals, clamps, and posts.

  • You can use a battery terminal protector spray to lubricate the areas that are prone to corrosion.
  • Alternatively, you can simply apply some petroleum jelly to lubricate the metal parts.
  • Now you can connect the cable clamps and position the battery back in its original place.


  • In the case of an emergency, you can clean the battery using cola and water. You can do it by simply loosening the terminals.
  • While cleaning the clamps examine them carefully. If you detect any tear or break then you would need a replacement.

How do I clean corrosion off a car battery?

Mix a very small amount of water with some of the baking soda in a lid or small dish. Then, use the toothbrush to apply the paste to the terminals and clamps. Scrub thoroughly until the white substance disappears. If necessary, you can make use of steel wool to help remove the corrosion.

Can corrosion eliminate a car battery?

Corrosion can drain power out of a battery and shorten its life. Battery corrosion is typically apparent at the terminals, a problem that can be resolved by careful cleaning.

Is corrosion a sign of a bad battery?

One of the most common symptoms of a battery terminal issue is visible corrosion. Corrosion can interfere with the battery terminals ability to conduct power and in severe cases can even completely block the flow.

Does a corroded car battery need to be replaced?

Yes. If one of the battery terminals is loose or corroded, it may cause many problems including a no-start, check engine light, stalling, as well as lack of the electric power steering assist. Many dealers and reputable repair shops visually inspect the battery terminals during regular oil changes.

Can you drive with a corroded battery?

Over time the corrosion actually affects the battery itself, causing it to become partially burned inside. This impacts its effectiveness significantly, and it will stop being able to maintain a charge or start your vehicle immediately, the way it’s supposed to. In fact, it may stop being able to start your car at all.

How do you fix a corroded battery?

All you need is a glass of water and a teaspoon of baking soda to prepare the solution. Then use an old toothbrush or bristled brush to scrub said solution on the corroded areas. Cover the battery terminals and other corroded areas with a coat of baking soda. Then pour a small amount of water on each terminal.

Why does my car battery keep corroding?

Corrosion happens on the battery terminals when hydrogen gas is being released from the acid in the battery. This acid mixes with other things in the air under the hood of your vehicle, causing the corrosion you can see. Some batteries are “maintenance free” which means you don’t need to check the water levels inside.

What problems can corroded battery terminals cause?

If any corrosion develops along the battery terminals, this may interfere with the connection and the vehicle may have trouble starting. This can be caused by corroded or even loose battery terminals. The vehicle may experience difficulty starting, slow cranking, or rapid clicking when the key is turned.

How do you fix a corroded battery terminal?

How do you clean corroded terminals?

To neutralize the acid, you need to add a baking soda paste to the terminals. Either coat the terminals in baking soda, then spritz water on them or mix the paste beforehand and apply it to the terminals. Let it sit and bubble for a while to neutralize the corrosion, then wipe the terminals clean with a paper towel.

What do you spray on corroded battery terminals?

Permatex Battery Protector & Sealer seals and coats battery terminals eliminating the formation of acid salt corrosion typically found when terminals are untreated. Prevents terminal corrosion and battery drain. Increases battery life and improves electrical flow.

Can you use apple cider vinegar to clean battery corrosion?

For that reason, it’s wise to clean a battery leak with a mild household acid like vinegar or lemon juice. Both liquids work to neutralize the alkaline discharge. Place a drop of vinegar or lemon juice onto the corroded area, then wait a minute or two for the neutralizing effect to take place.

Can you clean battery corrosion with alcohol?

White vinegar or lemon juice: Most household batteries contain bases, so acids will neutralize their discharge. Rubbing alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol is a safe and effective way to clean electronics without leaving behind moisture and other residue.

Can you clean battery corrosion with hand sanitizer?

Yes, alcohol (70% or 91%) is good for cylindrical type (flashlight) battery corrosion. With cotton swabs, rubbing alcohol removes most leak residue.

How does vinegar clean battery corrosion?

Remove the damaged battery and put it in a plastic bag. Wipe away any white, solid materials (loose corrosion) using a cloth. Pour some white vinegar into a cup or a bowl. Dip a cotton swab into the white vinegar and then use it to wipe the contacts.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide to clean battery corrosion?

Spray white vinegar and wait five minutes to begin the corrosion process. Next, mix two cups of three percent hydrogen peroxide, four tablespoons white vinegar, and 1½ teaspoons of table salt in a large bottle. Shake thoroughly, then soak the metal surface.

How do you clean corrosion off AA batteries?

The best way to remove alkaline leakage from the device is to neutralize by carefully dabbing with a few drops of a mild acid like white vinegar or lemon juice. For stubborn leaks, an old toothbrush dipped in vinegar or lemon juice gets the job done.

Does pouring Coke on car battery get rid of corrosion?

The acid in Coke will neutralize the corrosion on the battery and cables. When the Coke has finished bubbling, take a wire brush and brush away any corrosion that is stuck around bolts or any other hard to reach areas.