Questions about battery leak

I have a handheld video game that takes 4 alkaline size C batteries, and I had left it in a corner 5 years ago and forgotten about it. I finally looked at it today and there must have been a battery leak, because there is a substance that looks like a white powder all around the battery compartment. The game had been placed in a plastic bag, and part of the bag around the battery compartment was dissolved. In addition, the game was inside the plastic bag, which was inside a paper bag. I noticed a large dried liquid stain inside the paper bag.
So what is the white powder-like substance? Is it toxic? How should I attempt to clean the game?
Also, what was the liquid that leaked out? If it stained the paper bag, then it probably got onto the carpet too. Should I try to clean the area of the carpet that the paper bag was sitting on, or should I not worry about that?
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I take everything apart and clean all the pieces with vinegar and then rinse with water. You may have to do some un-soldering of the wires to the contacts. Then I use a blow dryer to dry everything. Just make sure you don't make the parts warmer than you can touch with your hands. After all the parts feel dry, let them sit for 24 hours to air dry completely. Now put everything back together, and re-solder the wires back to the contacts as necessary.
If you cannot take everything apart, you can try to clean the battery contacts in their positions. This will be more difficult to do a proper job.
--

JANA
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** KOH.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_hydroxide

** Warm water with a few drops of liquid detergent is fine.

** KOH plus water.

** Its actually a common carpet cleaner.
Biggest problem is the way it corrodes metals - including the parts and tracks on a PCB.
....... Phil
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On Sun, 22 Jun 2008 19:50:59 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

I am not a scientist, but I'm still healthy after 55 years of messing with this sort of thing.
Don't inhale it, but otherwise just tap on the device until most of the powder falls off into a bag. I don't think it's light enough to float around, but if you're worried, do this outside.

Alkaline batteries seem to leak far less often than "flashlight" batterie, carbon zinc, but I just had one or two out of two AA batteries in a remote control leak. I put in two new batteries and the thing works fine. You may be lucky too. So don't go crazy with cleaning until you check if things work.
Still, I wonder if corrosion might continue even after the batteries and powder is out, so wiping with vinegar** might be a good idea even then. AFter all your device costs a lot more than my remoote control.
**Vinegar is fairly weak acetic acid and it neutralizes the alkaline in the batteries. Then it can be wiped off with a water-only wet rag, or rinsed better if the thing is apart. Although I don't think vinegar is strong enough to damage things, even if it's not rinsed off.

Unless your dog or baby licks that part of the carpet, I'd use my fingers to see if it's wet there, try blotting it up with paper towels if it is, and wouldn't worry about it otherwise.
If someone does lick that part of the carpet, I'd rinse with soap and water (which I guess will make most of the stuff fall to the bottom of the nap, or use carpet shampoo.)
People may yell at me, but most of the toxic things in the world are toxic to people who work with them every day for years. After a few of them die, it seems wise for everyone to avoid the stuff, so don't lick it and don't inhale that powder.
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