Baking soda w/ water and a scrub with a wire brush. Don't allow the
cleaner to get inside the battery. Polyurethane on the posts or even
petroleum jelly will deter corrosion. An old trick is to lay a penny
next to the terminal. It will corrode instead.
Awww geez what did those people ever do to you to give silly advice like
To the OP
Newer batteries don't usually gas enough to cause serious corrosion unless
there is a battery or charging system problem
particularly if your application uses side terminals.
brush off as much of the corrosion as possible THEN
Loosen the nuts, and carefully remove the terminals and make sure to clean
the post and inside of the terminal until it's shiny reattach the cable and
get the battery and charging system checked.
Just flush the outside of the battery with regular water to remove as much
acid as possible.
Using alkali's like baking soda will rot out your battery tray, hold-downs,
or fender faster than the battery acid.
And keep your pennies in your pocket, or give it to a charity as it won't
make any difference to acid.
This is Turtle.
Pour Diet Dr. Pepper on terminals and watch it burn off. Pour it on the terminal
3 or 4 times and rinse good with water. then let dry and put Vasiline Jelly on
it to prevent it again.
P.S. Any carbonated water drink will work.
I've always just cleaned them (already described above) and then a thin
coating of non-conductive grease (basically just about any grease!).
No worries at all. Learned this when I worked in the mechanics shop years
Remove terminals from battery and clean thoroughly with a wire brush to remove
all deposits and corrosion. Liberally coat all terminal and post surfaces with
anti-oxidant compound (OxGard, found in the electrical department at most home
centers and hardware stores, works great). Reassemble.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
I suggest you go to the auto parts store and get a battery terminal cleaner.
They are easier to use than a wire brush. As for the anti-oxidant stuff
they sell for inflated prices I have found that Vaseline works better.
I don't think I've ever read it anywhere but I suspect that the gooey stuff
that forms on top of storage batteries eventually will become conductive and
form a path between the terminals. This may only be my paranoia but I
always keep my battery tops clean just in case.
Ummmm.... Vaseline is an electrical insulator. If you apply it between the
terminal and the post -- which is where you *really* need corrosion prevention
-- it ain't gonna work. OxGard, on the other hand, is conductive, and can be
applied where it's needed the most.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come there is so much corrosion between the
terminal and the post? In most cases they are the
same material (lead), so the corrosion isn't
caused by dissimilar materials.
I like what another person wrote--new batteries
don't have much corrosion. So what does that tell
you? Maybe cleanliness is a deterrent and that
corrosive gas or corrosive liquids are a problem?
In my experience, covering the whole connection
with some type of material is what prevents
corrosion on older batteries. As for vaseline--it
works. And if you put a light coat on the
connections surfaces, it still works because it is
thin and squeezes out so you get a good electrical
connection. But, I prefer to have the connection
clean, make the connection and tighten, then rub
in whatever you want, and vaseline is just fine,
but I think a heavy grease works better. Lasts
for several years. Best bet is a good battery and
charger so you don't get any spewing of corrosive
I've preferred Kopr-Shield for about 40 years. It used to be available
only through electrical supply houses, but small bottles of have made
their way into the auto supply stores now;
AFAIK It's a light grease loaded with finely divided copper powder which
both prevents corrosion and fills up the microscopic roughness on the
surfaces of the mating parts, increasing the amount of contacting metal.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote in
When you tighten the clamp,it squeezes out the Vaseline,and small
differences in the surfaces penetrate any film left,so Vaseline does not
insulate the post from the clamp. It does keep oxygen from the cleaned
just a safety note-if you use a wire brush to clean post or terminals, be
really careful when brushing. The metal fragments can fly into your eyes.
What works best to clean corroded automobile battery terminals and
more importantly to prevent future corrosion?
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.