How to Clean a Car Battery

Without battery, a car would not start. There are different types, of different sizes and different voltages. But all are prone to oxidation, particularly at the height of their terminals. This oxidation can weaken your battery or even damage it.

While you’re at it, you might also want to charge your battery should need be. Doing so naturally requires a powerful battery charger that will help you through this process. It’s a vital piece of gear that any car needs in its back-up storage.

That is why we must clean the battery. Car batteries are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Therefore, the arrival of summer or winter, think about cleaning battery terminals of your vehicle. ‘Tired’ car battery unleashes failure when working during strong climate change.

Self-maintenance of your battery will surely avoid a return to the garage. If you know anything in mechanics, know that you can prevent oxidation of the battery terminals: for this, you simply unscrew them and scrape them with a stiff brush before applying conductive grease.

The grease will insulate the cold / hot air in general, which will prevent oxidation and especially the failure.


Here is the detail instruction

What you need

  • Batteries lead / acid (car batteries)
  • Rubber gloves / latex
  • A clean cloth
  • Some water
  • Baking soda
  • A wire brush or steel wool
  • A wrench or socket
  • An object to scrape (knife, screwdriver, …)
  • Vaseline

Method 1: Cleaning of lead / acid batteries (car batteries)

First, locate and review the status of your battery. You can clean your battery without removing it. The battery is located under the hood of the engine. It is always visible, but its place varies (right, left, bottom, and front). Take a general look at the battery to see if there are major leaks or cracks or not. If this is the case, no hesitation, it must be replaced!

Otherwise, follow these steps:

Assess the degree of corrosion. Check the battery in every angle, top, bottom, sides, under the cabochons plastic pods. At the contact terminal-pod, if it is deposited over time with a compressed white powder: it is corrosion! If the cable and the terminal are really oxidized, they must be replaced. Otherwise, if your car battery does not have such manifestation, you just need to clean it. Here is how it is done:

 Disconnect the battery. Before doing anything, disconnect the battery by loosening the bolts of the two terminals which are plugged on the terminals. Attention to the order when you take the ring: first, disconnect the negative (black, put on the terminal marked “-” Then disconnect the red wire to the terminal marked “+”.

 The pods can be seized due to corrosion and then you must move them to one side and the other with pliers to get them out. Warning if you use a metal clamp: it should not get in the metal (eg body) and the battery; you may trigger a potentially lethal electrical arc!

 Prepare your paste of baking soda. Mix 3 baking volumes with a volume of water and mix well to get a solid paste.

Carefully apply this paste on and around the oxidized terminals. Wear gloves and goggles and do not put everywhere! You will see the dough begin to bubble and froth: the chemical reaction and cleanup began.

 The dough can be made with an old toothbrush, a damp cloth or directly with a gloved finger.

Scrape the white deposits. Sometimes corrosion is secure, it must then use a knife or screwdriver to scrape and clean the terminals. When the biggest has been removed, clean it better with a wire brush or steel wool.


 This work is not tough, automotive stores sell special brushes to perform this cleaning. Save your money and use a simple wire brush, you get the same results.

When cleaning the terminals, wear latex or rubber gloves as you remove corrosive material that must not come into contact with your skin, especially if you use steel wool. Choose disposable latex gloves so you can throw it away after use. It’s better not to keep gloves that may have touched harmful chemicals to avoid potential infection.

 Rinse. When the reaction is stopped and there are no more fat deposits, clean the terminals with a damp cloth (wear gloves).

Dry the terminals with a clean dry cloth.

Grease the two terminals. To limit future corrosion, now coat the terminals with your own grease or Vaseline (product used to prevents water arriving). Corrosion will not be averted, but slowed sharply.

Replace the husks in place. Start with the positive terminal and return only after the negative terminal. Tighten mounting bolts. Check if it holds. Replace the protective caps made of plastic.

For other components, just use a cloth to remove dirty spots.

Well that’s it! Done!

Tips and warnings on cleaning Battery Terminals



Car batteries are dangerous. Because of the release of hydrogen that occurs during charging, there is a risk of explosion. This is why it should not be any flames or sparks near a battery.

 With electronic devices, it is essential to avoid pouring water on the components.

The batteries contain acids or lead, both can severely burn the eyes and skin. NEVER attempt to open a battery! ! !

 Similarly, corrosion around the terminals is somewhere like caustic soda (it burns!). Wear gloves and goggles!

 It is advisable not to remove the nuts on the battery terminals, altogether. The only smart thing to do would be to loosen enough so they slide down the cable and when you connect the cables to the battery, it becomes easier to simply drag them back up and tighten.

Nuts can be tight at times due to corrosion. At such times, put your key in the terminals and apply a force to loosen.

A crucial aspect to remember while disconnecting the battery terminals is to remove the negative terminal first and when replacing them, attach the positive terminal first.

When cleaning the terminals of the battery, you should not contact the negative and positive ring of the battery together at the same time because there are chances which you may get an electric shock is high.

Cleaning the battery is one of the easiest car repair jobs and will help you save money, which would otherwise have been a mechanic. Although modern car batteries use of antioxidant compounds and threaded posts to reduce the occurrence of any problems, it is best to clean the battery of your car periodically.

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>>> See more:

How To Start a Car With Cables Or Jumpstart a Car


About the Author Leroy Simmons

My name is Leroy L.Simmons. I create this blog as the way to find out my excitement and also a way to remember my father. I always love writing, I embarked on this adventure of the blog, to tell you all that I want to share about my hobby, my dream of auto, truck and journey. At MRVEHICLE.NET, I hope to tell you great stories and especially to answer some questions you might ask. And there are also many interesting and up-to-date stories of drivers on their journey everywhere in the world.

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