How To Clean Battery Corrosion: step-by-step guide

If you are noticing that your car’s electrical systems have been acting weird lately, like Lights are getting dimmer, and all the screens and stuff are losing power. It means that your battery is corroded, and you need to clean the corroded battery. Because the battery is in charge of providing stored-up electricity to all the electrical components in your car, it needs to be cleaned before further damage.

But the question is, “How to clean battery corrosion in a car?” Well, cleaning battery corrosion is easy. If done properly, you can clean your battery corrosion in no time.

In this post, we will provide steps and related tips to help you clean your corroded battery and make it last for a long time.

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What Is Battery Corrosion?

When a battery runs, it releases hydrogen gas that mixes with the air, moisture, and salt. 

This leads to a chemical reaction that causes corrosion in your battery. You can spot corrosion on your battery by looking for a white, blue, or greenish powder around the battery terminals, posts, or cables. This powdery substance has a grainy texture. Battery corrosion occurs when the battery acid reacts with the air to create a corrosive environment.

What Causes Battery Corrosion?

Battery corrosion can take place due to several reasons. They include:

Overcharging or undercharging

If the positive charge wire is corroded, that means your battery is overcharging. This happens due to long highway rides where your alternator is always running and charging your battery most of the time.

If the negative charge wire is corroded, it means it’s undercharging. This happens when you are taking short trips like around the block or driving in close places.

Damage to the battery.

If your battery has leaks or damage, it can make the battery leak fluids. When a battery leaks, it can create a buildup of a substance called electrolyte on the battery terminals, which will cause battery corrosion.

Overfilling your battery

Many batteries require water to function properly. If you add too much water, it can spill out of the battery vents. This can lead to corrosion if the water comes in contact with the battery terminals.

Copper clamps.

Most of the time, acid from your battery leaks and touches copper clamps, which can cause a chemical reaction. This reaction will create copper sulfate in the copper clamps, which can cause corrosion.

Age or duration

If your car battery runs for a long time, it can build up corrosion. Most car batteries have a lifespan of 5 years. So after that period, it’s normal to see corrosion in your battery.


How To Clean Car Battery Corrosion (step by Step)

Step 1: grab your tools and safety gear

You’ll need some essential tools and supplies to get this job done safely and effectively. Also, be sure to wear safety glasses and work gloves, as this happens to be a risky job.

The battery conducts electricity, and the corrosion is also dangerous for your skin and other clothes. So don’t wear your nice clothes since you’ll be dealing with grease and dirt, and wear something that won’t affect you if it gets worn out from coming in contact with acidic material.

You’ll need a few specific items to clean off the corrosion from your car’s battery, including a stiff wire brush, a cup of lukewarm or cold water, a box of baking soda, a teaspoon, an old toothbrush, and some rags, an old toothbrush, pliers, a wrench, and some petroleum jelly for lubricating afterward.

Step 2: Disconnect the Battery

To disconnect the battery, start with the negative terminal first. Carefully remove the cable from the battery by using a plier and wrench.

Make sure to safely put the cable away from the terminal to prevent it from slipping back into place; otherwise, it will get connected and start supplying electricity.

Then, remove the positive terminal connection too by the previous method. Now the best way is to remove the battery from the vehicle first. Although it’s possible to clean it while still in the car, taking it out and placing it in a shallow bucket or pan will prevent any harm to yourself, the battery, or your car. This will allow you to collect any material that comes off during cleaning.


To clean battery terminals, you can start by mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of water until it’s well mixed.

Stir well enough for a better solution. If the corrosion is extreme, we recommend you use a specialized battery terminal cleaner that comes in an aerosol form which is easier to apply.

Step 4: SCRUB

First, pour half of the solution over each battery post and set it aside. Then, use a wire brush or old toothbrush to scrub off any remaining corrosion. You can dip the brush into the solution or pour the rest over the terminals to help with cleaning.

For stubborn cases, let the solution sit for at least five minutes to soak in. Keep scrubbing until all of the corrosion is gone.

Step 5: dry off the battery

After cleaning the battery corrosion, use a cloth or towel to dry off the battery. Wipe and clean the battery terminals with the cloth and wipe the positive cable and the negative cable too.

Step 6: Apply protective materials to prevent corrosion

There are many ways you can prevent corrosion on your battery. Some of them are :

  • Vaseline petroleum jelly:

Vaseline or petroleum jelly is cost-effective, and it’s a product that’s near you most of the time. Applying a small amount of petroleum jelly to your car battery’s positive and negative terminals can prevent corrosion by creating a protective layer of air so that gas and air can’t penetrate. 

Once you’ve cleaned the terminals, apply a thin layer of jelly to stop moisture, dirt, and salt from getting into the system. This will also prevent green corrosion from forming on the battery cables.

  • Dielectric Grease

Permatex 22058 Dielectric Tune-Up Grease can prevent voltage leakage and remove dirt, salt, and other deposits from the terminals. 

Simply apply the grease with a fine brush and scrub the terminals well. This will help keep your electrical system running smoothly.

  • Anti-Corrosion Washers

The NOCO NCP2 MC303S Oil-Based Battery Anti-Corrosion Washer is a renowned product that helps improve battery terminal conditions. It comes as a gel with a good texture and doesn’t evaporate or disappear quickly, so it can be used for a long time.

The gel helps reduce corrosion and increases the battery’s ability to start the engine, resulting in less power loss due to reduced voltage leakage. Overall, this product is a useful way to keep your battery in good shape for longer.

Step 7:Reconnect the battery cables.

Now, this is the last step. You just have to reinstall your battery in its tray. To reinstall your car battery, first, place it back in its tray in the engine compartment.

Then, connect the positive terminal to the cable and ensure it’s firmly attached before connecting the negative terminal. Finally, reconnect the battery wires hold-downs to secure them in their place.

Finishing the job (final words)

The answer to “How To Clean Battery Corrosion?” is easy if done carefully

Cleaning corroded batteries is a must-done process for your car’s maintenance. Battery corrosion cleaning and care can be done in roughly about 15 to 20 minutes. 

But make sure you follow all the steps properly and try to do the task safely so that you don’t electrocute yourself. Cleaning your car’s corroded battery will help you maintain your car’s electrical system and also prolong the battery life.

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