• Hometalker
  • Bethlehem, PA

Don't Throw Out Your Solar Lights Just Yet.

I thought my solar light batteries needed replaced until I saw the battery compartments were corroded. So I took to the internet and found 2 options, white vinegar or baking soda and water mixture, neither worked. Then I remembered the old remedy I had used to remove tarnish from brass, ketchup. I didn't want to throw them away because they were still in great shape and I didn't want to have to buy more,
This is what they looked like .
This is what they looked like .
I slathered the ketchup on the contacts and the springs with a Qtip. Then let them sit for quite a bit of time.
don t throw out your solar lights just yet , cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs
I cleaned them with a Qtip and water. Some were more corroded than others so I reapplied more ketchup. Cleaned them again and let them all dry.
This is the end result, no more corrosion.
This is the end result, no more corrosion.
After letting them dry, I placed a ( regular ) battery in the compartments to test them. They now work !
don t throw out your solar lights just yet , cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs

Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sin4639069
    on Apr 25, 2016

    Can you use the regular battery or do you have to have rechargeable?

    • Barrie Templeton
      on Jun 13, 2016

      Hmmm. I will have to try my old mouse batteries. They won't operate the cursor, although they still put out about 1.2 Volts, which is about what rechargeables normally deliver.

  • Jean Quintana
    on Apr 25, 2016

    Is it the vinegar in the ketchup and the thickness of it makes it stick to the contacts?

    • Gay Young
      on May 16, 2016

      I know many years ago we sold Pistol Pete hot sauce to clean brass so the cleaning is definitely done by the tomato. For hard to reach pieces like the coil, the clinging thickness of ketchup probably does help.

  • Rose
    on Apr 25, 2016

    can I use regular batteries in these outdoor solar lights ??? thanks. Rose P.S. THey come with rechargeable,but they don't recharge.

    • Lora Taylor Hyatt
      on Sep 19, 2017

      Once a year I clean up my solar lights, if they don't seem to be charging in the sun I bring them in and put them on a battery charger after that they seem to be like new again

Join the conversation

2 of 66 comments
    on Jun 13, 2016

    Lots of good ideas, I will try them out on all my lights. Thanks!

  • Jenelle lubiniecki
    on Jun 1, 2017

    I tried apple cider vinegar, rubbing alcohol neither worked. Gonna try ketchup.. hope it works on my hanging solar lamp poles. Just one out of 6 won't work. Fingers crossed

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