How to clean battery compartment?

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I have new battery lighted garland that has corrosion in the battery box. Forgot to remove batteries last year & they leaked. Can it be cleaned??

  6 answers
  • Mad29883817 Mad29883817 on Nov 19, 2018

    Use Q-tips dipped with alcohol works great

  • Diane Coverdale Diane Coverdale on Nov 19, 2018

    You could try with a dampened Q-tip to remove some of the salt. Be careful as this can burn your skin. Once it seems clean enough but is still a bit discoloured, use a thin emery board to polish up the metal, then try using with another set of batteries. I hope it works for you!

  • 1401470 1401470 on Nov 19, 2018

    baking soda and hot water then use an old tooth brush to clean it off. Wear gloves..

  • Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor on Nov 19, 2018

    Hi Barbara, It is pretty easy and it just take something you probably already have. Use a disposable towel to brush away any loose corrosion (white solid). Place a small amount of white vinegar into a small container such as a cup or bowl. Using a cotton swab, moisten the tip with vinegar and carefully wipe the corroded contacts. Repeat as necessary to remove all of the white residue.

  • Barbara Metzger Barbara Metzger on Nov 19, 2018

    Thank you to everyone for the helpful solutions.

  • Gail Gail on Nov 19, 2018

    You must neutralize the battery acid or it will continue to eat away at the contacts & wires. Battery acid is battery acid is battery acid no matter what size the battery is whether size of a vehicle battery or a AAA battery. I learned that from a professional repair man who works with this. He did this for me free of charge so he wasn't making any money from teaching me. I had a very large marine battery explode inside an RV compartment. That acid from the battery HAD to be neutralized in order to save my RV from future damage to wiring, flooring, walls & everything it had gotten on as it would continue to eat away at everything with just moisture from the air. The costs of rebuilding my RV would have been astronumical. Ok, you say, I'm only talking about a small object here. If it's worth saving & using, it's worth neutralizing the battery acid. Now here's how.


    Mix up some baking soda water & a little paste. A syringe, Turkey baster, or eye dropper depending on area size to be cleaned, a cheap kids paint brush & an old tooth brush , & some rubber gloves will work fine to clean out the dried battery acid & protect your skin & apply the paste.


    With gloves on & your baking soda wash, put some paste on the area, let set for a few minutes then " wash" out the area with the baking soda water until it's clean. You will see plenty of bubbling or fizzing as the baking soda does its work. When the acid has all been neutralized, there won't be any more bubbles or fizzes. This is how you will know when it's time to wash out the baking soda & let it dry.


    ***DONT submerse the item into baking soda water unless it's a separate battery holder from the item it goes with. In that case, you may do so.***


    After neutralizing the acid, rinse out the area with plain water. Dry what you can then pour rubbing alcohol into or over the area using baster, syringe, or dropper if needed to dry remaining water. Put item aside & give it time to completely dry, overnight is best. A warm, not hot, air blow dryer helps if you can't wait over night. Key here, given its electronic, is to let it get completely dry BEFORE applying any electrical current to it. Hopefully it hasn't been shorted out from the leaking acid. Once cleaned & dry, it should work again the way it's supposed to.


    This is also a teachable thing for children & they love the bubbling & fizzing of the process.

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