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How to Clean Battery Corrosion and Build Up

OOPs! I have not checked my emergency preparedness kit for a while.  Tonight I discovered that my small radio had battery corrosion.
What to do?
1. Check for the corrosion and follow the corresponding directions.
* Mild corrosion: On the traditional shiny terminals, this usually shows up as a dark dull spot.
* Build up: In extreme cases, you may see a crusty build-up. If the build-up is significant, the solution is a bit more tricky.
Mild Corrosion:
1. Gather the required materials.
2. Lightly soak your applicator in vinegar.
3. Gently swab at the terminal. Don’t be alarmed if there’s a fizzing reaction. That’s perfectly natural.
4. Rub with a bit more vigor if the corrosion doesn’t seem to be going away. If that still doesn’t remove the corrosion, you can gently rub the area with fine sand-paper to remove the corroded bits before trying the vinegar again.
5. Enjoy the return of life to your batteries. And remember to remove them before putting your camera away next time.
Build Up
1. Gather the required materials.
2. Do not touch the white crusty build-up with your bare skin! That’s battery acid which has leaked from the battery and it can burn your skin.
* If you do touch it, be sure to rinse your hands off thoroughly with warm soapy water before getting them close to your eyes or any mucous membranes. Let the water run vigorously because the acid will likely become active as it’s hydrated. Fast-running water will help rinse it off before it starts to burn you.
3. Try removing the battery case and soaking it in water or a dilute solution of baking soda (best case scenario).
4. Gently scrub the build-up off with a moistened towel while wearing rubber gloves. Remove as much as you can in this manner.
5. Use a dilute solution of baking soda on a towel to remove the rest. You will almost definitely get hissing and fizzing, as well as the creation of salt and water. If the battery casing is not waterproof (it generally isn’t), you may want to perform this step over a sink with the battery case facing down so that any generated water or salt will drip out.
6. Swab the inside with a dampened lint-free cloth. Distilled water is better in the long run to prevent build-up, but tap water won’t cause significant problems in this situation.
7. Gently dry the terminals with another lint-free cloth. Ensure that everything is dry before putting the batteries in. If necessary, leave the camera sitting out overnight to let any remaining water get out.
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From Heloise

Battery Corrosion

QuestionThe batteries in my touch lights have become corroded. Could you please tell me how to clean the terminals safely?
— Sally Flanagan, East Pittsburgh, Penn.

AnswerMix one or two tablespoons of baking soda with a little water to make a paste and apply to the corroded areas. This should bubble away the problem. Wipe clean and dry well.
If you live in a humid environment or store battery-powered equipment in a damp location, your batteries will have a tendency to corrode faster. So here’s my hint: For infrequently used items, remove the batteries when not in use.
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