How to Clean Battery Terminals - Step by Step Cleaning Guide (2023)

Regular cleaning of car battery terminals is crucial to avoid corrosion and later problems caused by corroded terminals. But how do you clean battery poles with home remedies?

Battery sulfuric acid corrodes the terminals. Therefore, you need an alkaline solution that will neutralize acid deposits. You need baking soda and warm water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of distilled water and stir well. There you have it, a homemade solution that will effectively clean your battery terminals.

I found this cleaning kit to be a complete and very practical solution..

What do you need to clean car battery terminals? Is it okay to clean the battery posts without disconnecting them? How do you effectively remove corrosion from your car battery? We will address these questions later. Let's dive into the step-by-step guide to cleaning battery posts efficiently.

I strongly recommendInstall charge controllerto protect the battery.

How to Clean Battery Terminals - Step by Step Cleaning Guide (1)

How to clean the battery poles

What do you need to clean car battery terminals? Is it okay to clean the battery posts without disconnecting them? How do you effectively remove corrosion from your car battery? We will address these questions later. Let's dive into the step-by-step guide to cleaning battery posts efficiently. The following guide applies to both wired and wireless batteries.

How to Clean Battery Terminals - Step by Step Cleaning Guide (2)

Necessary tools:

- Toothbrush

- Taste

- Gloves

- Personal protective equipment (PPE)

- Safety goggles

Necessary things?

- Natriumbicarbonat

- Distilled water

(Video) How To Clean Battery Terminals In Your Car

– Petroleum gel

Step-by-step instructions on how to clean the battery terminals

Turn off your car's engine

To avoid damage to your car, turn off the engine before cleaning.

use protective equipment

Wear your PPE gloves and safety goggles.

Disconnect clamp

For safety reasons, start with the negative pole. Use a wrench to loosen the clamp. To avoid electric shock, make sure the metal switch does not touch the positive pole while working on the negative pole and vice versa. After separating the minus, it's time to separate the plus.

Scrub the dirt and grime

Use the toothbrush to apply the baking soda solution. Scrub until dirt and debris come loose. You can leave the solution on for 5 minutes to allow it to soak in and loosen dirt and corrosive residue.

rinse and dry

Rinse the corroded battery post with a clean, damp cloth, and then dry with a clean cloth.

(Video) How to Clean Battery Corrosion

Apply corrosion protection

After the connectors have dried, apply petroleum gel or grease. Petroleum gel helps reduce corrosion.

Reconnect the battery terminals

Now it's time to reconnect your car battery. Start the process in reverse order. In this case, start by reconnecting the battery's positive terminal, followed by the negative terminal.

Test your car

Start the car engine to test if the engine starts well. Once the battery posts are clean, your car should have no trouble starting. Start the car and listen to any game. Check the interior lights, headlights, and all other electronics to make sure the issue is resolved.

Things to consider before cleaning the battery posts

When choosing a cleaning solution, you need to consider the following:

  • Security for you and your car
  • How effective will the solution you choose be?
  • degree of corrosion
  • The type of battery in your car. Sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries, the most common of which are Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) and Geliffed Electrolyte, also known as Gel Cell

Benefits of cleaning battery terminals with baking soda

  • Baking soda is basic and therefore neutralizes acid.
  • Baking soda is effective in dissolving and cleaning badly corroded battery posts.
  • The method ensures safety for you and your car.

Disadvantages of cleaning battery terminals with baking soda

  • The process is quite tedious as you have to disconnect and reconnect the terminals

What's next to keep your battery posts rust-free?

Application of dielectric grease, Vaseline or similarspecial anti-rust spray sprayingon the battery terminals helps them stay rust free.Installation of corrosion protectionin terminals has helped me avoid a lot of problems lately. Consider getting oneTrickle charger for improved battery life.

Safety precautions before cleaning the battery posts

  • Always wear gloves and eye protection when cleaning car battery terminals. Never take a risksulfuric acid in the eyes.
  • Make sure your car's engine is off.
  • Do not clean the battery posts without disconnecting them.
  • Remove all jewelry and metal accessories. Uninsulated metal can cause arcing. This also includes the presence of metal tools for closing the connectors.
  • Make sure that neither you nor objects come into contact with both connectors at the same time. This will prevent the passage of electric current.
  • Car batteries are heavy. Have a good grip when lifting them.
  • Always have an alkaline solution handy. They can neutralize acid if you come into contact with it.

When you need to clean car battery poles

  • Visible signs of corrosion on the connectors. You will notice a buildup of blue or white powdery substance on the connection pads.
  • Problem starting the car. If your car won't start, it means the battery is having trouble conducting energy and the engine won't start. Cleaning the ports will remove any residue and fix the problem.
  • When your car keeps losing power. If the car loses power, you may experience a slow start or the engine may stall.
  • If you hear a clicking sound when turning the key.
  • When your car's interior lights and headlights go dark.

Why you need to clean car battery terminals

Why is it important that you know how to clean your car battery?

  • Prevent corrosion and damage to your car battery.
  • They say "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". The same philosophy applies to the overall condition of your car. Knowing how to clean battery terminals will prevent damage to battery components.
  • As previously mentioned, your battery contains highly corrosive sulfuric acid. It can be dangerous and harm you if it comes into contact with your skin through leakage.

Symptoms of corroded car battery terminals

  • dead car battery
  • Problem starting the car
  • Short circuit in fuses and lights
  • Spark plugs defective
  • car alternator defective

dead car battery

Perhaps the most common problem for car owners is a dead battery. Like most things, a car battery has a shelf life. Depending on the quality, most car batteries last five to seven years with good care.

Problem starting the car

(Video) How to properly clean & protect your battery terminals from corrosion!

Do you ask people to help you start your car? A common problem is when your vehicle has battery problems. Exhausted batteries do not die immediately. If this keeps happening, it's an indication that you may need to change your car battery or clean the terminals.

Read my guide to fixing autostart issues here.

Short circuit in fuses and lights

Like any other electrical connection, a faulty power supply is likely to cause a short circuit. Blown fuses and lights could be the result of a problem with your car's battery.

Spark plugs defective

When the spark plugs fail, engine misfires occur. Misfires occur when the spark plugs stop producing energy, which is due to battery problems.

car alternator defective

When your car's alternator fails, it can send too much voltage to the battery, which can cause it to overheat. Or a low voltage that prevents the car battery from charging. In this case, you may notice that your car's lights dim or the car stops completely.

Charging rules fehlt

Car batteries not only power the electronics, they also help start the engine. Different devices require different types of volts and wattage, and handling the need must be done by a trained service person. Mywireless charge controller and monitorhas never let me down.

Read my guide on how to fix alternator problems here.

How to prevent car battery poles from rusting

Clean battery poles regularly

Regular cleaning of the battery poles prevents the formation of corrosive deposits.

Apply the best rust protection

Then make sure the clamps are completely dryApply the best rust protection. You can also apply grease or petroleum jelly to protect the connectors from corrosion.

Check the battery connections regularly

Checking your battery from time to time will help you identify problems and take action faster. Replace defective alternators, for example. Overcharging or undercharging the battery is one of the main causes of corrosion.

Use anti-corrosion washers

Anti-corrosion washers are effective in preventing terminal corrosion. They apply a layer of sealant that protects the terminal from rusting.Here is the best anti-corrosive battery terminal washer I use..

Use copper compression clamps

The copper compression terminals are made of tin plated copper which provides full contact and allows for even distribution of electrical current.Here are the best copper terminals for car batteries..

(Video) Corrosion on Your Car / Truck Battery? Cleaning Tips! It’s Important!

Frequently asked questions about cleaning the car battery terminals

What happens if you first disconnect the positive terminal?

Disconnecting the positive pole first can cause a short circuit. You also run the risk of being electrocuted or burned.

How do you clean car battery contacts?

Use the cleaning solution to clean the car battery. Do not wet the car battery or pour cleaning solution directly onto the battery. Instead, apply the solution with a spray bottle or damp cloth.

Can you clean a car battery without disconnecting the cables?

It is not advisable to clean your car battery while it is still connected. Firstly for safety reasons and secondly when you disconnect your car battery make sure all surfaces are clean.

Does a corroded car battery need to be replaced?

A corroded battery does not necessarily mean that you need to replace the battery. You can remove and clean the corrosion. However, if the fastener is loose and the metal has chipped, it will need to be replaced.

Can corroded battery terminals prevent a car from starting?

Yes, corroded battery terminals prevent the car from starting, among other problems. Badly corroded terminals prevent battery electrolyte from powering the motor, causing it not to start.

Wrap up

So to answer how to clean battery terminals I would say always use an alkaline solution. Baking soda with distilled water can do the trick, or you can do itGet this complete cleaning kit and solutionFor convenience.

(Video) NOCO Battery Cleaner + Acid Detector


How do you clean battery terminals in electronics? ›

Either coat the terminals in baking soda, then spritz water on them or mix the paste beforehand and apply it to the terminals. Let it sit and bubble for a while to neutralize the corrosion, then wipe the terminals clean with a paper towel.

What should batteries cables and connections be cleaned with? ›

Pro Tip: Don't forget to clean the terminal ends that connect your battery to the cables. You can dip the ends in baking soda and water solution, or use a commercial battery terminal cleaner.

What is the best battery terminal cleaner? ›

The most common one is plain old baking soda. Here, you will mix two tablespoons of baking soda with an equal amount of water in a clean container. Stir the solution to form a paste, then use a toothbrush (or similar plastic bristle brush) to apply the paste to each terminal.

What is the first thing you should do before cleaning a battery? ›

Before cleaning the battery, you'll need to disconnect the battery. To do this, loosen the nuts on the clamps using a wrench. Once loosened, remove the negative clamp, marked with a “-” first. Only after the negative clamp is removed, remove the positive clamp, marked with a “+”.

How do you clean car battery terminals without disconnecting? ›

Mix a very small amount of water with some of the baking soda in a lid or small dish. Then, use the toothbrush to apply the paste to the terminals and clamps. Scrub thoroughly until the white substance disappears. If necessary, you can make use of steel wool to help remove the corrosion.

Can I clean a battery terminals while connected? ›

It is important to disconnect the negative battery cable before you disconnect the positive one. Once you have disconnected the cables in this order, dip the toothbrush in the cleaning solution and scrub away all of the corrosion on the battery terminals.

Can you clean battery terminals with alcohol? ›

Isopropyl alcohol is the best remedy for cleaning the corrosion of batteries. You should apply isopropyl alcohol on electronics because it is very safe to use. once you have applied, you need to rub it with a soft tissue or cloth. When you keep rubbing the alcohol on the surface, it will help remove the corrosion.

How much baking soda do you use to clean battery terminals? ›

Mix 4 cups of water with 6 tablespoons of baking soda. While we used more water in our video, this recipe should form a paste which will be easier to work with the first time. Rub the paste onto the corroded area using an old toothbrush or rag.


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