Cleaning white deposits left from aged alkaline battery


Old 12-04-18, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Red face Cleaning white deposits left from aged alkaline battery

Most of us must have experienced this problem. Left an alkaline battery in some device way to long and it rotted and deposited a white corrosive deposit on the device contacts. I used to scrape off the deposits as best I could, but that often damaged them. I tried a few household chemicals, and I know baking soda works on car battery terminals.
Well recalling a bit of old chemistry classes, I decided to try PH Down, used for hot tubs & pools. Mixed up a very small amount (water and powder), and wiped on the contacts. AMAZING results! Quite a chemical reaction. After a wiping, re-applying it a few times, the contacts came back to perfectly clean. Shiny and not at all scared. There is a strong gas that is released, and so it needs to be done in a well ventilated room. I am sure one of you will know what the gas is.

I used a cotton swap to do the application, and dried everything well afterwards.
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Old 12-04-18, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,724
Good memory that pH decreaser is an acid. Most people have forgotten high school chemistry class.

Any acid will work but apparently you found a good one. I've used muriatic (hydrochloric) but it's a liquid and way too strong to be easily handled and vinegar was too weak and slow. Powdered pH decreaser I have on hand for my spa so I will give it a try the next time I have batteries poop in the remote.

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