What to Do When AAA Batteries Leak

A battery against a white background.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15
What You'll Need
Lemon juice
Baking soda
Cotton balls
Old toothbrush
Protective gear for hands and eyes

AAA batteries are used for everything from remote controls to cameras. They may be useful, but they are not without their issues. Among the many problems ailing AAA batteries, leaking is among the most common and frustrating. Leaks occur when a battery has been left in an electronic device for too long. Unfortunately, the only way to know the battery is leaking is to find the mess in the battery pack of a device.

Although the potassium hydroxide in alkaline batteries is a toxic substance, cleaning an area that has had a battery leak is a doable task. Take proper precautions for a safe clean-up. Also, make sure you are not wearing anything that the overflow can ruin. An old T-shirt is fine, or even a smock that you can throw away if need be will work. Here's what to do if your AAA batteries start to leak.

Step 1 - Throw Them Out

The first thing you need to do in a leaky battery situation is to throw the broken batteries out. Alkaline batteries are especially dangerous to handle, so wear gloves and goggles. Place them in a sealed Ziploc bag and dispose of them away from pets or curious children.

Step 2 - Ventilate

Ventilate the area well so that fresh air comes in and circulates around the leak. A small amount of the fluid will probably not harm anyone in your home, but try to work in an open garage, at a picnic table, or in a large open room.

Step 3 - Make a Mixture

A mixture of lemon juice and vinegar will clean out the potassium hydroxide. Water might just make the problem worse.

Step 4 - Clean Out the Acid

Dab a cotton ball in the lemon juice and vinegar mixture and clean out the mess from the battery compartment. You can gently swab it out, exchanging dirtied cotton balls for newly dabbed ones in the process.

You can use the toothbrush for this process as well. Simply dab the toothbrush in the mixture and scrub out the area well. Use a cotton swab to clean up any extra material.

Step 5 - Use Banking Soda

After you've finished scrubbing the area with lemon juice and vinegar, it's time to bust out the baking soda. Using baking soda and your toothbrush, scrub out the area well to make sure there is no leftover residue from the battery or the mixture. This also helps to sanitize the area for future use.

That's all you need to know about what to do when AAA batteries leak. This guide will help keep you and your household safe.