How to Clean Battery Terminals

Batteries are extremely important, as they practically power our entire lives; from car batteries for our vehicles to alkaline batteries for our personal devices and beyond, we’ve come to rely on them greatly. Thus, it’s extremely important that we know how to clean battery terminals. Otherwise, debris and corrosion will render them completely useless, in which case, it’ll render us completely useless, too.

That’s why our team at wrote this How to Clean Battery Terminals guide. Reach out to us for more info!

How to Clean Battery TerminalsIn this guide, we’ll cover two separate types of cleaning processes: cleaning car battery terminals and cleaning a corroded alkaline compartment. And, as always, contact us if you need any more guidance.

How to Clean Battery Terminals

Here are six simple steps that you can follow to clean your car or lawn mower battery’s terminals. Check ‘em out now!

  1. Find the battery. This shouldn’t be too difficult; check the auto owner’s manual for assistance.
  2. Remove the terminal covers. By this point, you must wear both work gloves and safety glasses.
  3. Disconnect the battery. First, loosen the negative clamp; then, loosen the positive clamp. Make sure you avoid touching any other metal objects, like the frame of the vehicle.
  4. Select a cleaning agent. Baking soda is the most common cleaning agent for auto batteries.
  5. Rinse, and then dry. Once you clean off the corrosion using the cleaning agent, you need to rinse off the cleaning agent itself from the posts. Use a spray bottle of water, and then dry.
  6. Reconnect the battery. You only need to do this if you want your car to start again someday!

How to Clean Battery Terminals: Corroded Alkaline Battery

Last, but certainly not least, here’s an 8-step method that you can use if the battery compartment itself needs cleaning (due to alkaline corrosion). This is perfect for many different consumer devices and alkaline batteries.

How to Clean Battery TerminalsSupplies: old toothbrush or cotton swabs, lemon juice or vinegar, baking soda, gloves, goggles, etc.

Safety: Don’t let the corrosion touch your skin, protect your eyes, and work in a well-ventilated area.

  1. Wear some protective gloves (made from rubber or a similar material).
  2. Open the battery compartment that contains the leaking battery.
  3. Remove the damaged battery and put it in a plastic bag.
  4. Wipe away any white, solid materials (loose corrosion) using a cloth.
  5. Pour some white vinegar into a cup or a bowl.
  6. Dip a cotton swab into the white vinegar and then use it to wipe the contacts.
  7. Then, dip a fresh swab into clean water and wipe the excess vinegar from the contacts.
  8. Dry the contacts using a fresh towel.

Contact Us Today at with Any Questions!

We understand that cleaning battery terminals can be a bit frustrating at times. That’s why we’re here to give you any help that you might need! Please, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’re having any difficulties along the way. Our team is here to help, and they’re more than happy to work with you!