How To Clean Battery Terminals – Quick Easy DIY

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To clean a solar battery’s terminal, you will require a product that will neutralize the acid. You can get a baking soda solution by mixing 15mls of baking soda with 250mls of distilled water.

Once you have your solution, use a toothbrush or a wire brush to apply it to the battery terminals. Rinse off the solution with some water and air dry the battery. You can also dry it by using some paper towels.

Remember to disconnect all cables before cleaning and ensure your safety by using protective gear such as gloves and sunglasses.

Read my guide on best solar battery charge controller here.

In a solar power system, batteries are the most expensive components. They are important as they ensure that you can store energy generated by your system can be stored for future use. Choosing the right battery for your system is crucial, but so is the maintenance.

Different types of solar batteries require different maintenance guidelines. Solar batteries, especially flooded lead-acid batteries require to be cleaned regularly to avoid corrosion. Allow me to guide you how to clean battery terminals.

Cleaning your battery will help prevent dirt and grime buildup, which could cause corrosion and its resulting issues. Checking your solar battery and cleaning it at regular intervals will get rid of these problems. This guide will keep your battery clean and prolong its lifespan.

Baking soda is the most popular solution while cleaning your battery at home. Some other people swear by vinegar or even lemon solution. While choosing a solution, make sure that it can effectively neutralize battery acid corrosion.

You should also ensure that your solution will not damage other parts. The affordability and availability too should be factors you need to put into consideration.

Cleaning battery terminals using baking soda is a cheap and effective method. Baking soda neutralizes the corrosion caused by battery acid, leaving your battery clean. It is also easy to use and easily accessible at home. You can buy baking soda virtually in every store, making it the preferred product for most cleaning solutions.

While baking soda may be the best solution to clean your battery, you may want to keep it away from some parts of your battery. This is because it could cause damage to those parts. It can also be a slower method than battery cleaners as you have to soak the parts before cleaning them.

Required Tools:

– Toothbrush
– wench
– Towels or old rugs

Things Needed?

– Baking soda
– Distilled water
– Petroleum jelly

Step By Step Battery Terminal Cleaning Guide

Prepare Your Solution

Start by mixing your solution. Put a teaspoon of baking soda to 250mls of distilled water and mix.

Wear Protective Gear

Battery acid is very corrosive and causes severe injuries if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes. Always ensure to have gloves, preferably rubber, protective glasses and protective clothes.

Prepare Your Work Area

You can prepare your work area by lining it with old newspapers or old rugs. This will ensure that any spills can be cleaned easily without damage to the floor.

Disconnect Cables from the Terminals

You will need to remove your battery to clean it. You disconnect the clamps from the terminals, starting with the negative clamp using a wench.

Apply the Baking Soda Solution on the Terminals

Using a toothbrush, carefully apply the baking soda to the terminals to avoid getting it on other parts. Once it starts bubbling, give it some time to react to the corrosion. Scrub with the toothbrush or battery brush until all rust is cleared. Rinse with some clean water and dry it using a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

Apply Petroleum Jelly to the Terminals

Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the terminals. Petroleum jelly acts as a sealant that helps prevent further corrosion to the terminals.

Reattach the positive and negative clamps

Put the two clamps back on the battery. This time you start with the positive clamp, followed by the negative clamp.

After cleaning your terminals, you will need to ensure that no further rusting occurs. You can do this by coating the surfaces with an anti corrosive lubricating spray solution or applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the terminals.

Safety should always come first while cleaning batteries to avoid injuries and also to avoid damaging your battery. Before cleaning your battery, you need to observe several safety precautions.

  • Always wear protective gear, especially eyewear and gloves
  • Avoid any source of fire or sparks. Avoid smoking near the area where you are cleaning the battery
  • Avoid using non-insulated metals and also take off all your jewelry when doing any battery maintenance
  • Remove all cables starting with the negative clamps before cleaning
  • Always have a solution that can neutralize battery acid at hand, such as a baking soda solution

Read my guide on why do solar cells need an inverter here.

A good battery maintenance regime will add more life to your batteries. Check out for the following signs of a battery that needs cleaning.

  • Dirt/grime or dust on the batteries terminals
  • White powdery substance on the terminals
  • Reduced power output
  • Disconnected power
  • Overflows during watering

Always be on the lookout for the above signs, and make sure you clean your battery, preferably once every month.

Here’s my guide to solar charge controller sizing.

If you own a solar battery, it is crucial to learn how and when to clean your battery. The following are several reasons you need to know how to clean your battery and do it correctly.

  • To avoid the loss of electric power caused by corrosion
  • To reduce costs that you could have by having your battery professionally cleaned or replaced
  • To prevent safety hazards that could arise by cleaning your battery incorrectly

Some issues in solar power systems such as troubles in battery charging, too high or too low voltage could be caused by battery terminals problems. I will be examining several of these problems, so you do not have to.

  • Power outage can occur as a result of either bad connections or corroded terminals. To diagnose a power outage, you will need to consult with a specialist to fix any loose wiring. You can also clean the corrosion at home by following the steps showed above.
  • Corroded battery terminals can lead to lower than the usual voltage; you will require a multimeter to measure voltage levels at different levels to determine where it is occurring. You should also ensure that your terminals are not corroded and that the corrosion has not eaten up the clamps.

Direct current could be dangerous than AC power and should be handled carefully. Whenever you feel that your solar power system is not performing optimally, be sure to consult with experts for diagnosing and repairing.

Read my step by guide on how to calculate inverter and solar battery here.

So now you have cleaned your battery and want to keep the rust away? What to do? Listed below are various ways to keep rust at bay.

All the above methods are suitable for preventing rust; what will matter when choosing one is its availability and your preference.

In a Nutshell

How to clean battery terminals has a quick answer of baking soda solution. But, that’s not all. Don’t forget to follow the steps and take safety precautions before attempting battery cleaning.

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