Clean a Car Battery With Baking Soda

Father and kids in front of a car
Baking soda is an easy way to clean your car battery. PM Images/Taxi/Getty Images

Baking soda is a simple salt that's made out of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. Its soda ash is known as sodium carbonate, made from a manufacturer or mined from trona ore. There are dozens of ways to use baking soda. It's most commonly used as an ingredient in cooking, and as a way to keep refrigerators odor-free. Baking soda is also great for taking care of the body, like easing stomach pain, relieving sunburn issues, and cleaning your teeth.

How to Clean a Car Battery With Baking Soda

While baking soda is a great tool for a cleaning your home, it can also help with a corroded car battery, which may be the cause of your car troubles. Instead of spending time and money at the auto shop, try using baking soda to fix your problem and help your battery live longer.

Before you begin your baking soda project, it's important to use extreme caution when working with an automobile battery. Before you start, you want to make sure your car is completely turned off. Once you find your car battery under the hood, do not try to remove it. Instead, use your eyes to inspect for any cracks, which could be a sign that acid that is leaking. In this case, your entire battery will need to be professionally replaced, and you should not tamper with it at all. Then, look for white deposit around the battery. If there's only a little, you can continue, but if there's a lot, it might be better to have the car taken to the shop.

Once you're ready to start cleaning, the first thing you want to do is disconnect your car battery. Remove the negative clamp first (marked "-") and then the positive one. Make sure any metal tools you're using don't touch the car frame. Then, take the following few steps:

  • Make your baking soda paste. Mix about four cups of water with six heaping tablespoons of baking soda and rub the paste on by using an old toothbrush or rag. Once you see bubbles and foam, that means it's working. Scrape off any deposits. 
  • Use a little bit of water to remove the baking soda. Make sure it doesn't go through the vents. Then, use a wet rag to wipe the area dry.
  • Rub on some vaseline. This helps slow down future corrosion.
  • Replace the positive clamp. Then, remove the negative one and cover the battery up. At this point, you're finished.

Take Care of Your Car

Now that your car is up and running, it's useful to know how to maintain it over time. Every month, it's useful to clean the inside and outside to prevent dirt and grime. This can actually damage the interior and exterior if you don't keep up with it. Every 5,000 miles or so, you will also want to use a reliable brand to change your oil. If you don't do so, your engine won't be lubricated, which can create dirt build-up that can destroy your engine. You can also maintain your car by checking your tire pressure monthly, rotating your tires every 7,500 miles, and getting your ​brake pads replaced when the brakes wear down.