How to Clean Your Car Battery with Baking Soda

A nifty trick for cleaning a corroded battery

Baking soda is an easy way to clean your car battery. PM Images/Taxi/Getty Images

Baking soda is your best tool for a clean home, and, it turns out, your car battery. A corroded car battery may be the cause of your car troubles. Instead of spending time and money at the auto shop, try this simple baking soda trick. Another plus: doing this will help your battery live longer.

NOTE: Use extreme caution whenever working with an automobile battery. Before you start, make sure your car is completely turned off!

  1. Once you locate your car battery under the hood, do not try to remove it. Instead, use your keen eyes to inspect for any cracks, which could be a sign of acid that is leaking. In this case, your entire battery will need to be replaced and you should not continue.
  2. If there are no cracks, continue inspecting! 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.
  3. Once you're ready to start cleaning, 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!
  4. Make your baking soda paste. Mix about four cups of water with six heaping tablespoons of baking soda, and rub the paste on using an old toothbrush or rag. Once you see bubbles and foam that means it's working! Scrape off any deposits. 
  1. Use a little bit of water to remove the baking soda, making sure it doesn't go through the vents. A wet rag will work to wipe the area dry.
  2. Rub on some vaseline to help slow down future corrosion.
  3. Replace the positive clamp, then the negative one, then cover the battery up. You're done! 


Learn what else you can do with baking soda here.


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