How Do I Clean the Gunk Off My Car’s Battery Terminals?

If your car’s battery terminals have a bunch of gunk on them, this corrosion is a sign that the battery could be going dead and it’s time to replace it. Usually, battery terminals corrode because there is a battery acid leak. This is one sign that your battery is getting too old. Auto Solutions is going to list how you can clean your battery terminals below, but we also recommend that you keep an eye on them after they are clean. If they get dirty again right away, it’s time for a new battery.

Get What You Need First

We are going to list the supplies that you need so you can run to the store if you don’t have everything already. You probably do have most of everything that you need. Specifically, you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled water
  • Large cup
  • Toothbrush
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth
  • Petroleum jelly

Once you have gathered these supplies, you’re ready to go.

Make Your Cleaning Solution

You’ve probably figured out that you’re going to make your own battery cleaning solution. To do so, take one tablespoon of the baking soda and mix it with one cup of the distilled water in the large cup. Make sure the solution is mixed to the point that it is clear.

Clean the Terminals

Now it’s time to clean the battery terminals. With your rubber gloves still on, take the connector cable off of the negative terminal first. Then, remove the connector cable from the positive terminal. Dip the old toothbrush in the cleaning solution and use the toothbrush bristles to scrub away the corrosion found on the battery terminals. Scrub the terminals until they are clean.

Rinse the Terminals

Fill the empty spray bottle with distilled water and use this to rinse the battery terminals. Make sure you get everything rinsed away. Then, remove the excess water using the cloth. After you have dried the terminals, allow them to air dry to make sure there is no water on the battery, the terminals, or the cables. Protect the terminals with a little bit of petroleum jelly on each one.

Reconnect the Cables

Reconnect the battery cables in the reverse order that you disconnected them. Connect the positive cable to the positive terminal first, and then the negative cable to the negative terminal.

Congratulations! Your battery terminals are clean. If they get dirty again right away, call Auto Solutions in Orlando, FL, to schedule an appointment for a battery inspection.

Photo by knowlesgallery from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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