How to clean up car battery acid?

You are going to dispose of your old car battery on the floorboard of the backseat area of your car. At some point, the battery tipped over, and some acid spilt into the carpet of the backside area. You became concerned. How would you get rid of this mess? How should you clean the battery acid? 

Well, don’t panic. We’re here to help you out. We have done some research into this and found some solutions about how to clean up car battery acid. Stay with us till the end as we are going to explain everything.

What can battery acid possibly cause?

Battery acid is a hazardous object. Since liquid and residue from a battery can cause significant injury to the skin, clothing, and other equipment, you need to know what sort of battery you are working with. A typical lead-acid battery contains sulphuric acid.

Battery acid on the skin can cause severe irritation. They can hurt your lungs if you inhale them, and they can also hurt your eyes in case of direct contact. This acid can burn through fabric like clothing, rags or carpet. Direct contact with fire can cause an explosion too.

Besides, corroding objects leaking through battery corrosion can harm your car’s underneath cables and wiring. So you need to be very careful if you are thinking about cleaning up the acid or corrosion. Now let’s talk about how to clean up a lead-acid battery spill.

Necessary tools

You need a battery acid clean up kit to get through the proper cleaning process. These tools or kits will reduce the risk of the possible injury or burn that you would likely get from the acid. To clean battery acid which is spilt on the carpet or the ground, you’ll need:

  • Two rubber or latex gloves- these gloves will save your hands from direct contact with the acid. 
  • A pair of safety goggles- googles are also another must tool to protect your eyes from every possible splash or gas emission. The eyes are the most vulnerable body parts in case of acidic injuries. 
  • A face mask- a face mask will prevent from the gas passing through your lungs. 
  • Baking soda – This is the main object to neutralize the battery acid from reacting. If you don’t have baking soda, you can also use vinegar or lemon juice as a neutralizer. 
  • Water- you’ll need some water too to make a baking soda mixture.

Clean up procedure

Battery acid cleans up procedures can be crucial. You need to follow every step by point to get through this messy situation. You don’t want to fail because that can lead you to serious damage beyond repair. 

Step 1:  Wear protective gear properly

Battery acid may cause severe burns to the skin and eyes, and it also can cause respiratory problems if breathed. So wear your protective gear(gloves, goggles, mask) properly before getting started. Besides, if possible, choose a well-ventilated area.

Step 2: Take the help of two plastic bags to dispose of the battery

You need to dispose of that tipped battery as soon as possible. Carefully pick up the battery and put it in the double plastic bags.

Step 3: Neutralize the acid

Pour some neutralizer(soda) on the battery acid. Cover the whole area of acid with it. You should see some bubbling or fizzing at this point. That is the soda reacting with sulphuric acid.

Step 4: Clean battery acid with baking soda mixture

In this step, you need to make a mixture of normal water and baking soda. Then take a paper towel or toothbrush and dip it into the baking soda mixture. Now, scrub and clean the area well enough until there’s no sign of that acidic solution. (You can use white vinegar or lemon juice as well to clean up)

Step 5: carefully dispose of the plastic bag and gloves

If you see some spill inside the battery’s plastic bag, pour some baking soda. Now carefully dispose of the battery in a hazardous wastage area. You should dispose of the gloves too. Wash the clothes properly that you used during the whole process.

Cleaning up corroded battery

A corroded battery also can harm your car’s battery terminal. Corrosion is like cancer. It’ll eat up anything on its way, like a battery cable or the wiring underneath the battery. So, here’s a bonus tip on how can you clean battery corrosion.

Follow the procedure mentioned above in case of safety precaution. Take out the cable from the corroded battery terminal. Make a paste of water and baking soda. Cover the car battery terminal with the mixture. Wait up until it finishes bubbling.

Now apply a mixture of water and soda or white vinegar to clean up the corrosion. Check out for any sign of corrosion on the battery compartment or underneath. Follow the same procedure to neutralize and clean the corrosion. 

Conclusion

Car battery acid is a hazardous substance that can damage both your valuable property and your health. Every lead-acid battery contains sulphuric acid. This chemical burn can cause fire and explode your car battery. 

No matter how small an amount of acid spilt on the ground or carpet, you need to deal with it carefully. Don’t ever think about just splashing it with just water. It’s an acidic substance, and you need to neutralize it first. Then you can clean it. 

Likewise, battery corrosion is also harmful to your skin and car components. So you need to deal with it very cautiously.

FAQ:

1. Will baking soda neutralizes battery acid?

When you put baking soda on the acid, it will neutralize the acid. You need to add a tiny amount of water to activate the baking soda. It will then start reacting with the acid while creating some bubbles. The bubbles are a sign of neutralization.

2. How much baking soda do I put in battery acid?

To get through the proper car battery acid clean up, you need to make a paste of baking soda and water. The amount of baking soda should be six tablespoons in four cups of water. It’s the ideal ratio of acid and water to neutralize the acid perfectly.

3. Can I use vinegar to clean battery terminals?

If you have a lot of corrosion on your battery terminals that won’t come off with baking soda alone, try the baking soda and vinegar method instead. A strong acid called vinegar can quickly break down corrosion when mixed with baking soda. When this happens, the baking soda fizzes, making the vinegar even more powerful.

4. How to clean up battery acid spill on concrete

To clean up battery acid spills on concrete or floor, you need to follow the same procedure discussed in this article. You need to neutralize the acid first. Then use a rag or cotton swab to soak the acidic solution thoroughly. Always wear safety guards. 

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