Best way to clean battery contacts in an electronic device?

Thread Starter

knightfork

Joined Sep 11, 2013
27
As everyone knows, batteries unused for a long time will corrode and spread that corrosion to the battery contacts of whatever device it sits in. What's the best way to clean that corrosion off?

In the past, I've used q-tips dampened with white vinegar (essentially acetic acid), followed by q-tips dampened with water to remove any residue and acid. Is there a better way to clean the battery contacts?
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
I would dearly love a good method for this, but once the plating is penetrated, you're just slowing down the inevitable.
Sometimes that's enough.
I have had fantasies about buying some gold electroplating solution, but gee! The work involved! And it's usually something cheap you're trying to save. Maybe copper plating would be sufficient?
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
Once they're cleaned up, tin them.
It depends. Solder is kind of soft. If you can put up with the metal smear, that will work. If you need something more physically hard, electro-plating is my preference.

I have actually brazed 95% copper/5% silver on the contacts in a car door. That worked pretty well. Slamming the door for several years never did mush the contact points.
 

Kermit2

Joined Feb 5, 2010
4,162
Art supply stores (hobby lobby type) will have them.

Erasers made to erase INK. They are stiffer and have an abrasive compound the soft pink ones don't have. And if it gets dirty you can still just scrub it on your Levis and clean it right up.

As for the corrosion. Just avoid all acids and any strong bases like leaking alkaline batteries. :)
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,861
I don't know what chemical is in this stuff (didn't look when I had it), but I've used this on car battery terminals and it works really well. One bottle has cleaner that cleaned up my battery terminal and the braided copper wire connected to the post clamp, the other bottle has a chemical that protects the battery from further corrosion. Both seemed to do the job. I also remember using baking soda in water to clean up acid, and if memory serves me correctly I think the baking soda also ate up some of the corrosion then it just washed clean with water.

http://www.sears.com/lynx-battery-terminal-protection-kit/p-02807079000P

PS-> That chemical from Sears has warnings about getting it on your skin, so I wouldn't use it on any device that will be handled on frequent occasion.
 

NCSailor

Joined Jun 15, 2013
33
I would not suggest using this on an alkaline battery pack which I believe is what the OP was asking about.

This product is to neutralize the acid and subsequent corrosion around terminals of lad acid car batteries. Exactly the opposite of what you want for leaking Alkaline batteries.

I don't know what chemical is in this stuff (didn't look when I had it), but I've used this on car battery terminals and it works really well. One bottle has cleaner that cleaned up my battery terminal and the braided copper wire connected to the post clamp, the other bottle has a chemical that protects the battery from further corrosion. Both seemed to do the job. I also remember using baking soda in water to clean up acid, and if memory serves me correctly I think the baking soda also ate up some of the corrosion then it just washed clean with water.

http://www.sears.com/lynx-battery-terminal-protection-kit/p-02807079000P

PS-> That chemical from Sears has warnings about getting it on your skin, so I wouldn't use it on any device that will be handled on frequent occasion.
 
Greetings,
The solution that comes out the alkaline batteries is KOH or potassium hydroxide. Vinegar is used to dissolve the hard dried white material. A little baking soda in the rinse water will neutralize any vinegar left. A fine wire brush to brighten them up is about all you can do after that.
I like the tinning idea tho, it would be about the best end result weighing cost etc.
Cheers,
Wayne
 
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