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Old 07-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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Cleaning Batteries

Ok, here is kind of a weird question: on one of my trips we had to travel for quite a distance on a non-paved roads. Dirt and grit everywhere! I could get to most of it ... but it turns out that the tops of the batteries are the most difficult to clean. They were apparently a little wet and sticky in the first place - so the dirt/grit that landed on them is caked on and difficult to simply brush off. I would like to get them **really** clean so that when I pull of the caps to inspect / refill electrolyte I do not get junk in to the battery cells.

Here is the question: what I really want to do is to use water to wash/blast off the top of the batteries - but since there is some electricity involved here, I am not quite sure of the wisdom of doing this. On the other hand, these batteries are in the rear bay of my DP next to the engine, and so they will likely get wet when driving in the rain anyway.

What is the Wisdom of the Forum on this???

Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
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No Wisdom here, just what I usually do. I hose them off all the time. Weather it be my tractor, van or suv, or my coach, I simply hose the battery(s) off when I wash the unit.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
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Ditto the hose. Works great on any vehicle battery.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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Remove the battery cables. Mix some baking soda in water until dissolved. Pour over the batteries. Scrub a little with a mechanics brush. Rinse with a hose. Shine up the terminals with those battery tools made for that. Both the battery and cable terminals. Allow to dry. Add those red and green anti-corrosion pads. Reconnect.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:15 AM   #5
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Or get a Flow Rite "battery filling system" and dont worry about removing all the caps - reduce your "fill time" to 4 or 5 minutes...
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Remove the battery cables. Mix some baking soda in water until dissolved. Pour over the batteries. Scrub a little with a mechanics brush. Rinse with a hose. Shine up the terminals with those battery tools made for that. Both the battery and cable terminals. Allow to dry. Add those red and green anti-corrosion pads. Reconnect.
Baking soda and water deluded, it neutralizes battery acid and cleans any corrosion on the cables as well.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:59 AM   #7
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Most auto parts stores sell battery cleaner / acid detector in a spray can. Just spray it on, then hose it off. Make sure your battery caps are on tight first.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:25 PM   #8
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Baking soda and water deluded, it neutralizes battery acid and cleans any corrosion on the cables as well.
I hope you mean diluted. I would have a hard time dealing with deluded water
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Battery cleaner

Deluded? When water is deluded doesn't think it's heavy water?

As long as you don't spray high pressure water directly on the caps you'll be fine. Let the batteries dry before you remove the caps, you don't want contaminated water getting in the cells. This is doubly true if you use baking soda!
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:58 PM   #10
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Good and useful thoughts everyone -thank you all. (time to get the hose out I guess. :-)
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:08 PM   #11
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You can safely turn a water hose on them so long as they are either

1: Sealed Valve Regulated Lead Acid Batteries (Maintence Free/AGM/et-al)

Or 2: The caps are firmly in place on Flooded wet cells.

YES there is some electricity and YES there will be some current but with only 12 volts it's not going to be dangerous.

To clean, I recommend a nylong bristle brush, STIFF sucker,

Mix up some baking soda and water to form a paste, Some folks like thick, I don't.

Spread this around the top of the battery,, Brush any tough spots then flush with lots and lots of water.

DO NOT LET SODA get into the battery. Just on it.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #12
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A word of caution, do not clean batteries on a concrete driveway. The acid reacts with the concreat and it will etch and look like rust.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:51 PM   #13
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Or get a Flow Rite "battery filling system" and dont worry about removing all the caps - reduce your "fill time" to 4 or 5 minutes...

I hate it when he is right - but usually he is

Ditto on the Flow Rite.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:20 PM   #14
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Get a can of cocacola or seltzer water, pour on battery terminals watch it fizz and remove all the crod, rinse and voila! . If you want to remove the terminals it works even better
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