How to clean leaking AA batteries

Updated June 26, 2017

Ever dusted off one of your child's old toys to find that it does not work because the batteries are corroded? Corrosion is the white crusty build-up that forms around batteries and their terminals when they leak. In order to get the toy to work again, and to ensure the long life of the next set of batteries follow these steps to safely remove the corrosion.

Mix 2 tbsp baking soda with a small amount of water until it forms a paste. If you add too much water, add a little more baking soda.

Apply the paste to the corroded areas using a Q-tip. Do not use your finger as this is not safe. The paste probably will bubble and fizz; don't worry this is normal.

Use a damp paper towel to wipe off as much of the paste as you can.

Wipe down the battery terminal with a lint-free cloth.


Since you will be working with battery acid, wear rubber gloves while cleaning.


Do not touch the corrosion with your bare skin. The battery acid can burn your skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Q-tip
  • Paper towel
  • Lint-free cloth
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About the Author

Cathy Rigden has been writing professionally since 2009. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in early childhood education from Southern Nazarene University and a Master of Arts in teaching from Biola University.