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How to Rejuvenate a Car Battery With Vinegar

Updated February 21, 2017

Vinegar is a naturally low acidic liquid that can rejuvenate a car battery from the inside out. Whether you are cleaning terminals for a better connection or you are trying to get a spark to turn the battery over, distilled white vinegar can help you do it.

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  1. Uncap your distilled white vinegar. Generously pour the vinegar over the positive and negative battery terminals.

  2. Wait 15 to 20 minutes before cleaning off the terminals. During this time, the vinegar may foam and bubble white-- this is good. It is removing the corrosion that prevented the battery from getting a good spark.

  3. Wipe clean the terminals with the grease rag. Make sure that you get all the foamy white off the terminals, as well as all the crusty stuff you can. This will make the positive and negative cables sit better on your battery, giving it a better charge. If you have to get the grease rag wet, that is OK.

  4. Open the cap on the battery. Not all batteries have caps that you can open. Newer batteries have sealed caps because they require "no maintenance."

  5. Fill the turkey baster with the distilled white vinegar. Squeeze the bulb of the baster so the vinegar will go into the open cap area. Put the cap back on the battery.

  6. Wait five to 10 minutes for the PH balance of the vinegar to reach the battery. This creates a chemical reaction so that the battery will charge enough to turn over.

  7. Start the car. When you go to turn it on, give it a little gas to help spark the connection better. Your car should turn over. Let the car run for five minutes so that the alternator can charge the battery enough to go somewhere.

  8. Tip

    The first place you should take the car is to an auto part store to have your battery tested. The longer the car can drive without being shut off, the more the battery will charge.


    You may need to add more vinegar to the battery if it is severely depleted.

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Things You'll Need

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Grease rag
  • Turkey baster

About the Author

Nicole Ramage has been writing professionally since 2005. She holds a certification in professional cake decorating and creates and sells custom cakes. She also teaches arts and crafts, specializing in weddings and baking. She earned her ordained ministership in Washington and Oregon in 2009 and an Associate of Applied Science in professional baking from Clark College.

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