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Safely Handle Battery Acid

Battery Acid.  Electrolyte. They both mean the same thing.  They are the mixture of water and sulfuric acid inside the battery you can hear sloshing around that can ruin your favorite jeans, and burn your eyes and skin.

HOWEVER, The Battery Genius is here to help you SAFELY handle Battery Acid, prepare electrolyte, and clean spills.

Remember The Battery Genius’ mantra: Safety First! Danger Last! Have a future — Not a past!

That said, practice the number one rule when handling battery acid, or working around flooded batteries:        ALWAYS WEAR PROPER EYE, FACE, AND HAND PROTECTION.

Let me say that again for you guys not really reading this: ALWAYS WEAR PROPER EYE, FACE, AND HAND PROTECTION.

The Battery Genius has first hand experience with this one, and I don’t want anyone else hurt.

Also, if you should get electrolyte splashed into your eyes because you ignored the number one rule when handling battery acid, or working around flooded batteries – force the eye open and flood it with clean cold water from a shower, eye-wash station or bottle for at LEAST 15-20 minutes.

If you should swallow electrolyte, drink a lot (a quart or more) of milk. DO NOT induce vomiting! And get to a Poison Control Center or Emergency Room immediately.

When you’re using / around / handling electrolyte, make sure you keep plenty of acid-neutralizing solution around, like soda ash, baking soda, ammonia mixed with equal parts water.  You’ll want this stuff handy for when you spill electrolyte — and if you’re working around batteries, you are going to spill.

When you spill, cover the spill with your neutralizing agent.  After neutralizing, rinse the contaminated area with clean water.  If you should spill a large amount of electrolyte – 10 gallons or more — call the fire department and let them handle it. Otherwise, you could get seriously hurt and there may be environmental issues depending upon where you live.

Every now and then, you may have a battery that leaks because it got punctured or whatever.  In that case, immediately put the leaking battery into a plastic bag – a trash bag is perfect – with some baking soda to soak up the leaking electrolyte inside the bag.  Clean up any spilled area using the method above, and then take your battery to an authorized battery recycling center.

The Battery Genius recommends taking your junk batteries to an AutoZone, WalMart or some place that BUYS junk batteries like Powerstride Battery.  Powerstride Battery buys single batteries from you and me but they also buy PALLETS of batteries when you drop them off at the location closest to you; OR if the quantity is large enough — they will even pick up truckloads of scrap NATIONWIDE.

9 comments

  1. I think this is a great post. One thing that I find the most helpful is number five. Sometimes when I write, I just let the flow of the words and information come out so much that I loose the purpose. It’s only after editing when I realize what I’ve done. There’s defiantly a lot of great tips here I’m going to try to be more aware of.

  2. Bookmarked your site. Thank you for sharing. Definitely worth the time away from my studies.

  3. I just wanted to say that I found your website via Goolge and I am glad I did. Keep up the good work and I will make sure to bookmark you for when I have more free time away from the books. Thanks again!

  4. This is an aitrcle that makes you think “never thought of that!”

  5. vijaysinh gaekwad /

    I GOT LOTS OF INFORMATIONS FROM THIS PAGE THANKS

  6. kenneth fair /

    what chemical could be added to electrolyte to change it’s appearance from clear to a dark color without effecting its functionality or shortening it useful life? I’m never sure of the electrolyte level in my motorcycle battery when checking. A dark colored electrolyte would be so much easier to see against the white plastic.I was thinking about plain ink. Please shed some light on the subject… Thanks Ken Fair

  7. The Battery Genius /

    @Kenneth Fair – I have no clue. PERSONALLY, I can’t imagine adding anything to electrolyte and not being nervous about it! Good luck!

  8. Is the fluid from a dead battery less acidic than a fully charged one? I ask cause I had an old lawn mower battery in the bed of my truck that I forgot about. It obviously dumped over and spilled. Not sure how much or how long, but I dumped a bunch of baking soda on what I could see and then hosed it down. My worry is some old acid could be burning components I cannot see, like brake or gas lines or eating the sheetmetal away in some bed joint?

  9. The Battery Genius /

    It’s no less corrosive, but if you dumped a ton of baking soda on it you should be good.

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