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.

Mar 26th 2010 The Battery Genius

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