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Old 01-25-2016, 10:02 PM   #1
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Is Baking Soda OK On Batteries

My Georgetown coach batteries were collecting corrosion and rusting the tie-down fasteners and steel support shelf as well as staining my concrete pad. A mechanic suggested mixing baking soda with water and sprinkling it on the batteries. I tried it and the corrosion problem went away. I have to redo the backing soda ever few months. My question is: is it bad for the batteries to coat them with a residue of baking soda?
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:11 PM   #2
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You should clean off the baking soda with lots of clean water.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:44 AM   #3
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You should clean off the baking soda with lots of clean water.
X2- You will then need to coat the electrical connections with Dielectric grease. Which can be obtained from any auto parts store. This will help in preventing future corrosion of the post and cables.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:50 AM   #4
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X2 on the dielectric grease. You can buy spray on dielectric grease. It makes it easier to apply.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:54 AM   #5
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X3 on the baking soda to clean off battery tops, cables and connections. Use old toothbrush and scrub well. Keep the baking soda out of the cells. Flush thoroughly with water after cleaning. Dielectric grease is a good thing too
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:04 PM   #6
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The dielectric grease is the best detterent. Baking soda is great from de-acidizing,,,,,BUT rinse it all off and don't let a DROP of it get into the cells. It will destroy the battery's ability to charge or hold a charge. The battery is acid and the soda is alkaline. Put them together and you get a ph near 7 which is neither,,,,,like water.....and your battery is dead forever.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:07 PM   #7
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X3 on the dielectric grease and I have also learned that a small sacrificial piece of copper(about the size of a penny) fastened to the top of each of the battery posts with a dollop of the grease will postpone future corrosion development. Don't ask me how it works but I know it does
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:09 PM   #8
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Sacrificial anode

I have used to good effect, a penny touching the positive terminal as a sacrificial anode to prevent corrosion on batteries. It has proven better than various di-electric materials as there is almost always a small untreated surface that still leaks ions, and it only costs a penny.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:13 PM   #9
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Grampa Jim is spot on. Bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda not baking powder) neutralizes acid and if it gets into your battery it will kill it. If you have maintenance free batteries you are much better off.
Corrosion across the top of a battery will also slowly drain and kill the battery because it creates a short circuit between the positive and negative terminals. I find that vaseline works if you cannot get a good di-electric grease.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:49 PM   #10
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If the corrosion is as bad as you say, you should also remove the batteries and treat the tray and hold downs the same way as the batteries. Then remove as much of the loose paint as possible from the trays. Before reinstalling the batteries spray the tray and hold down with automotive undercoating, "rubberized", (found at most auto parts stores). It will protect those parts in the future from further damage by the battery acid.
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:07 PM   #11
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If the corrosion is as bad as you say, you should also remove the batteries and treat the tray and hold downs the same way as the batteries. Then remove as much of the loose paint as possible from the trays. Before reinstalling the batteries spray the tray and hold down with automotive undercoating, "rubberized", (found at most auto parts stores). It will protect those parts in the future from further damage by the battery acid.
X 2 later RJD
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Old 01-26-2016, 03:36 PM   #12
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My brother who is a good auto mechanic used to tell me to pour some Coke on the terminals to remove corrosion. The acid in coke eats it away.. (Also good for cleaning toilet minerals/abrasion.)
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:04 PM   #13
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A number of good tips. Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:06 PM   #14
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How do you hold the penny to the post?
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:23 PM   #15
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I've used both coke and baking soda-I prefer the baking soda and save the coke for the
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:58 PM   #16
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Batter corrosion.

For many years I've sprayed hot water from a hose on all the battery parts as well as the tray. It takes everything off.
I let it dry or blow it off with an air hose.
I then spray Fluid Film on the tray & all connections.
No more corrosion for years.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Al Fiallos View Post
Grampa Jim is spot on. Bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda not baking powder) neutralizes acid and if it gets into your battery it will kill it. If you have maintenance free batteries you are much better off.
Corrosion across the top of a battery will also slowly drain and kill the battery because it creates a short circuit between the positive and negative terminals. I find that vaseline works if you cannot get a good di-electric grease.
Agreed!!

After a lifetime in the auto repair industry, I STILL cant believe that anyone would recommend to use baking soda to clean a battery......That is the worst stuff you can get near a lead acid battery (unless you want to kill it....)
Use it to clean connections, cables, battery box, but DO NOT get baking soda on the top of a battery! Washing it off will liquify the soda and allow it to run down into a cell, neutralizing it permanently...
Dielectric grease is excellent at protecting clean connections and posts...
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by hikerjohn7 View Post
My Georgetown coach batteries were collecting corrosion and rusting the tie-down fasteners and steel support shelf as well as staining my concrete pad. A mechanic suggested mixing baking soda with water and sprinkling it on the batteries. I tried it and the corrosion problem went away. I have to redo the backing soda ever few months. My question is: is it bad for the batteries to coat them with a residue of baking soda?
No, it's simple chemistry. Using a "base" baking soda to neutralize an acid. Your mechanic is dead on. Mixing the base solution with the acid spill renders the resulting solution neutral chemically, thus mitigating corrosion. And I agree follow up with dielectric grease on the terminals.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:52 AM   #19
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Baking soda works well as does Coke. We use a spray on battery terminal protector (CRC Battery Terminal Protector is an example). We have used this for years on our boat batteries and never get corrosion.It is red when applied and is dry once applied. This is used frequently in marine applications. Our 2500TS batteries came coated with this type of product.

It is also good to either use a wire brush terminal cleaner or medium grit sandpaper to get rid of oxidation on the battery posts and rolled into a tube to clean the inside lead cable end (or copper connectors on smaller battery applications).
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:27 AM   #20
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The thing that scares me about sprinkling baking soda all over the top of the battery is that you are depending on the seal of the cap to keep the rinsed fluid out of the cells. The holes are flush with the top of the battery so any leakage and you've killed or damaged a cell. But baking soda is definitely a great neutralizer but so is plain water. Dilution is the solution? Every battery I've ever seen with that red grease has no corrosion.
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