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How do I clean up a battery leak?

M Lucas , May 30, 2000; 04:03 p.m.

The other day I opened the battery compartment to my motor drive and to my horror found that the three-week old Energizers had leaked inside. I cleaned it up using a Q-tip and some cloth, but there is still residue and the chalky acid leftover (way down deep). It seems to work fine, but is there anything I can do to get rid of any remaining acid and remove the residue without harming the electronics? Thanks in advance for your help.


Steve Thompson , May 30, 2000; 04:19 p.m.

Check the batteries or wrapping they came in. Seems like they used to have a warranty saying something like if they leak and ruin your stuff they will fix or replace it. No way 3 week old batteries should do that.

Hector Javkin , May 30, 2000; 05:20 p.m.

Years ago, I discovered that a B&K instrumentation microphone (costs more than an F5) had leaking batteries, which had left the kind of deposits you are describing. After consulting with the manufacturer and some colleagues, I decided on slow, laborious mechanical cleaning, including polishing of the contacts. It worked well. Of course, if you can get the battery maker to replace your motor drive, as suggested above, that would be ideal.

Kent Tenney , May 30, 2000; 08:48 p.m.

a 50/50 water/shortstop mix will boil off the leakage better than anything else I've found in 25 years of cleaning battery leakage. Clean up the stop with water. As someone noted, Eveready should pay for disassembly/parts replacement if required.

Sean Maiers , May 30, 2000; 08:49 p.m.

In my experiences while working at a camera shop, I have found that a solution containing baking soda and water does the job. Most people that came in with camera problems had p&ss with battery problems so we always kept this solution around and it worked 90% of the time. I don't really know proportions, I would guess at a teaspoon per 200 or 300 ml or 8 ounces. With a q-tip this seems to work well.

Chuck Fan , May 30, 2000; 10:06 p.m.

A course pencil erasor is very effective in polishing off the white battery acid residue.

Terry Carraway , May 31, 2000; 08:44 a.m.

If they are alkaline batteries, it is potassium hydroxide (a base NOT an acid). So the best thing to clean it with is an acid (like vinegar or stop bath). But do not get water or water/acid into the device or you may have even more trouble.

The safest way is to use mechanical removal. I have used wooden sticks and glass fiber pens (get them from some camera stores or Radio Shack). Final cleanup with fine sandpaper or a pencil eraser depending on the condition.

But I would check the warranty first. If they warranty against leakge problems, then let them take care of it. If you cause additional damage trying to clean it, they may not fix it at all.

Elia Sinaiko , Feb 03, 2007; 02:36 p.m.

I have a Nikon MS-1 battery container that holds 5 AA batteries (I had Kodak brand in it). They all leaked. So following the advice of the last contributor to this forum, I stirred it around in a solution of about 1/4 vinegar and water while on low heat on the kitchen stove. The container is made of plastic and metal contacts, so I kept the heat low to make sure that the plastic would not be damaged. In about 3 minutes the container was completely clean and shiny. Of course you can't put electronics in a vinegar solution.

Thanks for the info!!! I'm seven years late to your forum and wondering if you are around any more.

alex arul , Oct 16, 2007; 08:49 a.m.

Eerie isn't it? Almost like listening to ghostly conversations .. another creepy thing is that someone somewhere else has had the same experience as you .. how many of my experiences are unique and original to me .. i wonder .. haha

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