How to Clean Items With Corroded Batteries

By Greyson Ferguson

Most portable electronic devices require some sort of a battery. Many newer devices rely on lithium ion batteries, but removable batteries such as AA or AAA are still in use in items such as in flashlights and remote controls. Over time, if the batteries are exposed to moisture it is possible for the items to corrode and gunk up the interior of the device. This gunk not only prevents the product from functioning correctly but is dangerous to the atmosphere and environment. With this in mind it is important to clean out the corroded item.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Cotton swab

Step 1

Remove the corroded batteries from the device and discard them.

Step 2

Dip a towel into white vinegar and wipe the battery compartment of the equipment. If the compartment is too small you can use a cotton swab. The acid in the vinegar helps break down the corrosion and remove it from the hardware.

Step 3

Brush the inside of the device with a bottle brush or another brush with wire thistles. The brush will scrape off the remnants of the corrosion.

Step 4

Clean out the interior of the device with water with the device off. If you are using an MP3 player or some other device with internal wires and other equipment avoid using water as it may completely damage the equipment. If heavily corroded you can use a damp cloth to wipe away debris, then leave the device off and in a well circulated area for a day or so.

Step 5

Dry off the equipment with a soft towel, and let it sit to try before attempting to place batteries back in. Inserting batteries into a wet controller or other device will cause further corrosion and damage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure not to power on your equipment while it's damp or wet. This can cause it to short out a circuit.