How do you clean the blue stuff on a car battery?

My car started growing or leaking a thick blue material. It’s building up around the terminals and doesn’t look normal. I want to clean it off, but I don’t know how to do it safely. How should I clean this stuff off my car battery?

Answer
That blue stuff that builds up around your battery terminals is corrosion. While dealing with it is a nuisance, it’s a common problem, so don’t stress. Follow these steps to clean the corrosion on your car battery:
  • Remove the cables from your battery starting with the negative lead.
  • Make sure the battery isn’t swelling or leaking. If it is, then you should get it replaced immediately.
  • If the battery looks fine, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of hot water.
  • Use a toothbrush to scrub away the corrosion with your baking soda solution.
  • Rinse off any baking soda or corrosive residue with water and thoroughly dry the terminals.
  • Dab a little petroleum jelly on the terminals to protect them from future corrosion.
  • Reconnect the battery cables starting with the positive lead.
Congratulations! Your battery should look (and perform) good as new. Make sure to check your battery terminals regularly, as corrosion can reduce your battery’s efficiency and even make it malfunction.
If you find any damage, get a new battery immediately. Unfortunately, new car batteries usually cost between $50 and $120, but many auto shops install them for free!
If you want to offset the cost of a new battery, start saving on car insurance with the Jerry app. As a licensed broker, Jerry can help you compare personalized quotes from over 50 top providers like Progressive and Nationwide. When you find a better rate, Jerry can help you switch policies and even cancel your old one!
Joshua Levy
Answered on Nov 23, 2021
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