Clean Your Corroded Battery Terminals In A Jiffy!
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It is dusk outside and even darker in the house. Just about the time that I should start turning on the lights. It is still winter outside and the house is a little bit chilly from the winds that are blowing against it.
I always start in the living room turning on both lamps, then move to the kitchen and turn on the two overhead lights in there. As I move from room to room, turning on the lights one by one to brighten my living space, the area becomes more cozy and homey. I work my way to the back of the house to turn on the porch lights for late arrivals.
I am home alone enjoying the peace and quiet. No television or radio to distract me from the peacefulness. I dip two tablespoons of decaf coffee grounds into the coffee filter anticipating the enjoyment of a cup while I read – my favorite pastime.
I nestle into “my” reading chair with a novel while the coffee starts to brew. I’ve been reading this book a couple of weeks now and as I get drawn into the story line once again (when I read, I am there in the story), the lights suddenly . . . . go out. Seriously, are you kidding me? The room is immediately engulfed in darkness. I can’t even make out my hand in front of my face.
Let There Be Light . . . or Not
Fortunately, my husband was always prepared for these types of emergencies. All I had to do was make it to the laundry room (at the back of the house) from the living room, without killing myself, to find the lantern and candles stored on the VERY top shelf just for such an occasion. Oh, by the way, I also had to find the step stool in order to reach those items. I carefully made my way through the house, my arms and hands stretched out to their limits without incident. Yes!
I found the step stool and reached up for the magic box of light, the lantern and candles, easily enough. I traced my path back to the kitchen to set my treasure out on the counter, still in the dark. I opened the box with the lantern as it would be the quickest way to set up all the candles.
Once, I had the lantern in my hands I felt for the switch and turned; click, click . . . . no light. Okay, maybe I turned it the wrong way; click, click . . . still no light. Alright, not panicking, but concerned. Oh, maybe the batteries are not in it? Nope, all the batteries are in it. Hmmm, maybe the batteries are dead as I haven’t checked on this stuff since my husband passed away in 2014.
First things first as I am still in complete darkness. I felt around in the box and found the lighter and candles. I light a few to make it easier to hunt around for batteries. Now where to find some more batteries. . . I know, I just put some in my radio on the microwave . . . whew. I removed the batteries from the backside of the radio and inserted them into the lantern; click, click . . . still didn’t work?? I know the batteries are good because I was playing the radio a couple of days ago.
Seriously . . .
Back to the lantern. . . I pulled open the battery cover and casing and removed the batteries that I had just inserted. With the candle I peer into the cavity only to find all this bluish white stuff. Corrosion! Not only on the terminals, but on the batteries that had been stored in it as well.
Let me tell you it was not very restful or as peaceful as I had hoped to enjoy, to read by the candlelight with all the candles spread out on my kitchen table for 3 hours while waiting for the electricity to come back on. Not to mention, I didn’t get my coffee either! I am also sure I will suffer repercussions from caffeine withdrawal, peace deprivation, and the strain on my eyes for years to come (alright, a slight (big) exaggeration).
When the electricity came back on one of the first things I did was to contact Wiebke and ask her if she was agreeable to creating a video on How To Clean Corroded Battery Terminals. I was determined not to go through another episode of NO lights (can you tell, I am still traumatized).
After much research The Hard Hat Belles filmed Cleaning Corroded Battery Terminals. I now have a clean lantern, minus batteries not being stored in it, ready to go for the next electrical outage.
It is very important that you understand that the goggles and rubber gloves are a must. Sure, you could do them quicker without these items, but you only get one pair of eyes and hands – Let’s protect them. For the science and hazard information behind the corrosion that can be harmful – check out one of the many US Department of Health and Human Services analysis reports within their Household Products Database at their website.
Supplies You Will Need
Rubber gloves, paper towels, white vinegar, a syringe, water, a hammer, a flat-tip screwdriver and a hard surface to work on.
Step 1: Take out or pry out the corroded batteries, if needed. You may need to tap on it with a hammer or pry it out with flat tipped screw driver.
Step 2: Dispose of the batteries properly. For more information on how to dispose of batteries safely and why – check out the Environmental, Health, and Safety Online website and the Earth911 website.
Step 3: To get rid of the corrosive deposits from the inside of the lantern use a syringe filled with vinegar and spray it directly onto the corroded terminals. There will be some bubbling as the vinegar reacts with the corrosion.
Step 4: Using a toothbrush, gently scrub the terminals until the corrosion is gone and the metal is all shiny (or mostly shiny).
Step 5: Rinse the parts you cleaned thoroughly with water. You can again use a syringe to target the specific area that had corrosion on it.
Step 6: Dry the areas you cleaned as much as you can with paper towels or a regular small towel. Make sure to air-dry the lantern completely before re-installing new batteries. This may need an overnighter drying.
And there you have it! A shining lantern with no corrosive battery terminals ready to be loaded with batteries and put to work.
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Love & Hugs,
Denine & Wiebke