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The Proper Way to Clean Your Car Battery

When most people think of cleaning their car, they only think about the outside, but did you know that you can clean certain components under the hood? Your battery is a prime example; this critical component is prone to corrosion around its connecting points. Vehicle owners must clean off their battery terminals if they see corrosion forming. Otherwise, you may need a new battery a lot sooner if it continues to develop. Plus, cleaning your battery ensures your electrical functions and engine run smoothly. Here is what you'll need to gather before cleaning:

  • A pair of gloves
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Brush
  • Petroleum jelly/Vasoline
  • Rag

Prepping the Cleaning Solution

The first step is making a cleaning paste with these common household ingredients: 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 cup of water. You will need to mix it thoroughly.

Locate the Battery

Before you dive in, please make sure your engine is turned off and cooled down. Put on your gloves. You'll need to disconnect your battery for safety purposes. Afterward, check for the build-up of corrosion and grime on the terminals. If you notice visible leaks or a swollen battery, skip the cleaning. The battery may be on its way out!

Clean, Clean, Clean

When cleaning the battery, all you need to do is dip the toothbrush in your baking soda solution and start scrubbing the terminals. Please remember to rinse the toothbrush as you work in sections. 

Rinse and Dry

You can opt for a spray bottle with a bit of water. Another alternative would be a damp paper towel or rag. Please remember to dry it as well.

Spread the Jelly Onto the Terminals

Once everything is patted dry, add a small dollop of petroleum jelly onto the connecting points. The petroleum gel will keep the terminals slick and prevent corrosion. Once you secure the cables and fasten the battery in place, you're good to go.


Keeping your car battery clean is every driver's responsibility. If you want a reliable battery, you'll need to take great care of it. If you need a battery check or are wondering whether it's time for a replacement, our technicians are glad to assist you. Please feel free to call or visit RM Automotive Inc.