Batteries can be found in every household around the globe. From the remote control you use to watch your favorite television show to the car you drive, batteries help us live a more convenient life. Since batteries play a significant role in our daily lives, we need to know how to properly use, handle, and dispose of them. This knowledge will keep you, your family, and the environment safe. There are four major battery hazards: battery acid, flammable gases, electrical shock, and weight. This article will focus on how to handle battery acid & how to clean battery acid!
Battery acid is the electrolyte in a battery. Even if it’s only a diluted version of sulfuric acid, it is still extremely dangerous. Sulfuric acid is poisonous, corrosive, and can fatal when swallowed. Depending on the level of exposure and duration, it can even cause cancer. Avoid ingesting, inhaling, and exposing yourself to battery acid for a long period of time. Remember to only use a battery for its intended purpose to prevent possible acid leakage.
When working with batteries, it’s crucial to be vigilant. Protect yourself with the use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE): goggles, face shield, rubber gloves, and rubber apron. Goggles and a face shield can protect your eyes and skin from electrolyte splashes which can happen anytime. The rubber gloves are equally important because it does not only protect your hands from acid but it also provides electrical resistance. To keep your clothes in good condition and your body safe, don’t forget to wear a rubber apron.
Now that you’re all geared up, bring the battery to a well-ventilated room. This can help you avoid breathing toxic vapors. Wearing protective clothing and working in a well-ventilated room will keep you safe while you focus on changing, charging, or cleaning the batteries. Be sure an emergency kit containing corrosion-resistant plastic tools and other materials that can absorb battery acid is readily available in your house.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
In case of electrolyte spills, wear protective clothing first before doing anything else to avoid any accident. Then, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of hot water. Stir to quickly dissolve the baking soda. Once the solution is ready, slowly pour it around the affected area. Apply liberally.
If you’re dealing with bigger batteries, prepare more solution and reapply as needed. Your goal is to neutralize as much acid as possible. Once the fizzing stopped and you’re certain that the neutralizing agent has done its job, it’s time to wipe away all the remaining residue.
You can do a soft clean first. Use an old towel or old clothes to remove the mess. If you still see patches of acid residue, use an old toothbrush, scouring pad, or steel wool to proceed with the second phase which is the rougher clean. Once done, use some soft fabric and water to finally remove all the residue. Do this until you’re satisfied with the result.
PROPER BATTERY DISPOSAL
It is harmful to the environment if you just casually throw away old batteries because the battery acid will seep into the soil and will contaminate it. Ask around if there are hazardous disposal events conducted by the local government or companies. They will collect your batteries and recycle them. This is a very important step to make sure that batteries are handled properly and will not harm the community and the environment.
How to clean battery acid
Batteries play a part in our daily lives.Cleaning them can be difficult sometimes. When batteries leak they discharge acid that is harmful. The acid poses a great risk to the environment and to the person that may be trying to clean it.
It is also very difficult to clean especially if you don’t know the right methods on how to clean battery acid safely and effectively. It is therefore important to know the right ways to use when cleaning battery acid.
Tips on cleaning battery acid
Wear protective clothing
Battery acid is dangerous, it corrodes and burns skin. Before you start cleaning you should equip yourself with vulcanized rubber gloves especially is you are cleaning larger batteries. It is also important to protect your mouth and eyes when cleaning as acid can splash into your eyes and cause some pretty nasty injuries. Therefore you should take your time to gear up properly to avoid injuries. Battery acid also causes damage on the environment; you should cover the ground to prevent corrosion.
Do some preliminary cleaning
If your batteries are too corroded, throw them away. The batteries should be placed in a plastic bag that will help prevent the battery from spreading corrosion to other things. Batteries that are too corroded can be a headache to remove as they may get stuck due to the corrosion. A paint scrapper or a screw driver can be used to pry them out.
You can start cleaning using a paper towel in order to evaluate the damage caused by the corroded battery acid. Do not use cloth that may be used for other purposes as the acid may damage it. Don’t forget that even the dried flakes of acid are dangerous.
Use the proper cleaning agent
The batteries that are used in remotes or wireless mouse are alkaline. Being alkaline they may still burn. Therefore you will need to neutralize the electrolyte solution. This may be done using an acid. But in lager batteries the electrolyte solution is made up purely of sulfuric acid therefore the approach has to be different where baking soda may be used. This will ensure that the acid is fully neutralized by the baking soda.
Wipe away the residue
The residue that remains after the neutralizing agent has finished its work should be removed completely. This can be done using two ways. First, soft clean, you can start with small cleaners and throw away towels. Clean the mess that is left behind by the cleaning agent. Secondly, there may be patches left of the cleaning agent used. If it doesn’t come out after soft cleaning you can use steel wool or a toothbrush. This will be used to scrub off the remaining residue.
Check the damage
After cleaning the battery inspect it for any damages that the leak may have caused. If the damage is minimal you can continue using the battery but if it has been damaged too much then you will have to dispose the battery. You should not just drop batteries off anywhere as they may be a threat to the environment plus you may get in trouble with the authorities.