How To Clean Battery Terminals With Baking Soda?

When corrosion builds up on the battery terminals, the drivers may face difficulties while starting the engine or slow cranking. Corrosion may appear on the terminals with time but do you know how to get rid of this? How to clean battery terminals properly? Can you clean battery terminals with baking soda and vinegar?

Well, baking soda is an easy-to-find and inexpensive ingredient to clean battery terminals. You need to add water with the powder to make a solution. Then, use a battery brush to scrub the solution on the corroded areas. The process is simple and easy for everyone to do.

This article will discuss more of cleaning battery terminals with baking soda and vinegar right below. Have a read if you’re interested.

How to Clean Battery Terminals with Baking Soda?

Cleaning battery terminals with baking soda and vinegar is one of the easiest ways to get rid of corrosion. The process is easy and all materials are already with you.

You have to follow seven easy steps for battery terminal cleaning. But before you start with the steps, you should know which materials you’ll need for the process.

Materials Required

  • Baking soda
  • Battery brush/ Toothbrush
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Water
  • Clean cloth
  • Protective hand gloves

Once you have all the materials, you can start cleaning your car battery terminals. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Bring Out the Battery

  • Make sure your vehicle is turned off before starting the cleaning process. This will reduce the chance of accidentally grounding the cables.  
  • Check the battery configuration of your car. There’re mainly two types of battery configurations. The terminals can be either on the side of the battery or top of the battery. If the terminals are on the side of the case, you need an 8mm wrench to loosen cable nuts. Again, if the terminals are on the top of the battery, you’ll need a 10mm wrench.
  • Unfasten the negative terminal cable first. Then the positive terminal cable of the battery.

Step 2: Inspect Battery Condition

  • Examine the battery carefully. Look for if there are any cracks that could leak acid. If you find any crack, you’ll need to replace the battery in the first place. You need to replace the battery if it is swollen or bloated even.
  • Inspect the battery cables and clamps for tears. If any large tear is found, you may need to replace those as well.

Step 3: Mix Up Baking Soda

  • Now is the time to mix the baking soda and vinegar for cleaning with water. Take one spoon of baking soda with one cup of hot water. Stir the mixture until they mix thoroughly.

Step 4: Scrub with A Toothbrush

  • When the baking soda mixture gets ready, use a battery terminal cleaning brush or toothbrush to dip into the cleaner. Soak the brush as much as you need in the baking soda solution and start scrubbing the battery clamps and posts.
  • When you scrub baking soda on battery terminals continuously, the brush will erase grease and dirt that are accumulated in the terminals. You have to clean the brush from time to time so that it can erase all dirt and grease from the terminals.

Step 5: Rinse with Water and Dry

  • After removing all dirt and corrosion from the terminals, rinse them with cool water. The best possible way to rinse is by spraying down the terminals with a sprayer.
  • You can also use a cloth to wipe out all grease. Then dry the battery and clamps with another clean cloth.

Step 6: Use Lubricant

  • When the terminals and clamps get dry completely, use a lubricate to lubricant all the exposed metal on battery terminals, clamps, and posts. This will keep those places away from rust or corrosion for a long time.

You can use petroleum jelly or other available battery terminal protection spray.

Note: Use a small amount of battery terminal Vaseline or spray on the terminals. Too much lubricant can cause a poor connection.

Step 7: Reattach the Cables

  • If you’ve come up to this, your battery terminals should be cleaned again and ready to be reattached again. At first, connect the positive terminal of the battery and tighten its nut with a wrench.

Then, connect the negative post as before. Make sure both terminals are tightened enough.

How to Clean Battery Terminals without Baking Soda?

If you don’t have baking soda but need to clean battery terminals, you can still use cola as a baking soda substitute to clean those clamps and metal terminals.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Loosen each of the terminals with the help of a wrench. In this process, you don’t have to remove the cables of the battery entirely. This is why this process is known as cleaning battery terminals without disconnecting cables.
  • Pour cola over the battery terminals slowly.
  • Wait for about two to three minutes to soak the corrosion.
  • Rinse with cold water as before.
  • Tighten the nuts and your battery should be clean again as before.

Both baking soda and coca-cola are available right next to you. So, grab the required materials including the battery terminal cleaning kit, and start cleaning the battery. You will definitely find an instant start and improved battery life.


You should always keep the battery terminals clean to make sure your car doesn’t stop suddenly. Also, to ensure a great battery life with optimal driving, keeping your car battery clean is the most important task to do.

Now you get the steps of cleaning battery terminals with baking soda. The process is pretty straightforward.

I hope, this article helps you cleaning your battery. Thanks for reading up to this.

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