How to clean battery corrosion in toys

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Do your kids have a broken toy?

You found white corrosive dust or rust alongside the edges of battery bays  and you think that it is due to the batteries. That’s right. Your kids toy has been corroded and you need to clean it.

As usual, when people see a corroded battery in their kid’s toy, they halt between repairing and throwing it away.

Sometimes, the parents think the way to clean it but they find it a little bit difficult to repair all the corroded battery.

Every time you try to get it cleaned but you do not know the requirements and how to clean it systematically. Therefore, this article below will help you find out the way in order to help you deal with this problem. It is sure that after cleaning, the toy will be like a new one.


Corrosion in the terminals means the natural process of hydrogen gas being released from the acid in the battery.

Batteries contain an acidic or an alkaline solution, which can mix with other things in the atmosphere and produce the corrosion as you can see on the battery terminals.

Leakage often occurs batteries and its terminal ends.

Battery terminal is made from metal strips or springs. It is a simple but important part which help to connect the electrical system to the battery. However, it is easy to be corroded in normal atmospheric conditions.

It is very important to know when and how the corrosion occur as it could help you to define the factors the form the corroded battery and find the right guide to solve the problem. Based on the below causes, you can determine clearly the problem.


  • Leave old batteries inside the toys for too long
  • Store the toys and batteries in a wet and humid place
  • Don’t check batteries out before using/ Using the corroded batteries but you don’t know
  • Do not change batteries periodically.


  • The batteries might short out when it get wet
  • Corrosion could prevent the battery terminals from conducting power and in the worst cases can even completely block the flow
  • In the worst case, corroded battery could affect the entire operation of the toys.

There is no a difficult task if you read and follow carefully all the following steps.

Required materials

  • Baking soda (15ml)/ 2 Lemons/ Vinegar (100ml) (If any, you might choose one of three materials)
  • Hot water (cold water is acceptable)
  • Clean water (for cleaning again)
  • Cotton buds/ an old toothbrush/ a battery terminal cleaner brush/ a fine sandpaper
  • Protective gear ( Clothes, medical-grade gloves and mask)
  • Flashlight ( if needed)
  • Applicant applicators such as grease, petroleum jelly, etc.

The ways to clean all the corrosion

To get those corroded terminals clean, there are some steps and tips you might follow:

Step 1: Make sure that you are safe enough.

 You need to wear protective equipment because the rust contains alkaline, which can make you hurt or even cause massive damage so make sure that you keep your face, eyes and hands protected.

You might find and wear a pair of gloves (nitrile gloves works so well), goggles and a protecting mask (medical grade).

Once you prepare well, move on to the next step.

Note:  Accidentally, if you might be exposed to the chemicals for instance, your face, and your hands or in general, your skin, clean this surface with soap and water. Leaving these chemicals in your skin can cause ugly scars on your skin.

In the serious case, if you feel burning, or aching and do not wash all these chemicals, you might go to hospital or the closest infirmary.

Step 2: Disconnect terminals from battery

clean battery terminal

You need to take the battery out and check for the corrosion – the white corrosive dust you might see alongside the edges of battery bays.

There are two types of corrosion:

The first type is Mild corrosion. It can be sometimes appeared as some dark dull spots. If you see these, you can rest assured that the solution is an easy task. Another type is Build-up. In extreme cases, you might see a salt build-up. It means that the build-up is significant and cleaning off corrosion is a bit more difficult.

Although there are two types of corroded batteries, you are not worried because the step that we mention below can be applied for all types.

Step 3: Blend all the ingredients together

You could put all ingredients, which your house has on the table in order to mix it. You might put one small bowl on the table and choose one of the mixture below.

You mix 1 tablespoon (15ml) of baking soda with 1 cup (150ml) of very hot water. You pour all these things into a small bowl and stir it.

Note: You might use very hot water instead of cold water as it can help you clean the rust more quickly.

Besides using baking soda, you shall choose other base solutions to neutralize the alkaline build-up and dissolve the corrosion.

If there are unavailable for you and your house has vinegar or lemon juice, you might use it. You could apply it directly or mix with a little water (about 50ml water with 2 lemons or 100ml vinegar).

Step 4: Clean the rust of corrosion.

If the battery terminals could be taken apart as , you could dip completely it into the mixture and wash them. To be careful, you might be wear protective gloves. After that, wash it again with the water.

Note: It is advisable for you not to pour the mixture directly over the battery terminals because it might access to the inside parts through leaks and vents and seriously could affect the toy’s performance.

If you do not take it apart, you should choose one of these following ways to get rid of corrosion. It is noticeable that how long to clean it off is depending on the degree of corrosion.

First, using cotton swab/ cotton buds. You put a cotton bud into the mixture and then scrub the area corroded. It is too easy for you to clean because cotton swab is small and it could clean all part even tiny one.

Second, using clothes. You dip a small piece of clothes in base solution as much as you need. Then you wipe the corrosion up slowly and entirely.

Otherwise, you might use a damp or wet old toothbrush or a battery terminal cleaner brush. Pour the baking soda into the terminals and then scrub.

If that still does not move the corrosion, you could rub the area with fine sandpaper to remove the corrosion before trying the solution again.

In the process, you might use a flashlight to shine up the inside to ensure that you clean the whole corrosion.

You might ensure everything is dry enough before putting the batteries in again as the battery can short out when it get wet.

Step 5: Dry everything off with a clean and dry old cotton cloth.

If necessary, you might put the whole toys under the sun or use hair-dryer to get the battery terminals dried

Step 6: Apply grease or petroleum jelly on the terminal ends

To slow down the formation of corrosion in the terminal ends, you might apply grease or petroleum jelly on these.

You can buy a box of petroleum jelly in a pharmacy or in amazon. It is very familiar with our lives.

Step 7: Reconnect

When the battery terminal is completely dry, you might reconnect the batteries. You put the batteries into battery holder and turn on the toys.

Note: If the toys can not work as usual, you might check the toys and batteries again.  The toys are wet when you clean the corrosion or maybe the batteries are not suitable or out of power.

Prevention from the formation of corrosion

Although you might clean the corroded battery, you are fed up and bored with getting rid of corrosion all the time it occurs. Therefore, here are some tips that might help you to slow down the corrosion in battery ends.

  • Keep the toy and batteries from a damp and wet place
  • Lubricate petroleum jelly and grease on battery terminals.
  • Use battery made from good quality or famous brands
  • Always keep the battery dry and away from dust and other pollutants from environment.
  • Change the battery periodically
  • Store at temperature below 30oC and protect from direct sun light.
  • Put the toy into nylon bags and take batteries out of battery holder if you might not use it any longer.
  • In some case, keep out of the reach of children. ( Note: Kids can bite the batteries and toy and you- the parents need to carry about it as the batteries are not only broken but also harmful for your children).

Do you clean the corrosion up?

We hope that this article is useful for you and you might know the steps to clean the rust off. If you have any questions, please comment these below and we will reply these soon.