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How To Clean Up After a Battery Leak:

from The ARRL Letter on March 14, 2019
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How To Clean Up After a Battery Leak:

Many hams have had the unfortunate experience of old batteries leaking in a piece of gear or a flashlight, creating a mess. Business technology news site ZDNet recently offered its procedure https://www.zdnet.com/pictures/how-to-clean-up-after-a-battery-leak/?ftag=TRE-03-10aaa6b&bhid=24301997121752730178814509056871 for cleaning it up. The brief online presentation recommends taking some precautions about coming in contact with the white discharge -- specifically potassium hydroxide in the case of alkaline cells, a caustic irritant. An old toothbrush or something similar can start the project, along with a small scraper, and cotton swabs dipped in water. Start by removing and properly disposing of the bad cells and then brushing out the worst of the material -- preferably outdoors or over a container to catch the remnants.

The article advises against using any sort of acid such as vinegar or lemon juice, lest it cause corrosion problems of its own. It suggests a fiberglass scratch brush for scrubbing the battery compartment contacts clean, although other tools may work as well. Deoxit D5 or similar contact cleaner also comes in handy, with a tiny dab of dielectric grease or silicone paste as a finishing touch to inhibit future corrosion if a leak occurs. Other tips to head off problems down the road include using only name-brand batteries, avoiding mixing old and new batteries, removing batteries from devices not in use, avoiding exposing batteries to extreme heat or cold, and minding battery expiration dates.

Source:

The ARRL Letter

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