How To Neutralize Battery Acid On Clothes?

When repairing or replacing batteries, there is always a chance that your battery may leak electrolytes. Since most of the batteries we use today involve strong sulfuric acid, it’s best to avoid coming in contact with it. Regardless of how careful you are, an accident is always a possibility.

According to recent reports from OSHA, there have been 52 injuries related to batteries and EVs using acid electrolytes in the USA since 2015. Still, it helps to maintain precautions if you don’t want to become part of those statistics. Here’s a helpful guide that can help you learn how to neutralize battery acid on clothes.

How To Neutralize Battery Acid on Clothes?

An acid spill on clothes can ruin the fabric layers and penetrate till it reaches the skin. Even if you’ve washed them in the machine, they can dissolve into water solutions from sweat or water, becoming more potent. Therefore, it’s best to neutralize it safely when you still can.

Depending on the type of spill, you can adopt two separate ways to neutralize battery acid on clothes. Those are detailed in the sections below.

Shallow Spill

When you’re around open acid batteries, you can occasionally spot a dark spot or corrosive stain on any clothes exposed to it. That’s the fabric absorbing the acid fumes or being damaged by a few droplets from leakage. That sort of spill doesn’t penetrate the outer layer, and you can manage it with a few simple steps.

  1. Remove the clothes from your body carefully and place them in an insulated container. You may also seal the battery and scrub the area of any possible contamination.
  2. Mix baking soda with water, creating a solution with no more than ten teaspoons per liter.
  3. Apply that solution to the stained area on the apparel and leave it for about two hours. You may observe a slight coloration from its initial white pigment. That’s a good sign, as it denotes that the solution is working.
  4. Clean the tinted area with a brush or vacuum and let it dry off in the open sun.
  5. Now, you can wash your clothes regularly. Using a washing machine is advised, as hand washing may expose any residual acid to your hands. Just make sure to include a bit more washing powder than usual.

And that’s it! Your clothes are now safe to wear again, and the absence of a mark doesn’t let anyone realize that you experienced an acid spill in the first place.

Deep Spill

If the acid penetrates multiple layers of the fabric, you must get more creative when removing it. Left unchecked, it can spread to other clothes or your skin, even after a thorough wash. That’s why experts advise following the below-mentioned steps to clear a deep spill from apparel.

  1. Immediately remove the affected clothes and place them in distilled water. Use an insulated container to ensure the acid doesn’t escape into the surroundings.
  2. Add some household ammonia to it. You don’t need more than 100 ml for every liter of water. Leave the solution for about twenty minutes. Make sure that it doesn’t get contaminated by any external pollutants, like mud or leaves.
  3. Remove the garment from the solution and apply a soft cloth to clean the stain. If it doesn’t go away, you can use a strong detergent to clean it by hand. It’s necessary to wear gloves during the entire process.
  4. Upon removing the stain, you can wash the clothes using a washing machine as regular.
  5. There can be instances when there might be a brown stain on the fabric (similar to rust in appearance), even after the detergent treatment. For that, you need to wash the apparel in another solution. This one has half a cup of white vinegar for every liter of water. Rinse thoroughly before washing it with regular detergents.

What Should Be Used To Clean Battery Acid From Your Clothes and Skin?

A baking soda or white vinegar solution is typically effective in cleaning battery acid from clothes and skin. You can use up to 130 grams per liter for adequate results. The solution is non-corrosive and doesn’t take the color off any fabrics. It’s also safe for most skin types and readily available in any household.

What’s the Best Way To Get Battery Acid off Your Clothes?

The best way is to dissolve the acid in a basic solution. The pH of battery acid is relatively low, and you can quickly find the necessary materials to neutralize it immediately. Baking soda, washing powder, and white vinegar are effective for the abovementioned cases. However, it’s essential that you dispose of the solution after use. Any residue may prove harmful to pets or people with sensitive skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Battery Acid Come Out of Clothes?

Yes. Battery acid is corrosive, but you can remove it from garments using ammonia or baking soda. You can use white vinegar for more severe cases, but it doesn’t happen often.

Does Battery Acid Eat Clothes?

Battery acid is hazardous for most household clothes. It dissolves the fibers by breaking them down into simpler compounds. Those can release toxic gasses or prove harmful to your skin. Cotton, wool, and silk are highly susceptible to rapid acid degradation.

Can Battery Acid Burn Through Clothes?

Battery acid is typically a solution of water and sulfuric acid in a 65:35 ratio. As such, it can burn through the top fabric layers with ease. The process can accelerate to several inches deep unless the apparel has polyester or other insulating material within it.

Can Acid Stains Be Removed From Clothes?

Yes. You can use several household materials to make a basic solution and wash acid stains away from the clothes. That solution can include baking soda, white vinegar, or ammonia.


Battery acid on clothes is not just damaging to your garments but can affect the skin if you don’t wash it off. We hope this guide gave you precise instructions on how to neutralize battery acid on clothes. Remember, you must treat an isolated battery as a potential hazard and maintain it with utmost care. One fell swoop, and you’re looking at serious harm from acid spills.



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