The state of renewable energy solutions we have available requires us to store energy whenever available. That’s what pushes people to maintain their batteries in optimal conditions. However, since most of the batteries we use today are lead acid, tampering with them can lead to spillage if you’re not careful.
Thus, it’s best to know how to neutralize battery acid. If you don’t know what to do immediately in that situation, this is just a guide to help you.
How To Neutralize Battery Acid?
Acid spillage can occur when pouring the acid into and from containers or if you’re charging an open battery with several contaminants. It is a concern for alarm, but you don’t require EMT training to handle the issue. You can prevent plenty of damage if you react to any spillage quickly and with consideration.
You can follow the steps below to neutralize battery acid spilled on a person.
- Identify the source of the spillage. If you don’t take care of it first, you or any other person in the vicinity can get hurt. Thus, in case you have an open battery that’s charging, you must shut off power to it and cover the top with an insulating slab. Moreover, it helps move the victim away from the spillage area.
- Check for all burn marks on their person. That includes their apparel and exposed skin. Pay keen attention to marks around vital organs like the liver, lungs, and brain. In the event of multiple injuries, you have to prioritize them based on severity. Remove any items that may indicate acid damage.
- Grab some baking soda and prepare a solution in clean water. You require no more than one pound per gallon (120 grams per liter). Mix the solution and apply it to the affected area. If the burns only caused shallow harm, you can use a vinegar solution to neutralize it as well.
- Once the pain subsides, it’s time to apply a bandage over the damaged area. You must discard any spoiled clothes and check in with your nearest medical center for additional care.
Note: During the whole process, there is a high chance that the person administering the care can get burned. That’s why you should wear protective gear like insulated gloves and goggles throughout the process.
See full this video: How To Neutralize & Clean Battery Acid Corrosion
How To Clean Up Battery Acid Spills?
Once you’ve tended to the victim, you can focus on the area and equipment that experienced the acid spill. Leaving it as is can cause massive corrosion and eat through most of the metal and electronics. You can clean up the area with the following steps.
- Put on your protective gear and remove any heavily damaged equipment from the space. If the battery is too burnt, it’s best to put it in an insulated bag and send it to a recycling center.
- Pour a solution of baking soda and water over the affected components. You can also use a wire brush for thorough cleaning and removing any splinters that may harm you afterward.
- Clean up the area with a soft cloth and apply an anti-corrosion agent. You can find one at your nearest Target store, which only costs a few dollars per can. With it, you can ensure the equipment will be safe from any unwanted chemical reactions that can reduce the life cycle or cause an electrical fire.
See full this video: How to Clean Up a Battery Acid Spill
Reducing Battery Acid Corrosion
You don’t need to wait for an acid spill to secure your equipment from corrosive damage. A few preventive measures can save you plenty of trouble later on. Those consist of the following.
- Using ample insulation on circuits and open wires
- Checking all fuse connections
- Using robust battery terminal covers
- Inspecting the battery case for electrolyte leakage and making repairs whenever required
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Vinegar Neutralize Battery Acid?
Yes. Vinegar is a mildly acidic solution, but it has a high enough pH to neutralize an acid burn. Due to the low difference, it acts quickly but doesn’t create a strong reaction. That makes vinegar suitable for people with sensitive skin. Furthermore, unlike caustic soda, you can use it directly without making a solution. That saves you precious minutes in providing medical care to the victim.
Does Baking Soda Neutralize Battery Acid?
Yes. Baking soda is a powerful basic agent with a pH above 10. It can neutralize an acid burn swiftly, although you do need to make a suitable solution before you can use it. Thus, preparing a solution before working on a lead-acid battery is an excellent idea.
Is Baking Soda or Vinegar Better for Battery Corrosion?
In most cases, a baking soda solution is best to handle battery corrosion due to acid damage. It’s more effective than vinegar and doesn’t leave a foul odor after application. Although, you can use vinegar if you spot severe signs of degradation and don’t have baking soda available immediately.
What Neutralizes Battery Acid on Skin?
Battery acid has a very low pH, so you need something more basic in nature to neutralize should it get on your skin. In minor cases, vinegar and soap are enough to prevent substantial harm. However, you may need to apply a solution of baking soda and water if the burns are more severe.
Does Rubbing Alcohol Neutralize Battery Acid?
In most cases, yes. Isopropyl alcohol is an excellent alternative to vinegar that you can use to clean electronic equipment or treat acid burns. Still, it’s less safe than baking soda as it can quickly catch fire should it come in contact with an open flame or electrical wiring.
You must do your absolute best to avoid spilling acid when working on batteries. Nevertheless, learning about emergency medical measures can save you from unforeseen consequences if things go wrong. We hope this guide gave you enough information on how to neutralize battery acid quickly.