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Old 08-10-2007, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default A good way to clean battery cables

I'd never heard of this before, not even on here, but I saw it mentioned on another forum and gave it a try and it worked great on what little corrosion I had left on mine.

Simply mix up some baking soda and water in a container of some sort and then dip your cable ends in it. If you let them soak for a bit theyll pretty much clean themselves, you might have to wipe off a little, or maybe sweep just a little off with a wire brush. But you wont have to scrape with a knife or other sharp object.

Apparently its an old method, because I told my dad about it and he was just like "oh yeah theyve been doin that for a long time"
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: A good way to clean battery cables

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Originally Posted by LittleHoov
I'd never heard of this before, not even on here, but I saw it mentioned on another forum and gave it a try and it worked great on what little corrosion I had left on mine.

Simply mix up some baking soda and water in a container of some sort and then dip your cable ends in it. If you let them soak for a bit theyll pretty much clean themselves, you might have to wipe off a little, or maybe sweep just a little off with a wire brush. But you wont have to scrape with a knife or other sharp object.

Apparently its an old method, because I told my dad about it and he was just like "oh yeah theyve been doin that for a long time"
Yep did it on mine last year. Works well. You can use Coke too I believe.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:33 AM   #3
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That works, or dumping coca-cola on them actually works pretty well too when you lack baking soda. I prefer baking soda though, due to the lack of stick messness lol.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:49 AM   #4
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Baking soda is a base and neutralizes the acid. It doesn't actually clean though. The beauty of it is you stop the acid at that point.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:58 AM   #5
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I was thinking that baking soda and milk might perhaps be even more effective, since milk is a weak base if memory serves. I know water doesnt affect it either way.

But yeah its an effective way to get rid of all the acid buildup without scraping away at it for minutes on end.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:04 PM   #6
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Actually Bill, it really does clean them. The nuetralizing reaction literally eats away the corrosion. Try it sometime, you'll see.

And using milk as the base liquid would not be better, it would be worse. Two reasons. First the milk itself would leave a sticky and stinky organic residue. Secondly, water provides the oxygen for the chemical reaction to occur. There'* more chemicaly that goes on than that, but this is the simplified version.
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:58 PM   #7
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hmm, learn somethin every day. I just thought that adding the milk as a base too would make the whole mixture an even stronger base which would just take care of the acid that much quicker. But the oxygen and such makes sense as well.

Plus water is far more inexpensive than milk. At a convenience store it costs almost 5 bucks for a gallon of 2% milk, too expensive to dump it all over your engine bay while trying to clean your battery cables.
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleHoov
...Plus water is far more inexpensive than milk...
If you're feeling the need to spend money, you could buy bottled water to mix with your baking soda.
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:12 PM   #9
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TJ needs everyone to pm him this tip.

Or just call him Captain Corrosion... I don't think I've ever seen worse.
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