Cleaning and connection

What is a good and effective way to clean my battery terminals for better connection and prevent corrosion

You Tube has hundreds of videos showing how to do that.

A battery terminal brush is about $4.


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My preferred way is to use green scotchbrite. I would use the red scotchbrite if there is a really had oxide surface on the terminals that the green can’t remove, then go over the terminals with the green. The Red may have some aluminum oxide embedded in it and I don’t want that on the terminals.

I don’t like the metal brushes because they leave microscopic bits of steel in the terminals. These microscopic bits of steel will cause dissimilar metal corrosion down the road. Same is true from any metal oxide sandpaper.

There used to be a battery terminal cleaner like the one @Nevada_545 shows but instead of brushes, it had sharp steel scrapers for each terminal. These leave much less microscopic particles behind. I haven’t seen one in a while.

I’m not real big on coating the terminals with any grease. In theory, a dielectric grease coating all the terminal surfaces, even the mating surfaces should work. Dielectric grease becomes conductive in a thin film application but is still insulates in thick film. However any grease can and will trap moisture between it and the metal it is coating. Better to leave dry.

I have found that those little felt discs sold to go under the terminal do work but I don’t know why. But I only use them dry.

Edit: Baking soda mixed with water does a good job of cleaning terminals and removing corrosion, but make sure the terminals are good and dry before use.

To clean terminals you have to disconnect the battery that can be problematic if you don’t use a power saver. In my case it is a problem because the utility sockets are not active unless the ignition is on.

Coca Cola. Regular, not diet. Let sit for a bit then rinse with clean water.


whatever method you used for cleaning Use petroleum jelly or battery grease once terminals gets dry. Coating the terminals with petroleum jelly or battery grease will help prevent corrosion

I like this product. While it costs more than good old baking soda and water, it makes for less of a mess, IMHO.



ya its very effective i also use this

I had one battery that constantly corroded a terminal. It ended up the battery was outgassing at the post. New battery no problem.

The one I did not undersatnd plugged into OBD and came with a 6 foot cord with the cig outlet type connector on the end. Had an old 12v dc power supply I had connected a socket to that worked well. On one current car the front sockets are turned off, but the rear socket is always live.

There is a can of battery cleaner in my cabinet, I never use it. Excessive corrosion is usually caused by a leaking battery, battery is replaced.

I soak the battery cable ends in hot water for a few minutes, acid and corrosion drops off.

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I just use a battery charger on 2amp. clipped to the cable ends and put a glove over the the pos. end to keep it from touching anything.