How to Clean Battery Corrosion in a Camera

Updated: Aug 31, 2023 9:36 AM
How to Clean Corrosion Off of Battery Terminals in a Digital Camera

Many digital cameras use alkaline batteries to power the device, containing potassium hydroxide. However, alkaline batteries sometimes leak when they are left in any device too long. The best digital camera may not work if you do not know how to clean corrosion off of battery terminals in a digital camera. To clean camera battery corrosion, first power off and remove batteries. Then clear debris and apply baking soda for heavy corrosion, and then follow up by cleaning with isopropyl alcohol using swabs or a brush. Let it dry before reinserting the batteries. Prevent corrosion by using quality batteries, removing them during inactivity, and applying protective coatings if needed. If uncertain, professional assistance is recommended.

As a rule, you may want to find out how to change the battery in a digital camera to remove or replace batteries after use. Alternatively, if the corrosion has seeped into the device, you might want to know how to perform a DIY digital camera repair.


  • To avoid injury while cleaning corrosion off a battery terminal, you should wear rubber gloves and safety goggles.
  • You will need vinegar or lemon juice and cotton swabs to eliminate most of the battery’s residue.
  • Once you have wiped the easy-to-remove residue, you can use a metal tool or fiberglass pen brush to scrape off the additional residue lightly.

Cleaning Corrosion Off of Battery Terminals in a Digital Camera

Anyone who has owned an electronic for a long time, especially a TV remote or camera, knows that batteries leak occasionally. Cleaning this corrosion off of battery terminals on any device can be dangerous, even if you’re using a camera like the one in our Sony A6500 review.

The batteries used in electronics typically contain alkaline acid, made up of potassium hydroxide. Although alkaline is less hazardous than sulphuric acid within lead batteries, it can still cause damage to yourself or other items that come into contact with it. So while cleaning up your camera, you need to know how to clean a digital camera sensor.

Insider Tip

Make sure you lay down newspaper and wear safety goggles and rubber gloves to avoid damage to yourself or other surfaces.

Safety Precautions for Cleaning Battery Corrosion

Battery acid, also called battery leakage, can ruin devices that come in contact with it, especially if they were holding the battery when it began leaking. To avoid further corrosion, you should carefully remove the batteries while wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles. If you come in contact with the acid, it could result in acid burns on your skin. Additionally, you will need to find out how to dispose of ruined batteries properly. Read on to find out how to clean the corrosion off your device.

Steps to Clean Your Battery Terminals

STEP 1 Put on safety equipment

Before touching any part of the camera covered in acid, you should put on safety goggles and rubber gloves. To prevent damage to the table’s surface, you may want to lay some newspaper or scrap paper down.

STEP 2 Turn off the camera

Make sure your camera is turned off. Trying to remove the leaking batteries while the camera is on can harm you, just as cleaning other electronics while they are plugged in would.

STEP 3 Eliminate acid

Neutralize the acid using vinegar, lemon juice, or a baking soda mixture. Each of these liquids should neutralize the acid, making it less harmful. Multiple camera brands recommend vinegar or lemon juice. A baking soda mixture should contain warm water and baking soda.


Do not pour the liquid directly on the camera; instead, use a cotton swab dipped in your neutralizer to apply it.

STEP 4 Clean inside the compartment

Dip your cotton swab in the liquid and brush the cotton swab along the inside of the battery compartment. Do not apply the liquid directly to the device, as this can fall through any cracks in the surface. Instead, make sure to gently cover the acid using a cotton swab to avoid damage to the battery terminals.

STEP 5 Clean the battery cover

Repeat step four on the cover of the battery compartment. Battery acid often ends up on both of these areas, so you probably will need to clean the cover as well.

STEP 6 Carefully remove all corrosion

Use a nail file, metal tool, cardboard, or fiberglass pen brush to remove hard-to-remove acid residue. You should only do this if you didn’t remove all the corrosion with the cotton swab and mixture. You still need to be gentle while cleaning.

STEP 7 Neutralize all acid

Wipe the surface again with the juice, vinegar, or mixture. By doing this, you neutralize the remainder of the acid. You don’t need to wipe the surface multiple times after removing all of the acid spots. If this process still doesn’t work, you may need to try using a dry cloth or damp cloth, but make sure it is a clean cloth.

STEP 8 Let dry before inserting new batteries

Let the compartment dry, then place new batteries inside. If you still have battery acid on the compartment or battery contacts, you may need to send the camera in for cleaning. But, after it’s fully cleaned and batteries are replaced, connect the digital camera to a computer to test it.

STAT: In most communities, alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries can be safely put in your household trash. (source)


How do I stop my battery terminals from corroding?

You should take note of the expiration dates on the batteries, and remove the batteries before then. If your device isn’t used for a long time, you should remove the batteries.

Why does Camera Battery Corrosion Occur?

Corrosion occurs when the hydrogen gas’s pressure inside the battery builds up, causing the seam to split.

How long will battery acid take to clean?

Cleaning a camera with battery acid shouldn’t take very long, maybe ten or so minutes. However, if the build-up is substantial, it may take longer to clean.

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