How to Clean Electrical Connectors: Removing Corrosion and Maintaining Optimal Functionality

It is necessary to regularly clean electrical connectors, especially after a long time of not being used. This also becomes more vital with the exposure to the external environment, which will make the connection prone to corrosion, among other problems.

If you are interested to know how to clean electrical connectors, the first thing you have to keep in mind is that the process will be different depending on the electrical connections that you need to clean. However, regardless of the connectors, the good news is that cleaning them is one thing that you can do on your own.

Cleaning Electrical Connectors in Battery

If you are dealing with the cleaning and maintenance of battery connections, here are the steps you have to follow:

  • Take out the batteries before cleaning. Pat it dry with a clean cloth to begin with.
  • Dip a cotton swab in a bowl with white vinegar. Use the swab to brush directly on the area of the battery with corrosion. Apply enough force to remove it. As a weak acid, vinegar will be effective in dissolving corrosion on the surface of the battery.
  • Remove the corrosion with a cloth. Let the batteries dry and return them.

Cleaning Electrical Connectors in Battery

Cleaning Electrical Connectors in a Car’s Battery

In the steps mentioned above, we were talking about the usual batteries that you can find in the house, such as those that are in remote controls and flashlights. If the corrosion is in the electrical connector of the battery of your car, here is the best way to deal with it:

  • Start by taking off the battery terminal with the use of the right wrenches and not just the usual pliers.
  • Wipe off the acid or the corrosion on the surface of the battery. Be careful so that it will not touch your clothes as it can cause staining.
  • In a small bowl, mix warm water and baking soda. Wait until the baking soda absorbs the water, which will transform it into a thick paste. Swirl the paste in the terminals and other parts with corrosion. Let it sit for a while and wipe off.
  • Once you are done cleaning the electrical connectors, it is now time to return the battery.

Cleaning Electrical Connectors in a Car’s Battery

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Aside from following the steps mentioned above, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Perform a regular inspection of the electrical connectors. Remember, prevention is better than cure. With this, be proactive in the maintenance of your batteries, which will be critical in the prevention of corrosion.
  • In some cases, it will be already impossible to salvage the electrical connectors. A replacement might be necessary, which is important for safety and to be sure of the optimal functionality of the connection.
  • Before returning the electrical connectors, make sure that they are already dry. It will also be good to wear protective gloves to avoid the possibility of electrocution, among other hazards.
  • There are also commercial products that you can purchase to make the job easier. In most cases, they come in the form of aerosol cans and you have to spray them on the area with corrosion. Follow the instructions from its manufacturer.
  • Keep in mind that not all electrical connectors are the same. The first thing that you have to do is to determine the type of connection that you have. From here, you can identify the best approach to cleaning.
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