Leisure battery terminal, is it rust or something to be concerned about?

Apr 25, 2021
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Hi,

We store our leisure battery in the house in a cupboard under the stairs over the winter, I took it out of the van about 2 months ago. The cupboard is where we store a few other things (coats, shoes, other boxes of things not used often).

I’ve just gone to get something out and noticed one of the battery terminals appears to have some orange residue (please see photos), which could be rust (or forgive my daft question - battery acid?).

could anyone advise on what this could be? Can I sort this out somehow if so, is it safe to use?

I have a smart battery charger which I tend to plug in a couple of times to check it’s topped up too. Don’t want to plug anything in if it’ll be unsafe or make the situation worse.

Thanks
Sarah
 

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Apr 25, 2021
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Just normal powdering that is why terminals are smeared with Vaseline or a grease. Just clean the terminals and apply some protectant. Same when it goes back into the caravan.

Thanks, glad it’s nothing to worry about.
Some of it seems quite stubborn so am I ok to go at it with a bristly toothbrush or something similar?

I’ll apply Vaseline when it’s sorted too (y)
 
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Oct 19, 2023
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Thanks, glad it’s nothing to worry about.
Some of it seems quite stubborn so am I ok to go at it with a bristly toothbrush or something similar?

I’ll apply Vaseline when it’s sorted too (y)
Wire brush or fine(ish) emery cloth is best. Ideally you want to remove the oxidation from the terminal posts before you grease them - they should be shiny, not dull.
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Do it where the highly corrosive "dust" is not going to damage anything around.
I would wash it with a bi carbonate of soda and water paste to neutralise the leached acid. With associated lot of fizzing.
Then as others say smear with "Vaseline" or a non branded petroleum jelly.
It happens predominantly around the negative post and where the post is not 100% bonded into the casing.
Apart from damage potential from corrosion, "acid burns" to where it gets it is nothing to worry unduly about.
 
Aug 12, 2023
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Corrosion around terminals isn't unusual. It will be from sulfuric acid vapors venting from battery reacting with different metals. Normally white powder which is lead sulfate because terminals are solid lead. Can be other colours depending on metals on cable connector eg copper, tin, iron(bolt).
 
Oct 8, 2006
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A possibly better solution is to rub the powder off (its only oxidation) and clean the pillar with wire wool. Then reattach the cables and either spray or (preferably) brush Waxoyl liberally over the whole terminal area. Works a treat as the wax solvent will evaporate and leave the post dry but wax covered.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Agree with everything said before, remember that whatever you have used to clean the terminals with, wire wool, scotchbrite pad, or wire brush and a rag, the corrosive remnants will corroded whatever you put that on, jeans trousers, hand towels.
Great if you want that "I am a worker " look on your new £60 Wrangler jeans.
 
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Jul 15, 2008
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I agree withHutch.

.....if I was the OP I wouldn't keep the battery in a cupboard under the stairs and I certainly wouldn't charge it in there.
Any leakage is highly corrosive Sulphuric Acid.
Charging can give off explosive Hydrogen.
 
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