How to Clean Battery Acid From a Concrete Floor

by Chris Deziel
Storing old batteries on your garage floor is asking for trouble.

Storing old batteries on your garage floor is asking for trouble.

It's not a good idea to store an old automobile battery in the garage, because the plastic case can deteriorate and leak, and you don't want what comes out on your floor. The substance is usually sulfuric or muriatic acid, better known as battery acid, and besides being hazardous to children, pets and you, you won't like what it does to the concrete. If it sits on the floor long enough, it will eat a hole. You may be able to prevent permanent damage to the concrete by cleaning the mess early, starting by neutralizing the acid.

Items you will need

  • Baking soda or lime
  • Paint scraper
  • Wire brush
  • Cleaner with ammonia
Step 1

Mix a paste of baking soda and water. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which is alkaline. It will neutralize the acid. You can also use lime from your garden shed -- which is calcium carbonate -- but if the spill is a large one, the lime may combine with the acid and solidify.

Step 2

Apply a generous amount of paste to the stain with a paint scraper. Work it into the stain with a wire brush, then wash the area with plenty of clear water.

Step 3

Wash the area with a cleaner that contains ammonia.

Tips

  • Acid can eat a hole in the floor. Use concrete patch or mortar mix to fill the hole.
  • If it's necessary to store old batteries, always place them on plywood -- never on bare concrete.

Warning

  • Any liquid you see oozing out of old batteries is acid, and it's dangerous. It can burn your skin and eat holes through your clothing. Wear rubber gloves and goggles when handling batteries with small leaks and get professional help for ones with large leaks.

About the Author

Chris Deziel began writing in 1974 as a feature writer for "Satellite News" magazine. He specializes in writing about home improvement and the arts and sciences. Deziel is a carpenter with more than 20 years of professional experience, a teacher and a musician. He has a Master of Arts in humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Photo Credits

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