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Q: spilled battery acid ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: spilled battery acid
Category: Family and Home
Asked by: faithful-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Sep 2003 06:09 PDT
Expires: 07 Oct 2003 06:09 PDT
Question ID: 253151
There was a spilled battery in the trunk of my car.  Somehow it
spilled and now there is battery acid all over the trunk.  What damage
will it do? and how can I best clean it up?  This makes me very
Subject: Re: spilled battery acid
Answered By: till-ga on 07 Sep 2003 06:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
First of all: be very, very careful. Battery acid is a dangerous
chemical ! Avoid contact with skin and eyes !
Battery acid is about 35 % sulfur acid and may cause several damages:

Battery electrolyte acid mist generated during battery formation may
cause respiratory irritation.

Skin Contact
Battery electrolyte (acid) may cause irritative contact dermatitis.
Skin Absorption

Eye Contact
Battery electrolyte (acid) will irritate the eyes upon contact."

From: Interstate Batteries
And battery acid may cause corrosion (or even destruct) materials as
it concentrates by evaporation of the contained water.

So you got to be careful and wear safety goggles and acid resistant
gauntlets to avoid any contact with you skin and eyes. And – of course
– protect your clothes form contact with the acid as it will cause
wholes in them when concentrating.

What you should do then is take out any removable material out the
trunk  and clean it with a lot of water. You should use an
neutralizing agent to clean the rest of the trunk then. This will turn
the acid into a (rather) harmless salt that can then be removed
without the danger of being hurt.

Description of a neutralizer:
Wildpower Battery
( )

Or you can use simple baking soda  (cheaper !) as described at
„Keep a neutralizing agent, such as baking soda, nearby in case of
leaks or spills. If a spill does occur, the waste must be treated as a
hazardous waste.“
( )

I hope that these hints are useful for you. Please remember to be very
careful !
And you should act rather fast as time plays an important rule as
well. The faster you remove the acid from your trunk, the less
corrosion will appear.

Please donīt hesitate to post a clarification request if anything
wasnīt clear enough before rating my answer.


Search Strategy:
( ://
and my personal knowledge as a chemist.

Request for Answer Clarification by faithful-ga on 09 Sep 2003 00:19 PDT
you mentioned using baking soda.  Can I just sprinke that on the spill
in the trubk?  Then wash it off with water. Is it okay to do this in
the driveway? thanks for any reply

Clarification of Answer by till-ga on 09 Sep 2003 01:18 PDT
Yes, itīs no problem to sprinkle the baking soda on the spill. (But
please keep my safety hints in mind !)
And you can do this in the driveway. What happens is that the acid is
turned into a (rather) harmless salt with the formula Na2SO4 that can
then be removed.

What you will when sprinkling the soda over the spill are bubbles (or
maybe foam). This is normal as the soda contains CO2 (Carbondioxid(
which is released by the chemical reaction with the battery acid. As
long as you see a reaction the acid hasnīīt been fully neutralized.

Hope this helps to solve your problem.

faithful-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for answering so promptly.

Subject: Re: spilled battery acid
From: till-ga on 09 Sep 2003 01:38 PDT
Sorry, Iīve  forgotten one word in a sentence in my clarification.

"What you will see when sprinkling the soda over the spill are bubbles (or
maybe foam)."
is the correct sentence.


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