Can leaking batteries damage electronics?

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Offline thedoc

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Can leaking batteries damage electronics?
« on: 05/10/2013 10:54:08 »
I have a question about alkaline batteries.

I recently unwrapped a set of battery powered lights, and I saw that we had left the batteries in all year. The batteries are a well known brand and they looked like they had leaked. There was a white powder around the contacts of the batteries and also on the contacts of the lights. What is this powder? Is it harmful to touch? What would be be best way to clean this powder away? Do we need a chemical help such as lemon juice or something? Will the powder be harmful to a new set of batteries that I insert? Keep up the great work!
Rob from Leeds.
Asked by Rob Waite

                                        Visit the webpage for the podcast in which this question is answered.

[chapter podcast=1000454 track=13.09.05/Naked_Scientists_Show_13.09.05_1001276.mp3]  ...or Listen to the Answer[/chapter] or [download as MP3]

« Last Edit: 05/10/2013 10:54:08 by _system »


Offline SeanB

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Re: What chemical leaks from batteries?
« Reply #1 on: 04/08/2013 21:32:56 »
A mixture of ammonium chloride and manganese dioxide. Can easily be removed with white spirit vinegar which will neutralise it. Then rinse with water and dry thoroughly. If it has corroded through the springs you will need to replace them.