Electrical toys can be expensive to invest in for your child, but even more costly is their tendency to break.
Battery corrosion can be enough to break your child’s toys for good, but they can still be rescued if the corrosion hasn’t gone too far.
We hope that we can save you another trip to the toy store to replace your little one’s favorite gadget by simply maintaining the battery life of the toys they already have.
This article will explain what could have caused your batteries to corrode, how to clean it up and some helpful tips for avoiding it in the future.
Table of Contents
What Causes Battery Corrosion?
Corrosion can happen for all sorts of reasons that are easy to avoid.
If your kids’ toys have stopped working due to battery corrosion, here are some possible explanations.
When exposed to extreme temperatures, especially hot ones, batteries naturally heat up.
This process causes water to evaporate from the batteries and begins damaging the inner workings of the toys.
Batteries Staying In During Long Storage
If your child’s toy has been in storage for a prolonged period of time, this gives the batteries more opportunity to do damage to its insides.
Many toys are left unused for months with their batteries still inside.
If a leak occurs, nobody is checking to see if the toy still works, so the fault goes unnoticed until it’s too late.
Charging Disposable Batteries
This might seem like a mindless idea, but you’d be surprised by how many people try it in the name of saving on buying new batteries.
As batteries designed for disposal after use get recharged, they release gas that increases the pressure in the batteries.
The electrolytes from inside get pushed out, which can lead to leaks and even small explosions.
How To Clean Battery Corrosion In Toys?
Cleaning corrosion is a pretty simple process, but you’ll need a few tools to help you complete the job.
- Vinegar/Baking soda
- Cotton swab
- Paper towels
- Protective equipment – Gloves & protective glasses
Start by gearing up with your protective gear and remember not to go near the corrosion with bare skin.
Remove the batteries from the toy and dispose of them.
You don’t want to try reusing batteries that have already caused corrosion in your child’s toys.
Add vinegar or baking soda to the affected area using the toothbrush and lightly scrub the corrosion.
This will likely produce a hissing or fizzing sound, but this is just the reaction taking place between the vinegar and the corrosion.
After a few minutes, remove any parts that are left using the cotton swabs and paper towels.
Leave to dry naturally in the air then replace your old batteries with new, high quality ones.
Your child’s toy should be back to full function!
Not all batteries are made the same, so some corrosion could require a different solution.
This will involve balancing out the type of battery with your choice of solution.
Batteries that have stronger alkaline properties will be more primed to react to an acidic solution.
If your broken toy has experienced corrosion from an alkaline battery, it is recommended that you use vinegar or lemon juice as your solution.
This will change the chemical reaction that takes place and provide the corrosion with enough acidic properties to balance out.
Acidic batteries naturally have the opposite issue to alkaline batteries. They need an alkaline solution to remove the corrosion they cause.
A simple solution of baking soda and water will be enough to deal with acidic corrosion and balance out the chemical reaction.
Tops Tips To Avoid Battery Corrosion In Toys
Use High Quality Batteries
Although it might seem pointless to spend big on batteries for kids’ toys, grade-A batteries will give the toys a better chance of surviving long-term.
Choosing to put cheap batteries in toys will leave you more vulnerable to leaks, which means more visits back to this page to clean more corrosion.
As much as we welcome all returning visitors, the goal is to make sure your children’s’ toys aren’t breaking and leaking from corrosion repeatedly.
Avoid Storing Long-Term
If your child has toys that they bring out of the closet once a year, it would be a good idea to remove the batteries and simply replace them when it’s that toy’s time to shine.
Having toys in storage for long periods only gives batteries more chances to leak and do damage, so avoid this risk completely by removing the batteries until needed.
Keep In A Cool Place
As we mentioned earlier, heat is bad news for batteries.
The evaporation that gets produced from exposure to heat will only shorten your battery life and potentially damage your child’s favorite toys in the process.
Try to avoid storing your kids’ toys in warm, humid places and reduce the chance of heat being responsible for corrosion.
Trash Old Batteries
It might be obvious to most, but don’t try to reuse batteries once they have corroded.
It will undo all of your hard work during the cleaning process and increase the risk of permanent damage to the toy.
Once you have removed faulty batteries, throw them in the trash and replace them with high quality new ones.
Avoid Touching With Bare Skin
Corrosion can be extremely damaging to your skin, so make sure that you are handling the affected toy using gloves and other protective gear.
You don’t need to be dealing with any additional casualties on top of the one you are already operating on.
Approach cleaning corroded batteries with care, but take the steps early on that can prevent corrosion in the first place.
Most corrosion is preventable, it’s just about taking precautions before it’s too late.
We hope that this guide to cleaning corroded batteries will save you money whilst saving your child the heartache of losing their favorite toys to battery failures.