How To Clean Battery Acid Off Concrete

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Batteries are often used to supplement power requirements. These batteries generate energy through electrolysis, where sulphuric or hydrochloric acid is used as the electrolyte. The acid can spill and cause damage to concrete floors.

In this article, you will see how to clean battery acid off concrete.

How To Clean Battery Acid Off Concrete

Battery acid spill on concrete can corrode the floor or leave stains. We will discuss some popular methods to remove acid stains here.

Batteries

Safety Measures

Before discussing the cleaning procedure, it is crucial to take precautions as the spilled acid and chemicals can be hazardous.

  • Wear protective glasses because even the slightest amount of cleaning agent entering the eye can irritate and cause significant damage.
  • Wear gloves because the chemicals involved have a burning effect on human skin. Be extremely careful while handling the reagents.
  • The vapors released during the cleaning process can cause choking if inhaled. It is advisable to wear masks to avoid the same.
  • Remember never to apply water on acid burns.
  • Do not hesitate to seek medical help in case of emergencies.

Here is a complete guide to safety rules for chemical handling. 

Method #1: Use A Basic Salt

The use of a basic salt can remove any acid stains because they can induce a neutralization reaction to do away with the effect of the acid.

  • You can use baking soda available in the kitchen because it contains sodium bicarbonate salt or simple limestone, which has calcium carbonate.
  • Make a paste consisting of baking soda and water. It is preferable not to use calcium carbonate in case the stains are strong.
  • Apply the paste on the area stained by the acid. Do so until there are bubbles in the region due to the leaked acid.
  • Rub the paste on the stain marks, and then let the paste stand for some time to act on the marks effectively. 
  • After some time, use water to wash away the applied paste.
  • Then you need to apply some floor cleaner to it as the cleaner has some amount of ammonia which helps in cleaning.
  • After some time, mop up the stained place with a cloth that you should carefully dispose off later.

This technique is used to clean mild stains caused by small spills. If a larger amount of acid is spilled, use the following methods.

Method #2: Use Bleaching Powder

It may so happen that a large amount of acid has been spilled, or the acid has not been treated for a long time. This causes the stain to stiffen and makes it difficult to remove.

Bleach powder spilling out of a tub

In this kind of situation, regular bleaching powder, which has chlorine in it, can come to the rescue, it is also great for cleaning lava rocks and oyster shells.

  • Ensure that the area to be cleaned has no foreign materials that can induce a reaction with the chemicals you will apply.
  • Make a solution of bleaching powder and water and store this solution in a spray jet. If you don’t have a spray jet, take a bottle and make a hole in its cap.
  • Spray the solution over the entire surface. Make sure the bleaching solution covers the entire affected area.
  • Allow the solution to rest over the stained area for some time, about three to five minutes. Then scrub it with a wired brush that is resistant to corrosion.
  • The stain marks should begin to come off. If it does not, apply some more bleaching solution and scrub it again for about fifteen minutes.

By this step, the stain marks should disappear. If it does not, move to the following method.

Method #3: Use Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is nothing but commercially available hydrochloric acid. It may look strange, but it helps remove acid stains.

The spilled acid may have reacted with the material of the floor to form an acidic salt. The acid can react with this and remove it.

  • Before proceeding with the cleaning process, make sure you have a proper container to store the run-off from the process.
  • A spare metal container can do the trick. Do not allow the run-offs to reach the local drains as they are toxic.
  • Apply some bleaching powder, as was done in the previous method. Scrub and let it stand, and then wash it.
  • Now, slowly apply small amounts of acid over the stained area. Do not apply large quantities at once.
  • The reaction between the acid and the floor material is highly exothermic. Therefore, too much acid can be dangerous.
  • After the acid action is over, make a baking soda paste and apply it to the stained area. This neutralizes the reaction of excess acid if any.
  • Wash the acid gently and make sure to collect the run-off, as mentioned earlier.
  • Then, dispose of the water collected under the hazardous waste category.
Car battery acid

Method #4: Rust Removers

If immediate action is not taken on the acid stains, they tend to leave marks on the floor, which are difficult to remove with daily household materials.

To remove this kind of stain, you can use rust removers which are easily available in the market. Make sure you check the expiration date of these products before buying.

Make sure you use them only as a last resort after trying all the methods above. The household chemicals make the work of rust removers easier too.

The run-offs from rust removers should be collected safely and treated as hazardous material. You can also refer to this video guide to remove acid stains from concrete

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Acid From Batteries Cause Permanent Damage To The Floor?

They can corrode the floor if it is spilled in a large amount. Small amounts of acid leave stains that you can easily remove. If the floor gets damaged, it is advisable to repair the section of the floor before the damage spreads further.

Does White Vinegar Help To Neutralize Battery Acid?

Vinegar is weakly acidic in the form of acetic acid. It can help to clean soft stains, but it usually leaves its mark on the floor. Therefore, it is advisable to use baking soda for soft stains and hydrochloric acid for strong ones.

Conclusion

Leaked acid from the battery can cause permanent damage to your floor if not appropriately neutralized. Removing the stains is easy if the proper chemicals are used and in the right proportions. While cleaning the stain, make sure you take all safety precautions.