Headlamp Battery Corrosion




About: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to my classroom (when appropriate) where I teach 6-12th grade English & Social Studies (...

In anticipation of going back to camp tonight and wanting to be able to read, I asked my husband to find his headlamp for me. He did and when he checked the batteries, he basically poured out the batteries and some liquid---it's been a while since the headlamp has been used. I decided to see if I could clean out and fix-up the battery holder before tossing the headlamp. It took cleaning, fresh batteries, and a new lightbulb but now I won't be quite so in the dark tonight!

Step 1: BoM




Paper towels


Step 2: Cap

The cap wasn't too bad, but did have some evidence of battery leakage. I used a q-tip dipped in vinegar to wipe away all of the fluid and build up and then wiped it down again with a damp cloth.

Step 3: Battery Holder

The battery holder was in a bit worse shape. Again, I used q-tips dipped in vinegar to clean out the gunk. When I was satisfied, went over the same areas with a q-tip dipped in water to wipe away the vinegar.

Step 4: Dry

Allow the cap and battery holder to dry before putting in new batteries.



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    4 Discussions


    Question 9 months ago on Step 1

    Cleaning vinegar, destilled white vinegar, or apple cedar vinegar???

    1 answer

    1 year ago

    I hope you rinsed thoroughly. Vinegar can be corrosive. I haven't found it necessary. If the corrosion is really persistent, a pencil eraser can be abrasive enough to clean things up a bit. I had this problem with a really nice calculator, I think about 15 years ago. After everything was cleaned up, I used Corrosion-X, ACF-50, or one of those products. It only takes a little to protect the contacts. I haven't had to do it again since.

    It looks like the lens might be cloudy and the reflector dull. If so, you can improve things a great deal. Use plastic polish, which you can get at auto parts stores for cleaning up plastic headlights. If your car is old, you'll find the plastic polish brightens it up too. Clean off the reflector thoroughly and then use chrome spray paint on it. Really brightened up the tail lights on an old car I had which kept getting rear ended.

    If there's an LED bulb that fits your headlamp, they're more efficient and will give you longer life for a given level of light.


    1 year ago

    When done with the water use metho /alchohol and let it dry out . Works on wet phones too. If you can get some solder on the cleaned contacts the repair will last.