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Help w/ Battery Acid Cleanup

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by H2O Mellon, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I think liquid from two tractor batteries got all over my Jeep. I found the two batteries turned on their sides this morning. Here is my problem: the liquid that seemed to be comming from them, was rich & dark in color. It almost looked like Grape Kool Aid. It didnt have much of a smell. My wife told me to put dish soap over the spill. I did that & by the time I drove to work I felt a little lightheaded. I just got back from lunch (an hour ago) & feel the same way right now. Was the mixing of the two a bad idea? Is it even battery acid, could it be something else. I touched the stuff w/ my fingers (yes, I aint ever been known as the sharpest knife in the drawer!) and when I rubbed my fingers together, a white sticky film (HOLD all jokes) was stuck to my fingers. Obviously I am typing this, so it didnt eat my fingers away. Any idea would be nice. I also havent taken my Diabetes pills in a few days, so I might be feling sick form that. :rolleyes: Any suggestions on the possible battery acid would be great.
     
  2. DaleM

    DaleM Original OGF Staff Member

    If you can get to the area, dump a can of Coke on the area. The fizz in the coke will neutralize the acid. I am serious. The best way is to get a few cans, shake them lightly after you open them and spray the area where the acid spilled.Flush with water afterwards.
    Baking soda is another option, it will neutralize the acid also.

    OH one more thing!!!!!!! Take you pills dummy! :p
     

  3. step 1 - TAKE YOUR MEDICINE :)

    Step2 - make sure it is damp - not tried out and just use baking soda on it. If dry - dampen it - add BS and if it bubbles - it's acid - keep rinsing and adding untill it quits bubbling - then soap and lots more water.

    BS is a base and nuetralizes acid.

    Acid is clear - if the batteries were real old - not sure what it would look like.
     
  4. Like the other guys have said BS and LOTS of water.
     
  5. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    Same thing happened to me. Two golf cart batteries dumped in the back of my Exploder. Sucked up the majority with a shop vac then flooded with a solution of baking soda and water. I used as much baking soda as the water would dissolve (saturated solution). Let it bubble and react, sucked it up and repeated until no more reaction. Then rinsed with clear water. THEN, pulled up the carpet and backing and did the same thing to the metal floor. What a mess, but I think I got it all. On the plus side I think it knocked down the dead animal smell that was lingering back there, which is a whole other story in itself.
     
  6. best thing to neutralize acid in just the opposite, alkaline. products like vinegar and soda ash are great for acid cleanup. sorry guys but cola will not work for raw acid, it contains citric acid. This only will dissolve corrosion on your terminals because the citric acid reacts with the lead posts. you can only neutralize acid with a high alkaline product.
     
  7. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    Brayn, I think you are light headed from climbing down the rocks and netting all my fish this spring...Also, it helps to unload your jeep before spills happen.
     
  8. I guess I need to go back to high school for more bhemistry classes.:D I always thought that you neutralized something that was acidic by applying something that was basic.:confused: It would seem that baking soda would fit the "base" category. However I have no first hand experience in cleaning up battery acid so don't listen to anything I say.:rolleyes:
     
  9. I found this link about Battery Safety that says the following:

    I need to send a thank you note to my high school chemistry teacher. It seems I did remember something she taught me.:D
     
  10. I also found this in another forum. Granted this is simply a forum member's input so take it for what it is worth.

    Open Roads Forum

     
  11. Smallie Gene

    Smallie Gene Banned

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    My first suggestion would be to secure the perimeter to keep kids away and pets, mainly dogs, as they have been known to lick up battery acid and die. I'd just find something absorbant like kitty litter to soak up the liquid and have your wife sweep it up and throw it in the trash. As far as the fumes, I am not sure, I spilled a can of gas in my van a while back on the carpet and sprayed some "scent-a-way" product on it that I use for deer hunting and then pinched a few drops of Tink's 69 over it and don't smell the gas any more.
     
  12. Wow I think I would have stuck with the gasoline smell. At least it was easier to explain to everyone what happened than trying to explain how I got urinated on by a deer.:eek::D

    The scent-a-way product is for the most part a baking soda solution that is effective at killing odors of any kind. I hope it contains more than the baking soda though because I pay too much money for that stuff to think that I could have mixed it up in my own house.:rolleyes:
     
  13. Smallie Gene

    Smallie Gene Banned

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    Point well taken Beaker but I guess I decided I'd rather smell deer pee than come to work and be accused of huffing gas again. I just wished I would have used the doe in heat bottle instead of the buck in rut.
     
  14. I never said baking soda wouldn't work. I said cola wouldn't!! I just gave an opinion from my experience. I not a chemist but I work with batteries daily and when I spill any of the electrolite (sulphuric acid) and it's bubbling on the concrete floor, a little vinegar works for me. I don't know why everybody on this site wants to attack every forum or try to outdo or outwit it's other members. I have only been a member for a short while but it seems to be getting worse every day. I never personally attacked any of you by quoting your replies and then finding some scientific fact why you were wrong. I guess I don't have that much time on my hands. I really find it harder to believe that anyone from the OGF staff would try to offend any of the members. WHICH YOU HAVE. In every other forum I've ever been to when someone asks a question, someone gives an awnser, it may be right or wrong but it's an awnser. AND NO ONE ATTACKS ANYONE FOR THEIR OPINION. I posted my opinion less than an hour ago and you guys came at it with flaming arrows. I guess i'll never awnser a question again. I'll only read in this forum.
     
  15. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    Yep, the other forum guy had it right. Pop contains citric and/or phosphoric acid. Vinegar is acetic acid. They won't neutralized another acid. Baking soda is safe. It just fizzles carbon dioxide and makes sodium sulfate when reacted with sulfuric acid.


    The one very important point I want to make is if you are messing around with battery acid (sulfuric acid) make sure you wear goggles or preferrably a full face mask. The concentrated sulfuric acid in a battery is extremely corrosive and you do not want to know what it feels like to get it in your eye. Even a teenie weenie speck.
    I still have the scar on my sclera.
     
  16. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    Wow Newfisher. Calm down. Nobody attacked anyone.

    I had one wrong a few weeks ago when I thought West Branch and Mosquito were in the Lake Erie watershed and not the Ohio River watershed.
    Someone showed me otherwise and I thanked them and appreciated it. I just learned something new.
    I'm always up to learning something new. I'm not afraid to admit I'm wrong either.
     
  17. Just a little follow-up on the battery acid subject. I am not going to get too technical, but this information may be helpful down the road.

    Acids vs. Alkalyi (Bases) - this is determined by their pH... this is a scale of
    0-14 highly acidic solution being on the lower end, i.e. 0,1,2.... and strong bases being at the top end.... 12,13,14. Normal "drinking" water ia a 7 - which is neutral. If you have a acid you need a base to neutralize it.... so if you have spilled battery acid - Baking soda or lime is a good neutralizer and vicea versa.

    You can dilute the spill with water, BUT there are some major consideration to keep in mind....
    1. pH is logritmic meaning it multiplies by 10 every number.... so if you spilled a gallon of battery acid with a pH of say 4 - it would take 1000 gallons to neutralize it (pH of 7.) I know this is difficult to understand, but entirely accurate.... Look at it this way... pH of 4 to a pH of 7.... 7 minus 4 is 3.... add 3 zeros to one and you get 1000...

    2. If you do not put "flooding" amount of water on some acids, you can have a serious reaction.... My college chemistry professor always had this to say about water and acid... "you can put your a$$ (acid) in water, but never put water in your a$$ (Acid).... because reactions can occur.

    I hope I shed some light on the subject without getting too confusing and technical.
     
  18. Water is actually slightly acidic straight from the tap...only deionized water has a pH of 7

    J
     
  19. I don't mind admitting when I'm wrong which i guess I was on this one. But, I don't like it when people work at trying to prove you wrong. I myself have picked up alot of helpful information on this site. I have also seen some I didn't totally agree with but, I did appreciate the fact that they were trying to help another member and that's all I was trying to do. I didn't reserch my awnser, I was giving an opinion. Sorry if I got excited but I took those past couple replies personnally offensive.
     
  20. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    That's a good one. Never heard it explained that way.
    They way I learned it was add acid on water never water on acid (WOA!!!).
    The reason being is the heat of dilution of a strong acid like sulfuric is extremely high. Water has a high heat capacity so when you add acid to the water, the heat can dissipate into the water.
    If you add water to an acid the large amount of heat generated does not have that much water to absorb the heat. It can then splatter and then you have problems.

    Man, do they have chemistry boards like our fishing one? I feel like a contestant on Jeopardy and have my favorite subject as a catagory.