What To Do When An Alkaline Battery Leaks

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By Lee Morgan

Alkaline batteries contain potassium hydroxide, which may sometimes leak out of the batteries. Overheating, charging, using old batteries and new batteries in the same device and leaving batteries in a device unused for long periods of time may cause this leakage. Since the paste-like substance that leaks out of batteries can be harmful, it is...

Handle With Protective Gear

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F You will probably discover a leaking battery while it is installed inside a battery-powered device. Remove the faulty batteries and any other batteries in the device and replace them with new ones. Before you are able to do this, it may require some clean up, depending on the severity of the leak.

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F Use protective eyewear when handling the leaking battery and always wear disposable rubber gloves or latex gloves when handling it, according to Gillette Environment Health and Safety. Other types of material may be used to prevent contact with the skin, but whatever you use should be disposable in case of exposure.

Exposure

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F Flush your eyes with large amounts of clear, room-temperature water for a half hour if some of the leakage makes contact with your eyes. Wash your skin with clear water for at least 15 minutes if the battery comes in contact with your skin, according to Gillette Environment and Safety.

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F The contents of the battery in large leak cases may be irritating to your respiratory system. Move the battery and yourself to a well-ventilated area as soon as possible. If any exposure to the leak causes discomfort or an injury, talk with a doctor immediately.

Proper Disposal

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F Throw your leaking batteries away in your regular trash just as you would any other used battery. Do not accumulate large numbers of batteries to be thrown away together since this is not appropriate for landfill burial.

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F Never burn batteries. When batteries are heated, they have the potential to explode and could cause damage or harm.

Cleaning Up Leakage

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F Clean up your leakage within the device or elsewhere as soon as possible. Be sure to use protective gloves during the cleaning process to avoid skin exposure.

Mute the speaker Listen to this using a male or female voice M/F Use an acidic cleaner such as a combination of lemon juice and water or vinegar and water to counter the base qualities of potassium hydroxide. Dip a toothbrush or cotton swab in the solution and scrub hard to reach areas. Throw away all items used to clean the leak.

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