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Acid Test!! Chemicals for cleaning up after leaking alkaline batteries.


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Damage caused by leaking batteries is a challenge we often face when restoring vintage computers. I hope this video might be helpful for your next cleanup challange.

In this video we play amateur chemist and take a look at how to clean up PCBs that have been damaged by leaking alkaline batteries. We have all experienced the horror of opening up a piece of vintage gear that had the AA batteries left in it or which was made with a NiCad battery soldered to the PCB.

Both types of batteries use an electrolyte that is alkaline, it is corrosive but opposite of acids on the Ph scale. I’m not a real chemist, nor do I play one on TV but let’s jump right in and find out how to clean up this sort of mess.

In a future episode we’ll look at how to clean up the mess from leaking electrolytic capacitors whose electrolytes are actually acidic so require a different method to neutralize than the alkaline batteries we dealt with today.


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