How To Fix Toys That Have Battery Corrosion
- You can skip these steps by checking the battery terminals on used toys before you buy them.
- Make sure you bring a small screwdriver with you to check baby and toddler toys.
If you buy used toys or inherit hand-me-downs from friends or family members, then coming across a toy with battery terminal corrosion is inevitable. Battery corrosion usually occurs when a battery is left in a toy too long. However, most of these toys are still salvageable.
Hopefully the toy that you have acquired has already had the battery removed. If not, you should wear rubber gloves and protective eye wear while removing the battery. If the leak was recent, there may be some alkaline fluid present; you can wipe this away with a paper towel.
Whether the leak is new or old, the process for cleaning it is basically the same. You will want use an old toothbrush and a bit of vinegar to scrub the area and neutralize the alkaline to prevent it from causing further damage. Use a paper towel to dry the area and remove any build up, then set the toy aside for several hours.
If you were unable to remove enough corrosion from the terminals, the toy still may not work. You can try using a fingernail file to remove some of the rust from the terminal, then swab the terminals with a q-tip dipped in vinegar. Again, you should set the toy aside until it is completely dry.
Occasionally, the corrosion is bad enough for the spring in the battery terminals to rust through and break. If this is the case, go ahead and use the above steps to clean the toy; it may still be salvageable. After you are done cleaning the terminals and the toy is dry, you can use a piece of aluminum foil as a wedge between the broken spring and the battery. You may have to fold the foil several times to make it fit tight.