1
$\begingroup$

I'm sure everybody has come across a case like the following:

enter image description here

My experience is that this corrosion must act as an insulator(/or shortcircuit). I have managed -in some cases- to clean by scrubbing and using alcohol based cleaners. However that is not always the case.

Could someone suggest the best way to restore an adapter (if its possible).

If possible, it would be nice - along with or instead of commercial products that maybe available in only certain parts of the world- to have a solution/substance that is appropriate. If the requirement is just, scrub harder then that's also ok.

$\endgroup$
0
1
$\begingroup$

I have restored several outdoor devices, including a garage door opener this way:

Start with hot water, and something gentle, like a toothbrush. The hot water can help solubility compared to alcohol or even cold water. Alcohol (isopropyl, 90%+ ideally) is still good as a final step.

Obviously unplug/remove batteries, and if electronics gets wet, make sure to fully dry it. (better to try to prevent water ingress, partially disassemble, place some paper towels strategically). Also check that the crap didn't get inside and short anything out. The cleaning procedure itself can spread the salty battery goo and corrosion products.

It is even possible to give circuit boards a bath -- but if you do that, dry afterwards with limited heat, <80C. A toaster oven can be nice for this. In principle, shouldn't use for food after such use.

If the contacts do not conduct, sandpaper or some other abrasive may be necessary. But be aware that with the original plating gone, it will corrode again much faster than before. If this is the situation (i.e. you got it working well but had to remove the plating), you can protect it to a degree with some protective gels (typically sold in small packets for use with car batteries). If you can replace the contacts or battery compartment entirely, do that.

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Baking soda can also help cleaning some of the nastier battery acid buildup. Quick fix for car batteries that won't start. $\endgroup$
    – jko
    Mar 12 at 15:35
1
$\begingroup$

The classic cleaner for removing corrosion products is a mild acid at elevated temperature. For contacts made of steel or chrome-plated steel, warm phosphoric acid works very well. This is an ingredient used in popular "rust remover" products you can buy in hardware stores.

If you use anything like this, it is imperative that you take great care to prevent the rust remover from getting into the guts of the device, where it will promptly wreak havoc. Also important is the need to thoroughly rinse the parts with water to remove all the rust remover when the job is done. Finally, water must be excluded from the cleaned parts, otherwise corrosion will continue. Spray a little bit of WD-40 onto the cleaned parts to prevent this, and wipe off any excess.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ battery contacts are often a nickel plated copper alloy, fwiw. $\endgroup$
    – Pete W
    Mar 12 at 22:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.