How to Use Petroleum Jelly on Battery Terminals

Petroleum jelly is a good solution to clean your corroded batteries.


Petroleum jelly is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to clean your battery terminals.

Put on your gloves and take a tablespoon of petroleum jelly

Use a wrench to remove the battery cables carefully

Apply the petroleum jelly on the battery terminals

Ensure that the battery posts are entirely covered with petroleum jelly.

Vaseline application on your battery terminals assists in creating a protective layer around the terminals while also lubricating them and strengthening the electric connection.

Before applying on your battery terminals, you have to do some proper cleaning. Apart from wearing some protective gloves, you will also need baking soda, an old toothbrush, a wet cloth, a dry one, and water.

One side is usually negative (anode), while the other is positive (cathode). For the battery to function correctly, the battery terminals have to be clean. Dust build-up, battery corrosion, and dirt on your terminals have a negative effect on the battery’s function and, consequently, your car’s overall performance.


Although you have to keep the terminals clean, you must be extremely cautious since the “crust” from the terminals is usually acidic.

Corrosion in battery terminals is a common problem among cars containing acid batteries, mainly filled with sulphuric acid. Because of the heating and cooling of your battery, many gases find their way out through vents on the battery.

Due to the mixing of these gases and their reaction with other elements, corrosion of the battery occurs. Some of the leading causes for battery corrosion include:

Electrolyte leakage – Though batteries can hold the acid inside safely, leakages are still possible. Lack of proper maintenance of the battery or damage may cause electrolyte leaks which cause corrosion.

Overfull battery – In case you fill your refillable battery with excess water, it may result in excess electrolyte flowing out of the vents hence corrosion.

Reactions in copper clamps – Although copper cannot corrode by itself, the presence of sulphuric acid from a leaking battery may cause corrosion of the battery terminals, which occurs in the form of bluish-green crystals forming around the terminal.

Overcharging – Too much of everything is poisonous, and so are charging batteries. Overcharging causes a significant rise in battery temperature, which results in the expansion of the electrolyte volume. Regardless of the battery is sealed, the electrolyte will eventually flow through vents and cracks, leading to terminal corrosion.

Battery age – You shouldn’t be surprised when you find your batteries have corroded if you have used them for the last six years. Batteries typically have a five-year lifespan, and their performance usually declines as it ages.




There are several ways through which you can clean your car’s battery and its terminals. You can use anti-corrosion washers which you can find in auto spare outlets and retail stores. You can also use dielectric grease, which you can find in home improvement stores, hardware, and auto spare part stores.

Follow the below steps to conduct a proper cleaning on your terminals.

Remove the battery cables starting from the negative one followed by the positive one. Ensure that the cables are away from the battery.

Add a tablespoon of baking soda into some water and mix thoroughly until you get a paste-like consistency.

Dip your old toothbrush in baking soda and scrub the terminals until the corrosion build-up is entirely off.

Use a clean wet cloth to wipe off the terminals until they are clean.

Thoroughly wipe the terminals with a dry cloth and ensure there is no wetness remaining.

Application of petroleum jelly

After ensuring that the terminals are completely dry, take some vaseline and rub it on the terminals. Once you are done, reattach the cables as they were.


best option for battery terminal coating?

Using petroleum jelly is one of the cheapest and most common methods of coating your battery terminals to avoid corrosion. Vaseline pt applied on the battery terminals may easily attract dirt and dust.

It may also not last long, especially when it is exposed to high temperatures. Despite these disadvantages, many people still use vaseline to maintain their battery terminals with considerable success.


Using WD-40 to clean your battery.

The use of WD-40 to clean battery terminals is still common among many people. Although it does work well, you will need a lot of elbow grease. You can use the following steps to clean your battery with WD-40.


Disconnect your terminals

Spray WD-40 on all the battery terminals and cable connections.

Let it sit for one or two minutes, then rinse it in hot water

Use an old toothbrush to scrub off the corrosion

Check to confirm if the battery terminals are sparkling clean

Repeat the process if they are not fully clean

Dry the terminals off completely before reconnecting them.



Can you safely clean your battery terminals without disconnecting?

Cleaning your car’s battery terminals may seem dull, tedious, and sometimes time-consuming. There are several techniques that you can use to make it faster and safer. And yes, you can safely clean your battery terminals without disconnecting.

To guarantee your safety, you will need to turn off the ignition and jet spray some hot water on the battery terminals. If you do not have a spray bottle, you can pour the water from a height that will work similarly to a spray bottle. Afterward, use an old toothbrush to remove the residue and dry it off completely.



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