Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Leaky alkaline batteries - did I clean up enough?

  1. Jun 3, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I was cleaning up my computer room/office today, and I found a plastic bag on a shelf with 4 AAAs inside that had white corrosion all over them. I did some Googling and I am guessing the leakage was likely potassium hydroxide. The batteries must have been about 10 years old. Here is what I did to clean it up:

    - I wiped down the shelf that the bag with the batteries were on with white vinegar (to neutralize the KOH)
    - then I wiped down the floor and also the carpet where I placed the bag while I was cleaning (since I noticed the bag had a few tiny holes in it) with vinegar
    - I then washed my hands thoroughly

    Is this sufficient? Do I need to worry about little particles of the dried up leakage that I may have missed? Would they get into my computer/other electronics and damage them?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    If that was anything it was potassium carbonate. Potassium hydroxide just won't last in the atmosphere long. I wouldn't worry too much but only you can determine if you dusted your keyboard or computer with the stuff. Salts of any type, especially fairly caustic ones like potassium carbonate are generally counterindicated with electronics!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook