When it comes to automotive maintenance, there are many simple steps that you can take to make your car last longer and run more smoothly.

The most oft-cited tips include changing the oil, checking the fluids, and replacing the air engine filter. However, there is one hugely effective tip that is often overlooked; cleaning the battery terminals.

Cleaning a car’s battery terminal takes just a couple of minutes and can be done with the materials you have at home. Once you know how to clean battery terminals, you can keep your battery in tip-top shape and extend your car’s lifespan considerably. Here’s how to do it.

1. How to Clean Battery Terminals: Find the Battery

Before we delve into this battery terminal cleaning guide, it’s important to know how to actually find the battery terminal. Most terminals are located directly under the hood, under either the left or right side of the engine bay.

Some models place the battery terminal in the trunk, so check here if the engine is giving you no joy. Make sure to read on here for a comprehensive guide on battery terminals so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with.

2. Lift the Cover Off the Terminal

Before lifting off the terminal cover, make sure you are wearing gloves and safety goggles. The plastic or rubber cover on the terminal might be covered in residue that resembles white powder, which should be fully cleared away beforehand. You should be able to easily lift the cover off of the battery terminal.

3. Disconnect Your Car Battery

One of the most important battery cleaning tips is to disconnect it completely before you attempt any cleaning whatsoever. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of shorting the battery or giving yourself a potentially dangerous shock.

Loosening the negative clamp on the terminal, followed by the positive clamp. While doing this you should be careful not to touch any other metal surfaces, as this may short the battery.

4. Prepare Your Materials

The materials needed to clean a battery terminal are probably already sitting in your home. You can use two tablespoons of baking soda and an equal amount of water mixed together to form a paste.

Then you can use an old toothbrush to scrub the paste on the battery terminals. Another one of the popular cleaning tips is to simply pour a can of cola on the terminal to remove any corrosion.

5. Clean and Dry

After this cleaning process, simply use a spray bottle of water to rinse the terminals down. Once you have thoroughly rinsed the battery terminals, use a dry rag to pat it down until there is no moisture left.

Finally, make sure to apply some battery terminal protector on each post, as this will help you to avoid further corrosion. Once you have done this, simply reconnect your battery and you are good to go!

More Home DIY Tips and Life Hacks

Now that you know how to clean battery terminals, it’s time to learn more. For all of the DIY life hacks that will save you time and money, we’ve got you covered. Make sure to check out our DIY section today for expert tips and tricks.