Safe Handling of Battery Acid

Battery acid, or electrolyte, is a solution of sulfuric acid and water that can destroy clothing and burn the skin. Use extreme caution when handling electrolyte and keep an acid neutralizing solution—such as baking soda or household ammonia mixed with water—readily available. When handling battery acid:

  • Always wear proper eye, face and hand protection. If the electrolyte is splashed into an eye, immediately force the eye open and flood it with clean, cool water for at least 15 minutes. Get prompt medical attention. If electrolyte is taken internally, drink large quantities of water or milk. DO NOT induce vomiting. Call a physician immediately. Neutralize with baking soda any electrolyte that spills on a vehicle or in the work area. After neutralizing, rinse contaminated area clean with water.

To prepare electrolyte of a desired specific gravity, always pour the concentrated acid slowly into the water; DO NOT pour water into the acid. Always stir the water while adding small amounts of acid. If noticeable heat develops, allow the solution to cool before continuing to add acid.