Hydrogen burns with explosive force in an atmosphere of air or oxygen. For this
reason flames and sparks should be kept away from storage batteries at all times.
(B) CARE OF BATTERIES-GENERAL
A storage battery can be charged and discharged for an indefinite period if properly
taken care of.
41. Cleanliness. -The batteries should be kept clean and dry. If electrolyte is spilled
or if any parts are damp with acid, apply a solution of baking soda or ammonia, then
rinse well with water and dry the battery. The cleaning solution should not be allowed to get
into the cells. A suitable solution of baking soda can be
made up by dissolving a pound of ordinary baking soda in a gallon of water. Ordinary
household ammonia is equally satisfactory so far as neutralizing the acid is concerned,
but its strong odor is often found to be objectionable.
Sulphuric acid is very corrosive in its action and will ruin clothing if allowed to
remain for even a short time. It should be neutralized immediately when spilled so as to
prevent corrosion. If the terminals of the battery are corroded they should be scraped
clean, washed with a soda or ammonia solution and rinsed thoroughly. After they have
dried, a thin layer of vaseline should be applied to prevent further corrosion. Vaseline can
be applied easily, by means of a small paint brush, if it is heated to make it a liquid.
There will be no corrosion unless electrolyte is spilled and allowed to remain unneutralized.