What to use to remove alkaline battery residue leak from inside of flashlight tube?

ampdude

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I have a cheap old AAA flashlight that had an alkaline battery leak in the tube. It's a cheap 5mm LED light, but I'd like to fix it and use it again, since an AAA will no longer fit in the tube, it gets stuck. I tried isopropyl alcohol, but not white vinegar, but that didn't seem to do the trick. Anyone fixed this problem before in a light? I need to remove the residue inside of the tube so a battery will slide in and out again.
 

ampdude

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I found a small bottle of white vinegar in the cupboard, I filled the light body to the top and going to leave it in until tomorrow afternoon. I'll clean it out with a Q-tip and see how this works.
 

bykfixer

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I recently rescued a light using Coca Cola to get the stuck battery out but had to rebuild it since the fluid got inside other parts.

Some say lemon juice works too. WD 40 is another option.

You'll probably have to scour inside the barrel with sand paper to get a battery to fit inside again.
 

PaladinNO

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I've had some luck with Citric acid, or put more simply: lemon juice. Apply liberally into the tube, and let it sit. But this is basically just a surface clean.

To actually get the battery out of the tube can be a real nightmare if the leakage has been sitting for a long time, as the battery is pretty much welded inside the battery tube. A removable tube will help - put the carrier in a vise, and hit the stuck battery with a metal bar small enough to fit inside the tube.
 

DRW

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For physical removal of residue you could try a brass brush sold in sporting goods for rifles/handguns. Buy the size that matches the interior of your light, don't by bigger, undersized is better. Let the tip of the brush do the work. Chuck it up in a drill and spin away. Take care to not bash the contact in the light with the tip of the brush.
 

vicv

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I presume the cell came out? Then some kind of oil and split a stick, put a piece of wet/dry sandpaper in the split so it'll fit the tube, put other end of stick in a drill, and go to town
 

ABTOMAT

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Battery leakage dissolves in acid. White vinegar is mild and works if you give it time. Several hours for new corrosion, or possibly weeks for older deposits. Keep it away from anything electronic or steel because it'll start to dissolve it, and flush really well with water (or better, mix in some baking soda) when you're done to neutralize the acid.
 

Dave_H

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Someone here suggest Hydrogen Peroxide 3% solution for cleaning battery terminals affected
by leakage. I tried it and seems to work, but not sure it would work for tube cleaning...can anyone confirm (or not)?

Dave
 

rwolfenstein

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I used rice vinegar with a little bit of water and a bore brush from a 40 caliber that had plastic bristles to get it off. The tech with Surefire customer service helped me with this when the batteries exploded in my E2L AA and I didn't want to send it back. (They would have replaced it with an EB1 MV and I have fondness to my E2L-AA)
 

Schuey2002

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I just had an alkaline Energizer AAA stuck in my daily EDC light, a green Olight i3T EOS..

It leaked and had welded itself to the one side of the battery tube. But, after a lot of banging and swearing under my breath (and with the help of a metal pick), I managed to get it out. Thankfully!

Once the battery was out, I ended up using WD-40 and a little metal [teeth cleaning] pick to scrape off the inside of the body. I sprayed the damaged area with WD-40 and let it sit for awhile. Then I came back and scraped, and wiped the area with a couple Q-Tips stacked together. It seemed to work pretty good. I still need to pick up a gun bore brush to fully clean it. But, it'll work for now..
 

ampdude

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I can't get it all out of there. It's a Sofirn body. And now another alkaline battery is stuck in there. Body is probably worth less than $1. I just didn't want to get rid of the head. I think I'll toss the body and save the head. (Oh, bad Se7eN reference.). Anyways.. I'm not really willing to pick up a copper brush and all that stuff to spend more time on this, not really worth it. I have some computer equipment to set up yet today so I'm like.. what's in the box? :/
 
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