What's the best way to clean out battery acid in the tube?

xm_8

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What's the best way to clean out battery acid in the tube? I have white powder battery acid in my Inova X02.
 

Norm

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If they are alkaline batteries, it is potassium hydroxide (a base NOT an acid). So the best thing to clean it with is an acid (like vinegar or stop bath). But do not get water or water/acid into the device or you may have even more trouble. The safest way is to use mechanical removal. I have used wooden sticks and glass fiber pens (get them from some camera stores or Radio Shack). Final cleanup with fine sandpaper or a pencil eraser depending on the condition.

But I would check the warranty first. If they warranty against leakge problems, then let them take care of it. If you cause additional damage trying to clean it, they may not fix it at all.

Source http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=000u1X



Norm
 
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parnass

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xm_8 said:
What's the best way to clean out battery acid in the tube? I have white powder battery acid in my Inova X02.


If your XO2 is brand new, it might not be battery acid. My Inova XO2 and T1 both had a white, talcum powder-like substance inside when I bought them new. There was another thread here last year about the powder being harmless.
 

whippoorwill

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I have used vinegar for some time now with no adverse effect on the electronics, but I have used caution when I used it. Honestly, a little bit goes a long way. And it works! Rather than immersing the electronic parts in vinegar, I use q tips. Non electronics get the full treatment.
 

Newuser01

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No. It is not white powder from battery acid.

Do not use anything on it. This is the stuff left over from factory. I just bought new Xo2 from costco and it has it on one side of the inside tube. It looks like battery acid but it is not.

Do not try to clean it.

Regard.
 

NAW

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The batteries in my Streamlight ProPoly 4AA LED have leaked and now my Streamlight has a bad odor. And not only that it doesn't work anymore even with new batteries. :rant:

I tried cleaning it with tissue on chop-sticks. It got rid of the leak but not the smell. So I just took out the batteries and threw the flashlight under my bed.
 

NAW

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wakibaki said:
Can you still smell it?

Yeah it wont go away (unless I try spraying some kind of fragrance into the body) But the major problem is that the LEDs wont turn on. I think some of the leak could have gone down into the tailcap and thats whats casuing it to not work.
 

xm_8

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My old inova x5 does not have the white powder in it. Why did Inova put the white powder substance in the X02?
 

Newuser01

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My best guess is the residue left from drying process after machining. Mine has it and if you look closely with another light shinning in to it, you can see it is only on 1 side and it looks like some sort of liquid dried on the surface. It it not battery acid. I would think that the best way to clean it would be very very super fine (800 grid - you cant buy that at local hardware store!!) sand paper and rub it off evenly with a stick of foam.

I really would leave it as it is.
I'll post a pic of it if I can take a picture of it. (It'll be hard.)
 
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chmsam

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If the batteries have not leaked there should be no discoloration of the electrical contacts. If that's the case, I would leave it alone. On the other hand, if the contacts are discolored and the batteries that were in it showed signs of leaking, I would use long swabs to apply the least amount of vinegar that it takes to remove the residue from the contacts and the tube.
 

Newuser01

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Contacts are perfect! Its only on the inside barrel.

Sorry about the bad pictures but point and shoot cameras don't do [email protected]#$ for closeup pictures.:laughing::laughing:
inova4adv8.jpg
 
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Mad1

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Another cheer for vinegar here.

Because its an Alkaline it will eat away at the battery acid.

You can also use it to clean up old pennys (the ones that have gone green) they will come up with a new shine.
 

MorePower

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Mad1 said:
Another cheer for vinegar here.

Because its an Alkaline it will eat away at the battery acid.

You can also use it to clean up old pennys (the ones that have gone green) they will come up with a new shine.

The chemist in me needs to say this one more time.

Vinegar is not an "Alkaline", it is an acid. Alkaline cells contain potassium hydroxide, which is a base. Vinegar will neutralize it.

Either way, the stuff in the XO2 doesn't need to be cleaned out, it's most likely PTFE (Teflon) powder or the like, to make the LITHIUM PRIMARY cells easier to insert and remove.
 

chmsam

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Ummm, well, it seems pretty clear that from the photos and the description (no change on the contacts) that it really was just a by-product of making the light. Also, why yes, vinegar really is acidic. However, maybe -- and I am just saying maybe -- some of the people were referring to the batteries as alkaline and not the vinegar.

No offense to anyone but quite a few people on CPF tend to take things a bit more seriously than necessary (I know that I sure do) just about as often as they tend to gloss over some of the important details (guilty on that one, too).

As for me, I like a cup of decaf one in awhile (but life is still too short for drinking bad beer). :grin2:
 

Newuser01

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Sorry!

Did I come off a bit on brittle side?

Must be late. :ohgeez::ohgeez:

A Few points here after looking into the body of the light.
1. The residue is not from battery. (this light use lion primery battery. Never heard of lion batteries leaking.)
2. If you look into the body of the light where the plunger switch is, all the parts look shiny. The residue looks to be only on the body (cylinder part) an only seem to be one side of it. That tell me that it is left over from some sort of liquid from manufacturing. (Hanging tubes of flashlight bodies dripping with machining lubricant on a cloth line come to mind.)
3. I tried to rub them off with a dry clean cloth but they don't come off.
For me, this does not bother me and I will leave it alone. If it did, I would try very very fine sand paper rolled up with some paper and try to sand it off. But it may damage the finish all around the barrel.

Again, Sorry if I come off unpleasant. I didn't mean it.:ohgeez::ohgeez:
 

chmsam

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Shucks, don't worry about it -- stress in everyday life is a beautiful thing for all of us. What does not kill me, makes me grumpy.

For most things but especially things used as tools, IMHO if it works, it's fairly clean, and the operation is not impaired, it'll do "as is." So, if the stuff on the inside of the light isn't going to drive you crazy, it's no big deal. Where it comes from is probably one of lifes little mysteries, but if it won't hurt the light and cleaning it out will be more work than it's worth, it will become one of those funny little stories you'll laugh about in a few weeks.

Don't get me wrong. I like to have things as perfect as I can get 'em, but I also know when to leave the tools alone. Mostly what happens is that I have a tool or a light that I have just spent several hours getting into pristine condition, and the first use for it will be around something like molybdenum disulfide grease, aka moly grease -- you know, the stuff that you get the one, single drop on you that will cover every clean thing in the house, if not the planet -- anyone who has been there will tell you. It's my interpretation of the Law of Dimishing Returns meets Murphy.
 
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