How to Remove Flashlight Battery Corrosion from Wood

P. Jones asked: How do I remove flashlight battery corrosion from wood? The corrosion has left a large, black circle on the top of a wood chest of drawers. The corrosion feels like it has left a dried, slightly raised ring. I have wiped it off with a paper towel, but nothing has come off. I have also wiped with a small amount of plain water, also to no avail. Thank you.

Battery acid or corrosion typically leaves a dark mark on wood. The marks may be flat, slightly raised or bumpy. Removal techniques for either type are limited, but with any luck, these steps will clear the marks away.

You Will Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Cloth scouring pad
  • Super fine grit sandpaper
  • Wood finish
  • Clean rag

Steps to Remove the Corrosion:

  1. Make a thick, dry paste of baking soda and water. Avoid excess moisture, which can damage the wood.
  2. Use the cloth scouring pad to rub the baking soda paste into the mark left by the battery acid. It may remove the mark or lighten the stain, especially if the mark is a raised one.
  3. If the mark remains, your only option is to sand the wood surface. Clean off the baking soda and allow the wood to dry completely before sanding. Use fine grit sandpaper to reduce the risk of leaving striations in the wood.
  4. Once you’ve sanded the mark away, restore color by applying new stain to the surface. Use a clean rag and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  5. Allow the stain to dry before applying a protective finish, if desired.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If you only need to stain a small amount of surface, you may be able to achieve excellent results with a Wood Finish Stain Marker. Simply match the color of your wood and color in the area with the stain marker.
  • Don’t sand any deeper than necessary. You won’t be able to hide or repair depressions left in the wood by overzealous sanding.

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