What To Do With Extra Battery Acid

Let’s say you’ve got about two ounces of extra battery acid following the replacement of a motorcycle battery. Diluting the sulfuric acid it in water and disposing of it seems a waste. What legal thing do you do with bonus battery acid?
In our less than legal youth, we’ve done things like chemical bombs out in the boonies, drawing suggestive pictures in stained cement and just seeing what happens to various found objects in the presence of acid. Sadly, we’ve run out of ideas. What do you do with your bonus acid?

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  1. P161911 Avatar

    Dilute it down to nothing and pour it out. It WILL get on something you don't want it to. I spilled some on a pair of welding gloves and ruined them. Maybe you could top off your car batteries.

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Actually, putting additional acid into a lead-acid battery that is already in service battery will damage it.

      1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

        You could make a case that adding the acid would be beneficial, if the acid level is very very low, but you are right, as the acid doesn't leave the battery during service (only the water does) adding additional acid will only increase the concentration inside the battery over time, which is detrimental.

      2. discontinuuity Avatar

        Doesn't hydrogen gas bubble off, making it less acidic over time? I'm just shooting from the hip here, since I got a C in chemistry, but I think something like that happens.

  2. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Mix it with baking soda in a garbage pail (it will foam up quite a bit, so use a big container), or mix it with a dilute solution of caustic soda and water. Either will render it environmentally inert and harmless.

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Now, if you want to be a hoon about it, mix it with PURE caustic soda. Make sure you have adequate protective gear on when you do. It will become just as inert, but it will get REALLY , REALLY HOT in the process.

      1. skitter Avatar

        To properly hoon, place this mixture in a gatorade bottle (the kind with a large cap), upside down in a mortar. The pressure will build until the cap pops off, and the bottle will shoot far into the air, showering you with hot acid.

    2. SSurfer321 Avatar

      <– Remembers trying to recycle a battery at Autozone that was made inert with baking soda. They employees were quite disturbed by the white foam all over the battery.

  3. Alff Avatar

    I have a real Canadian Goose problem in the backyard. Just sayin'

  4. engineerd Avatar

    Use it to make the most awesome Two Face costume for Halloween. Of course, it may be permanent, so use at your own discretion. Have your wife or significant other standing by with 911 on speed dial, too.

  5. discontinuuity Avatar

    You can use it for electroplating copper, nickel, chrome, etc. But then you end up with a solution containing even more toxic stuff like cupric sulfide.

    1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      I came here to vote for plating. That or anodizing, since it is much the same process. To do it well, you'll need a tank heater, an agitator, and a well regulated power supply, but for some simple home plating, just an acid bath and a DC voltage source will suffice.
      Zinc plating is always useful, and you can get plenty of zinc from pennies. (although destroying pennies falls into the category of "illegal, but they won't come after you".

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        No, destroying or defacing paper currency is illegal, and melting down coins for profit (to sell the metal for its bullion value) is illegal, but its not illegal to smoosh a penny on a railroad track or in one of those souvenir machines. And extracting the zinc content for personal use isn't either. That's not the intent of these laws.

  6. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Never did like pennies.

  7. BGW, Capt (Ret.) Avatar

    That has "People's Curse" written all over it.

  8. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Acid etch something into glass?

  9. Danny Blitz Avatar
    Danny Blitz

    Makes a tasty BP Executive party drink.

  10. Ruckus Avatar

    dispose of it on the hood of your least favorite persons car…or under their tires

  11. ieatkittins Avatar

    pure it in the ocan like every one else in the would