Batteries are essential components in powering everyday devices from laptops to cars. Over time, these batteries undergo wear and tear, but instead of discarding them, they can be reconditioned and put to good use. This guide explains how to recondition batteries, specifically using Epsom salt.
Before reconditioning any battery, it is important to put on safety goggles and gloves to protect your skin and clothing from battery acid.
How Does Epsom Salt Fix Batteries?
Epsom salt, specifically magnesium sulfate, does not make batteries last forever but can prolong their life cycle by a few years depending on their type and usage. It dissolves the lead sulfate buildup on the surface of battery plates, improving conductivity of the electrolyte, which reduces resistance and enhances charging efficiency.
Reconditioning Car Batteries with Epsom Salt:
There isn’t a definitive answer to how much Epsom salt to use for battery restoration, as it depends on the type of battery and its state of charge. However, a good starting point is to use 1/2 cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water.
Reconditioning Golf Cart Batteries with Epsom Salt:
If the battery on a golf cart drains out on a daily basis due to constant charging and discharging, it can be reconditioned with Epsom salt. Follow these steps:
- Put on safety equipment.
- Remove the batteries and check for corrosion on the surface.
- Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of water and stir well. Apply the solution to the terminals of the battery using a paintbrush. Rinse the brush under tap water once done.
- Check the batteries for defects like cracks and replace them if found.
- Remove the caps on the cells of the batteries. If necessary, use a flat screwdriver and pull the caps upward.
- Heat the distilled water to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit and add magnesium sulfate slowly till the solution is saturated.
- Drain half the acid from each battery cell and fill them with the Epsom salt solution.
- Connect the battery to a three-phase charger. Connect the red wire (positive charge) of the charger to the battery’s positive terminal and do the same with the black wire and the battery’s negative terminal. Leave the charger on for the night.
- In the morning, see if the charger indicates that the battery is fully charged. If not, repeat steps 5-8.
Some golf carts use lithium-ion batteries, which require a different reconditioning process. Remove the battery from the vehicle and take a reading with a voltmeter. If a 3.7-volt battery shows 1.5 volts, the battery is in sleep mode.
Reconditioning batteries with Epsom salt can extend their life and prevent waste. Remember to follow safety guidelines and adjust the amount of Epsom salt used depending on the battery’s type and state of charge.