Throw Your Batteries Away Immediately If You Notice This

We all know to throw away alkaline batteries if they die, but what if they leak? Leaking battery acid is potassium hydroxide, which can be more dangerous than you think. It's poisonous if ingested, can burn the skin if it comes into contact, and can even cause respiratory irritation. A battery leaks when the liquid electrolyte breaks down and releases hydrogen gas that can rupture the seal and cause the battery to leak, according to Consumer Reports. If a battery leaks, the best thing to do is throw it away immediately.

To save the device that the battery leaked in, you can clean out the potassium hydroxide. You should wear gloves while doing this to stay safe. With a cotton swab, slowly dab lemon juice or distilled vinegar to neutralize the battery acid. The liquid will fizzle as it works, but be careful to not touch the other components in your device. After the fizzling subsides, wipe it away with a cloth or toothbrush.

How to throw away batteries

How you throw away a battery depends on the type of battery it is. Most municipalities have information on where drop-off locations are to dispose of and recycle each type of battery. Improperly throwing away batteries can be dangerous. Batteries can short-circuit or spark and cause a fire even if they don't have enough energy to power a device, according to Consumer Reports. Because of this, it can be illegal to improperly dispose of batteries in the trash.

Alkaline batteries that aren't rechargeable can safely be thrown away in the regular trash. To be safe, it is best to put a piece of tape on the contacts on both sides of the batteries, which will lower the risk of a fire. Keeping the original packaging to place used batteries side by side when throwing them away is also a good way to safely dispose of them. Other batteries are considered hazardous materials and cannot be thrown in the regular trash.