UniEnergy Technologies Battery » What Does Battery Acid Smell Like? (5 Signs Of A Leaking Battery)

What Does Battery Acid Smell Like? (5 Signs Of A Leaking Battery)

Do you ever wonder what battery acid smell like? Distinguishing the odor may be a challenge at first, especially if you’re unsure of the technicalities of a battery. But don’t fret because we will give you an idea of how to easily identify battery acid and make necessary actions to resolve the issue.

How to distinguish a battery acid smell?

Battery acid smell is quite distinct but might still be associated with other odors in the household. In general, battery acid smells like rotten eggs. Yes, you read it right. The rotten-egg smell is mainly produced by a dying battery that yields hydrogen sulfide gas.

Hydrogen sulfide (H ₂S) is a chemical compound that is characterized by colorless and flammable gas. This highly poisonous gas is sometimes called sewer gas, hydro sulfuric acid, and stink damp.

What are the other signs of a leaking or dying battery?

Aside from the smell of rotten eggs, there are several indications of a leaking battery. Identifying these signs is crucial so you can act on the problem as soon as possible. So, here are some things that you need to take into account thoroughly:

What are the other signs of a leaking or dying battery?

1. Decline in performance

The battery holds a pivotal part in the working efficiency of the equipment. And if there’s a leak on the parts, then you’d see a weakening in the performance of your device. Perhaps the appliance no longer works efficiently or it isn’t holding a charge like before.

2. Discoloration around the device

Changes in color are another indication that signifies issues springing up from your battery. Often than not, you can find discoloration near the charging port and its surrounding area.

3. Corrosion of connectors

Are you seeing corroded connectors under the hood of your car? The corroded battery is often illustrated by crystal-like elements with blue and green hues. These substances are considered a significant signal to check out your battery immediately.

4. Warmer surface near the battery

The temperature of the battery is highly impacted by the way it functions. And if you’d feel a warm touch around the battery section, it could imply leaking concerns.

5. Change in the physical dimension

Lastly, if the battery is swelling up or bulging in size, it means possible damage to the parts. Therefore, you have to make replacements as soon as possible to avoid accidents.

What happens if you smell battery fumes or touch lead acid?

What happens if you smell battery fumes or touch lead acid?

Because the smell of battery acid is quite similar to a rotten egg, it might be difficult to distinguish them, especially if the device is located near your kitchen. Moreso, the gas discharge of household batteries may be likened to damaged pipes. Meanwhile, if it’s about car batteries, then it could be easier to locate.

Because circumstances and the type of battery play a huge role in identifying the leaking battery, there might be a possibility of inhaling dangerous gases into your body. Exposure to these chemicals poses a huge risk to your health.

1. Respiratory problems

From coughing to difficulty breathing, these are the most common aftereffects when hydrogen gas enters your system. And if continuously breathed in, the battery acid fumes significantly damage the respiratory tract, which may be considered fatal, especially for persons with asthma or other respiratory diseases.

2. Nausea, headache, and stomach-related diseases

In relation to coughing, people who come into contact with battery acid may experience nausea, headache as well as stomach and throat problems. It’s because of how the battery smells, which is a nasty odor similar to rotten eggs that may cause you to throw up.

Meanwhile, for accidental ingestion of battery acid elements, you need to consult a physician immediately. Intake of these hazardous substances may lead to serious injury to your digestive system. And in severe cases, it could be very lethal.

3. Skin damages

Aside from inhaling the battery acid, there are instances that you may accidentally touch the corroded substance. If this happens, you need to know what will be the possible consequences for you to prevent major damage to your body.

Physical contact with lead acid can cause serious skin damage. These may include redness and pain, along with burns and swelling. And if the surface exudes too much heat, then a blister may occur.

Skin damages

4. Eye irritation

Although catching the toxic fumes for a short span of time does not cause you to go blind, you have to be wary. It’s because having direct contact with the battery acid may also lead to eye irritations. Therefore, you shouldn’t hang around the suspected area for too long to avoid eye problems.

What are the possible reasons why battery acid leaks?

There are several factors that affect the discharge of battery acid. One reason is the lengthy storage of the battery that leads to battery chemicals reacting with acid, generating electrical current. This process is referred to as self-discharge, wherein the electrons move from different chemicals, creating heat.

And because of the heat, the battery tends to expand and eventually contracts. As a result, it causes leakage. Compared to lithium-ion batteries, self-discharge is quite noticeable for lead-acid batteries due to their high chemical motion.

Another possible reason for battery acid leaks is wear and tear because of old age or damage because of accidents. Battery overcharging could be a significant factor as well.

What to do to remove battery acid odor?

Getting rid of battery fumes start with the identification of the source. For batteries stationed in your household, you may use lemon juice or vinegar to help in neutralizing the battery acid. On the other hand, car batteries with a smell may require a mixture of baking soda and water.

If the odor is not completely removed, you may opt for an odor eliminator or even essential oils to eliminate the lingering scent. And when it comes to prevention, it’s vital not to overcharge the battery. Ideally, battery chargers should be microprocessor-controlled to avoid the release of hydrogen sulfide.

Proper ventilation is also an imperative aspect that you shouldn’t disregard. Add vents around your home to ensure a thorough flow of air and eradicate any lingering smell.


Now that you know what battery acid smells like, you won’t have a hard time identifying issues related to your batteries. But of course, if you’re uncertain, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for further assistance.

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