Found this toxic spill while I was looking for a gadget on another shelf: it seems I left an alkaline D cell standing on my electronics parts & tools carousel for much too long.
Amazingly, although the cell’s leakage blistered the paint pretty badly, it didn’t affect the steel carousel!
I wiped most of the crud and dead paint off, then applied white vinegar (which is essentially dilute acetic acid) to neutralize the cell’s potassium hydroxide. The grabber tool sticking out from between the boxes had a pretty good dose of corrosion up the side, but soaking it in vinegar (wow, the bubbles!) removed that and a shot of penetrating oil expelled the rinse water.
It’s definitely not Duracell’s fault: the cell had a best-used-by date in 1997.
Memo to Self: throw ’em out!