Evapo-Rust vs. Battery Contact Corrosion

A long-forgotten toy emerged from the heap bearing a trio of corroded NiMH cells between the usual plated-steel contacts:

Corroded contacts - original
Corroded contacts – original

The toy wasn’t worth salvaging, but I extracted the contacts and applied Evapo-Rust to see what happened. After an overnight soak, some corrosion remained:

Corroded contacts - after Evapo-Rust
Corroded contacts – after Evapo-Rust

Scrubbing with a stainless-steel detail brush removed the flakes and left reasonably clean metal behind:

Corroded contacts - after brushing
Corroded contacts – after brushing

Although it’s not beautiful, I think the contacts came out as well as one could expect. The longer contact plate has holes, thinned sections, and some corrosion inside the spring; I’d be mildly tempted to rebuilt the whole thing with some nickel shim stock and a new spring.

If I were salvaging the toy, I’d dab vinegar on the wiring to neutralize the creeping potassium hydroxide, rinse the whole thing with water, and clean out the case. Instead, it joined the consumer electronics recycling box with a thud…

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