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How to Recondition a Car Battery Step By Step?

Table of Contents

In this post, I am going to show how to recondition a car Battery step by step.

You might be tempted to buy a new car, but what you don’t realize is that your old car could still be revived.

Not convinced enough?

Learn how to rebuild a car battery below and be the judge! Imagine enjoying a road trip then suddenly your car stops.

Worst, you have a business meeting or an important errand, but your car battery doesn’t work. Frustrating, yes.

Reconditioning is a good alternative if your battery has no damage and is still in tiptop form.

It returns the healthy life and charging power of the dead or old cells.

Numerous benefits are presented too.

First, mother nature will appreciate it since batteries tend to pollute the air and damage the environment.

You can prolong the battery’s life too, by another two years or more.

And when you become familiar with the ins and outs of the reconditioning process, you can offer assistance or services with other people.  

Does Battery Reconditioning Really Work?

Absolutely, yes. So, you don’t need to discard your old or existing battery and displace it with a brand new one.

Talking about saving dollars!

Nearly anyone can do the technique – novice or seasoned.

Just make sure to equip yourself with the right materials and, of course, a bit of knowledge for a successful outcome. 

How to Recondition a Car Battery Step By Step

How to Recondition a Car Battery Step By Step

Completing the process of how to recondition a car battery at home are the necessary equipment and tools:

  • Protective clothing (apron, gloves, safety eyewear)
  • Battery charger
  • Tool kits
  • One container of distilled water
  • A funnel and voltmeter
  • Wire sponge or steel wool
  • Old/unused toothbrush
  • Epsom salt and baking soda

Though before starting, you should put on your protective clothes – a mask, apron, goggles, and gloves. 

Step 1: Clean Up the Battery

Remove corrosions that have accumulated over time.

This is an essential step before reconditioning the battery.

Go to the posts and look for any signs of rust.

You can purchase a cleaning product at a local store or simply make a homemade cleaning solution.

The latter is just easy to do, plus you may not spend a single dime buying for the required solution.

  • Mix two teaspoons of baking soda or baking powder with one spoon of water.
  • Blend well until it forms a sappy paste.
  • Put a small amount on your old or unused toothbrush and then scrub on the posts.
  • Steel wool is recommended for eliminating heavy corrosion. 300-grain sandpaper is also a great option.
  • After cleaning up, allow the unit to dry.

Step 2: Check the Voltage of Your Car Battery

Here, you will need a voltage tester voltmeter to measure the battery’s volt reading.

Don’t worry, there is no rocket science behind the proper usage of this device.

It not costly to buy either. Simply connect it with the battery terminals.

A 12.6-volt reading indicates the battery is in good condition.

Anything more than this would require you to recondition it.

Volt readings that range from ten to twelve mean it’s still possible to reinstate the unit’s full function.

But if it falls below 10, then it makes no sense to work on it.

Sometimes, the voltmeter provides a zero reading.

The battery might have undergone a short circuit.

Replacement is severely required.

As possible, don’t attempt to tackle the issue. Allow the expert to handle it instead.

Step 3: Remove the Old Acid From Your Battery

You must only perform this step if your battery reading is under 12.6 voltage.

Prepare your tool kits to start with and of course, wear all the security equipment.

  • Use a flat head screwdriver to take the battery caps off.
  • Store in a container or somewhere safe.
  • Lift the battery in a gentle manner then pour the old electrolyte solution in a small pail.
  • Return the battery to its original position once emptied.

Make sure there are no spills as possible, though accidental spills are generally not avoided.

In this case, use 500g of baking soda or powder to defuse it.

Step 4: Get Rid of the Cell Dirt

You will need another distilled water solution and baking soda.

  • Blend half a pound of baking soda and half a gallon of distilled water.
  • Use a plastic funnel to pour some mixture into the cells.
  • When full, put on the caps and then shake it around to clear out the inside. Do this for thirty seconds or a couple of minutes.
  • Open the caps and pour out the cleaning fluid in the same pail used in the prior step.

Step 5: Recondition Your Battery

Now we’ve come to the core of this content – how to restore car battery.

Refill your battery cells with your own electrolyte.

Use the powerful mixture of Epsom salts and water distilled water.

They work together to stop the plate sulfating, which is considered the main culprit for preventing the car battery from functioning well.

Also, a blend of these two solutions can increase the amperage and voltage of your car.

  • In a clean plastic bucket, add the hot distilled water followed by a good amount of Epsom salts.
  • Mix well until there are no undissolved or left solids.
  • When the water becomes completely clear, use a funnel to fill out each cell with the mixture.
  • Put the caps on and again, shake for seconds or so.
  • You are now ready to charge the battery.

Epsom salt may not available in some areas, so there are two chemicals recommended as an alternative: aluminum sulfate and copper sulfate.

The ratio of these compounds can be 1:1 when combined with distilled water.

Copper sulfate is available in powder form and is usually blue in color. It easily liquefies in water.

Step 6: Charge the Battery

You won’t need to put back the caps on because there’s a possibility for the electrolyte to run-off during charging.

Instead, get your battery charger, and then connect red lead to the positive battery terminal and black lead to the negative battery terminal.

Slowly charge the battery of your car at 12V/2 amps. 

Don’t rush to get instant results.

Even experts do not recommend it.

The average length for charging your battery is 24-36 hours. It takes a bit long, yes.

However, it is a vital step that must be strictly followed to obtain accurate results.

Plus, overcharging your battery is not safe for your car.

Instead of reviving it, you may not eventually use it in the future.

So, always follow a strict time limit.

Step 7: Test Your Reconditioned Car Battery

You’ve waited 36 hours to get the result.

Now, take away the charger and read the voltage with a voltmeter.

We can say your battery is perfectly reconditioned if the reading falls around 12.42 voltage t0 12.6 voltage.

What if your readings indicate lesser value?

Don’t give up yet. Just continue charging the battery.

If the system has spilled, get your leftover electrolyte, and wait for an additional twelve hours.

A battery load test may also be done, although not required.

Stick with the use of a voltmeter if you want.

The reconditioned battery should have at least 9.6 voltage readings.

The lesser value would specify working on the battery again.

That also means carrying onto the steps again until the unit becomes healthy and functions adeptly.

Safety Tips and Precautions

  • Do not handle car batteries unless you have a complete set of protective gear. Car batteries contain a potent compound called sulfuric acid, which may burn your skin or eyes. It could even make holes on your apron or clothing. So, make sure you are working in a well-ventilated space. There must be no open flames nearby or other related things that could put your safety at risk.
  • Charge the battery for 3-4 nights straight so you can return its extreme capacity.
  • In case you’re out for a week or longer and no one will use the car for the meantime, place the unit on a trickle charger to ensure its overall performance will not be reduced.
  • Do not use a regular type of charger that’s not built for the purpose. It could lead to two severe consequences – overcharge your car battery or become a cause to its sudden death.
  • Tap water is not recommended to use when conditioning car batteries. Use distilled water only. This is because tap water consists of chemicals that could damage the unit.
  • Do not use vinegar as an alternative to Epsom salt. This stops your battery from functioning efficiently. It’s better to refuel your unit with pure distilled water if Epsom salt, copper sulfate, or aluminum sulfate is not accessible in your location.

Keep in mind that the process of reconditioning a battery greatly varies on the type of battery you use. There are even tutorials on how to restore acid lead battery.

One thing’s guaranteed, the overall process only requires simple materials at home, and you don’t even need to be an expert in technical stuff.

Either do it alone or have someone to help you out during your journey.

With these few steps coupled with safety precautions and tips, you’ll be able to recondition your battery, extend its lifespan, and enjoy further rides with your family and friends.

Learn How To Recondition Batteries Yourself


How long does car battery reconditioning usually take?

There’s actually no accurate time in reconditioning the battery since several factors affect the length of the process:

  • Type of battery
  • Battery condition
  • Materials availability

Smaller batteries promote an easier process and can be done in a few hours, while bigger and more complicated ones take up more time.

But generally, it will take between 36 and 72 hours.

How often should I recondition a car battery?

Most batteries of the car have acid and lead.

They tend to stop functioning safely and properly once the sulfur assembles at the terminals.

Hence, you need to recondition the batteries around 5 to 6 times.

Replacement is necessary after a few years when car batteries become totally worn out.

Can I recondition a dead battery?

Yes, and you will typically need a booster pack, jump start, or battery charger to perform the job.

Though, adding Epsom salt and aspirin might also beneficial alongside distilled water to give your engine some added turns especially in the middle of nowhere.

Click here to get started.


Knowing how to revive a dead car battery will save you from stress and plenty of bucks in the long run. Not to mention, a fairly easy Do-It-Yourself venture.

Make sure to follow safety measures along with the steps above and you’re ready to kickstart the day.

If you would like to learn more about reconditioning batteries; you should watch the video below.

It explains how to recondition all sorts of batteries such as phone, laptop and even golf cart batteries.


Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission.

Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases.

The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

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