Today I cleaned up the corrosion on the terminals of my car battery. I have a 2010 VW Jetta. I used a toothbrush and baking soda mixed with water to clean the battery terminals.

Now the terminals are clean, but my container I used for my baking soda solution now contains some bits of the corrosion from my dipping the toothbrush in there repeatedly to clean the terminals. I have mixed sufficient baking soda in the solution that any acid that remains has been neutralized. I am wondering how I should dispose of this now. With it no longer being acidic, is it safe to pour down the drain? I know car batteries often have lead in them, but I wasn't sure if this lead would transfer into the corrosion on the terminals.

1 Answer 1


You should throw it in the regular trash. When possible, it is almost always preferable to dispose of something in the "solid" trash rather than adding it to the wastewater (down the drain). While wastewater goes through elaborate processing to remove contaminants, if a thing can be disposed of by other means, it is better to do so rather than adding it as another substance which must then potentially be removed from wastewater, which is recycled to the greatest extent practicable. Similarly, if you are cutting up and cleaning vegetables or fruits in the sink, it is better to scoop out as much as possible and throw it in the trash rather than let it go down even through the garbage disposal. It's just logical.

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