Car battery

Photo: Jupiterimages/PolkaDot/Thinkstock

4 of 10
Clean Your Crusty Car Battery
Opening up your hood to a car battery covered in white gunk is never a good moment. The white stuff is battery acid, also known as sulfuric acid, which is caustic and can burn the skin, so it's important to get rid of it the right way.

Try it: Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the areas of the battery where the acid has leaked out. If you see bubbles, wait until the bubbles stop. Wearing chemical resistant gloves (like neoprene or vinyl) and safety goggles, scrub off any extra acid with an old damp toothbrush and wipe away any liquid with a disposable cloth.

Why it works: "Think back to childhood when you mixed baking soda with vinegar," says Jeffrey Vinokur, a bioenergy researcher with a masters degree in biochemistry from UCLA. "The vinegar (acetic acid) was neutralized and in the process it made bubbles. Same process for your car battery. Sprinkle it on, the acid will bubble as it is neutralized. When it stops bubbling you neutralized all the acid."

Keep in mind: Always wear protective gear when handling battery acid. Also, if you do have an acid leak, it may be time to see a mechanic.