How to Properly Wash a Forklift Battery in Four Simple Steps

Battery carriage

During the regular forklift battery maintenance process, being sure to properly wash the battery on a regular basis is an important part of preserving forklift battery life and preventing accidents in the workplace.

This is because with regular use, the chemicals inside forklift batteries produce a crusty sulfuric substance that leaks out onto the battery’s exterior — and this substance can inhibit the battery’s ability to hold a charge and reduce its long-term lifespan. Acid from inside the battery can also leak out, prompting immediate forklift battery washing.

Not sure how to wash a forklift battery? Reading this guide will help educate you on the right battery washing standards for a safe, efficient warehouse workplace.

Here are the four most important things to remember during the forklift battery washing process:

1. Use the right battery wash equipment: To complete the forklift battery washing procedure correctly, you should use the right battery wash cabinet or wash station to clean it. For manual cleaning, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean acid from the outside of the battery.

2. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE): Your employer ought to require every worker to wear personal protective equipment like gloves, goggles and an apron whenever handling a forklift battery — and especially when washing one. Wearing this gear is essential for keeping the skin and eyes safe from the corrosive chemicals contained within each forklift battery.

3. Have safety installations nearby: Never wash a battery outside your warehouse’s designated battery room, as these rooms are required to be equipped with safety features like acid-resistant flooring, an eye wash station and a safety shower. The latter two installations are necessary to help keep workers safe in the even of an acid spill during the forklift battery washing process.

4. Clean the battery regularly: Experts recommend that each forklift battery be cleaned about once or twice a year to ensure its lifespan lasts as long as it should. If left uncleaned for longer than that, you’ll be replacing your forklift batteries a lot more often.