SmartThings Support

How to prevent battery corrosion

What is battery corrosion?

Battery corrosion is the gradual chemical deterioration from leaking battery fluid when a battery loses its charge. It presents as “white fluff” on the batteries and discoloration in the battery compartment.


Why does it happen?

All batteries gradually lose their charge over time, and dead batteries will eventually leak.

More specifically, as batteries lose their charge, a small amount of gas is produced. The gas increases pressure on the battery and eventually causes a rupture, and the battery fluid leaks out. The leaked chemicals corrode the batteries and the battery compartment, sometimes damaging the device irreparably.

Note: SmartThings is not responsible for damage caused by battery corrosion.


My Hub was plugged into the wall power. Why did the backup batteries still corrode?

Batteries left installed in a device still have a small trickle of current running through the batteries, even if the device is off or pulling power from another source. This is sometimes called the “parasitic drain” or “vampire power,” and will slowly drain the batteries over time.


How do I prevent battery corrosion?

Replace the backup batteries for the SmartThings Hub every year or so. In the rare occasion where the Hub will not be in use for some time, remove batteries to prevent the gradual drain and resulting leak and corrosion. (Note: Batteries left on a shelf can still lose their charge and leak as well, but it is much slower and less likely.)


How do I clean battery corrosion?

If you’re already seeing battery corrosion, you should dispose of the batteries normally and clean any residual “white stuff” from the Hub to prevent further damage. We do not recommend cleaning battery corrosion from the Hub with water. There are lots of great web sites and videos online for more detailed cleaning tips for alkaline batteries.


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