I picked up a remote control to a DVD player that I had not used in a couple months. The remote control was stored in a clean plastic bag.

The bottom of the remote control is covered with a liquid. Upon further inspection, I discovered that the liquid is coming out of the Duracell Coppertop (non-rechargeable) batteries in the remote.

The amount of liquid is substantial. It almost completely covers the bottom of the remote control.

Typically, when batteries have problems, you see crystals forming. But not so much in this case. In this case, it is almost all liquid that has been discharged.

I did not initially notice the liquid, and so I picked up the remote, and then set it down on the furniture.

What is this liquid? What chemical process took place that resulted in the liquid being discharged from the batteries?

(And, as a bonus, how to I get the liquid off the furniture?)


1 Answer 1


Well, it depends on which type of battery you have. Alkaline batteries such as Duracell Coppertop usually leaks KOH (potassium hydroxide) under conditions of misuse as a white foam. However, KOH is hygroscopic and will easily form a oily like liquid which is what you might be seeing in your batteries. Handle it with proper care since KOH is caustic and can cause tissue damage.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I got it all over my hands, as I picked up the remote control in the dark. Any idea what to do? $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2017 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ Just wash it with water, is not a big deal... Just don't let it in contact with your eyes and you're fine. $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2017 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Will it bleach the furniture it was sitting on? If so, best way to clean it off? $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2017 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ Clean it with a humid cloth, but I really don't know if KOH bleaches the furniture :( $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2017 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. By "humid cloth", do you mean slightly dampened with water? $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2017 at 20:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.