I have a small LED flashlight that runs on a single AA battery. Apparently I let it sit too long and the battery is now swollen and corroded and I can't get it out of the flashlight. Previously, when I've needed to replace the battery, I've just unscrewed the base and let the battery slide out via gravity. But now it's too big and won't slide out on it's own, and as far as I can tell, there's no way to remove the lamp end of the flashlight and push the battery out from the other end.

Basically, there's only one opening in the housing and no easy way to grip the battery and pull it out. I don't want to try to dig it out with a sharp implement. How can I remove the battery without destroying it and getting acid and corroded junk all over the place?

Here are a couple pictures to show you what I'm dealing with:

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@jsotola's comment was the impetus for my eventual solution.

The base of the flashlight is basically a screw that loosens or tightens the base onto the main body of the flashlight. So to turn it on you "tighten" the screw, and to turn it off you "loosen" the screw. It also has a mode where pressing on the base will turn on the lamp as long as you hold pressure on the base.

The bottom line is that by extending this screw to it's maximum extension I was able to vigorously whack that base against a table until the battery slid loose of the main tube just far enough that I was able to grip it with a pair of pliers and pull it free. Luckily, it was only the one terminal that was corroded, so I didn't have to worry about the other end. A little vinegar and rubbing alcohol proved sufficient to clean up the corrosion at the base of the flashlight. Although I can't say that it's necessarily good as new, it's definitely working as expected, and I'm happy to say that I didn't have to toss something into a landfill before it's time.

  • 1
    Go outside, hold it in a firm grip, and shake it around violently. Hopefully it will come out via centrifugal force. Jul 23, 2022 at 4:28
  • 7
    Fixing that flashlight is like to taking a gerbil to the vet. Jul 23, 2022 at 4:41
  • What light is it? I’m a little surprised that you can’t remove the front end. Jul 23, 2022 at 16:08
  • 1
    remove the spring from the cap ... screw cap on ... tap on table until the end of the battery slides into the cap
    – jsotola
    Jul 23, 2022 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


Some options:

  • Use a small flathead screwdriver. Insert it into the small gap between the battery and the body of the flashlight. The slowly push down on it, using it as a lever to pry out the battery.

  • Use a rubber hammer, hold the flashlight so that the battery points downwards. Repeatedly strike the back of the flashlight with the hammer.

  • Attach something to the tab of the battery. Spot weld a metal strip, or even try to super glue a nail to it. Then pull the battery out using the handle which you now have.

  • Variation of the above using a magnet. This can work if the battery tab is magnetic but the flashlight body is made of a non-magnetic material like aluminum. Find a strong permanent magnet (like Neodymium) or a powerful electromagnet (like a door lock). Stick the battery tab close to it, then pull the flashlight away from it. The magnet will pull on the battery and it is possible that its force is greater than the friction inside the flashlight.

  • Drill \ punch a hole into the battery. Drive in a screw or something else into it until it feels latched. Pull the battery out using that leverage.

The battery has already leaked. The inside of the flashlight is already covered in alkali and is likely blemished from the inside. But it might still function.

In future consider using NiMH batteries, I have heard that they are less prone to leaking like this but it might be subjective.

  • If using a drill, probably better to drill though the bottom/base of the case/holder and use a punch with rubber hammer to push the battery out.
    – crip659
    Jul 23, 2022 at 12:36

Removing that battery is the least of your problem.

The contacts inside are probably eaten away or at best heavy corroded.

Unless you want the case to hold something else(hidden diamonds), toss it(legally) and buy a new one. That flashlight will probably never work again without work/rebuilding the insides.

It is one thing try to fix something that is worth it, but to spend time trying to fix something like a small flashlight that bad is not worth it.

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