How to MacGyver a Dead Car Battery With Used Deodorant

This is straight up the coolest MacGyvering I’ve ever done.

The car battery in my 1997 Kia Pride died 2 weeks ago. I’m getting rid of the car in a few months because the State of Israel government road kappos (responsible for more deaths than all of Israel’s wars and murder victims combined but never ever blamed for them) will require me to take two tests a year instead of one on my car’s 20th birthday, and I don’t want to stomach that.

So I don’t want to get a new car battery for the thing just for a few months. So I went to YouTube. I found this

The production value on this one is quite low, but the basics are all there. The basic idea is to pour out the battery acid, neutralize the rest with baking soda distilled water solution, and then pour in ammonium aluminum sulfate AKA alum (pickling salt solution) in distilled water. Then charge the battery with a battery charger for 24 hours and reinstall it. The car should start and the battery should be good for a few more years.

Problem was, I have no distilled water, I have no alum, and I have no battery charger, and I don’t even have the proper sized wrench to take out the car battery.

But I DO have a water distiller, and I DO have two sticks of mineral salt deodorant and I remembered that one of them showed the main ingredient as ammonium alum. I got the second stick after my other one cracked but I kept the cracked one anyway. I looked up the ingredient of the second stick of deodorant. It was a Thai crystal deodorant, also mineral salts, but this out made out of magnesium aluminum sulfate, basically the same thing just a different metal ion.

I’d rather not use my old deodorant so I look for that deodorant new but it is not sold here. I look in the nature store and they have it but in liquid form only and with a bunch of scented flecch in it that would ruin the battery. So I have to use my old deodorant and buy a new stick. So in the video it prescribes one gallon of distilled water to 8oz alum, but the two sticks together once crushed totaled only 5.5oz or something close to that. So I distilled a little less than one gallon, though my water distiller uses 110V electricity and Israel is 220. So I have two adapters that shouldn’t be used for more than 20 minutes at a time due to overheating, so I alternated them and stuck the other one in the freezer 20 minutes at a time until all the water was distilled.

I got some baking soda, also hard to find in this country because they sell mostly baking powder which has corn starch and would ruin the battery, but I found enough. Really cheap stuff. Neutralized the acid, and then poured in my distilled water and 5.5oz of old crushed dissolved deodorant crystal.

This was after prying the battery out of the car with a screwdriver to the terminals after unsuccessfully trying to find the appropriate wrench at the Katzrin mall.

I can’t charge the battery because I have no battery charger, but I roll start the car (our parking lot is on an incline and the car is a stick shift) and we drive to Kibbutz Ein Gev last night for dinner, thinking that just driving it long enough would enable the alternator to charge the battery by itself.

On the way back, miracle of miracles, the car actually starts.

Total cost:

  1. baking soda about 15NIS
  2. new deodorant 36NIS
  3. water plus electricity to distill the water maybe 2NIS

Total about 53 shekels, if you count me buying new compensatory deodorant as part of the expenses.

Baruch Hatov VeHaMeitiv.


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