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How to Rejuvenate your old Golf Cart Batteries – a Step-by-Step Guide

EZGO Golf Cart-Battery BankThis is an old fashioned way to possibly delay the purchase of new batteries for your golf cart.  This is hit or miss depending on how long your batteries have sat without a charge or how long they last after they are charged,  or if they take a charge at all. Two basic ingredients are all you need: Epsom salts and distilled water.

Reconditioning your old batteries

Below is a tutorial which will help you out with reviving old golf cart batteries – to restore them to life!

You will need:

  • Battery charger
  • Epsom salts
  • Baking soda (and an old paintbrush)
  • Distilled water (and a turkey baster)

Step 1: Tip the battery on its edge:

Allow approximately half the battery acid to run out of each cell and into a plastic container.  Clean the battery with your paintbrush dipped in a baking soda solution. Rinse your battery with plain water, making certain none of the water gets into any of the cells.

Step 2: Mix 8 ounces of Epsom salts into 2 quarts of warm distilled water:

Stir thoroughly.  Use a turkey baster to fill each battery cell with the Epsom salts solution until the cells are completely covered.

Step 3: Put the battery or batteries on a charger

Let them go through the whole cycle or charge overnight.

Epsom salts basically removes the sulfication or deposits on the battery plates which can prevent your battery from taking a full charge.  Check the battery after it has charged for several hours or the next day. If the battery still hasn\’t taken a full charge, they cannot be saved and it is time for some new golf cart batteries.  If the battery has taken a charge, replace the cell caps and use your golf cart for a long ride and see how long the charge lasts.  If the ride and power is short lived it is still likely you will need to replace your golf cart battery.

It is also quite possible that your golf cart battery charger is not charging properly.  You will need a volt meter to check the power output of your battery charger.   Just attach it to the battery bank once the charger has been hooked up to the golf cart and turn it on.  The voltage of the golf carts battery bank should jump up from the static state before you turned on the golf cart battery charger. You should always hook up your golf cart charger to your golf cart after use to keep the batteries in peak condition.

TIP – Consider a Watering System

Another good thing to have for your golf cart batteries is a watering system. Make sure you check the water level in your golf cart batteries monthly to make sure they are still saturated. ( always do this after your batteries are fully charged because if you check them and fill them before you charge them 100% you could over fill them and acid will leak out the top of the batteries while they charge and get all over your cart and in the garage or where ever you store the golf cart. Which is not good because battery acid will eat away at your concrete floor in the garage.

Checkout Pete\’s great deals on a new One point golf cart watering system to avoid over filling them and making a mess or getting battery acid on your cart, clothes or garage floor and do it with ease. ( In minutes – not an hour or more… weekends are meant to be spent with the family or watching the game not in the garage filling batteries… so get yours today!)

Related How To articles –

Learn more about how to properly check and fill your golf cart batteries.

Learn more about your golf cart battery charger

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52 thoughts on “How to Rejuvenate your old Golf Cart Batteries – a Step-by-Step Guide”

  1. Hi Pete, My golf cart batteries (Yahama) do not complete 18 holes anymore. I have been using the golf cart about 6 times a month over the last 4 years. When I start the round the charger indicates that the batteries are fully charged. I get to about hole 15 and then the batteries are drained. So these batteries have been on the charger permanently for the last 4 years except for when the cart is being used. Will the Epsom salts work with these batteries and if so must I drain the batteries first before doing the job or can I add the epsom salts while the batteries are “fully charged”. I live in South Africa

    1. Bruce – Sounds like the batteries have lived a full life. But epsom salt is always a cheap alternative to try before replacing the batteries in your cart. Average cycle life for a lead acid battery is approx. 150-200 cycles at 50% DOD ( Depth of Discharge )

      I would try to add a table spoon of salt to each battery cell… shake them up a little and then use it… Usually takes a few charge / discharge cycles to see any improvement.

      Power On…

      1. Hi there! Do you mean regular table spoon of salt in addition to the Epsom salt ?

    2. This technique works! My cart could not go more that 8 holes before dying. I live on a course and use my cart 5-6 days a week. After this technique was used I had enough batter life to go a full 18 and more. This rejuvenation has lasted 6 months. One hint: I add a small portion of Epson Salt to my water solution each time I top off your batteries.

  2. Hi pete my Star 8 battery 6v golf cart batteries are dead due to sitting idle for over a year . Was wondering if they are worth trying to save . They held a charge for 2 rounds of golf prior to sitting idle for over a year . I have cleaned them up and dumped all old water out of them getting ready to trade them in for new ones before seeing your post .

    Thanks In Advance


    1. Jeery – You probably could with fresh acid and adding some epsom salt to the solution to bring back, would then require several charge/discharge cycles to energize again – though will be involved and messy…. Think you will be better off to just buy a new set and then get one of our new chargers that will baby sit your new batteries while away to avoid that scenario when you return this next year.

      Power On…

  3. I like how you said to let your batteries go through the whole cycle or charge overnight. I just got a new trojan battery. Thanks for the tips on rejuvenating your golf cart batteries.

    1. Glad to hear it… Battery health and allowing lead acid batteries to live out the estimated cycle life is dependent on proper maintenance, recharging to 100% after every use and storing your battery bank fully charged.

      Power On…

        1. Traditional lead acid batteries off gas when charged and discharged. More so during charging times. Similar to when boiling water some will escape the pot via steam. Same concept.


  4. My cart charged over night and I get about 5 minutes and it acts dead and goes EXTREMLY slow. Would the salts be a good idea?

    1. Riley – Thanks for the Inquiry… It sounds like the batteries are shot! Yes – you can attempt the salt, cleans and re-charge option… but not a surefire solution… If the batteries lead plates have been exposed to the atmosphere most likely the sulfation is so severe the salts will not work to cleans the plates to interact with the acid again… Also in such cases actual acid is required not just distilled water to flood the cells once more.

      Power on…

  5. Hi Pete,

    I also have a 48v starev that seems to either be over charging or the batteries are in poor shape. The replacement date says 2016 on the T125’s, but if I move the cart 10 feet and back again to the garage, the charger jumps to 16A immediately and I hear what sounds like rapid boiling water with popping noises. Is the charger over charging or do you think the batteries are done for? I’ve considered doing the epson salt trick and then refilling with new battery acid on each of the 8 batteries. Is this worth my time and effort?


    1. AJ – I think the batteries are shot – first assumption! If they are not providing any type of range and the charger is pushing amperage into them yet the batteries are not taking the energy. Hence the immediate boiling. Now for more thoughts/diagnostics… – What is the voltage on the bank after the charger completes a cycle? What is the voltage when the charger is charging in the peak part of the bulk phase of the charge cycle? What is the run time on golf cart after fully charged? Or range? The only sure fire way to determine the battery health is to give each battery a load test. Which can only be performed accurately on a fully charged battery. Next thought – if you have the old style transformer based golf cart charger they tend to just apply amperage once activated until they settle in to a charge cycle to determine specific battery bank voltage. Which is how most of the older chargers know when to turn themselves off ( A pre-determined battery voltage must be reached.

      Power On

  6. I have a set of golf cart batteries that are little over 2 years old. All the batteries charge and hold a charge, but they are showing signs of age and don’t hold a charge like they use to. Would it be worth it to trying the epsom salt and acid recharge to add some life to them? We have tried to keep the water up, but the water has gotten low once or twice.

    1. Mark – Yes… I think you have a set of batteries that could benefit from this little trick. Just need to put a tea spoon of epsom in each battery cell and it will do its thing. Usually takes a few charge/discharge cycles to experience a noticeable difference in power generation. But surely worth a shot. Also I would recommend a Golf Cart Battery Watering System to make the process of checking and watering the batteries painless for you. But go with the BWT system out of all the ones we offer because when you change batteries or brand this system is universal and will work on any battery brand. You can learn more about a golf cart battery watering system here. Also here is another good read for do’s and dont’s about how to take care of your batteries.
      You can learn more about proper battery maintenance here.

      Hopefully this was helpful…
      Power On…

      1. I just acquired a 48 volt Yamaha Golf Cart with 6 – 8 volt batteries. These batteries are approx. 3 1/2 years old. The cart was allowed to fully discharge while in storage for a few months, but I was successful in getting them to a full charge. Cells were low with some showing exposed lead, but none were completely dry. Each of them measure approximately 8.1 to 8.2 volts when fully charged. My question – is it a good time to use the Epsom salt trick to get more life from them or is it too far down the useful life? You also note that it usually takes a few charge/discharge cycles to experience a noticeable difference in power generation. How much discharge is required to get a full charge cycle? I have a battery gauge on the cart.

        1. Thanks for your question. Sounds like you’re OK. Epson salts aren’t entirely necessary in your case, but certainly won’t hurt anything to go ahead and do. The only way to accurately test the batteries is to perform a load test when they’re fully charged. But if they’re showing just over 8v, that’s pretty good. You got lucky. Pete says it’s a little fuzzy to say ‘How much discharge is required to get a full charge cycle?’ There is not a set number for a full charge cycle, it depends on the application. If you were going to get 250 cycles at 50% DOD (Depth of Discharge) you could also expect 500 cycles at 25%. Depends on your usage. The question is, what kind of range do you get – how many hours or how far can you go. (We’ll also note for anyone else reading in this situation: If your batteries are run down and dry, try to get your charge back first with a little water, don’t completely fill with water first. Otherwise you will have water and acid boiling over the top when the electricity gets going through them.) Here is another more in depth article about what to do when your batteries are dead.

  7. Anyone who uses any Kind of SALT In thier battery is going to have to replace it anyway so why not do it too start with . The method has is just a bandaid

    1. Gemi – Thank you for your input. Yes you are correct, but some of us out there are on a fixed income and need to stretch our dollars the best we can. Also transportaion around the yard or neighborhood is good for piece of mind should you be disabled. It is something that is hit or miss when it comes to bringing a battery back to life enough that it is still useful and can take a charge or handle a load like in a golf cart. But for the few dollars in salt and 15 minutes it takes to put some in all the batteries cells does have a little allure to it.

      Pete’s team…

  8. Our water jug was mislabeled and I ended up putting tap water in my batteries. If I dump the fluid out of the batteries, what type, and where can it be found, of acid do I put in my batteries? If I start with an empty battery, how much acid do I add?

    1. Steve – Dang…. I think you will be ok though… just label the jugs right going forward. Surely you did not put alot of the tap water in the batteries if just topping them off. If the tap water is filtered not as bad either… It is just a rule of thumb as there alot of heavy metals and contaminants in tap water these days… The metals will eventually build up in the battery cells and cause issues with the batteries ability to charge and discharge correctly causing premature failure and battery replacement. This is why we always recommend distilled water to be used in filling your golf cart batteries or any lead acid battery.

      Power On…

  9. Stephen A Davis

    your step[ by step I snot complete to those of us who are not sure of this procedure. Not being silly ether. Step one– you do not say remove battery cell caps at any particular time. SO when do you remove them. second: when do you put the caps back one. you do say in step 3 “If the battery has taken a charge, replace the cell caps and use your golf cart for a long ride and see how long the charge lasts.”. But my question is on a 8 volt Duracell Battery ( Golf Cart) do you put the cell caps back on after your assemble all batteries into cart, hook up battery cables, ten do you put caps back on and then charge or do you put charger on 24 hour os so charge before you put caps back on ? I have applied the Epson salt refurbishment to 3 year old Duracell G2/ F^ 8 volt batteries as suggested, but when do I puts cell caps back on before of after initial long charge? 6/22/2019


      Pete’s Team

  10. I just bought a 36volt golf cart last night. I fully charged it and road it for 1 hour straight until it ran out of power. It averaged 12 miles per hour. Not sure how old the batteries are. Does this sound like a good time for epsom salt?

    1. Chanda – Congrats on your new purchase…. Surely cannot hurt… Usually you can expect to get 30-50 miles on a charge with cart ( New batteries ) … proper way to tell age is date codes stamped on top of the battery terminals. Proper way to test is perform a load test on a fully charged battery.

      Power On…

  11. I am going to try the rejuvenation procedure on my 8 volt Trojen batteries. When i end up replacing the about half the acid solution with the epson salt solution will this result in a dilluted acid solution when its all said and done? Also your procedure says to replace the caps after charging back up, is this correct? Thanks

    1. Jim – You should only need to start with a good table spoon of salt in each battery cell. then replace cap thereafter …. charge and discharge a few times and see if the voltage holds better … Under a load and resting…

      Pete’s team

  12. I have just bought a 5amp floating charger for me set of 6 x 6 volt EVGO cart batteries.
    How should it be used, if at all?

    1. Rodger – Thank you for your inquiry and question…. Pete does not believe in a trickle charger for large batteries or multiple battery banks. Only good for small batteries like in a lawn mower or motorcycle as the amperage needs to be quite high as in 5 amps to do anything on a battery with a 100 plus Ah capacity ( Most golf cart batteries are 150-232Ah ) . Over the course of time a trickle charger on big batteries constantly running at 5 amps or higher will dry out the batteries as a pot of boiling water on the stove un-attended would make all the water disappear once converted to steam…. the best bet is a smart charger like the Lester Summit II Series… which can regulate itself and will turn itself on and off based on voltage and time. This will allow for good battery health and a proper charge cycle vs a constant charge…

      Checkout the all new Lester Summit II Series charger here … Currently on Sale and Free Shipping in the US lower 48 States…

  13. Great advice. My lester is quite old, Still trying to obtain solid information from local dealers and I’m still confuesd. Can I leave my golf cart pluged into the lester whilst the cart is not in use?
    Cheers Rodger

    1. Rodger – All older style chargers ( Granted newer than like 1980’s ) will still shut off when the charge cycle is complete… but will not do anything else until the charger has been disconnected from the cart and re-connected to initiate a new charge cycle. The parasitic drain on the batteries will be very nominal at best so not really an issue. Though leaving the charger plugged into the wall socket ( AC Power ) and the Cart for extended periods of time without a surge protected on the AC side leave you and the charger open to disaster should you get a power surge or lightening strike … this can burn up the charger and other cart side components as well.

      The way to go these days is the new Lester Summit II Series golf cart battery chargers as they are designed to operate totally independently of human interaction. They can regulate them selves and will turn on and off when needed. This is great for those seasonal residents that want to make sure their electric golf cart stays charged while away for extended periods of time.

      So in summary – There is no direct benefit of leaving the older style golf cart chargers plugged in, but no harm to cart if done so if plugged into a surge protector on the AC power side). Only the new style golf cart chargers offer the ability to self regulate and charge batteries over extended periods of time…

      Pete’s team

  14. I’m hopeful that your advice works on my cart batteries. I let the cart basically sit for several weeks during knee replacement ReHab. It was connected most of the time to the charger. When I took it out yesterday it ran for 20 or 30 seconds very good, but then immediately went to less power. On my way back to the house I had to get out and use a golf club to depress the accelerator, eventually seeing the gauge flutter on empty as I pulled back into the garage. Removed cell caps and saw water levels at or below the plates. Filled the cells. Plugged back in and heard gurgling in the first battery as it charged. Disconnected charger til morning when I put it back on the charger. Battery gage showed positive position after an hour or so on the charger. Heard no more gurgling in battery as before. Does it look like I’m back on the right path and should I use the epsom salt as additional measure?

    1. Tom – The Salt trick cannot hurt to throw some in each battery cell. I would try to fully charge all the batteries. Check voltage after charge complete to confirm they are taking a charge and then perform a load test to check battery health.

  15. Help, I have a 2008 Yamaha golf cart with four 12v batteries which are seven years old. I let the water level get low enough that the plates on four or five cells were showing and two terminals were corroded. I cleaned all eight terminals and filled all cells with distilled water. It ran after charging but was weak. I charged and ran four or five times, each time the batteries got stronger. 12.5v to 12.7 on all four batteries after charging. I have not done a distance test yet. My question is should I add Epson Salt to all the battery cells and if so 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon to each cell. This cart is not used for golf. It is used for errands and pleasure on my place in the country.

    1. Wallace – Sounds like you got good life out of that set of batteries already if they are in fact 7 years old…. but yes put some salt in each if you like then run thru a few charge/ discharge cycles that will start the cleaning process and yes every time you charge discharge a battery like that it will get stronger and stronger again with exercise granted they are not toast already. Some batteries you just cannot bring back. Curious what state are you in and what brand of batteries are in the vehicle?


  16. Have removed 50% of water from each battery & topped up with the epsom salt solution, will it be necessary or add acid & if so how much.
    Many thanks, Dick.

    1. Dick – Thanks for the inquiry… Attempt to charge , when charge cycle complete then check the resting voltage. Fully Charged batteries will be slightly higher than the advertised voltage of the battery on the battery sticker. To determine if you need to add acid you will need to check the specific gravity of the battery cells with a battery tester/ Battery Hydrometer…. You can purchase a new Hydrometer here.

      Pete’s team

  17. I was wondering if I can put the salt in the battery that is low with out dumping half or the water out of it it 36 volt system and only one battery show low

  18. Hi Pete, thanks for the epsom salt fix,what hydrometer would you recommend? Is there a good better or best.

    Thanks Rick

  19. Hi Pete
    I have 4 12 volt batteries t1275. Three will charge the other will do nothing. I have tried to individually charge it and tries to trickle charge it. It will not do anything. Any suggestions

    1. If after that much effort – I would just replace it. If the other three (3) batteries are several years old I would recommend replacing all of them. Due to charging systems inability to know what battery needs what when connected in a series… Ultimately you will create a vicious cycle of unusual battery replacement because some will be overcharging and others will be not getting enough charge.

      Power On…

  20. I just tested my Golf Cart batteries (6v) my readings range from 6.15 v to 6.22 v . Can these batteries be saved ?

  21. Should I test each battery individually by disconnecting them ? (Golf Cart 36 v )

  22. Hello Pete,

    This may not be the forum for this, but I’ll try. I purchased a used club car in March this year. My first one. Old batteries were toast. Owner told me it was 36v cart. No problem right? Well, I went and bought 6 new 6v batteries at the time and replaced the old ones. I hooked up the new ones no problem. Been driving it for months and had no problems. Lately the battery indicator I installed has been showing a really low charge and not eclipsing 20% even after giving it SIGNIFICANT time to charge (on a smart charger) Bad news is here. when I looked at my pictures of the battery wiring to hook new batteries up, I noticed each new battery only had 3 holes… and the old ones showed 4… meaning the old batteries were 8v making a 48v cart. This is my first cart so I’m to blame, but now I cant get my batteries to hold charge. What are my options other than paying another $800+ for another set of batteries within 6 months?

  23. I am delighted to read this blog. But I also in search oh “How to Rejuvenate a old truck battery. Are you have the same informative blog realted truck battery?

  24. Terry L Alverson

    Hi Pete: I plan to try this next Spring. How do you know half of the acid has been drained out when you tip the battery over?

  25. Hi,

    Great article. My 8 volt batteries are old but do have and keep an 8.5 volt each. However, the range is less. Will reconditioning improve range?

    Thank you,
    John Graham
    Birmingham, AL

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