Yes. You heard it from the guys that have been selling Pro Cell alkaline batteries for the last 25 years. Left in use long enough or stored in extreme conditions will cause any alkaline batteries, even the good ones,to eventually corrode.
Here are a few tips to help prevent corrosion and some advice on cleaning them up after it happens.
Some devices like carbon monoxide detectors are designed to use the same batteries for years. It is great to have a “set it and forget it” device, but, over an extended period of low amperage use, the jacket of the battery will eventually succumb to the chemical reaction going on inside and it will fail.
Respect the expiration date (printed directly on a Pro Cell battery) and make sure you don’t use batteries beyond that date.
Batteries stored in extreme temperatures will fail more quickly. If you are storing battery powered devices in hot warehouses or trucks parked in the sun, consider removing the batteries even if they willn ot be stored for an extended period.
Corroded batteries are dangerous and need to be handled with care. Use rubber gloves or tongs to remove them and make sure you wash off any corrosion that comes in contact with your skin. Safety glasses are a good idea as well.
Once the batteries are removed, clean the area with vinegar or WD40 and dry it thoroughly. If the terminal holders in the device are corroded, clean them gently with a pencil eraser or an emery board. Remember that spring terminals may have been weakened by the battery acid and may break if they are not handled gently.