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Best Battery Desulfators: Make Your Battery Last Longer

Don’t let your car’s battery degrade – keep it healthy and at full capacity with one of the best battery desulfators

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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON October 6, 2021

We’ve all had an old car battery fail us, sitting there unable to be revived with a recharge. Over time, your vehicle’s battery can degrade thanks to sulfation, developing a buildup of lead sulfate crystals that make the battery increasingly ineffective. But you don’t have to sit around and wait for the day your car battery fails for good. If you own a battery desulfator, you can lengthen its lifespan and enjoy even more miles on the road. Plug your car battery into a desulfator and you’ll enhance its effectiveness even as it ages. With plenty of different types of battery desulfators available to choose from, you just have to pick one that’s suited for your vehicle and your needs. We’ve done the hard work for you and selected some of the best to browse right here.

Best Overall
BatteryMINDer Model 2012
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Summary
Summary

The ideal gadget if you are desulfating commercially. It automatically reverses sulfation by running a high-frequency pulse on the battery. Its temperature sensor ensures safe and precise maintenance.

Pros
Pros
  • Can maintain six batteries at a time connected in parallel
  • Extends battery life by four times
  • Protects battery from reverse polarity, short-circuits, and over-temperature
Cons
Cons
  • Expensive 
  • Must buy separate Y-connectors to maintain more than one battery
Best Overall
BatteryMINDer Model 2012
Best Value
NOCO Genius5 Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator
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Summary
Summary

Use this device to service many types of batteries. It automatically identifies sulfation. This unit also charges and helps maintain batteries.

Pros
Pros
  • Designed for use with 6- or 12-volt lead-acid batteries, maintenance-free batteries, AGM, gel, and lithium-ion batteries
  • Automatically detects sulfation and acid stratification 
  • Also a battery recharger
Cons
Cons
  • May not fully charge the battery
  • May pose trouble putting the device into repair mode
Best Value
NOCO Genius5 Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator
Honorable Mention
Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Auto Desulfator
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Summary
Summary

This automatic battery desulfator works to charge, maintain, and keep your battery in prime shape without any intervention on your part — making it easy to use any time.

Pros
Pros
  • Automatically detects battery voltage and adjusts amperage, charging, and more
  • Ensures safety with automatic adjustments and built-in protections for overcharging, overheating, and more
  • Works with a variety of different 6-volt and 12-volt batteries
Cons
Cons
  • May experience issues after years of use
  • Can experience a delay when showing battery capacity
Honorable Mention
Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Auto Desulfator
Battery Desulfator Close Up
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Best Battery Desulfator Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
BatteryMINDer Model 2012

The BatterMINDer Model 2012 uses a patented process that safely removes sulfation and reconditions the battery through high-frequency pulses to desulfate batteries, not high voltage. This unit can desulfate up to six batteries together when configured in parallel. It’s great for winterizing vehicles of all varieties and has an ambient temperature sensor that adjusts voltage based on the temperature in and around the battery. 


Plus, the desulfator has short-circuit, over-temperature, and reverse-polarity protection. Keep in mind that in order to desulfate two or more batteries in parallel, you have to use Y-cords, which is a separate purchase. Also, this battery desulfator only works on 12-volt batteries. 

Specs:
  • Can desulfate up to six batteries simultaneously
  • Includes installed ambient temperature sensor
  • Includes connectors, terminals, and cords
  • Works for cars, boats, ATVs, motorcycles, and RVs
  • Operates automatically

Pros:

  • Works with cars and other vehicles
  • Reliable for years of use
  • Can maintain and desulfate multiple batteries at once

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work quickly and takes some time to complete its processes
  • Connecting multiple batteries does require Y-cords, which aren’t included
Best Value
NOCO Genius5 Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator

If you’re searching for quality, capability, and an affordable price, the NOCO Genius5 Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator is a great product. It resurrects batteries you thought were useless, including 6- and 12-volt lead-acid batteries, marine, automotive, and deep cycle batteries. This desulfator automatically determines a battery’s sulfation to maintain batteries properly and in addition to being a desulfator, it’s also a battery charger that recharges batteries as low as 1 volt (or even 0 volts using the Force Mode feature). 


Plus, it offers extra perks and features too including a thermal sensor that senses ambient temperature and adjusts the charge so you don’t overcharge in hot climates and undercharge in cold ones. You may experience potential issues, though. Some batteries don’t always reach a full charge, and repair mode can be a bit finicky at times. 

Specs:
  • All-in-one device that charges, maintains, and removes sulfates
  • Works with 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid batteries
  • Suitable for use with automotive, marine, and deep-cycle batteries
  • Operates automatically

Pros:

  • Suitable for a wide range of different batteries and vehicles
  • Automatically adapts based on ambient temperature
  • Can bring batteries back from 0 to 1 volts

Cons:

  • In some instances, batteries don’t get a full charge
  • Repair mode can be finicky
Best Premium
Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Auto Desulfator

If you’re looking for a seriously smart battery desulfator, you’ve got to take a look at the Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Auto Desulfator. Capable of delivering a 15-amp charge and 3-amp maintenance power, it’s compatible with standard AGM and deep-cycle batteries and it’s fully automatic, offering smart charging that’s controlled by a microprocessor that automatically adjusts the amperage and multi-stage charging for the highest level of precision. This battery desulfator will even automatically detect 6-volt and 12-volt batteries.


Equipped with a digital display and LED light indicators, you can easily see what’s going on with your battery when this device gets to work. This high-tech desulfator offers years of reliable performance. However, as it ages, it can begin to experience issues and at times, it may go into float mode prematurely even if a battery isn’t at full charge. And there is a bit of a delay when you push the button to show battery capacity on the digital display.

Specs:
  • Delivers 15-amp charge and 3-amp maintenance power
  • Works for car, truck, SUV, RV, and marine batteries
  • Compatible with AGM and deep-cycle batteries
  • Digital display and LED indicator lights
  • Microprocessor-controlled amperage rate adjustment

Pros:

  • Charges, maintains, and removes sulfates automatically
  • Easy to see and control battery status on the digital display
  • Automatically adjusts based on battery needs for safety and precision

Cons:

  • After years of use, problems may occur
  • Some automatic functions may not be super precise
  • Can be a delay when showing battery capacity
Best Fully Automatic
Clore Automotive Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator

The Clore Automotive Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator will take the hard work of worrying about your car’s battery off your hands with a fully automated process. This single device is a desulfator, a charger, and a maintainer all in one, and it handles each of these jobs with little to no input from you. Able to work with both 6- and 12-volt batteries, you’ll enjoy fully automatic operation whether you’re charging, maintaining, or reconditioning your battery. It offers versatile 2/10/20 amp charge rates as well as multiple modes, including Soft Start Mode for severely depleted batteries and Recondition Mode for distressed batteries in need of rejuvenation. 


And with temperature compensation, you’ll get more effective performance from this battery desulfator all around. The biggest potential downsides of this device? The manual is light on information and isn’t well-written, which can leave you a bit confused. It’s lacking details on all of the battery desulfator’s capabilities. And the included cables are handy but they’re pretty short, so distance can be an issue.

Specs:
  • Works with 6-volt and 12-volt batteries
  • Offers 2/10/20 amp charge rates
  • Fully automatic operation
  • Uses an advanced multi-phase charging process
  • Recondition Mode available for distressed batteries

Pros:

  • Fully automatic operation with adjustments for temperature, safety, and efficiency
  • Works with flooded, AGM, gel cell, spiral wound, marine, and deep-cycle batteries
  • Can improve even distressed or severely depleted batteries

Cons:

  • Included cables are quite short
  • Manual can be a bit confusing and fails to provide enough information
Best Compact
MotoPower Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator

Although the MotoPower Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator is small in size, it doesn’t skimp on capabilities or benefits. This compact device is a battery desulfator as well as a charger and maintainer, and it works on all kinds of 12-volt lead-acid batteries. All you have to do to improve your battery is plug in the device, connect it to your battery, and it’ll work automatically. This battery desulfator is built for all sorts of weather, and it won’t drain your battery while it’s connected. It begins desulfation while it charges, with no need for special settings or your interference. 


Plus, there are multiple stages to the process so your battery gets all that it needs. This device even offers thermal compensation for stability in all temperatures and timer protection so it shuts off when it’s finished (or within 24 hours of being connected). However, because of the small size of this battery desulfator, heat can be a potential problem. The device itself gets very hot, and it doesn’t feature vents to allow the heat created to disperse. Over time, that heat may ultimately cause the desulfator to malfunction or experience issues.

Specs:
  • All-weather functionality
  • Works as a charger, maintainer, and desulfator
  • Suitable for 12-volt lead-acid, flooded, or sealed AGM and gel cell batteries
  • Automatic desulfation and optimization
  • Overcharge, short circuit, and reverse polarity protection

Pros:

  • Works automatically to move through five stages of charging and desulfation
  • Compact and convenient to carry anywhere
  • Makes adjustments and safety alterations automatically

Cons:

  • Gets very hot to the touch
  • Heat can potentially cause problems with functionality
Best Comprehensive
Bilt Hard Smart Battery Charger, Maintainer, Desulfator, and Diagnostic

Worried about sulfation as well as other potential battery issues? Then you’ve got to equip yourself with the Bilt Hard Smart Battery Charger, Maintainer, Desulfator, and Diagnostic. This highly capable and versatile device is able to remove sulfates sitting inside your battery, but it’s also able to recharge, maintain, and diagnose problems at the same time. It initiates a nine-stage charging process that diagnoses any problems, desulates batteries, charges, and provides short- or long-term maintenance every time you connect. 


With enough power to start your vehicle if needed, it’s also handy if your battery fails due to a low charge. And thanks to the LED indicators, you’ll always be able to see the charging status, current, voltage, capacity, and any errors or problems. The only drawback to this battery desulfator? Its manual is seriously lacking. While real-life users are thrilled with its performance, the included manual offers very little in the way of help or information about different indicator lights.

Specs:
  • 2/10/20 amp charging for 12-volt batteries
  • Works with 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid batteries
  • Can deliver a 100-amp engine start
  • Intelligent nine-stage charging process 
  • Offers protection against overheating, overcharging, reverse polarity, and short circuits

Pros:

  • Goes beyond desulfating and offers charging, maintenance, and diagnostics
  • Nine-stage charging process is very comprehensive
  • Easy to see status with LED indicator lights

Cons:

  • Manual is no help
  • Manual lacks information that new users need

How We Selected Battery Desulfators

In order to choose the best battery desulfators available, we started our search by seeking out devices that could work with an array of different types of 12-volt vehicle batteries (and others that offered the versatility to work with even 6-volt batteries). From there, we compared the products available online to one another, looking at details like whether or not they offered automatic functionality, if they included additional perks like battery charging and maintenance, and how many features a single device could provide. We also considered safety protections to ensure that each of our top picks protected you and your battery from potential damage.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

Wondering where to start as you search for a new battery desulfator? If you’ve got questions, our buying guide can help you answer them. Keep reading to find out how you can select a high-quality, highly reliable battery desulfator you’ll use for many years.

What to Consider When Buying Battery Desulfators

Types of Battery Desulfators

Battery Desulfators

Battery desulfators are pretty straightforward as they’re devices that are designed to remove the lead sulfate crystals that form over time inside your battery, bringing its reliability and performance down. When you connect your battery to a desulfator, it works to eliminate those crystals and any buildup present to restore its efficiency and power. These devices are one-purpose products, meaning they work as desulfators and only as desulfators.

Battery Chargers, Maintainers, and Desulfators

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive battery maintenance device, then you can opt for a battery desulfator that’s also a charger and maintainer. These products, which are typically just called battery chargers, maintainers, and desulfators, offer three modes of function. They’ll charge depleted batteries, maintain those batteries via a trickle charge, and work to remove sulfates. Typically, these types of devices work automatically to perform whichever of those three tasks your battery needs. 

Battery Desulfator Key Features

Battery Compatibility

Before you can use a battery desulfator, you’ve got to make sure it’s actually suitable for use with your car’s exact battery. Fortunately, this is super simple, as most battery desulfators work with a wide range of 12-volt batteries, and your car is very likely powered by a 12-volt battery (along with other vehicles, like ATVs). 

So, when you’re shopping for a battery desulfator, make sure you’re only considering those that work with a 12-volt battery. You should also check the type of battery your car uses (AGM, flooded, gel cell, deep-cycle, or lithium-ion, for example) and make sure that the desulfators you’re looking at are compatible. While plenty of desulfators do work with any battery type, others can be a bit more limited.

Charging and Maintaining

Sure, a basic battery desulfator offers everything you need to remove those lead sulfate crystals in an old battery. But why settle for basic when you can get so much more from a single device? If you opt for a desulfator that also works as a battery charger and maintainer, you’ll get so much more functionality for your investment.

When you opt for a battery charger, maintainer, and desulfator, you’ll be able to keep your battery in tip-top shape from all sides. You can recharge the battery when its voltage drops, maintain it if necessary, and keep those sulfates from ruining reliability or efficiency, all with one convenient device. Now that’s a versatile product.

Temperature Compensation

You might not think your battery is very sensitive to temperature, but it is, especially if you’re dealing with high heat or freezing cold. And when you’re using a battery desulfator (or a combination charger, maintainer, and desulfator), the ambient temperature can affect the results. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for a product that offers temperature compensation, or automatic temperature adjustment. If the temperature changes, reaches extreme highs or extreme lows, or becomes problematic in any way, your desulfator will be able to adapt to continue providing the reliable service you need. 

Battery Desulfator Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and battery desulfators. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • Keep your battery fully charged to prevent sulfation. 
  • Sometimes sulfation can result in permanent damage to your battery. It is advisable to check the water level of your battery frequently. If the water level is below the plate, then critical sulfation has occurred.
  • When shopping for a reliable desulfator, consider if it has a testing kit, high-frequency current, monitoring indicator, and lead battery charger. 

FAQs

Q: How long does it take to desulfate a battery?

It depends on the efficiency of your desulfator and the amount of sulfate that has formed on the battery. Keep your battery charging until you see a significant improvement. Sometimes the process takes up to a week.

Q: Do desulfators work on AGM batteries?

Most battery desulfators do work on AGM batteries, but you’ll want to check the specifications of the exact devices you’re considering. While AGM is a common compatibility, some desulfators might not cover them.

Q: Can you desulfate a deep cycle battery?

Plenty of battery desulfators do work on deep-cycle batteries but just like with AGM batteries, you’ve got to double-check the specs on any desulfator you’re thinking about buying. While it’s common, not all desulfators may work with deep-cycle batteries.

Q: How do you know if a battery is sulfated?

You can check to see if your battery is sulfated in one of two ways. If you’re noticing signs of decreased battery efficiency — like a battery that’s not charging as well as it once did or one that isn’t charging at all — you likely have lead sulfate crystals present. Batteries that won’t hold a charge and electronics that aren’t functioning properly, like weak AC or dimming headlights, can also be signs. Or, you can take a look under the hood and check your battery for visible signs of sulfation. You’ll have to open your battery up, but if you see gray, grimy, and not-so-clean lead cells inside your battery, that’s sulfation.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best battery desulfator is the BatteryMINDer Model 2012, which offers great features and is easy to use whether you’re hoping to restore one battery or multiple batteries simultaneously. But you’ll also find that the NOCO Genius5 Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator is a great product — and its affordable price makes it a good value. Which battery desulfator is your favorite?