You can keep your gadgets, children’s toys, small home appliances, power tools, and vehicles running smoothly with a well-stored supply of batteries.
Hell-bent on organizing everything at home but have no idea about battery storage practices?
How to store batteries? To store common household batteries, keep them at room temperature in their original packaging. Keep rechargeable batteries with the required minimum amount of charge to maintain battery life. Slightly used batteries should be sorted according to make, age, and polar direction. To keep vehicle batteries in good condition and to prolong their shelf life, use them regularly.
What is the best place to store batteries?
The best place to store batteries is in their original packaging for a reminder of which ones are not yet used.
Keep them at room temperature or in a slightly cooler but dry environment.
Store them in containers that do not conduct electricity, such as plastic bags, cardboard boxes, or rigid plastic boxes.
Things to Consider When Storing Batteries
Batteries come in many sizes, shapes, and applications. It can be very beneficial if you had a supply of different kinds for every time you need them.
To maintain intended battery life, follow these considerations:
Original Manufacturer Packaging
Keeping disposable household batteries in their original, manufacturer-supplied packaging is good practice.
It does not only protect the batteries from humidity but also tells you which batteries are used or brand new.
Also, the packaging ensures that opposite battery terminals or poles do not get in contact with one another and that they do not touch metal objects.
You may have several slightly-used and rechargeable batteries. Start proper storage by sorting them based on brand and production date.
Do not combine new and used batteries, and avoid storing different brands and types together.
Store cell batteries separately.
Different types and brands of batteries stored together can start chemical reactions that cause leaks, corrosion, and permanent damage.
If you prefer to have one container for all battery types, keep each type in its own smaller container for storage in the big container.
Enough Charge for Rechargeable Batteries
Maintain an ideal level of charge in every rechargeable battery. Rechargeable batteries can be lead-acid, lithium-ion, or nickel-based.
Lead-acid rechargeable batteries should be stored with a full charge to prevent sulfation, which causes its full capacity to diminish.
Lithium ion batteries require at least a 40 percent charge for proper storage. However, if you won’t be able to use it for an extended period of time, charge to full instead.
Nickel-based batteries are the best choice for rechargeable batteries. Although they are much more expensive, they can be stored at any charge level.
First off, do not leave batteries under direct sunlight.
Batteries store well in a cool room with temperatures between 34 degrees and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you can’t store them within the temperature range, seal them inside airtight containers and put them in the fridge.
Before using them, though, let them acclimatize at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
Unless you can’t ensure that the batteries won’t get wet, do not bother storing them in the fridge.
Storing batteries in the refrigerator is a long-held myth, and it doesn’t necessarily prolong the lifespan of batteries.
Your best bet is to avoid storing in warm and extreme temperatures.
In addition to ideal temperature levels, store your batteries in dry conditions.
A container with vapor-absorbent covering should work well in environments with high humidity.
High humidity allows a lot of condensation in enclosed plastic and glass containers.
You don’t have to head out and purchase a fancy container; a good old cardboard box is fine, but check it regularly for dampness.
The fridge is one place where humidity can be very high. This is another reason why storing batteries in the fridge is a misconception.
If you live in an area with very humid conditions, consider using alkaline batteries. They store well in humidity levels between 35 and 65 percent.
To maintain the lifespan of your batteries, always deter conduction.
Conduction allows the flow of electricity from one conductor to another, causing the batteries to lose all their juice.
Firstly, never store batteries in a metal container.
Metal is a good conductor and may cause your batteries to short and become permanently damaged.
Secondly, never leave batteries in contact with metals, such as coins, paperclips, staple wire, scissors, and many others for the very same reason as the first.
Finally, store batteries in an aligned position such that the positive terminals never touch the negative terminals of other batteries.
Misaligned storage could allow the transfer of power from full capacity batteries to older, degraded batteries.
If you have several batteries left in its opened packaging, you can use masking tape to cover the terminals for a layer of protection.
Keep the plastic or rubber caps on 9-volt batteries when not in use, and keep them aligned as well.
Steps on How to Store Batteries
With all the things to consider regarding battery storage, you probably know by now how to store batteries.
To help you out, here are pointers to keep in mind:
Car batteries or vehicle batteries are large batteries that preserve well under regular use.
If you have an extra car battery in storage, here is how you should maintain it:
Step 1: Use the Battery or Charge It With a Trickle Charger.
If you don’t have a trickle charger, reinstall the battery onto your vehicle and give it a spin around the block.
Step 2: Maintain Battery Readings Above 12.6 Volts.
Car battery diagnostics testers are quite cheap. Use one to regularly check that your battery produces a voltage reading of 12.6 volts or higher.
Step 3: Get Rid of Any Corrosion.
Always clean your battery and chip off any corrosion that may seem to emerge from the terminals.
Step 4: Store It In a Clean, Dry Place.
Like all batteries, avoid storing your car batteries in damp environments that don’t reach freezing temperatures.
If you read all of the things to consider when storing batteries, typical household battery storage is pretty straightforward.
Step 1: Keep them in their original packaging.
Step 2: Separate new batteries from old ones.
Step 3: Store them in nonmetallic containers.
Step 4: Align them in storage.
Step 5: Keep them in a cool, dry place.
Rechargeable batteries come in three different types: lead-acid, lithium-ion, or nickel-based.
For proper storage, follow these instructions:
Step 1: Check Required Charge Levels Before Storage.
Whereas nickel-based batteries do not require any particular charge level for safe storage, lead-acid and lithium ion batteries better have a full charge before storing.
Leaving rechargeable batteries discharged for too long can cause permanent damage.
Step 2: Follow the Same Instructions for Regular Household Batteries.
Rechargeable batteries follow the same storage procedures as household batteries.
Since they are rechargeable, there is no need to keep them in their original packaging.
Consider covering the terminals with plastic caps or masking tape.
Step 3: Dispose of Batteries That Do Not Charge.
When rechargeable batteries do not charge, chances are they have already run their lifetime.
Use proper disposal practices when throwing them away.
Can you store batteries together?
You can store same-type, same-voltage batteries together as long as the poles are all facing the same direction.
If possible, keep the batteries in their original packaging. These practices prevent premature loss of power from the batteries.
How long do batteries last?
Different brands make batteries with varying storage lifespans.
On average, household batteries in their original packaging can last anywhere between five and 20 years, depending on their manufacture date.
Even new batteries lose their charge in small amounts over time, which is why their specific shelf life cannot be accurately quantified.
Most rechargeable batteries can be used repeatedly for at least two years.
If you give them proper care, maintenance, and storage, rechargeable batteries can last up to seven years.
On the other hand, car batteries can last about three to four years under regular operation.
Unused and in storage, car batteries can last anywhere between four to seven years.
How do you properly dispose of batteries?
Your local government may have provisions for disposing of all types of batteries.
Most states allow the disposal of single-use household batteries in trash bins, but some have requirements for recycling them.
There are areas where recycling batteries is mandatory, too.
Lithium-ion batteries should be recycled at all times.
If your town has a local recycling center, they may have drop-off schedules for batteries, which means you may need a place to safely store your used batteries for a while.
If you need to throw away large batteries, such as car batteries, you need to recycle them.
The most common practice of recycling car batteries involves going to your local mechanic, car parts store, or car battery retailer.
They can take it off your hands for a small price, and sometimes it is even free.
Properly storing batteries keep children and everyone in the house safe.
Small batteries can be choking hazards, and some batteries can leak hazardous substances.
Batteries in proper storage are far from any premature power depletion, leaks, permanent damage, and even potential explosions.
Remove batteries from unused and broken devices. Also, do not leave rechargeable batteries in battery chargers too long after the “full” indicators have already lit up.
Follow these tips, and you will not only prolong the lifespan of your batteries but also keep your family safe.