How to Store Batteries at Home

Over the last week, Lilly and I have been pushing our readers to recycle their dead batteries.

That’s all well and good, but it’s not like you’re going to be able to go to your closest recycling agent every week. So what do you do with those dead batteries that will start to pile up? And while we’re at it, what about the new ones?

It’s important to store both dead and new batteries properly. Not only does it make it easy to find them when you need them, but it extends battery life and prevents hazards. Store batteries (new or old) in a cool, dry place. About 15 degrees is ideal and preferably in a high place, out of reach of children.

New Batteries
Try to keep them in the original packaging, this may also help to further distinguish new from old. Store batteries with positive and negative ends away from each other. Otherwise they may conduct electricity, while this may be small it will lead to loss of power, shortening life span. Remove batteries from devices that are used irregularly, this should limit loss of power and prevent damage to the device if they leak.

Rechargeable Batteries
Store them outside of devices, ideally at 40% for batteries with lithium and nickel chemistry. This minimises degradation due to age, while allowing a gradual discharge which is crucial for its operational health.

Always AVOID keeping dead and new batteries together. The risk is that new ones will conduct electricity to the old ones. This could cause corrosion of the outer casing and eventually leakage.

Used Batteries
Batteries should be stored in a cardboard or plastic container. Make sure it isn’t airtight. Label the box “BATTERIES FOR RECYCLING”. Separate damaged or leaking batteries and never mix household batteries with lead acid batteries, from cars or motorbikes.

Stay tuned for information about the places you can recycle used batteries. If you have any suggestions on how to safely store batteries, please feel free to comment. We’d be keen to hear from you.

– Lexie

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