Improperly storing or disposing of household batteries can be a huge fire risk, yet many people have never been taught or informed on how to properly store or dispose of them. In fact, many people will simply throw all of their batteries together in a zip bag and call it good! Well, in today’s post, I’m going to elaborate on how to properly store and dispose of common household batteries (like alkaline, carbon zinc, or lithium ion) by sharing some tips.
- Batteries should always be stored in a way that the positive ends can never, ever touch the negative ends of any other batteries. In other words, always store them side-by-side, never end-to-end.
- Batteries should be stored in a dry place at room temperature or below such as a bedroom or the basement. Avoid warm or hot areas such as near the stove in the kitchen.
- Never store batteries in the refrigerator or freezer as this can shorten the life of the batteries.
- Don’t store old and new batteries or a bunch of different kinds of batteries near each other. This can cause the new batteries to leak or rupture.
- Don’t store batteries in the same container as metal objects (such as paperclips or coins) as this can cause them to short circuit, leak, rupture, or get very hot.
- Batteries are best stored in their original packaging or in a battery organizer (you can find a bunch on Amazon or make your own) to prevent them from ever being able to touch end-to-end.
- Keep batteries in a location where small children cannot reach them.
- Never throw batteries into a fire. This will cause them to leak or burst.
- Before disposing of batteries, put tape (such as masking or electrical) over both the positive and negative ends first. This prevents them from getting into contact with other batteries or metal objects and possibly igniting.
- You can just chuck your exhausted batteries into the trash, but the best and safest way to dispose of batteries is to recycle them. Visit Battery Solutions or check at your local office or electronics store for a proper battery disposal service.
- When the batteries in something seem to have died, test them all with a battery tester before properly disposing of them. Often, only one or two batteries have actually died while the others still have some power and can continue to be used.
- Ensure that the battery contact surfaces inside the battery compartment are clean prior to inserting batteries. They can be cleaned using a pencil eraser or some cloth.
- When a device or toy is not going to be in use for a while, remove the batteries to prevent them from losing power, leaking, and/or rupturing while inactive.
- Never attempt to recharge a battery that wasn’t designed to be recharged. This can cause it to leak or rupture.
- If removing a leaking or ruptured battery, wear gloves.
- Remove batteries from any device when it is being run by AC power (i.e. plugged into an outlet).
- Keep rechargeable batteries stored at approximately 40% charge to lengthen their life when used later.