6 Care Tips for Storing and Organizing Your Battery Collection

Batteries don’t last forever. They wear out over time. Most likely, your batteries are going to die eventually. Even though you are unlikely to run into trouble using batteries, storing them correctly is crucial to maintaining their lifespan. Here are some tips on organizing and storing your battery collection.

1. Keep Them Cool

Batteries stored at high temperatures are subject to rapid battery degradation due to chemical reactions within the cells. It is best to store batteries at temperatures around 32F, ideally in a refrigerator. In the absence of refrigerated storage, you can use a dehumidifier, which will help keep the temperature low. Exposure to high temperatures also speeds up your battery’s self-discharge rate, which reduces its lifespan.

2. Keep Them Clean

Dirt and dust can accumulate on top of the batteries over time, causing your batteries to be exposed to conditions that are unfavorable for long-term storage. You can clean up your batteries by removing the cell caps, which helps prevent dirt from entering the battery cells.

3. Tighten Up

Batteries must be tight when stored to prevent leakage of chemicals, which would cause corrosion and degrade the battery’s lifespan. You can tighten batteries using a vice or hand screwdriver if your batteries have a threaded cord. Otherwise, you can use a piece of string or a rubber band to hold down the battery terminals (usually marked with “+” and “-” symbols) while tightening both ends with needle nose pliers. Ensure there is no twisting while doing this to prevent over-tightening.

4. Choose the Right Storage Container

Screw-top jars have screw-on lids, which are convenient for holding loose batteries. Ensure the jar is made of good quality glass and has a rubber seal to prevent leakage. You can also use battery cases to store your entire battery collection. The cases are airtight and moisture-resistant to protect your batteries from corrosion. There are two types of battery boxes – vertical cases for AA, AAA, and D cells; and horizontal boxes for 9V batteries. You can stack them vertically or horizontally, depending on your preference. The horizontal box is designed for storing larger batteries that take up extra space.

5. Label Them

Label each battery with the name of its chemistries and voltages so you can easily find out which kind is which when you need to use them for your devices. Other labeling techniques include noting whether the batteries are rechargeable or non-rechargeable, alkaline or lithium type, as well as their date of manufacture (usually written on the side).

6. Don’t Mix Them Up

Batteries from different sources have different charge levels and chemistries. Mixing them up will not only make your batteries unusable, but it may also result in chemical leakage. Always match a battery to its device and check the voltage before using it.

All the storage methods above are effective solutions to ensure your battery collection stays at its optimum level of performance for as long as possible. However, it’s also important to note that old age and repeated usage are taking a toll on your batteries. Whether you are storing your batteries for short or long periods, it is advisable to replace them yearly.