Batteries are not all created equal--every battery is not suited to every job. Batteries mismatched with the items that need them can run them down quickly. Knowing how to select the right batteries and how to store them properly will save you time and money by assuring full battery life. Read on to learn more.
Buy batteries that are fresh. Do this by going to a store with a high battery turnover such as a busy toy store or electronics department. Choose from the center of the rack, as store employees are taught to put new merchandise in the very front or back of the displays.
Buy zinc-carbon batteries for items like clocks, flashlights and calculators. Choose heavy duty zinc carbon batteries for small radios, and small lights like penlights. For items that are used constantly or have a high draw such as toys, boom boxes, camera flashes and tape recorders, use alkaline batteries.
Store batteries in the refrigerator inside a sealed plastic bag for keeping them fresh for the longest amount of time. You should leave them out long enough to reach room temperature before you use them.
Take batteries out of items that rarely get used. Put them in a zippered plastic bag. You can tape the bag to the item if possible or you can store them elsewhere, away from heat and light. Don't let them touch anything metal as they can lose power.
Keep batteries warm in your pocket if you need to use them outside. Put them in just before you use them and take them out again to keep warm when you're done.
Don't mix old and new batteries when you use them. The new ones will be stronger and can cause the older ones to leak battery acid. Battery acid is extremely caustic and will cause burns on your skin and anything else it touches. Wear gloves and use caution when removing leaking batteries. Make sure to dispose of batteries properly.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep batteries in zipper bags in the fridge to keep them fresh longer.
- Warm refrigerated batteries to room temperature before using.
- Don't touch a leaking battery without gloves and caution. Battery acid is very caustic and will cause terrible burns to skin and everything else it touches.
- Don't mix old and new batteries--it can cause the older ones to leak.