Why is it important to know how to store batteries? Because improper storage of your regular household batteries can be dangerous.
A few years ago a friend told me this story:
They experienced a damaging fire in their home.
Improperly stored batteries.
Like many people, they had a container for batteries in their linen closet. They would just toss batteries in there and pull out the ones they need.
What they found out (the hard way) was that you should always store batteries with the positive and negative contacts away from each other – they should NOT touch.
I didn't know that either.
How to Store Batteries the Right Way
In fact, I don't really see it discussed – even in these lists of how to store batteries from battery giants like Duracell and Energizer:
- Duracell, a leading manufacturer of batteries, has a huge list of pointers about how to store batteries
- Energizer, another leading battery manufacturer has this list of do's and don'ts
The closest guidance comes from the Energizer list:
DON’T carry loose batteries in a pocket or purse with metal objects like coins, paper clips, etc. This can short-circuit the battery, leading to high heat or leakage.
But after the story I heard from my friend, I wasn't taking any chances.
I learned that the best way to store batteries is in their original packaging. Those plastic inserts actually keep the battery contacts away from each other.
But we all know what happens as you use them up – the remaining batteries start moving around.
The same thing happens when you store batteries in plastic storage bins – they also slide around and you risk having the contacts touch.
The best solution is to buy storage containers specifically designed for battery storage.
Here are some that I found.
Battery Storage Options
Small Battery Storage Boxes
If you don't have a lot of batteries these battery storage box organizers are a nice idea.
They come in a set of two and they have plastic dividers built right in. The dividers are spaced differently. This way you can fit large D batteries all the way down to small AAA batteries in the same container.
They are good for travel and also for small spaces.
However, I tend to buy batteries in bulk at Costco, so these boxes are a little small for my needs.
Battery Storage Case
This battery storage case is more along the lines of what would work for my family.
It holds a mix of up to 93 different sized batteries from AAA to D and flat batteries, too.
Single Sized Battery Storage
If you tend to buy a lot of AA and AAA batteries, then this battery storage box might be the right one for you.
We always have more AA batteries than any other type. It seems that my kids need this size more for game controllers, calculators, and other gadgets that they use.
Important Considerations for Battery Storage
There are many choices of battery storage available on Amazon and at other retailers.
To choose the right one for you, keep the following points in mind:
- The battery storage container should be designed to keep the positive and negative battery contacts from touching each other.
- It should be large enough to fit the number of batteries that you usually have on hand. You can store unopened packages of batteries in their original packaging and then move them to the battery storage box once you open the pack.
- The box or case should fit in the space that you have and be easily accessible – so that you actually use it.
- Pay attention to the lid. Some boxed snap shut while others just close lightly. If you travel with your batteries or stack them, then a lid that snaps shut may be more useful to you.
Respect the Power
The bottom line is that batteries are powerful – pun totally intended.
As a consumer, you need to respect that power and take steps to store your batteries responsibly.
Read through the lists of do's and don'ts from the battery manufacturers.
And either store your batteries in their original packaging or buy some battery storage boxes for safety.
Also, remember to recycle your batteries when they are all used up. Most recycling centers do take alkaline batteries – you can check with yours.