Use these simple tips to extend the charge of both your single-use and rechargeable batteries.
Did you know there are rechargeable versions of traditional AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt batteries? While the rechargeable versions are more expensive up front, you don’t have to replace them as often, so they could end up saving a bundle in the long run.
Products that use rechargeable batteries specify how long you should charge the battery before using the product for the first time. Pay attention to those instructions! They can optimize the battery’s ability to hold a charge and extend the battery’s life.
Also, never let a battery empty completely before recharging, if you can help it. And never overcharge the battery or return a fully charged battery to the charger, as this can shorten its charge. Also, keep the electronics that use your rechargeable batteries out of the sun and heat.
Contrary to popular myth, you should not refrigerate batteries. This will not extend the life of the battery. Do remove batteries when they will not be in use for a while or when the device is plugged in to an outlet. And never try to recharge a battery unless it specifically says “rechargeable”.
Disposing of batteries
Alkaline and lithium batteries can be recycled into new items. Although uncommon, some private or municipal recycling centers do take them. Check Earth911’s locator before sending batteries to the landfill.
Many large electronics stores, office supply chains and other retailers also have receptacles at the entrance to collect and recycle certain types of batteries. Keep an eye out for them as you shop, so you know where to go when you need one.
Please note that you should never dispose of several alkaline or lithium batteries at once, because seemingly dead batteries can come alive and chemically react with each other when they touch. This can be especially harmful for sanitation workers, who may accidentally touch the batteries after they have been interacting for an extended period of time.