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Use these simple tips to extend the charge — and life — your device’s batteries.
Hold the charge longer
To optimize the lifetime of your rechargeable battery:
- Products that use rechargeable batteries will tell you how long to charge the battery before using the product for the first time. Pay attention to the instructions, because they can optimize the battery’s ability to hold a charge and extend the battery’s life.
- Never let your device’s battery empty completely before recharging, if you can help it.
- Never overcharge the battery or return a fully charged battery to the charger, as this can shorten its charge.
- Keep your devices out of the sun and heat, as this can wear down or damage the battery.
How to Recycle or dispose 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 to sanitation workers, who may accidentally touch the batteries after they have been interacting for an extended period of time.
- Contrary to popular myth, you should not refrigerate batteries. This will not extend its life.
- Do remove batteries when they will not be in use for a while or when the device is plugged into an outlet.
- Never try to recharge a battery unless it specifically says “rechargeable”.