How to Safely Store Batteries

Learn how to safely organize new batteries in your home and properly dispose of the old ones using the following methods.

Batteries are often that one item that's the most difficult to find at the very moment we need them most. The ones we throw in the junk drawer are more than likely dead, leading us to pull them out of the TV remote or anything else we can think of, even if only temporarily. This game of musical chairs—but with batteries in lieu of people, and electronics in place of seats—only leads to everyone in the house being frustrated when their things won't power on.

Fortunately, there's a simple solution to this disorganization problem. There are easy ways to efficiently contain the batteries that are working while also getting rid of the ones that no longer do. We've rounded up the best ideas for how to store batteries so you can easily put a plan into action for your home.

batteries stories in pink file cabinet
Jason Donnelly

Where Is the Best Place to Store Batteries?

Before you start organizing, there are a few safety tips you need to know about where batteries should or should not be placed.

According to Energizer, batteries are best stored in "a cool, dry place at normal room temperature." That means avoiding any and all areas of the house that are even remotely damp, hot, and humid. Despite the rumor that batteries can last longer if you place them in the refrigerator, Energizer explains that it's not necessary to do so.

It's also a good idea to keep them up and away from any children or pets in the home, especially small batteries that can easily fit in their mouths. If you plan to implement any of the following ideas, keep that in mind when thinking about placement.

Is Using a Battery Specific Organizer is Important?

The safest and most effective ways to store batteries is to use an organizer made specifically for them. Thankfully, as the home organization trend only seems to be increasing with time, more and more of these types of containers are seen popping up on the shelves.

Some organizers are larger and even include a battery tester, which can be helpful if you have a lot of batteries. If you don't own a lot of batteries, consider opting for a smaller (and usually more aesthetic) option. Most battery organizers come with labeled compartments so you know exactly where to place your AA, AAA, D, and 9 volt batteries.

Having individual slots for each battery keeps them more protected as they can't rub up against each other. According to Panasonic, "If loose batteries contact each other, or if the terminals come into contact with other metal objects, this could cause short-circuit." This is why throwing individual batteries into a plastic bag or even lining them up neatly in a junk drawer as you may have seen a time or two on social media isn't the best idea. The less of a chance they have to touch, the better.

Other than for safety reasons, using a battery specific organizer can also prevent a trail of them throughout the house. By dedicating a specific spot, whether in the kitchen, living room, or linen closet (so long as it's not within a bathroom with high humidity) as the place where the battery organizer lives, you can prevent them from cluttering up every corner, crevice, or couch cushion you own. Knowing when it's time to replace them is also a cinch because it's obvious to tell by simply seeing the empty slots.

Consider Keeping Them in Their Packaging

If you're itching to have every area of your home look like The Home Edit organizers had their hands in it themselves, you may be tempted to jump on the decanting trend (where you take everything out of its original packaging and put it into a different sort of container). The idea is that it should be easier to reach for when needed, and usually looks nicer than storing items in whatever type of package you bought it in.

However, storing batteries close together without a barrier could pose a safety issue—so it's best to skip this trend when it comes to batteries unless you use a specific organizer that gives them room to breathe. Otherwise, experts recommend leaving them in their original packaging. Another way to incorporate a professional organizing effect for your batteries is to take the individual packages and line them up using dividers in a drawer.

How to Safely Dispose of Batteries

Once a battery—rechargeable or not—has finally reached the end of its life, it's important to recycle them properly. It's not always easy to know how or where to do, so as it can vary from town to town. According to Energizer, "regulations may vary in your municipality or state so please check your local regulations." The battery producing company also recommends visiting Earth911 or Call2Recycle® to get more information on where, when, and how to dispose of batteries.

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