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How-To: Store Your Household Batteries

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Like humans, batteries are perishable products that deteriorate from the start of their lives. But, like eating well and using SPF, there are a few things you can do to slow their aging. Following an old wives' tale, my grandmother always kept her batteries in the freezer. As it turns out, that's not an ideal place to store them. Learn how to store your batteries when you

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  • Batteries should be kept in a cool, dry place — ideally around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Contrary to my grandmother's practice, Duracell and Kodak agree that batteries should not be kept in the freezer. You can store them in a refrigerator, but to prevent condensation you should keep in them a sealed plastic bag. Definitely do not store them in a warm place; this will inhibit their performance.
  • Whenever possible, keep your batteries in their original packaging.
  • Store batteries with their negative and positive terminals AWAY from each other, so that they're not conducting idly.
  • Keep lithium and nickel-based batteries stored at a 40 percent charge.
  • Store new and old batteries separately. If you store them together, power will be drawn from the new one, shortening its life.
  • Leave any plastic caps on your batteries (like the 9V ones) on until you need to use them.
  • If you are not going to be using any battery-operated appliance for a month, remove the appliance's batteries and make sure to store them as stated above.
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