People store batteries for a variety of reasons. Some want to sell them or keep them as spares. Others retain batteries until it's time to take them to a disposal facility. Regardless of such reasons, it is important to keep them in a safe place and take the proper precautions. This will minimize the loss of power, prevent rust, limit corrosion and reduce the risk of fire.
How to Store Batteries
First, you will need to remove and examine the battery in question. Be careful not to create a short circuit in the process. Large car and boat batteries have the potential to cause serious electrical shocks. Popular Mechanics magazine recommends disconnecting the negative terminal of a car battery first. Check the battery for any corrosion or other damage. Carefully remove corrosion from large, valuable batteries. If a small household battery has corroded, put masking tape over the terminals and dispose of it as soon as possible.
Manufacturers recommend charging used automotive batteries before you store them, according to PowerStream. Storing a battery with little power in it will increase the likelihood of permanent failure. For more information, refer to the charger and battery instructions. Next, you can find a suitable location to store the battery.
Where to Store Batteries
Household batteries may be stored in drawers and cabinets. Consider putting them in plastic cases or their original packages. It's possible to swallow a very small battery; keep them away from young children and pets. For maximum safety, store automotive and marine batteries away from your living quarters. When temperatures fall below zero, don't leave them in an unheated building overnight.
Keep batteries away from heating devices and flammable substances. They can explode in a fire. Don't store them in a motor vehicle. Try to avoid high temperatures, water, humidity and direct sunlight. It's best to keep automotive batteries at temperatures below 80 F. Do not put any type of battery near a metal object that could cause a short circuit.
How to Dispose of Batteries
If a battery becomes damaged or no longer works, try to dispose of it quickly. Many kinds of batteries contain toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances. Local dumps and transfer stations usually accept automotive and rechargeable units. You may also take car batteries to auto parts stores, gas stations and various other retailers. A few companies and organizations specialize in recycling other types, such as carbon-zinc and lithium.