With so many household and personal gadgets requiring batteries, there are ways to save money and the charge. This guide is about getting more life from batteries.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
I have several watches. Some for good, some for everyday. When I am not wearing the watches, I pull out the stem and that makes them stop working. This saves on the life of the battery and won't wear them down when they aren't being worn.
By dwedenoja from New Creek, WV
Although I always try to use rechargeable batteries, once in a while, I have none charged for my camera and need to buy some for going to an event. I have found that when these batteries die out for the camera, they still work just fine in a less energy demanding item, such as a clock or remote control. I have used some of these batteries in clocks for up to a year.
I store my batteries in Ziplock bags in the fridge. It's simple enough to just have a different bag for each size. They are easy to access, and supposedly storing them in the fridge will give them longer life! I mostly store them there because then I know where they are!
By Pam T. from Storm Lake, IA
I have a battery powered drill. The batteries for it cost over $11 each and it takes 2 batteries. I only use the drill a few times a year. A friend told me that if I stored the batteries in their boxes instead of in the drill, they would last longer. It works! Sometimes the batteries need to be recharged before the drill will run if it hasn't been used for a long time, but I always check the night before.
Now I always take the batteries out of anything - camera, walkman tape player, radio, etc. - when I know I won't be using it for a long time. This will also keep you from being surprised by leaking, crusty batteries that have been sitting for far too long.
By DeBushe 
When the batteries in my remotes stop working, I open the remote and roll them around. They will work for a long time yet. I even do it a few times more and they will work again. It sure saves on buying batteries.
By Betty from Fond du Lac, WI
I have a preventative tip to avoid those times when it's difficult to remove the dead batteries from electronics equipment. Whenever I need to replace batteries in anything, I put a long strip of tape around each battery, leaving a "tail" hanging. When it comes time to replace the batteries, I simply pull on the tape "tail" around the battery which easily removes the battery. This is quite a frustration saver for remotes, PDAs, CD players or anything else that uses batteries.
In regards to your tip about putting flashlight batteries in backwards to prevent accidental discharge, many designs of flashlights will allow them to operate even if both batteries are reversed. Also, even one battery reversed will allow discharge if accidentally switched on. The best thing to do is:
A) Remove batteries, especially if not being used for extended periods of time (to prevent leakage).
B) Place a piece of masking or similar tape on one of the battery terminals. This electrically isolates the batteries from the flashlight. Simply remove tape to use.
By Jeff from Norco, CA
Household batteries include both single-use and rechargeable dry cell batteries used to power toys, cameras, radios, flashlights, hearing aids, and many other portable products. Nearly all households produce waste batteries, in fact Americans use and discard about 3 billion batteries every year. That adds up to 125,000 tons of battery garbage. This waste may contain heavy metals that can find their way into the environment if the batteries are not disposed of properly. By reducing battery use, recharging reusable batteries, and recycling, you can cut down on the effect your battery use has on the environment.
Evaluate purchasing battery powered items. Items that require a plug-in or manual operation may work as well or better than battery operated items.
Avoid purchasing batteries containing mercury. Shop for batteries that contain no added mercury.
Reduce overall waste by using rechargeable batteries. Ni-Cd batteries can be recharged and reused up to 1,000 times before you need to replace them and rechargeable alkaline manganese batteries can be reused up to 25 times before needing to be replaced.
Using rechargeable batteries will save you money in the long run. Instead of continuously buying new batteries you'll simply keep recharging the old ones. The initial investment of rechargeable batteries and a charger will quickly pay for itself, as well as generating far less waste.
Rechargeable Ni-Cd and Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries contain nickel, cadmium and/or lead that can be recycled at household hazardous waste collection sites.
Button batteries contain mercury and silver that can be recycled. These batteries should also be brought to a household hazardous waste collection site.
Nearly all households produce waste batteries, in fact Americans use and discard about 3 billion batteries every year.
|Battery Type||Common Name||Common Use||Proper Disposal|
|Alkaline. Manganese||Coppertop, Alkaline, Energizer||Flashlights, calculators, toys, clocks, smoke alarms, remote controls||Place in trash|
|Button||Mercuric Oxide, Silver Oxide, Lithium, Alkaline, Zinc-air||Watches, hearing aids, toys, greeting cards, remote control||Bring to household hazardous waste collection site|
|Carbon Zinc||"Classic," Heavy Duty, General Purpose, All Purpose, Power Cell||Flashlights, calculators, toys, clocks, smoke alarms, remote controls, transistor radios, garage door openers||Place in trash|
|Lithium||Usually states "Lithium" on the label||Cameras, calculators, computer memory back-up, tennis shoes||Place in trash|
|Usually unlabeled or labeled "Ni-Cd"||Flashlights, toys, cellular phones, power tools, computer packs||Bring to household hazardous waste collection site|
|Reusable Alkaline Manganese (Rechargeable)||Renewal||Flashlights, calculators, toys, clocks, radios, remote controls||Place in trash|
|Sealed Lead Acid (Rechargeable)||"Gel," VRB, AGM, Cyclone, Dynasty, El Power, Gates, Lithonia, Saft, Panasonic, Yuasa||Video Cameras, power tools, wheelchairs, ATV's cameras, metal detectors, clocks||Bring to household hazardous waste collection site|
By Ellen Brown
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Here are questions related to Getting More Life from Batteries.
Can a watch battery go dead with the stem pulled out? I replaced a bunch of watch batteries and left the stem out on all of them. They went dead after 2 years. How long should they last with stem out? I kind of forgot about them, so was surprised when they were all dead!
By Carol from St. Joseph, MO
By Carol 06/16/2013
Some watches disconnect the power with the stem out, some don't possible. We buy batteries real, real cheap at the flea market.
How long should a battery in a cordless phone last? Mine is just 2 years old and says low battery and will not hold a charge for more than 5 minutes. A new battery for this phone is $26.00. How do you take care of a cordless phone to make the batteries last longer? Is there a way to extend this batteries life? Is there such a thing as a generic phone battery? Thanks for reading and I will appreciate any and all advice.
Helen from Sassy
By Cricket 05/09/2009
I've also gotten batteries from Batterydepot.com and they are great! I've gotten batteries from there that I never would have thought replacement batteries were made for! And the prices are extremely reasonable. Especially when you consider the cost of replacing the item.
But it does sound like your battery is defective. Plus, as Mary T said, keeping it on the charger all the time when it's not in use will cause the battery life to be shortened big time. I let mine run down completely about once a month. Then give it a full charge. So far it's done great.
By D. Heil
The only problem I have is the kids use them and sometimes misplace them so now I have them exchange their drained batteries for recharged ones. If they get caught stealing them, they have to buy their own and replace mine. I am tough about that but they cost $10 for 4 batteries. After charging them 100's of times they are worth the price.
The charger was about $20 but it has lasted over 2 years and been dropped, so it is a tough little thing. I really think very highly of these and I am a total critic about where my money goes. I still have the original 8 batteries going and use them in my headphones daily.
By T. BURNS
To help condition your batteries, let your phone or computer batteries run down once a month to the point that the battery is nearly out of life. Then charge it fully. This will prolong the life of the battery and maintain the length of charge you expect for longer.
Do you have any more tips for saving money on batteries? Please post them below.
By Loi (Guest Post)06/16/2008
Don't throw used AA or AAA batteries. I usually keep them and use them if my wall clocks' (I have seven wall clocks at home) batteries no longer work.
My question is... Does putting batteries in the freezer extend their life? I have been told that it does. Can someone answer this question. Thank you,
By Rob 03/10/2009
Freezing batteries usually kills them. I accidentally left some out in our garage for a few days - the air temperature was around -15 'C (A home freezer should be about -18 'C). When I tried them, they were all dead.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
Would it help my watch battery last longer if I pulled the pin at night so it didn't run for that period of time? I have 2 watches and they always go dead about the same time.
Sandy from Baltimore
As soon as I return home from work, I take my watch off. I always pull the pin out to stop the time and therefore save on battery usage. It only takes a second in the morning to set the time and I won't have to replace the battery as often.
By Kathy from Houston, TX
By Teresa Kay