Do Batteries Actually Last Longer In The Fridge?

Today, we’re looking at a common notion that storing your batteries in the fridge makes them last longer. Is this actual true? Let’s discuss it!

Common Myth: Batteries Last Longer In the Fridge

You may heard that putting your batteries in the fridge will help them last longer. Even if you ask Google, you’ll read this myth. People will vouch that it works.

The reason is batteries hold their charge better in cooler conditions. When not plugged in, batteries still slowly release electrons. Cooler temperatures slow down the chemical reaction of self-discharge and help save your battery.

Different sized batteries in a fridge drawer next to carrots.

Truth: Batteries May Last Longer, But You’re Better Off Not Storing Them In the Fridge

However, we don’t advise storing your batteries in the fridge. In fact, major battery brands advise against this as well.

With technological improvements, batteries don’t lose their charge nearly as fast as they did in the past. While the fridge became a cost-saving method for rechargeable batteries that would lose their charge quickly, you’re better off not listening to this myth.

One reason we don’t advise you to store your batteries in the fridge isn’t just the temperature. Condensation can ruin batteries. You don’t want the moisture to damage your batteries.

So, while you thought you might be saving money by putting them in the fridge, you’ll likely spend more to replace them because of the water damage.

What Do Battery Brands Recommend For Safe Storage?

Major battery brands recommend storing your unused batteries at room temperature. This means keeping them in locations between 68-78°F.

While your garage or attic may keep unused batteries out of the way, they’re not ideal unless insulated with air conditioning and heat. The hotter a room gets, the faster a battery will lose its charge. 

Also, consider humidity. Just like a battery will absorb moisture in a fridge, it will also absorb moisture from the air. This is another reason to avoid the garage or attic if it’s not well-ventilated and insulated.

If you live in a humid environment, you might want to store batteries in an air-tight container.

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Tips For Storing Batteries Long-Term

Whether you need to store AAA Duracell batteries or a lead-acid battery from your camper, you want to do so properly.

You don’t want to return your RV battery to the trailer in April to find out it drained its power during winter storage. So, we have a few tips to help you store batteries long-term and avoid paying for new batteries.

A battery storage container with the lid open showing all of the different sized batteries.
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Household Batteries

First, always take batteries out of unused devices. Store the batteries separately if you’re packing away flashlights or Thermacells until the next camping season. This avoids leaking and corrosion inside the device.

Keep batteries in their package until you need them. If you don’t have the packaging, face the positive ends in the same direction so the opposing ends don’t touch each other. This prevents a slow discharge.

Also, keep batteries stored together based on their age and type. Older batteries can pull energy from newer batteries. Keep AAA batteries of the same age together, AA batteries of the same age, C batteries of the same age, and so on.

An up close shot of rows of different colored and sized batteries.

Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries need to have some charge before storing them. You’ll want to have at least a 40% charge.

If they’re completely depleted, they may not recharge later. Then, when you get them back out, charge them fully before inserting them into any devices. Follow the same tips mentioned above about household batteries for rechargeable batteries.

Vehicle Batteries

If you’re not planning on using a vehicle for several months, take out the battery. But make sure it’s fully charged before doing so.

For RVs with lead-acid batteries, this might mean adding water. Ensure it’s clean of corrosion before storing it in a cool location.

You don’t want to keep a vehicle battery in a room that will get below freezing. So, if you’re storing your battery on a shelf in your garage, you’ll want to reconsider if you live in a state like Wisconsin.

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Check out RV Lithium Batteries Won’t Save You Money in the Long Run before buying yours.

How Long Do Batteries Last In Storage?

Household batteries can last for years in their original packaging when stored properly. Individual manufacturers will have information about their particular batteries.

For example, according to Energizer, shelf life varies from 12 months to 20 years. Energizer Recharge batteries last up to 12 months in storage, while Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA and AAA can last up to 20 years.

Duracell Coppertop AA and AAA alkaline batteries with POWER BOOST ingredients will last up to 12 years in storage.

Vehicle batteries are another story. If they aren’t used for months, they’ll slowly discharge. You can top off your batteries periodically to help extend their shelf life. But it’s likely a vehicle battery stored for more than six months to a year won’t work when you get it back out.

However, a new unused battery could keep its charge for up to two years.

A man lifting a new car battery into an engine with the hood up.

Save Your Wallet And Your Devices With Proper Battery Storage

When it’s time to put away the camper for the winter, take out the batteries from all your devices to prevent corrosion and damage.

Properly store the batteries in a room-temperature location with all ends facing the same way. If needed, top off your lead-acid battery and ensure it has a full charge.

These tips will extend the life of your batteries and eliminate unnecessary expenses once it’s time to get out the camper in the spring. No matter what, don’t put those batteries in the fridge! Keep them at room temperature and dry.

Have you ever pulled out a battery from storage to realize it’s dead and no longer useful?

Last update on 2024-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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