I’ve heard storing batteries in the refrigerator makes them last longer. Is it true?
Many people have been told that storing alkaline batteries in the refrigerator actually prolongs the battery life. But before you start mixing apples and alkalines, there are some things you should know.
The concept of refrigerating batteries originated from a time when batteries were predominately made with mercury. Many people, photographers especially, sought to decrease the amount of mercury dispelled from these batteries while not in use by storing them in colder temperatures.
Eventually, it was discovered that the refrigerator was a great place to accomplish this. Then, in the 80’s, the U.S. government outlawed the sale of mercury batteries due to health concerns. Since then, alkaline batteries have all but replaced the once-dominant mercury cells. Alkaline batteries do not reap the same benefits of refrigerated storage as mercury cells do. Most battery manufacturers still suggest storing your cells at room temperature or slightly below. Most people can get by with storing their alkaline batteries in a jar in a cabinet. Rechargeable batteries are the same way, but you should be careful not to store them for very long without charging them periodically. Rechargeable batteries that are stored for a long time without being charged have a tendency to run down very quickly. Technically, you won’t do any harm to your batteries by refrigerating them. But unless you happen to have a mercury battery lying around, you should probably save room for other, more edible items.