How To Recharge Alkaline Batteries for the Long Term

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A little over a year ago, I shared my experience recharging alkaline batteries.  What a game changer that became!

In the ensuing year I have learned a lot about the practical side of recharging alkalines; mostly that after a few recharge cycles, they tend to leak.  This is especially true of those cheap Kirkland brand batteries from Costco.  Actually, lately those Costco batteries tend to leak even when they are brand new so I avoid purchasing them entirely.

I have also learned that when the battery recharger says BAD, the battery really is bad.  Being stubborn, I will often set the bad battery aside and try it again later.  Sometimes it will charge up but for the most part, I send them off to the recycle box.

Something we tend to overlook is that when a flashlight or gizmo is dead – meaning, of course, the batteries are dead – there is often only one dead battery and the others in the device are okay.  So how do you tell?  I use this inexpensive battery tester gizmo I purchased for testing batteries.  It is nothing fancy but for less than $4, what would you expect?  Anyway, it just works.

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When I find an assortment of partially used batteries, I top off the okay batteries in my recharger and they are good to go for another round.  And the dead batteries?  I try to re-charge those as well and in the past year, have experienced about a 70% success rate.

Note:  Recharging dead alkaline batteries is different from recharging “bad” batteries.

I have been thrilled with both the alkaline battery recharger and my cheapie testing device.  To learn more, here is the original article for your education and enjoyment.

How to Recharge Batteries for the Long Term

How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries

THE FINAL WORD

From time to time I feature bonus articles that are buried in the Backdoor Survival archives.  I hope you enjoy this one and that you use it to enhance your preparedness efforts.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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Bargain Bin: Just a few related items today for your consideration.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. Note: When I purchased the charger, it was on backorder. Oddly, it actually shipped the next day. Go figure.  Anyway, I am really sold on this charger.

SE BT20 9-Volt Battery Tester  You definitely should consider a battery tester even if you decide not to re-charge your alkalines.  The advantage of having a tester is that when a gizmo dies, you can determine whether just a single battery is discharged and not the complete set.  I now own 3 of these and stash them around the house.

SODIAL(TM) Battery Tester Volt Checker for 9V 1.5V and AA AAA Cell Batteries:  This tester has a numeric display – something worth considering although may take two to three weeks to arrive.  As I write this, it is a bit more than $5.00 with free shipping.

AA / AAA 4 Cell Battery Storage Case (Bundle of Six Cases):  I like these little cases.  I put a sticker on the outside of the case indicating that these are re-charged batteries.  About $6 with free shipping.

Solar 11-in-1 Battery Charger: This is a universal charger that does what it is supposed to do. It uses sunlight to generate a current that charges pairs of batteries in sizes AAA, AA, C, and D.

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Comments

How To Recharge Alkaline Batteries for the Long Term — 10 Comments

  1. What type of charger are you using, I have been told you can’t use NiCad battery charger to charge alkaline batteries.

  2. Under the “Bargain Bin” above she lists the Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger with a link to it on Amazon. You can find the same or similar elsewhere, just do a search for “alkaline battery charger”.

  3. A couple of years ago I bought the Rosewill RGD-CT505 Battery Charger for AAA/AA Alkaline and Ni-MH Batteries on Amazon. I’ve got a battery tester I bought years ago from Radio Shack. My experience has been that the top quality brands of alkalines charge better and hold their charges longer, making them a better buy in the long run.

  4. Gaye, I saw a video once about a home being burned from old batteries being stored prior to disposal. The 9 volt battery if still has a charge, which most do, can short out and spark. Most of us know the way to start a fire using a 9 volt battery and steel wool. Well, the same thing can happen when these are stored. I know this has to be the perfect situation, but when I put those in the pile, I take a piece of electrical tape and put over the terminals. Better to be safe than having to replace your home, or worse.
    I also strongly agree with you about Kirkland batteries.

  5. I also have the Maximal Power and use as for my tester. Yep–the remotes, mouse does only have one dead battery–I imagine I have wasted oodles of money discarding perfectly good batteries.
    Inexpensive charger from Amazon.
    I also have a solar battery charger. Use it often.

  6. Thank you for reposting this. It was something that I’ve tried to find a reliable reference for – which item performs best based on someone I trust – and you provided that. Just used your links to purchase all three. Love your site and appreciate all the time and effort you put into giving us such good information.

  7. I have to agree with the guy about Kirkland batteries. For years,
    Kirkland brand was my go to brand but this past month, I opened up my cabinet to get some batteries and all my Kirklands still in the package were leaking. Then noted that the batteries in my various remotes and flashlights that had failed were also Kirklands. Took the package of bad ones back to Costco and they would not refund me since I didn’t have a receipt for them despite the fact the name Kirkland was printed on the package and the batteries. Was very disappointed in Costco.
    Now, only Duracells for me.

    • I am shocked about Costco not accepting the return without a receipt. When I have a return and there is no receipt, they look the item up in my member sales record and there is never an issue. I refuse to use Kirkland brand batteries for all of the reasons you have stated. They have actually ruined some of my electronics.

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