Battery Safety: Do’s and Dont’s
- DO – Remove batteries from the device as soon as possible after they are depleted. Some devices may continue to draw power from exhausted batteries which may cause the batteries to leak.
- DO – Use the correct size and type of battery specified by the manufacturer of your device.
- DO – Store batteries, in their original packaging, in a dry place and at normal room temperature until ready to use.
- DO – Replace all used batteries in your device at the same time. Insert batteries properly, with the plus (+) and minus (–) terminals aligned correctly. CAUTION: Some equipment using more than three batteries may appear to work properly even if one battery is inserted incorrectly.
- DO – Insert batteries by placing the negative end in first, then push the battery down so the positive end clicks into place. This will help prevent damage to the battery or device.
- DO – Keep all batteries in a safe place away from children and pets, particularly the smaller sized batteries.
- DO – Where possible, recycle your batteries where communities offer recycling or collection programs. You can contact your local government for information about the disposal options in your area or utilize the following website - www.call2recycle.org.
- DO – Remove batteries from equipment while it is being powered by household alternating current (except for hardwired smoke alarms that use back up alkaline batteries).
- DON’T – Leave batteries in your device if you suspect it will not be used for several months. Many devices don’t power off completely when switched off and, after time, may cause the batteries inside to leak.
- DON’T – Carry batteries loose in your pocket or purse as they may create a safety risk. They can be shorted by contact with metal objects and may leak, overheat or rupture.
- DON’T – Mix old and new batteries, batteries of different brands, or batteries of different types (for example heavy duty zinc chloride batteries and alkaline batteries) in the same device as this may cause the batteries to leak.
- DON’T – Attempt to recharge non-rechargeable batteries. This can cause your batteries to overheat or leak.
- DON’T – Place your batteries in a refrigerator. This will not ‘recharge’ your batteries, increase storage life, or increase your batteries’ power.
- DON’T – Dispose of large numbers of batteries at one time. Where there are collection programs for used batteries in your area, store used batteries in a non-metal container in a well ventilated area, do not mix the batteries with other items, and bring to the collection facility on a regular basis.
- DON’T – Put batteries or battery-powered devices in very warm places. Extreme temperatures reduce battery performance and may also lead to leakage.
- DON’T – Remove the battery label, or attempt to take the battery apart, or dispose of in a fire as this may lead to rupture and/or chemical burns.
A battery turned warm in my pocket. Is this normal?
No, batteries should not become warm when not in use.
We print a caution on our packaging warning consumers not to carry or store batteries loose in your pocket or purse. They can be shorted by contact with metal objects and leak or rupture and cause personal injury.
Are batteries affected by temperature?
We recommend storing batteries at room temperature in a dry environment. Extreme heat or cold reduces battery performance.
You'll want to avoid putting battery-powered devices in very warm places. In addition, refrigeration is not necessary or recommended.
Can alkaline batteries be recharged?
Only batteries that are specifically labeled "rechargeable" should be recharged.
Any attempt to recharge a non-rechargeable battery could result in rupture or leakage. We recommend that you use NiMH Duracell rechargeables. Paired with one of our different chargers, they can be recharged hundreds of times.
Can I charge other brands’ rechargeable batteries in a Duracell charger?
Yes, Duracell chargers will charge other NiMH AA or AAA batteries.
However, Duracell cannot guarantee the quality, safety, or performance of other battery brands, so using Duracell rechargeable batteries is recommended.
Can I mix old and new batteries?
Do not mix old and new batteries.
Doing so will reduce overall performance and may cause battery leakage or rupture. We recommend replacing all batteries within a device.
Can I recharge any battery?
You can only recharge a battery if it’s specifically marked “rechargeable.”
Recharging a non-rechargeable battery may cause it to rupture or leak and may cause personal injury.
Can I take a battery apart?
No. Do not dismantle batteries.
When a battery is dismantled, contact with the components can be harmful and may cause personal injury or fire.
Can I use batteries underwater or in other vacuum conditions?
No, Duracell batteries are not designed to be used underwater or in vacuum conditions.
The cells are designed to be used under normal atmospheric conditions and in fairly constant temperatures (approximately 21 °C/70 °F).
Do all batteries last the same amount of time?
No, different batteries provide different lengths of life and power output depending on the type and amount of chemicals used to compose them. Think of it like cooking a meal: Using different ingredients and amounts make the meal taste different.
Do Duracell rechargeable battery chargers shut off when charging is complete?
Duracell chargers switch to a trickle charge when the normal charge is complete.
You should unplug your charger when charging is complete or when it is not in use.
Do I have to change all the batteries at the same time?
We do recommend changing all batteries in a unit at the same time.
A partially used battery will drain energy from a new one, reducing the total amount of battery power available.
Do your batteries contain mercury?
No, all versions of Duracell batteries are mercury-free. We are proud to have voluntarily stopped using mercury in our general purpose batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, and 9V sizes) in 1993. Our alkaline batteries are made mainly from common metals steel, zinc and manganese and do not pose a risk to health or the environment if they are used and disposed of appropriately. All hearing-aid batteries have been mercury-free since January 2011, in line with The Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Act.
Does it matter what type of battery I use in my device?
Always replace the battery or batteries in your equipment with the size and type specified by the manufacturer.
Alkaline batteries are often recommended for best performance because zinc carbon batteries have inferior life spans and equipment may not operate properly if zinc carbon batteries are used.
How can I get a better life out of my batteries?
Here are a few tips to help extend the life of your batteries.
- Turn off battery-operated radios and appliances when they’re not in use
- Remove batteries from devices that won’t be used for a while
- Store your batteries in a dry place at normal room temperature without the contacts touching
How do Duracell batteries affect the environment?
In 1993, we voluntarily eliminated added mercury from our batteries.
"Our alkaline batteries are composed of primarily common materials—steel, zinc, and manganese—and do not pose a health or environmental risk in normal use or disposal.
What’s more, we are going green by eliminating PVC clamshells and replacing them with high-fiber content cards and RPET (Recycled PET) blisters. This is a complete, sustainable packaging solution, one of the best PVC alternatives available today.
As the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance alkaline batteries, we recognize our responsibility to help protect the environment. We're committed to designing, manufacturing, and distributing batteries in a way that minimizes impact to the environment. We also participate in the Call2Recycle program to ensure the safe and proper recycling or disposing of batteries."
How do I clean up after a battery leak?
Follow these tips to clean up after a battery has leaked:
Work in a well-ventilated area. Wear household gloves and glasses. Using a toothbrush or cotton swab, remove battery leakage from the electrical contacts. Make sure the electronic device is completely dry before trying a new battery.
To avoid future problems, adopt the following practices:
- Do not mix and match different battery brands in the same device.
- Remove batteries from devices that are being stored.
- To clean any leakage of the following battery types, Alkaline, NiCAD and NiMH batteries, use either one tablespoon of boric acid in one gallon of water or a mixture of equal amounts of diluted vinegar or lemon juice with water (50/50 ratio).
How does a battery work?
Batteries may seem simple, but the delivery of packaged power is a complicated electrochemical process.
Electric current in the form of electrons begins to flow in the external circuit when the device—a light bulb for example—is turned on. At that time, the anode material, zinc, gives up two electrons per atom in a process called oxidation, leaving unstable zinc ions behind. After the electrons do their work powering the light bulb, they re-enter the cell at the cathode, where they combine with the active material, manganese dioxide, in a process called reduction.
The combined processes of oxidation and reduction couldn’t occur in a power cell without an internal way to carry electrons back to the anode, balancing the external flow of current. This process is accomplished by the movement of negatively charged hydroxide ions present in the water solution called the electrolyte. Every electron entering the cathode reacts with the manganese dioxide to form MnOO-. Then, MnOO- reacts with water from the electrolyte. In that reaction, the water splits, releasing hydroxide ions into the electrolyte and hydrogen ions that combine with MnOO- to form MnOOH.
The internal circuit is completed when the hydroxide ions produced in this reaction at the cathode flow to the anode in the form of ionic current. There, they combine with unstable zinc ions, which were formed at the anode when the electrons were originally given up to the external circuit. This produces zinc oxide and water. This completes the circuit (which is necessary to have a constant flow of electricity) and powers your flashlight.
How should I dispose of batteries?
All rechargeable batteries should be recycled. Other batteries can and should be recycled as well. Refer to our Care and Disposal
section to get all the details on this topic.
How should I handle batteries that leaked in a device?
Although most batteries contain chemicals that won’t harm exposed skin, they should still be treated as any chemical would.
Always take precautions when handling exposed battery chemicals. Battery chemicals shouldn’t be placed near the eyes or ingested. Contact a physician immediately if this should occur.
Is it normal for Duracell NiMH Rechargeable batteries to become warm while charging?
Yes, it is normal for both the cells and charger to become warm while charging.
My battery got wet and now there is a white powdery substance on it. What do I do?
In the unlikely event that a battery is wet or covered with a white powdery substance, limit your handling of the battery.
Only handle the battery as required for proper removal and disposal and immediately wash any exposed body surfaces and clothing with soap and water. If contact with the eyes occurs, immediately flush the eyes with running water for at least 15 minutes and then seek immediate medical assistance.
My child likes to play with batteries. Is this ok?
Young children should not play with batteries. Batteries are made to power devices, not to be played with individually.
Remember that while batteries are popular, commonplace devices, they generate portable power by means of potent chemical reactions. Batteries should never be disassembled, abused, mishandled, or treated as toys.
Although most batteries contain chemicals that won’t harm exposed skin, they should still be treated as any chemical would. Always take precautions when handling exposed battery chemicals. Battery chemicals shouldn’t be placed near the eyes or ingested. Contact a physician immediately if this should occur.
To assure safety, use of batteries by children should be closely monitored by a responsible adult.
The telephone number for National Battery Ingestion Hotline is 800-498-8666. If you have questions please call the number for help or more information.
Should I clean the battery compartment?
For best performance, keep battery contact surfaces and battery compartment contacts clean.
Rub them with a clean pencil eraser or a clean cloth each time you replace batteries.
Should I light a battery on fire?
NEVER light or dispose of batteries in a fire—they may explode, rupture, and cause safety risks.
Should I remove batteries from my device if I’m not going to be using it for a while?
Yes. Remove batteries from a device when it is not expected to be in use for several months.
Should I store my batteries in the refrigerator or freezer?
We recommend storing batteries at room temperature in a dry environment.
Extreme heat or cold reduces battery performance. You'll want to avoid putting battery-powered devices in very warm places. In addition, refrigeration is not necessary or recommended.
There are Chinese letters on my batteries. What does it mean?
The characters indicate that the batteries are mercury-free.
What is an alkaline battery?
Duracell pioneered the Alkaline Manganese Dioxide electrochemical system nearly 40 years ago.
In the 1960s, this battery system rapidly became the popular choice of designers in the ever-widening field of consumer electronics. Alkaline or Alkaline Manganese Dioxide cells have many advantages over zinc-carbon cells including up to ten times the ampere-hour capacity at high and continuous drain conditions.
Also, its performance at low temperatures is superior to other conventional aqueous electrolyte primary cells. Other significant advantages are longer shelf life, better leakage resistance, and superior low-temperature performance. Its more effective, secure seal provides excellent resistance to leakage and corrosion. Today, Duracell manufactures two alkaline batteries: Optimum and Coppertop.
What is inside a battery?
Batteries may be small, but they're far from simple. They're highly engineered electrochemical cells.
Chemical energy is converted to electrical energy by a redox reaction. This process takes place between the three major parts of a battery: the anode, cathode, and electrolyte. Different types of batteries use different materials for these parts. The materials for these parts are chosen depending on how well they give up or attract electrons, something that must happen for an electric current to be generated. The anode is often a metal, the cathode is a metallic oxide, and the electrolyte is a salt solution that facilitates the ion flow.
What is the difference between lithium and alkaline?
Lithium and alkaline batteries employ different chemistries for maximum performance in different devices.
Lightweight and compact, lithium batteries often come in distinctive sizes for use in specific devices.
What is your response to recent third-party battery comparison testing against other brands?
Duracell is the #1 brand trusted by consumers all over the world.
Battery performance is not a one-dimensional measurement; several parameters that affect performance data are: discharge characteristics, voltage, energy density, effect of discharge load and temperature as well as shelf life.
Technical bulletins providing detailed information for each battery type are available in the Technical Library.
Testing our designs in both a laboratory environment (following IEC methodologies) along with real life usage studies ensures our innovations continually delight our consumer.
When should I remove batteries from my device?
Batteries should be removed from devices/equipment in the below listed instances:
- The device is not expected to be in use for several months
- The batteries are worn out (to prevent possible damage from battery leakage)
- The device is being powered by household (AC) current
Where can I buy Duracell products?
Right here on Duracell.com.
On every product’s detail page you can find the e-retailers that carry the product and whether it is in stock or not, as well as store locations in your area that carry it.
You should also be able to find many of our products in common stores like drug stores, markets, department stores, warehouse stores, and office supply stores, or as mass merchandise.
Which battery type should I use in extreme temperatures?
If equipment must be used periodically in extreme temperatures, premium alkaline batteries are recommended.
These types perform much better than zinc carbon batteries under such conditions.
Which way does the + and – go?
Carefully follow instructions on your equipment regarding proper insertion of batteries, ensuring that the + (plus) and – (minus) terminals are aligned correctly.
CAUTION: Some equipment using three or more batteries may appear to work properly even if one battery is inserted incorrectly; such usage may lead to battery leakage or rupture that could result in equipment damage.
Who invented the battery?
In the 1860s, George Leclanche of France developed what would be the forerunner of the world's first widely used battery; the zinc carbon cell.
The anode was a zinc and mercury-alloyed rod (zinc, the anode in Alessandro Volta's original cell, proved to be one of the best metals for the job). The cathode was a porous cup of crushed manganese dioxide and some carbon. Into the mix was inserted a carbon rod to act as the current collector. Both the anode and the cathode cup were plunged into a liquid solution of ammonium chloride, which acted as the electrolyte. The system was called a "wet cell.”
Though Leclanche's cell was rugged and inexpensive, it was eventually replaced by the improved "dry cell" in the 1880s. The anode became the zinc can containing the cell, and the electrolyte became a paste rather than a liquid; basically the zinc carbon cell that is known today.
Why use a rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery?
Many of today's high-drain devices like digital cameras require replacing your batteries more often than you're used to—why not choose Duracell NiMH batteries? They can be recharged hundreds of times.
The Duracell rechargeable AA battery is ideally suited for powering digital cameras and other devices that require a lot of power. Also available are AAA batteries, useful in small electronic devices such as MP3 players and handheld games. Duracell rechargeable NiMH batteries and chargers offer you the quality and dependability you've come to trust from Duracell, in a long-lasting, cost-effective power option.