Learning, Battery,

Does Freezing Batteries Recharge Them? (Find Out!)

Hey folks! Have you ever found yourself with a dead battery and wondered if putting it in the freezer could recharge it?

In this article, I’ll explore the science behind batteries, explain why some people think freezing them works, and give you the final verdict on whether or not you should try.

Key Takeaway “Freezing batteries to recharge them is a myth. It can damage the battery, shorten its lifespan, and won’t recharge it. Store batteries in a cool, dry place and use a proper charger for optimal performance.”

I will go into more detail below.

Why Freezing Batteries is a Bad Idea

As someone who has been working with batteries for a long time, I can tell you that freezing batteries is not a good idea. While recharging batteries by freezing them might seem good, it’s quite the opposite. Here are a few reasons why:

Firstly, freezing batteries can damage them. The cold temperature can cause the battery casing to rupture or the internal cells to fail. This can lead to leakage or even explosions in extreme cases. So, if you want your batteries to last longer, the freezer is not the place to store them.

Secondly, while it is true that some batteries of the past held their charge for longer when kept in cold conditions, battery chemistry has come a long way since then. More often than not, storing your modern batteries in the freezer will do more harm than good. In fact, it can shorten their lifespan.

Thirdly, batteries should be stored in a dry, clean, and room-temperature environment. The moist environment in the freezer won’t be safe for the battery. In addition, extreme temperatures can cause the battery to lose its charge quicker than if stored at room temperature.

Lastly, putting batteries in the freezer will not recharge them. It might slow down the chemical reaction in the battery, but it won’t recharge it. To recharge your batteries, you must use a proper charger designed for that specific type of battery.

If you want your batteries to last longer, store them in a dry, clean, and room-temperature environment and use a proper charger to recharge them.

top shot of the other top end of the batteries


The Freezing Myth

The exact origins of the myth that freezing batteries can recharge them are hard to trace, as it seems to be one of those pieces of folk wisdom that has been around for a long time. This myth likely originated from misinterpretations of legitimate advice and a misunderstanding of the actual science involved in battery operation.

One possible source of this myth could be that batteries perform differently in different temperatures. In cold temperatures, the chemical reactions inside a battery can slow down, which can cause the battery to deliver less current. When the battery is warmed up again, it might seem like it has been “recharged” because it can now deliver more current than it could when it was cold. However, this doesn’t mean the battery has gained any additional energy; it can deliver its stored energy more effectively.

Another possible explanation could be confused with the advice to store unused batteries in a cool place to prolong their shelf life. Lower temperatures can slow down the self-discharge rate of batteries when they’re not in use, making them last longer. However, this is different from recharging used batteries.

Battery MythsFacts
Freezing recharges batteriesStoring batteries in the freezer is safe.
Cold storage extends battery lifeWhile true for some older batteries, modern batteries perform best when stored at room temperature. Cold storage can hurt battery performance.
Cold storage extends battery life.Freezers provide a moist environment that is not safe for batteries. Batteries should be stored in a dry, clean place at room temperature.
Freezing slows down battery dischargeFreezing a battery may slow down chemical reactions temporarily, but it won’t significantly extend battery life or improve performance. Proper storage conditions and usage patterns have a more significant impact.

If you want to get the most out of your batteries, store them at room temperature and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

two men checking battery that is put in ice


The Effect of Freezing on Batteries

When it comes to batteries, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. One of the most common myths is that putting batteries in the freezer will recharge them. As someone who has worked with batteries for years, I can tell you that this is simply not true.

While it’s true that cold temperatures can slow down the chemical reactions inside a battery, freezing them can actually be harmful. When you freeze a battery, the moisture inside can freeze and expand, causing the battery to leak or even rupture. This can be dangerous, especially if the battery is a lithium-ion battery.

But even if the battery doesn’t leak or rupture, freezing it won’t recharge it. Batteries work by converting chemical energy into electrical energy. Freezing a battery won’t magically create more chemical energy, so the battery won’t have any more power when you take it out of the freezer than it did when you put it in.

In fact, freezing a battery can actually shorten its lifespan. Batteries are designed to be used at room temperature, and subjecting them to extreme temperatures can cause them to degrade more quickly. If you freeze your batteries, they may not last as long as if you stored them at room temperature.


Alternatives to Freezing Batteries

Storing Batteries Properly

Firstly, keeping batteries in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, is important. This can help prevent them from overheating and leaking, which can cause damage to the battery and any device it’s installed in.

Secondly, it’s important to store batteries in their original packaging or in separate containers to prevent them from coming into contact with other metal objects. This can help prevent short circuits, which can cause the battery to discharge quickly and potentially damage the device.

Lastly, checking the expiration date on batteries before using them is important. Expired batteries can lose their charge quickly and may not work at all, which can be frustrating and potentially dangerous.

Rechargeable Batteries

Another alternative is to use rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be used multiple times, saving money and reducing waste.

When using rechargeable batteries, following the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storing them is important. Overcharging or undercharging can damage the battery and reduce its lifespan.

It’s also important to note that not all devices are compatible with rechargeable batteries. Some devices require a certain voltage or type of battery, so it’s important to check the device’s manual before using rechargeable batteries.




References

Organizations:

  1. Battery University – Provides comprehensive information on battery technologies and best practices. https://batteryuniversity.com/
  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Offers guidance on battery recycling and environmental impact. https://www.epa.gov/recycle/used-household-batteries

Books:

  1. “Battery Technology Handbook” by H.A. Kiehne – Provides in-depth knowledge on battery technology and applications.
  2. “The Chemistry of Batteries and Fuel Cells: A Modern Introduction” by Geoffrey H. W. Sanders – Explores the chemistry behind batteries and fuel cells.

Websites:

  1. Energizer. https://www.energizer.com/about-batteries/battery-care
  2. Duracell. https://www.duracell.com/en-us/battery-care-and-disposal

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About Alex Robertson

AvatarCertifications: B.M.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Mechanical Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Hi, I’m Alex! I’m a co-founder, content strategist, and writer and a close friend of our co-owner, Sam Orlovsky. I received my Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (B.M.E.) degree from Denver, where we studied together. My passion for technical and creative writing has led me to help Sam with this project.

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