Lines of batteries standing vertically.

How to Store Batteries Long-Term in a Storage Unit

Lockaway Storage | June 13, 2024 @ 12:00 AM

When it comes to storing items in a storage unit, batteries might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it's important to store your batteries properly to ensure their longevity and safety. In this blog post, we'll explore the best practices for how to store batteries long-term in a storage unit.

General Storage Guidelines

Regardless of the battery type, there are some general guidelines you should follow when storing batteries long-term:

  1. Clean and Dry: Ensure batteries are clean and dry before storing them. Wipe off any residue or moisture to prevent corrosion.
  2. Temperature Control: Store batteries in a cool, dry place. Extreme temperatures can damage batteries and reduce their lifespan. Ideally, you should use a climate-controlled storage unit for batteries – unlike a refrigerator, which is too damp for storing batteries, a climate-controlled unit is both cool and dry.
  3. Separate Storage: Take batteries out of your devices before storage, whenever possible. Leaving them in can drain them and cause leakage and corrosion. When storing batteries long-term, keep them in their original packaging or place them in separate plastic containers. This prevents contact with other batteries or metal objects, which could cause short circuits.
  4. Time in Storage: Different brands and types of batteries have different shelf lives. The usual range for household batteries is 5-20 years in storage. Be sure to check the packaging to see how long your batteries will last.
  5. Charge Level: For rechargeable batteries, store them at around 50% charge. Fully charged or fully depleted batteries can degrade faster over time. Don’t leave them plugged in while they’re in storage!

Understanding Battery Types

Before diving into our tips for how to store your batteries, it's crucial to understand the different types of batteries you might be dealing with:

  1. Alkaline Batteries: Commonly used in household items like remote controls and flashlights.
  2. Lithium-ion Batteries: Found in laptops, smartphones, and power tools.
  3. Lead-acid Batteries: Typically used in vehicles and backup power systems.
  4. Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries: Often, these are rechargeable AA and AAA batteries.

Storing Specific Types of Batteries

Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline batteries are relatively low-maintenance. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. A plastic container with a lid can help keep them organized and protected from dust, moisture, and contact with other batteries.

Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries require a bit more care. Store them at around 40-50% charge and keep them in a climate-controlled environment to avoid temperature extremes. Place them in a fireproof container for added safety, as lithium-ion batteries can be prone to overheating and catching fire if damaged.

Lead-acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries should be stored upright in a well-ventilated area. Ensure they are fully charged before storage, and check the charge level every few months, recharging as necessary. (Try recharging when your battery reaches about 70%.) If you're storing a vehicle battery, disconnect it from the vehicle to prevent any drain.

Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries

Store NiMH batteries at around 40-50% charge in a cool, dry place. Like other batteries, keeping them in a plastic container can help prevent contact with metal objects and reduce the risk of short circuits.

Safety Precautions

  1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Both high and low temperatures can damage batteries and reduce their lifespan. A climate-controlled storage unit is ideal.
  2. Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation, especially for lead-acid batteries, to prevent the buildup of gasses.
  3. Inspect Regularly: Periodically check stored batteries for any signs of leakage, corrosion, or damage. Dispose of any damaged batteries properly.
  4. Fire Safety: Store batteries away from flammable materials and consider using fireproof containers, especially for lithium-ion batteries.


Storing batteries long-term in a storage unit requires some attention to detail, but following these guidelines will help ensure they remain in good condition. By understanding the specific needs of different battery types and taking appropriate safety measures, you can keep your batteries safe and ready for use when you need them. Remember, proper storage not only extends the life of your batteries but also helps prevent potential hazards. Happy storing!

If you found this guide helpful, feel free to share it with others who might benefit from these tips. For more storage-related advice and tips, check out our other blog posts! And when you’re ready to start your storage journey, contact Lockaway Storage to see how we can help you find your storage solution.

Lockaway Storage
What unit size is right for you!

Watch our size guide videos to choose the right unit

Size Guide for storage units

Find storage near me

Recommended locations