Maximize the Life of Your (Rechargeable) Batteries

Rechargeable AA batteries are a bit more expensive to buy, but are cheaper in the long term investments when purchased with a battery charger.
Rechargeable AA batteries are a bit more expensive to buy, but are cheaper in the long term investments when purchased with a battery charger. | Source

I've Got the Power!

Batteries energize our lives giving us accessibility to non-stop contact with friends and family members all over the world. Thanks to technology, we have all kinds of batteries in our digital cameras, smart phones and MP3 players. How dependent we are on the life force of the tiny, but powerful battery. How can we support these little dynamos? If you follow these tips, you may be surprised to learn that they have the power to function for the life of your electronic device.

Due to the demands of heightened technology like Apple iPhones / Android Smart Phones, hungry batteries usually need refueling after 24 hours. Increased battery life means saving money on replacement batteries. Many users are shocked to find out that batteries can cost as much as the device itself! Sometimes all you need to do is clean the area around the battery to find that your battery’s sensitive life will be optimized.

If your batteries seem to losing their edge, with a weaker charge or less long-lasting than you would like, consider these options for enhancing their performance and longevity:

Types of battery rechargers

  • Wall chargers using standard grounded electricity
  • USB chargers which can charge up electronic devices by way of laptop
  • Automobile chargers using the cigarette lighter and an adaptor
  • .... are there any others that I forgot?

Live and Let Die

  1. Let your cellular phone go (nearly) completely dead before charging it up again. Pushing the battery to the limit doesn’t hurt it – it helps stretch out the life of your battery and your apparatus. Once you charge it up again, your battery will hold its charge much longer than before. It expands its range, so to speak, like regular exercise.
  2. Jump off the Grid and be unavailable for a while. It's best to turn off your cellular phone while recharging it. This enables the device to concentrate on just one thing – refueling. Even machines need a break. Give your helpful device the time it needs to sleep and recharge. Either give it the evenings off by shutting it off during family dinner time, or recharge it during your own sleeping hours when you are less likely to be needing it. (In that case you may need to use a formal alarm clock for waking up in the morning.)

Snap a Picture

My Nikon Cool Pics is the best digital camera I've had so far.  It uses rechargeable AA batteries which need recharging every month or so.
My Nikon Cool Pics is the best digital camera I've had so far. It uses rechargeable AA batteries which need recharging every month or so. | Source

Rules for Cordless Telephones

Not all devices are created equal, and I was surprised to learn that cordless phones are really different! Each new charging session counts. It pays to plan ahead - make those eight or ten phone calls, and then set it back down onto the cradle again. Why? Because each phone battery has only a limited number of charging cycles in it.

When you put it back on the charging cradle, the charging cycle starts from zero once again.

How to get around this?

Best to keep it on the side (resting on a table) until you have made all your phone calls, then set it back on the charging cradle to begin its charging cycle. If your cordless telephone battery has 300 to 500 charging cycles, and you'd like to keep your battery functioning for a year, it should receive no more than one to two charging cycles a day. Use it for the morning's business calls – then “put it to bed”.

Handheld toys and electronic gadgets for business and for pleasure.
Handheld toys and electronic gadgets for business and for pleasure. | Source

If your cellular phone gets soaked...

I was able to save my smart phone after my daughter absent-mindedly passed it to me over a water pitcher. It fell in, of course, and we got it out quick.

  1. Open the back
  2. Remove the battery
  3. Use a towel to dry it
  4. Use a hair dryer to dry it completely on a cool / medium low setting
  5. Pray a little

Direct Sunshine, Heat and Cold

Other battery killers are extreme temperatures, both cold and hot.

Beware of direct sunlight on your mobile devices. This is not good for the battery nor for the device. By keeping them in a protected place, like purse, bag or coat pocket, they will stay a stable temperature and not attract unwanted attention. Small zipper cases may be used or just a purse compartment.

They are, after all, mini computers.

Charge it!

Many types of recharging devices are shown here, including the car battery recharger, which is not recommended.
Many types of recharging devices are shown here, including the car battery recharger, which is not recommended. | Source

Cigarette Lighter Battery Chargers

For those who travel a lot, automobile / cigarette chargers look like a lifesaver. Poorly fitted to a weaker electrical energy source, they should be avoided at all costs. They actually do more harm than good! Because the battery charge from the automobile’s electric current is not as strong as a grounded wall current, they tends to drain the battery while simultaneously charging it up!

if you really are stuck between a rock and a hard place, use a charger specifically designed for your device, not a generic all purpose one. The better the fit, the better results you will have. In any case, a grounded wall charge is superior to any automobile electrical current. I also travel a lot and use a wall grounder at restaurant stops during a road trip - it will keep your battery alive and healthier much longer.

Solar Garden Lighting

These four power strips drink in sunshine which energize the garden lights in place of electricity.  A dust free receiver works better and the battery will function longer.
These four power strips drink in sunshine which energize the garden lights in place of electricity. A dust free receiver works better and the battery will function longer. | Source

Solar Power Receivers

Solar panels use batteries, too. After drinking in sunlight, they hold their power charges. But for how long of a time? If you are finding a weak or unstable performance, it may only mean that your contacts are dirty and the necessary amount of power is not making its way into the source point.

What to do? Simply clean the contacts and the housing area where the batteries are stored. They may have accumulated a layer of dust and dirt. Also keep clean the areas where the solar power / sunlight is being absorbed. This dust blocks the power source – the sun – and after wiping down the reception area, you may be pleasantly surprised to see that your panels are functioning perfectly, after all!

Battery Q and A

I use a rechargeable batteries, recharging them occasionally

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Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are a little bit different. First seen in hand held calculators from the late 1970s, they resemble tiny silver buttons.

Unlike other batteries, they require recharging once a month. Objects like MP3 players, tablet computers and some laptops require lithium batteries. Unless they are charged regularly, they won't be able to keep a charge when you need them.

Since their recharging needs are infrequent, why not pick a day, once a month, in which to charge them up. We all know the expression, if you don't use it, you lose it. So charge them up and look forward to a long life of portable technology by keeping your batteries well charged and in good condition.

Even if you are called out of town, ask a friend to charge them up for you. They are not inexpensive batteries to buy, so use them wisely. If not, they will stop MP3 Player or Laptop may stop working all together because the lithium batteries are no longer rechargeable.

MP3 Player

Tiny digital devices utilize tiny button style lithium batteries, which require recharging once a month to keep them functioning.
Tiny digital devices utilize tiny button style lithium batteries, which require recharging once a month to keep them functioning. | Source

Some Common Sense Tips

Last but not least, unplug your device when you are not using it. A laptop with a battery should be uplugged when you turn it off to not drain the battery. Electricity charges it over, and over again, much like a hamster on a treadmill.

When the cellular phone is full, remove it from the charger as soon as possible.

Even CD players with batteries are better off unplugged when you are not listening to the radio by electricity.

Try these and see if your devices don't feel your love and care and begin to perform better and longer!

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Comments 2 comments

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'm going to try some of these tips because it seems to me my rechargeable batteries are always dying before they should. Voting this Up and Useful.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks, Alocsin , though it took me awhile to respond. I think good quality rechargeable batteries are worth investing in. I bought cheap ones, which didn't do so well. A set of four Sony AA rechargeables are still going strong after 5 years, so ask a knowledgeable salesperson or check the reviews - they're not all the same. Best regards, ECAL

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