Hello all the wonderful people and welcome to our new article where we take a little different turn than usual and discuss why keeping old electronics around the house is not such a good idea. We all have some drawer or in some bag around the house and in the end of the day if that electronic has battery inside it is probably not the smart thing to keep it.
So naturally, the question comes why it is a bad idea to have old electronics with batteries in them? Well unlike a battery failure with, say, some AA batteries jammed in the back of an old toy, the risk with a lithium-ion battery failing isn’t just some leaking and corrosion in the battery compartment, it’s a potential fire as the battery swells up and the gases (combined with the stored energy) turn the battery into a potential fire hazard.
Good thing is that the battery will not explode just like that, it will swallow over time and get bigger and bigger until the breaking point is reached and all the fire breaks lose. So if by any chance you have some old gadgets lying around you can check up on them and see if has swelling process started, if yes, dispose properly of that piece of the old device immediately.
How to keep old electronics
If you’re not ready to get rid of the gadget then it’s best to charge it properly for storage. Proper charging keeps the battery cells and circuits in optimum health.
While recommendations vary by manufacturer and application, the general consensus is that lithium-ion batteries should be charged to approximately 40%. (Some manufacturers recommend charging 50% or 60% instead.)
Really, the important part here isn’t the exact percentage. What’s important is ensuring that the battery is charged to roughly half capacity and not stored with a completely discharged or completely full battery.
Discharge rates on lithium-ion batteries in completely powered-off devices are very slow, but you should still plan to top off the charge every 12-18 months or so to keep it around 50%.
If you wanted to go above and beyond, a metal storage container with a snug lid on a basement shelf with a desiccant pack inside to control the moisture would offer optimum conditions.