How to Resurrect a Dead Rechargeable Battery

By Deb Katula

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Freezer

  • Dead rechargeable batteries

  • Plastic wrap

  • Aluminum foil

  • Digital multimeter or battery tester

  • 12-volt AC/DC charger

  • Protective gloves

  • Safety goggles

Resurrecting dead rechargeable batteries
i batterie isolated on white background image by Nikolay Okhitin from

Rechargeable batteries are used to power countless games, toys and appliances. Families can spend small fortunes just trying keep their gaming console controllers up and running. Unfortunately, even rechargeable batteries do not last forever. There are a few tricks to try when attempting to revive old or dead rechargeable batteries. Just because rechargeable batteries are dead does not mean that you need to throw them away.

Freeze Dead Rechargeable Batteries Back to Life

Freeze and recharge
i battery lightning image by PinkShot from

Wrap each dead rechargeable battery individually in plastic wrap.

Bundle the plastic-wrapped rechargeable batteries together in aluminum foil and seal tightly.

Place the dead rechargeable batteries in a freezer overnight.

Remove the dead rechargeable batteries from the freezer. Allow them to warm to room temperature.

Check the charge on each battery using a battery tester or multimeter. If a battery did not recharge, you may need to zap it back to life.

Zap Rechargeable Batteries Back to Life

Bring them back to life.
i batteries isolated on white background image by Nikolay Okhitin from

Gather together all dead rechargeable batteries that you wish to revive.

Positive and negative ends
i piles rondes image by Vely from

Locate the positive and negative ends of the battery. The positive end always has a raised end while the negative end is flat.

i sign danger image by Pali A from

Put on all safety gear, including goggles, gloves and a long-sleeve shirt.

Locate the red and black clamps on the 12-volt AC/DC charger. Place the black clamp on the negative end of the battery.

Hold the black clamp in place on the negative battery node. Take the red clamp and lightly tap the positive end of the battery. Sparks may fly at this point.

Tap the red clamp to the positive end of the battery again and hold for no longer than two seconds.

Remove all clamps and test the battery charge with a multimeter or battery tester.


Always wear protective gear on your eyes, skin and hands.


This is a hazardous procedure. Anyone attempting this process is doing so under risk of injury to themselves and/or their property.

The recharging process should be completed by someone familiar with handling electricity.

There is a risk of fire, explosion and acid spraying from the battery during the charging process.