How to Resurrect a Dead Rechargeable Battery

by Deb KatulaUpdated September 28, 2017
batterie isolated on white background image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com

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

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


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


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


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


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.

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