Wording With Purpose

Duracell – Another Icon Crumbles

From my childhood I recall that batteries often leaked and destroyed the equipment they were intended to power. I lost more than one toy to the corrosive nature of acid. Duracell, the copper top battery, arrived on the scene and forced manufacturers to up their games. Duracell offered two perks. Their battery life exceeded that of other batteries, and Duracell promised their batteries would not leak.

I became a faithful fan of Duracell. Duracell powered cameras through the childhood events of two lovely daughters. Their toys and music players functioned flawlessly with copper top batteries under the hood. Flashlights loaded with Duracells helped on many projects and repairs.

I never thought I would turn away from Duracell but that day has come. A product that was once faithful and dependable now violates the second of the original perks Duracell promised. Some of their batteries leak.

Over the previous five years I’ve opened battery-powered equipment to replace the batteries only to discover that the Duracells inside had vomited on the innards. These devices were stored and used inside the house in sheltered conditions. We’re talking about a temperature controlled environment not a wilderness excursion in harsh conditions designed to stress the batteries.

This week my wife took down the handmade clock that graces our living room. The hands had stopped moving. The Duracell AA battery, installed for less than a year, had leaked at both ends. What a mess!

Tossing the clock was not an option. I removed the incontinent battery and cleaned the clock with isopropyl on a cotton swab. Once the major gunk was cleared away I repeated with WD-40 on a second swab. The terminals appear to be undamaged and hopefully we caught the leak in time.

I’m angry.

I overlooked the first couple of leaky Duracell batteries and the resulting damaged equipment. I gave the product the benefit of the doubt based on long years of reliability, but as I find more and more leaks I am replacing Duracell batteries in my devices.

Duracell, there is no excuse for your batteries leaking under normal use. This is 2017 not 1965.

Sigh. Another icon crumbles.


  1. John Force
    August 23, 2017    

    I had an unopened pack of triple A’s leak all over itself and soaked through to the wooden drawer where I kept them. Sorry no picture, they promptly got disposed of. I think you are right…. something has changed.

    • August 23, 2017    

      Bummer! It is hard to clean that mess out of wood.

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