How To Clean a Magnet: How & Why - You Need To Know This!

Upon reading through a series of DIY craft tutorials that involve attaching magnets to other surfaces, I noticed that the common equation between all of them was cleaning the magnets before applying the glue. So, I took it upon myself to find out how and why magnets need to be cleaned and compile everything into a simple guide.

How and why do you clean a magnet? To clean a magnet, you can wipe it off with a clean cloth and warm soapy water. Magnets should be cleaned to get rid of germs and obstructive debris that can get in between their magnetic field.

Magnets are very versatile objects that are used daily by almost everyone, even if you might not realize it. While these helpful tools can make life very convenient, the fact that they need to be properly cleaned on a regular basis is something that is frequently overlooked. Keep reading to find out how and why magnets need to be cleaned.

How To Clean a Magnet

For those who own any type of magnet, whether it is sitting on your refrigerator or holding up your tools in the garage, it is important to know that they must be cleaned in order to work properly.

To assist magnet owners in learning the process of cleaning a magnet correctly for the best performance results, I came up with a quick and easy guide on the general process of keeping these helpful tools squeaky clean.

Take a look at the simple steps below and use them to your advantage next time you have a magnet cleaning day at your house.

How To Clean a Magnet:

  1. Gather your magnets together with all cleaning supplies (cleaning liquid, warm water, clean cloth)
  2. Wet the cloth with a mixture of warm water and the cleaning liquid of your choice
  3. Carefully and thoroughly wipe the surface of the magnet to remove any build up
  4. Rinse or wipe the magnet off with clean water
  5. Leave the magnets out to dry
  6. Sanitize them with a disinfectant spray (optional)

In order to effectively clean your magnets after you have gathered them together with your cleaning supplies, you will want to start by wetting the cloth in a mixture of warm water and the cleaning solution of your choice.

Carefully and thoroughly wipe the surface of the magnet to remove any build up that has formed, making sure to get everything off. Next, you will rinse the magnet directly in water or wet another side of the cloth to get rid of the soap.

You can either dry your magnets with a fresh towel or leave them out on the counter to air dry after the cleaning process has been completed.

Once all of the magnets have dried, you can take the additional step of spraying them with a household disinfectant spray. This step is optional, however, and should only be done every once in a while to avoid the possible erosion of the magnet’s surface due to the chemicals that are included in most of these sprays.

The Best Cleaning Supplies For Magnets

When it comes to cleaning your magnets regularly and correctly, it is vital that you are choosing the correct cleaning supplies and solutions that will not cause damage to the outer surface of your magnet.

If you are cleaning your magnets as often as you are supposed to, the contact of a harmful cleaning solution can quickly wear them down if you are not careful.

The list below outlines all of the recommendations for magnet cleaners that I found in my research. While most of these items will most likely already be found in your household, they are relatively inexpensive to pick up at the grocery store.

Best Cleaning Supplies For Magnets:

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Window Cleaner
  • Window Cleaner and white vinegar
  • 1% Alconox detergent solution

One of the best and most accessible cleaning supplies for magnets is a simple dishwashing liquid. These types of soaps work great for cutting through dirt and debris on magnets, just like they do with a sponge on your dinner dishes.

Alternatively, you can use a 50/50 mixture of window cleaner and white vinegar to create a strong substance that is safe for the surface of the magnet. If you prefer a more simple process, you can just spray the window cleaner directly onto the magnet by itself.

Alconox detergent can also be used for cleaning magnets when it is incorporated into a 1% solution. In order to create this mixture, you will need to follow the directions on the packaging for the correct measurements. The process of creating this 1% solution will require adding hot or boiling water to a small amount of the powdered substance.

Why Do Magnets Need To Be Cleaned?

If the thorough process that goes into cleaning magnets surprised you as much as it surprised me, you might also be wondering why they even need to be cleaned in the first place.

Most household magnets are on top of the refrigerator or on a magnetic bulletin board, and you probably wouldn’t think to be so thorough in your regular cleaning routine. After all, the magnets are hanging up and out of the way of anything that could cause them to get dirty, right?

Contrarily, this statement could not be any more incorrect. Skim through the list down below to get a better idea of some of the reasons why magnets should be regularly cleaned and sanitized.

Why Magnets Need To Be Cleaned:

  • They collect dirt and dust
  • Can carry and transfer germs
  • Debris can obstruct their magnetic field
  • Build up of substances and foreign objects can deteriorate them

The first and most obvious reason why magnets need to be cleaned is that they collect dirt and dust just like any other object around the house. Especially when it comes to refrigerator magnets that are constantly being handled and moved around.

The germs that are on the hands of everyone in the house will eventually come in contact with the magnets that are being picked up almost daily. This could be detrimental when any kind of sickness is introduced to family members through the transfer of germs on these tiny objects.

Additionally, the debris that sits on the magnets can actually obstruct their magnetic fields and affect the way that they stick to surfaces and hold things up. The build-up of these substances can also potentially deteriorate them if they are not friendly to the surface of magnets.

In conclusion, the process of cleaning magnets is very important and should be completed on a schedule as a regular routine in every household. In order to avoid the spread of germs or the deterioration of the magnets themselves, you will want to use the correct supplies and follow the techniques outlined above for the best results.

Related Questions

Can you put magnets into a washing machine?

Due to the fact that most washing machines are magnetic themselves, it is not a good idea to place other magnets inside of them. So, if you have any clothing that includes magnetic objects or you are wondering if you should use a machine for a quick fix for cleaning your magnets, you should definitely stay away from it.

How often do magnets need to be cleaned?

Depending on how much dirt and debris that your magnets typically come in contact within their respective positions, you will want to deeply clean them at least once a month. However, if your household is a little more tightly wound when it comes to keeping things clean and organized, you can maintain them once a week.