Skip to Content

Do Magnets Damage Stainless Steel Refrigerator?

Do Magnets Damage Stainless Steel Refrigerator?

Using magnets to stick notes, shopping lists, art projects, and other kinds of stuff on the refrigerator are becoming a common practice. Walk into any household today and stuff hanging on the fridge doors and sides is what’s likely to meet your eyes first.

While these magnets are indeed handy in many ways, you could be wondering whether or not they are safe for your fridge. After all, stainless steel fridges cost a fortune and therefore need the best level of care.

So, can magnets damage a stainless steel fridge? Well, if that’s what you want to know, you just made the best decision to come here. In this article, we will be digging deep into the idea of magnet advertising on stainless steel refrigerators to see whether it’s a safe practice.

Is It OK To Put Magnets on Stainless Steel Refrigerator?

Unfortunately, magnets on stainless steel refrigerators generally are not a good idea. Most of these magnets have sharp edges. As such, they are more likely to damage the fridge finish when you place, remove, or drag them on the surface.

You see, stainless steel has a lot to offer. For instance, it’s durable. It also looks more beautiful for home equipment than most metals. Perhaps that’s why it’s one of the commonly used materials for most appliances around the home.

However, this type of steel still has its flipside. A case in point is that it’s highly susceptible to fingerprints and scratches. And yes, the latter factor is the reason to keep magnets off all your stainless steel surfaces – not just the refrigerator.

Of course, magnets now come in more practical designs. You might have seen some take the design of bottle openers, others thermometers, so much and so forth. But even with all that, one fact remains – magnets don’t make good friends with stainless steel fridges.

As one may argue, magnets won’t affect the functionality of a fridge. They will neither increase the energy consumption. But one sure thing – they will leave unsightly marks on your stainless steel fridge once you afford them a spot on the beautiful surface.

Do Magnets Stick To Stainless Steel?

“Talking about magnets sticking to stainless steel? Is it even possible?” Well, you could be asking yourself these questions. And yes, it’s justifiable. After all, we all have come across stainless steel surfaces that don’t work with magnets.

But again, just in case you didn’t know, not all stainless steel surfaces don’t support magnets. Several of them are magnetic. So yes, if you’ve seen a magnet work with your stainless steel fridge, it doesn’t mean your fridge features some other material. Neither should you view it as something bizarre. No, it just isn’t!

Let us take a close look at that;

You see, the last bit of the name “stainless steel” tells us that this material has some elements of steel, which basically is an alloy of iron. Now, iron is magnetic. But again, for stainless steel material to retain the magnetic property of iron, the crystal structure has to be ferritic. Where it’s austenitic, then the stainless steel isn’t magnetic.

But again, for the magnetic stainless steel, the magnetism varies. The more magnetic material (iron) in the stainless steel, the stronger the surface is likely to hold a magnet. The vice versa is also true.

Sometimes the coating of the fridge may also affect its ability to support magnets. Generally, magnetism weakens as the finish thickens. Therefore, if one of your two stainless steel refrigerators offers a weak hold to magnets, it’s more likely that it has a thicker coat than the other.

But again, the fact that a fridge works with magnets doesn’t mean it’s the safe thing to do. As we’ve said, magnets are generally a no-no for your fridge. In fact, other than damaging the metal surface, they make your kitchen look more cluttered.

You see, keeping the kitchen neat and clean goes beyond ensuring that the floor, shelves, microwave, and oven are clean. You also have to make sure that the refrigerator is in a tip-top state on the inside and outside.

Unfortunately, there’s no way you can keep the refrigerator’s exterior cute and neat with all that stuff hanging on the door. So yes, it’s best to find a new location for your notices, morning greetings, and other stuff that you are used to hanging on the fridge. We will be giving you a few ideas later on. But first, let’s look at something equally fundamental.

Can Fridge Magnets Scratch The Surface?

Yes, magnets definitely can scratch the surface of your stainless steel refrigerator. That elegant finish covering your refrigerator catches scratches easier than you could be thinking. In fact, if you keep using magnets on it, count weeks or months and the nice-looking finish will all be gone.

Most magnets people stick on their refrigerator doors and walls have sharp edges. That makes it likely for these magnets to scratch the paint of the fridge, especially when placed or removed carelessly.

And yes, long nails are just as dangerous for your fridge finish as the sharper edges of the magnets. Perhaps you weren’t expecting that. But trust me – long nails are as “good” as the magnets for leaving marks on the fridge – if not better.

As such, if you have long nails, be extra careful when picking up a magnet from the surface of the fridge. Otherwise, you could leave ugly marks that become more and more visible with time.

In fact, if you are one of the people who keep their nails long enough, then it could be they are the ones behind most of those scratches and marks you see on your fridge.

But again, we don’t mean keeping nails is a bad thing. No, not at all. Nevertheless, if you have to keep them and at the same time use magnets for your fridge, be cautious. But if you can, the best thing is to avoid using magnets on your stainless steel fridge altogether.

Do Magnets Leave Marks on Stainless Steel?

Absolutely. Magnets can leave gray scuff marks on the stainless steel surface. However, these marks usually are only on the outside and don’t penetrate the metal. But still, much like scratches, they will rob your refrigerator of its beauty and turn it into something you’d not want.

However, unlike scratches, the scuff marks you see on the wall of your fridge are easily removable. Only ensure that you use the right products and procedures. Otherwise, you could end up making things worse.

Magnets that come with raised edges are the most dangerous here. That’s because, unlike vinyl magnets, this variety usually doesn’t sit flush to the surface. Hence, they are likely to leave both marks and scratches at the same time on the surface.

But that doesn’t make vinyl magnets a go-to option. They still do some damage. That’s why we again recommend that you find a friendlier way to communicate and decorate your cookhouse besides the use of magnets. We still have more of that coming up. However, let’s first focus on correcting the mess.

How To Remove Magnet Marks From a Stainless Refrigerator?

If your refrigerator picked up scratches, either from the magnet or your fingernails, the only way to restore its beauty is by repainting it. You need to contact the manufacturer for information on the paint to use. However, that’s not the case when it comes to magnet marks. These marks are easy to remove with a few simple steps.

Here’s how;

Step 1: Get The Supplies Right

Before you begin the removal, ensure that you have everything it takes by your side. That’s the only way you will have things running smoothly. You need at least two pieces of soft fabric, water, baking soda, and a stainless steel cleaner.

Step 2: Get Rid of Loose Dirt

Before you get to the point of removing scuff marks, first deal with loose dirt. So yes, begin by removing all the magnets from the surface. Ensure that you are careful enough not to cause further damage. Then, dip a piece of soft fabric inside water. Wring it and wipe the surface clean.

Step 3: Bring in Baking Soda

All the loose dirt is gone. Next is to clean the dirt buildup where you’d placed the magnets. That’s where baking soda turns helpful. Add 1/2 tablespoon of this household cleaner to a cup worth of water and stir to mix. Then, dip the soft fabric into the solution and use it to scrub the fridge door. Keep everything gentle.

Step 4: Take Time To Rinse

Once you have cleaned the surface with baking soda, next is to rinse. You don’t want to have any traces of baking soda on the surface when applying the next step. So yes, take time and rinse the cleaned place and wipe it dry.

Step 5: Bring in a Stainless Steel Cleaner

Once the surface is dry, it’s time to bring in a stainless steel cleaner. Dip the other dry soft fabric into this cleaner. Ensure that it’s soaked enough but not dripping. Then, use it to rub on the marks until they are no longer visible. Keep moistening the fabric with the cleaner as it turns necessary. If you don’t have stainless steel cleaner, you could also use vinegar. It performs just as well.

Step 6: Do The Finishing Touches

The marks are no longer visible. It’s time to remove any traces of the cleaner or vinegar. For this task, you need a water-dampened piece of cloth. After you rinse, wipe the door to dry it. We recommend using a circular motion so that you bring out the shine – and that’s it!

What To Use Instead of Regular Magnets?

Your refrigerator now looks clean and free from all those ugly marks. What you need to do next is to lay down measures to avoid the same from happening again. And yes, the first thing is to find a new place (or at least another way) of displaying your stuff.

Fortunately, we have a couple of options that work better than magnets. They will serve the same role as magnets but in a manner that protects the surface of your fridge. Here are a few of the options;

  • Create A Chalk Board: Instead of leaving all those notices or reminders hanging on the door of your fridge, use a chalkboard. You only need to identify a place in the kitchen and paint a rectangle black. And yes, your kids will also get a place to nurture their art skills.
  • Invest In Magnetic Boards: It doesn’t have to be in the kitchen. You can use these boards anywhere you think it’s effective. These boards will hold all the stuff that would otherwise be hanging on your fridge door or its walls.
  • Corkboard: It may not be the latest innovation. But believe me, it’s far much better than those magnets. Pinning things on these walls is an effective way to communicate and put reminders. Only remember to take notices of past events down. That will make any new information more noticeable.

Final Verdict

Growing a magnet collection is a great way to communicate and perhaps decorate the kitchen. However, it isn’t the best way of doing things, especially if you want to keep on beholding that nice-looking finish of your fridge for years.

Magnets will mark and scratch your stainless steel fridge. So yes, we suggest that you switch to other ways to safeguard the beauty of your fridge without doing away with the entire practice of communicating using notices.