Magnets are useful for an astonishingly wide variety of jobs — some glasses wearers even have little magnets surgically implanted in the bridge of the nose to keep their frames from sliding down! But you don’t have to go that far to enjoy the many benefits of these handy, affordable little items. Here are nine simple hacks you can perform to create your own magnetic household helpers:
1. Pinpointing hidden wall studs – If you want to secure some heavy item to your wall via screws, nails or hooks, you first need to figure out where the wall studs are so you can ensure a strong connection. (Also, if you fail or neglect to locate the wall studs beforehand, you might hammer your way into electrical wiring instead!) If you don’t have x-ray vision or trust your ability to sound the studs out by knocking on the wall, there’s an easier method — and you guessed it, all you need is a magnet. Run the magnet slowly and smoothly along the wall until you encounter a tugging sensation or the magnet actually sticks to that portion of the wall. Mark this spot as containing a wall stud, and you’re ready to hang that painting or mount that shelving safely.
2. Creating a “magic” spice rack – Traditionally, cooks who don’t want their kitchen counter littered with little spice containers have relied on spice racks to keep things organized. But even the largest spice rack can only hold so many items, and at that point it probably takes up more counter space than you would prefer, and rummaging through the various spices takes time. Why not let your stove act as your spice rack, thanks to the power of some simple flat magnets? All you have to do is hot-glue these magnetic surfaces to the bottoms of as many metal tins as you need to house your various favorite or most commonly-used spices. The tins will then stick to the control panel of the stove, and you can simply grab them as you need them.
3. Creating a “magic” medicine cabinet – If it works for the kitchen, it’ll work for the bathroom. How many times have you found yourself digging around in a an overstuffed medicine cabinet for that elusive pair of tweezers or scissors, only to knock half a dozen bottles over in the process? Magnets to the rescue! You might start by gluing a magnetic sheet to the back of the medicine cabinet — this will serve to hold your small metal items in place and keep them visible. You could also attach magnets to the bottoms of your medicine bottles to make them harder to knock over.
4. Hanging posters – Posters look great while they’re hanging on the wall, but once you take them down, you’re confronted with multiple little holes that increase with every additional artwork placement. If you ever want that wall to look good again (or get your apartment deposit back), you then have to fill in all the holes and possibly even repaint the wall. But not if you use magnets! You can put up a metallic strip or frame as a permanent addition to the wall, then stick little magnets to the backside of your poster art and affix the posters to the frame. Move the posters around, take them down or add new ones — with no harm done.
5. Finding and grabbing nails – Say you’ve been working on some elaborate outdoor project, such as building a doghouse or repairing a wooden shed. You’ve probably pulled or dropped as many nails as you drove in, but how are you going to find them in all that long grass? You guessed it — run a magnet along the ground where you’ve been working and watch those errant nails find their way back to you.
6. Painting a magnetic wall – You don’t have to be satisfied with attaching magnetized items to a metal frame or refrigerator door; magnetic paint allows you to magnetize as much wall space as you like. It looks and applies like ordinary paint, but it contains tiny particles of iron that turn the entire painted surface into a giant magnet. The more coats you apply, the stronger the effect will be.
7. Retrieving metal objects from hard-to-reach places – Did your gold ring or bracelet slip off and disappear down your kitchen or bathroom sink? Did you drop your screwdriver or pen knife into a hole? Depending on the length of your magnet (and your arm), you can probably fish that metal item out. Magnets can also help you pull that tiny, exotically-shaped battery out of the tight inner workings of whatever electronic device it’s been powering.
8. Sealing a vent – It’s not always easy to control your heating and cooling bills — and if you suffer from leaky vents that won’t close completely, you’ve got an expensive problem on your hands. What’s the answer? A magnetic vent cover. Since the vent itself is made of metal, you can just cut a sheet of magnetic material to fit over it, and then stick the sheet over the vent so that there are no open gaps. When you want the vent to work again, just pull the sheet off.
9. Keeping bags closed – Are you always losing your not-so-trusty chip clip? Keep a few extra magnets around, and you’ll never need it again. Simply fold the top of the bag over, then place a pair of magnets opposite each other to keep your chips (or whatever) sealed safely away.
As you can see, there are practically no limits to the versatility of magnets. Have you come up with some amazing magnet hacks of your own? We’d love to hear about them!