How to Make an Electromagnet for Degaussing a TV

Degaussing is a method used to alter or reduce the strength of a magnetic field.

Many televisions and computer monitors have a degaussing coil built into them. If not, the monitor or TV screen may display colored dots or splotches or an overall discoloration. It may be possible to correct this problem by using an electromagnet to externally degauss the television.
Stripped copper wire

Use the wire stripper to remove 1 inch of the insulation from the end of a 22-gauge insulated copper wire. (You should have 3 to 6 feet of wire.)

Starting at the head, wrap the wire around a long iron nail. Leave the part you stripped and a 10 inch tail of wire before you begin wrapping. Wrap the wire tightly around the nail, making sure not to let the coils overlap. Stop when you are about 1 inch from the bottom of the nail.

As in Step 1, use the wire cutters to strip about 1 inch of insulation from this end of the wire. If the wire is much longer than the nail, you may cut it shorter.

Now that the wire has been stripped, continue wrapping the now-bare wire to the tip of the nail. Make sure the exposed copper-wire wraps at the tip of the nail are tight, and are making good contact with the nail.

To turn on the electromagnet, while holding an insulated part of the wire, place the exposed copper wire from the tail at the head of the nail against the top of the battery. Test the magnet by using it to pick up a few paper clips or other small, magnetic objects.

To degauss the television, turn on both the TV set and electromagnet. Pass the electromagnet in front of the television screen until you get the desired effect. You may need to try holding the magnet at varying distances from the television screen.

Things You Will Need

  • Iron nail
  • Copper wire
  • "D" battery
  • Wire cutters/strippers


  • The more coils you wrap around the nail, the stronger your magnet will be.


  • Do not attempt to make your magnet stronger by passing more electricity through it. The wire wrapped around the nail may become very hot. Be sure to wrap all of your wire in the same direction, or you may create two magnetic fields that will cancel each other out.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.