How to Put Magnets on Non-Magnetic Refrigerators
Stainless steel refrigerators look great in a kitchen, but the downside is losing your magnets. However, there are workarounds.
When you were a child and you brought home an A+ paper or your latest artistic creation, your mom wasted no time putting it on the refrigerator with magnets she bought as souvenirs from your trip to the Grand Canyon. Pictures, report cards and even the weekly grocery list found its home on the front door of the fridge. Skip ahead a few years and things have changed. The avocado-green or wood-grained refrigerators so common back in the day have been replaced by sleek, shiny chrome and stainless steel. These appliances make your kitchen look amazing, but this level of style and sophistication comes with a price: the fridge door might not be magnetic. This means when your little tyke comes home with a fridge-worthy item, you'll have to make a few adjustments so those creations and achievements can still be on glorious display for the world, or at least those who wander into your kitchen.
Why They're No Longer Magnetic
Old refrigerators are made out of different materials. Current refrigerators contain metal, but they also have other materials such as nickel. This gives the fridge the shimmer and shine people really like. However, the increase in nickel decreases the magnetism, so magnets no longer work. This is typically only an issue for the refrigerator door. Also, just because the magnets themselves might not stick to the front, that doesn't mean there aren't ways to still display your favorite magnets or use them to hold important things.
You can use craft putty to stick the magnets to the fridge. This is the same putty you use to safely hang posters and light frames on your wall, and it works well on the front of a refrigerator. Pull off a small piece of putty and roll it between your fingers to soften it. Stick it to the back of the magnet; a small piece in each corner is ideal. Stick the magnet onto your refrigerator with the putty side against the door.
Suction Cup Magnetic Board
Purchase a magnetic board that has suction cups, attach it to your fridge and then place your magnets on the board. You can get these boards in a variety of sizes and colors, so you could actually add to your kitchen decor.
Put the Magnets on the Side
Although the front of the refrigerator might not be magnetic, in most cases the sides still are. So if you have a side of the fridge that is visible, put your magnets there. It might not be as prominent as the fridge door, but it beats sticking all the magnets in the junk drawer.
- If you're purchasing a new refrigerator, consider a stainless steel “look-alike” finish, such as titanium or painted silver metallic. These offer the look of stainless steel without the fingerprints -- and you can usually hang magnets on them.
- Stick your magnets to another appliance, such as a dishwasher or a washer/dryer.
- Create your own magnetic message board by painting a cabinet or area of the wall near the refrigerator with magnetic paint. This can also make an addition to a children’s playroom if you want younger family members to be able to play with magnetic toys or letters.
K.A. Francis has been a freelance writer for over 20 years. She has been writing about home ownership, renovation and real estate investing since 2005.
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