Can Magnets Stick To Stainless Steel Refrigerators?

Magnets have always been something of a mystery. We’re often left to wonder: Is there a magnetic north? Does the Earth have an internal magnet? And, most importantly, can magnets stick to stainless steel refrigerators?

Magnets stick to most stainless steel refrigerators, as long as the nickel content of the fridge isn’t too high. If you find your magnets aren’t sticking to your fridge, there are other ways to mount objects on the door, such as suction cups, removable hooks, double-sided tape, and mounting putty.

When it comes to fridge magnets, there are two types of people: those who love them and use their fridge doors for everything from family photos to their child’s artwork, and those who prefer a clean refrigerator door. Regardless of how you feel about the appearance of your fridge, this guide will highlight everything you need to know about magnets sticking to stainless steel refrigerators. Let’s dive in!

Do Magnets Stick to Stainless Steel Refrigerators?

Woman opening refrigerator door with drawings, notes and magnets in kitchen

Yes, but only certain kinds of magnets will do the trick.

Fridge magnets are used for holding notes or pictures to the refrigerator door. They usually come in colorful designs and playful shapes but are generally made with ferrite or ceramic materials that have lower magnetic field strength than the typical neodymium magnets.

There are two kinds of stainless steel: ferritic and austenitic. Ferritic stainless steel is magnetic, while austenitic stainless steel is non-magnetic. Still, all regular stainless steel appliances should adhere to magnets just fine, as long as the magnets aren’t too heavy or big.

If your fridge has the following, it will hold a magnet:

  • A white or black paint finish
  • A silver or metallic paint finish
  • A clean steel look
  • A black slate metallic finish and stainless handles
  • A slate finish

In most cases, older versions of stainless steel refrigerators hold magnets. Some of them include

  • Most side by side refrigerators
  • French door refrigerators
  • Bottom and top-freezer refrigerators

For newer models, you should test them first.  

Do Magnets Damage Stainless Steel?

In some cases, they can.

The good news is that if you want to determine whether the magnets around your home are strong enough to damage your stainless steel refrigerator, there’s a simple and safe way to test them.

First, take the magnet and place it against a flat part of your fridge that isn’t near the brackets or seams where two pieces come together. Press hard against the surface for about ten seconds. If nothing happens, take the magnet off, turn it upside down, and press against the same spot again. If nothing happens, then the magnet is not strong enough to damage your refrigerator.

You should, however, note that magnets can cause scratches on your refrigerator finish. And although stainless steel is meant to look sleek and dirt-proof, magnets can damage the surface and make the fridge lose some of its lusters.

You can rectify these damages with a few simple steps that won’t cause more harm to the shiny surface:

  1. Remove all magnets on the stainless steel finishes
  2. Using a soft rug or cloth, wipe the surface to remove dirt or dust.
  3. Wear latex gloves and pour about two tablespoons of stainless steel cleaner (on Amazon)
  4. Rub the magnet marks left on the surface but towards the direction of the grain to avoid further marks
  5. Continue applying the cleaner and rubbing until the spots are gone

How Can You Hang Things on a Stainless Steel Refrigerator?

Modern refrigerator with child`s drawings

Magnets stick to stainless steel due to their ferromagnetic properties. This means that magnets only connect with the steel because it produces their magnetic field.

Unfortunately, the most common issue that people run into is that as soon as you start placing any weight on your fridge, your magnet-mounted items start sliding down or falling off.

If your fridge has low nickel content and your magnet is unable to hold on as well as you’d like, there are other methods to keep things on your fridge doors. Let’s take a look:

1. Removable Double-Sided Tape

EZlifego double-sided tape (on Amazon) has adhesive on both sides, which you stick to the fridge and the object to be mounted.

This option is highly preferred because it leaves no mark or damage to the fridge. It may, however, damage fragile objects such as pictures or paper recipes.   

2. Suction Cups

Suction cups (on Amazon) are one of the best solutions to hanging things on a stainless steel refrigerator. They leave no mark and can be moved to your preferred position.

The best types are hooks that help give extra support to whatever object you’re hanging.

3. Magnetic Boards

Magnetic boards (on Amazon) are used together with hooks or suction cups. After placing them into position and sticking them with magnets or any other preferred material, you can then hang your artwork.

4. Mounting Putty

Mounting putty (on Amazon) is another excellent option to hang things on your stainless steel refrigerator. It leaves no mark whatsoever.

You only roll pea-sized balls of the clay and place them at the four corners of the picture and then press them against the refrigerator.

5. Removable Hooks

Removable utility hooks (on Amazon) have an adhesive on one end that attaches to the refrigerator. On the other end, the hook pokes tiny holes in your object and holds onto it as it hangs.

6. Decorative Magnets

Decorative magnets (on Amazon) help you attach lightweight items to your stainless steel refrigerator like other methods. However, you need to be careful of the item’s thickness because it shouldn’t exceed one centimeter in width. Most decorative magnets are less than 6-7mm thick. Make sure you buy strong ones that can hold your item in place.