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Which magnets are suitable for cleaning glass?

With the help of magnets, hard to get to places (e.g. aquariums, thin glass containers) can be easily cleaned. It is best to use one magnet on the inside and one on the outside. Iron can be used as an alternative counterpart as well. When cleaning surfaces, please note the following points.
Table of Contents

Use rust-proof magnets

Generally, many of our magnets are suitable for cleaning hard to reach surfaces. We recommend using our water-proof magnets since they are rust-proof. Our ferrite magnets are rust-proof as well and therefore usable for that purpose.
Normal neodymium magnets, on the other hand, can start to rust when in direct contact with water and cleaning products and ultimately lose their magnetisation. If you use neodymium magnets for such an application, you can expect that you will have to replace the magnets from time to time.

Tips and tricks

Consider the glass thickness

Since there is no direct contact between the magnet and the counterpart, its adhesive force is notably reduced. Consequently, the thicker the wall of the object that you want to clean, the stronger the magnets need to be. For example, at a distance of 5 mm our disc magnet S-15-08-N only has a remaining adhesive force of approx. 350 g. Normally this would be 6,7 kg when making direct contact with the counterpart.

Avoid scratches

Despite their smooth exterior, magnets can scratch glass and other delicate surfaces. If you want to clean with a magnet that doesn't have a protective coating, you should protect the surface from scratches by placing a tissue or a thin piece of fabric between the magnet and the surface. Due to the larger distance between the magnets, you will need to use stronger magnets.

Application examples

As illustrated in the previous picture, aquariums can be cleaned nicely with magnets. Step-by-step instructions can be found in the customer project "Cleaning the aquarium". You could use the following magnets for the application:
Glass bottles, vases, or even hydration packs can also be cleaned with the help of magnets. How to do that is explained in the customer project "Cleaning bottle and hydration pack". For a glass bottle with an approx. 2 mm thick wall, you could use, for example, the following magnets:
When you encounter heavy dirt, it may not be sufficient to cover a magnet with a cleaning rag. In such cases, a scouring pads or steel sponge can help. If you only have a very small opening, steel sponges works well. On the pictures you can see a yellow glass bulb that a customer uses to water his plants. To clean the bulb he used the following products:
Cut a single, long wire from a steel sponge and knot it to the small ring magnet. Then wrap the rest of the wire around the magnet. To ensure that the wire is securely attached to the ring magnet and protected from corrosion, dip it in adhesive. Note from the supermagnete team: The magnet may still rust. Expect that you will have to replace the ring magnet after some time.
Once the adhesive is dry, place the mini steel sponge into the glass bulb with water and cleaning agent. Move the small magnet around with the disc magnet on the outside. A cloth protects the glass from scratches by the large magnet. The glass on the inside won't scratch if you put some water into the glass.
To clean a triple-glazed window, one of our customers used two DEATH MAGNETS, with protection caps however (see application Window cleaning). We clearly advise against this application, because such a great distance requires extremely strong magnets, which could break your window.