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Can You Put Magnets on Stainless Steel (Fridge & Others)?

Stainless steel appliances are popular in the kitchen for their modern and expensive look. However, there are a few drawbacks to the material. Stainless steel does not seem to hold a magnet. Again, the surfaces show fingerprints.

It could annoy those who want their beautiful magnetic souvenirs or photos to put on the refrigerator doors. A lot of modern designs, however, support magnets.

So here are details on which stainless steel appliance you should choose if you want it to hold magnets.

Can you put magnets on stainless steel?

You cannot put magnets on most stainless steel appliances. Nevertheless, there are some which support magnets, especially the modern built ones.  The magnetism again varies.  It depends on the elements added with the stainless steel. Stainless steel is a steel alloy mixed with various metals.

Stainless steel appliances prevent magnets from sticking. They have various other metals mixed with them. It implies why some are magnetic while some are not. Nickel, for example, in stainless steel, gives a sturdy structure. However, it prevents the steel from holding magnets. 

Nevertheless, some appliances contain thin sheets of stainless steel over magnetic metal, which support magnets. Again, the faux ones are magnetic as well. Moreover, some are weakly magnetic. 

Most new stainless steel appliances after the year 2017 are made magnetic. Some stainless steel is fingerprint-resistant. Do not put magnets on them as they may damage the finish of the surface. 


Most stainless steel fridges do not feature a magnetism character. Nickel is mixed with stainless steel to get a sturdy structure that prevents magnets from sticking. 

Some stainless steel with fingerprint resistance features is not safe from magnets. They tend to ruin the surface by scratching. 


Stainless steel dishwashers also cannot hold magnets. However, the newly designed ones are supportive. Those stainless steel are thin and have a ferromagnetic underneath. It allows magnets to hold.  

Again, one should not use magnets on fingerprint-resistant stainless steel on the dishwasher as they will damage the surface. 

Why can’t you put magnets on stainless steel?

Stainless steel is not solely responsible for not being able to hold a magnet. The mixing of other materials or metals is responsible. Here a detailed view of why it is not possible to put magnets on stainless steel is given. 

Steels microstructure: 

Stainless steel with ferritic microstructure or also known as martensitic is magnetic. Again, the austenitic stainless steels are non-magnetic as they contain metals such as nickel. 

However, during the processing of permeability of austenitic steels, the character of magnetic can be built.

Amount of nickel: 

We observe a different portion of nickel on different types of stainless steel. Nickel helps keep the steel from cracking, allowing a strong structure. Also, it helps to add more carbon.

Only 2 percent of nickel would interfere with magnetism. Most stainless steel on appliances uses nickel for the sturdy build hence, weakening the magnetism property. 


One will find iron inside the stainless steel that has a magnetic quality. Again, some stainless steel will have more chromium mixed with it.

So depending on the amount of chromium and presence of iron, some become magnetic while some are non-magnetic. Moreover, some stainless steel is more magnetic compared to the weakly magnetic ones.  

Types of stainless steel: 

There are many types of stainless steel, and they get labels according to their character. For example, the 304 and 316 stainless steel fall into the austenitic category. They cannot hold magnets at all. 

Again, ferritic stainless steel labeled as 430 is ferromagnetic and can support magnets. 

Is it bad to put magnets on stainless steel refrigerators?

It is safe to put magnets on the stainless steel that supports its hold. The magnets that we see in the accessories, decorations for households are not that powerful. They do not have the ability to interrupt any of the electric mechanisms inside the fridge or a dishwasher.

The magnets for the fridge are not the strongest neodymium or electromagnet. These magnets allow simple accessories or photos, or other important objects that are not so heavy.

Therefore, use magnets to adorn your fridge surface without worrying about damaging the internal function of the fridge.

Nevertheless, make sure you put the magnet items carefully on the surface of the fridge. Also, do not drag them on the finish. You do not want a scratched fridge door or ruin the paint on the surface.

How to put magnets on non-magnetic refrigerators?

By now, we know most stainless steel appliances do not support magnets. So what can we do if we desire to put our cute magnetic accessories on the stainless steel surface? There are few solutions to this problem.

Here are step-by-step processes on how you can put magnets on a non-magnetic refrigerator. 

Using reusable/ craft putty – 

Preparing putty: 

The putty is easy to get from any craft retailer.  Pull off a small piece from the big chunk. Now roll the putty between your fingers. This way, you can soften this up. 

Sticking putty: 

Now stick the putty on the back of the magnet. It is advisable to put putties in each corner of the magnetic piece. 

Place on the fridge: 

Finally, with the help of putty, you can place the magnetic object on the surface of the fridge. 

Using suction cup technique:

Find a magnetic board that has suction cups attached to it. There will be a provision for you to attach it to the doors of a fridge. Now place your magnetic items onto the board. The boards come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. 

Magnets on the Side:

Sometimes in a stainless steel fridge, you cannot place magnets on the doors but can easily be put on the sides. It is because the side is magnetic while the door is not. 

So if your fridge side is available, you can always put the magnetic decoration or other essential items on the sides. 

How do you remove magnet residue from stainless steel appliances?

While decorating magnets on stainless steel is fun, it may leave a residue when you remove the magnets. Here we have detailed steps on how to remove the residue if you get some from sticking magnets onto your stainless steel appliances. 

Use moistened rag:

Remove the magnets from the surface of the stainless steel appliances carefully. Now moist a piece of fabric with water. Wipe down the entire surface of the door with the moistened rag. This way, you can remove the dirt.  

Use baking soda: 

Take half a tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with 1 cup of warm water. Now with a fabric, scrub the fridge door. Do this lightly. It will allow you to clean the dirt buildup where you placed the magnets. Also, baking soda is not a harsh abrasive. 

Clean the residue: 

With clean water, clean the remaining residue. Also, wipe it dry. 

Use stainless steel cleaner: 

Now take another fabric and dip it inside the stainless steel cleaner. You can also use vinegar instead. Rub gently on the gray magnet marks. Wipe until the spots fade away. Finally, wipe the door with clean water. 

Best magnets for stainless steel fridge?

When buying a magnet for your stainless steel refrigerator, get one that would not harm the surface and adheres to it strong. Magnets do not damage the internal function of a fridge but can ruin the finish. Hence, a well-shaped magnet with a smooth texture is preferable.

Here we are introducing two such products. The first one is a transparent glass decorative piece with a flat magnet. It won’t allow any scratches.

The second product is magnet push pins. Starting from jewelry to kitchen utensils, you can hang myriads of products using them. They do not leave any residue on the surface.

Where can I put magnets?

Decorative magnet pieces are for the surface of a refrigerator. One can also hang art pieces using hook magnets. If the front doors of the fridge do not support magnets, try using them on the side walls. In most stainless steel appliances, the sides are suitable for magnets.

Moreover, using magnets, you can hang your favorite jewelry pieces, belts, scarves, handbags, and many more.

The places where you should not allow magnets are electrical components that get interfered with by magnets. A television screen and computer screen can be some good examples. Again, it does not create any problem for a refrigerator or dishwasher internally. 

Final Thoughts

Most stainless steel appliances cannot hold magnets. It is because stainless steel has other components such as nickel mixed with it. The presence of iron incorporated inside the stainless steel sheet also decides its magnetism. Most appliances after 2017 are now made compatible with magnets.