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Help- removal of iron filings from magnets

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1Help- removal of iron filings from magnets Empty Help- removal of iron filings from magnets on Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:13 pm

Rachel Rawson

Has anyone got a top tip for removing bucket loads of iron filings from bar magnets (other than banning kids from using them of course)?
Wiping, picking and smoothing them off is driving us bonkers! affraid


Hi Rachel

Aaaaagh! One of my pet hates, there. I've read using sticky tape will get them off, but if you're re-using the filings, then you've still got to pick them off the tape anyway, so I can't see the point in that!

I start from a centre point and sweep outwards when removing them, if that helps.

If it's for showing a magnetic field. You could try making a laminate card with the magnet drawn on it, the same size as they're using, with north and south labelled on it, and then ask the teacher to put the card on top of the magnet before the students put the filings on, and then the filings don't even come into contact with the magnet and you should still be able to create a magnetic field this way.


we find covering the magnets in cling film before use has really helped Very Happy

4Help- removal of iron filings from magnets Empty Re: Help- removal of iron filings from magnets on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:21 pm

Ad Ford

Wrapping them in cling film or putting them in a plastic baggie can help, but they often rip (or get taken off) rendering it pointless. Another way is to put the magnets inside a test tube or boiling tube with a bung in the end. It's easy enough to reclaim the iron filings this way (take out the bung and pull the magnet out), but it's a little more dangerous and you need relatively strong magnets.


5Help- removal of iron filings from magnets Empty iron fillings on Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:02 am


Hi what i do is put a magnet under a piece of thin card and then use a small paint brush to brush off the iron fillings on to the card, these then stick to the card because of the magnet underneath, when finished just remove the card make a small crease in and place back in the pot. Hope this helps.

6Help- removal of iron filings from magnets Empty Removing iron filings from magnets on Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:12 pm


The easiest way I have found to remove iron filings from a magnet is to use an old toothbrush and sort of flick the iron filings off! Of course you will need to do this over a tray or newspaper as it can be messy.

phil beastall

Suggestion - teacher demonstrates on an OHP with the magnet under an acetate sheet and the filings on top, students use a plotting compass with their magnet. This also avoids "I scratched my itchy eye and now I need to go to the hospital".

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