Can Fridge Magnets Scratch the Surface?

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Use only vinyl magnets on a stainless steel refrigerator.

If you have a refrigerator in your kitchen, it is likely that you will use magnets on the surface of the sides and the doors. However, certain magnets can cause scratches to the surface, depending on the material used to make the refrigerator. Once a scratch is in the refrigerator finish, it is very difficult -- if at all possible -- to get out.

Vinyl Magnets

Magnets with raised surfaces and sharp corners can cause scratching on the surface of the refrigerator -- especially shiny surfaces such as stainless steel. To prevent this from happening, use vinyl magnets that do not have raised surfaces or sharp corners. Vinyl magnets sit flush against the refrigerator.

Cut Your Nails

If you have long fingernails and are picking up a magnet from the refrigerator surface, then you can cause scratching. To prevent this from happening, cut your nails or put on a cloth glove when removing magnets from the refrigerator doors and sides.

Stainless Steel

If you can, it is best not to place magnets on a stainless steel refrigerator surface, as stainless steel tends to scratch easily. Instead, place a magnetic memo board on the kitchen backsplash or hang a corkboard on the pantry door. You can tack important notes and coupons in these places instead of on the refrigerator door.

Shiny Surfaces

Some refrigerators have a shiny, glass-like coating. It is best to avoid using magnets on these surfaces. Keep in mind that you shouldn't use any magnet that has the potential to act like an abrasive element on the refrigerator surface.


Vera Leigh

Vera Leigh has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2008. Her work has appeared in "Learn Overseas" and "Grad Source" magazines. In addition, she received an honorable mention in "Newsweek's" My Turn contest. She has written features for nonprofits focused on literacy, education, genomics and health. In her spare time, Leigh puts her English major to use by tutoring in grammar and composition.