I saw an article on The Kitchen about putting magnets on jars for spices and thought it was a great idea. I decided to have a go myself.
I’m not a magnet expert but I know the strongest consumer readily available magnets are Neodymium. Neodymium are rated for their strength in Nxx where xx are numbers. The N stands for Neodymium and the higher the numbers, the stronger the magnets. At the time I found N35 in the lowest range and N52 at the highest.
The size also determines their strength as well. Usually, the larger the magnet, the stronger they are. They come in different shapes and sizes from as small as 0.5cm to as large as you want.
The size could be as wide as 3cm and 6cm high so getting one that fits in the area was not a problem. The depth should be as thing as possible for aesthetics.
In the end I found 1cm x 0.1cm circular N42 which have a 3M self adhesive on the south side (so the non sticky side is the north pole).
I have got rectangle spice shakers which have been around for a while. They were from Tesco supermarket which are refillable.
We also had cylindrical shakers but could not figure a way of attaching the magnets onto these types. Neodymium are quite strong and without giving the self adhesive a fighting chance the magnet could be ripped off the shakers and left on the metal surface.
The magnets came and I attached one to back near the top of the shaker for a test. I used a near full one but mileage will vary depending on the spice it contains. One magnet was not enough to stop it from sliding so I added a second magnet at the button at the back of the shaker. This time it held on but it still slid very slowly. I went on to stick a third one between the first two and it seemed to have solved the problem but at three magnets per shaker it was going to cost a lot!
I proceeded to the others which had less contents. Most held on with two but one or two required three. I figured I could always add more if necessary.
I didn’t want to find them on the floor in the morning so I did a quick test and lined all of them up on a vertical metal surface and left them there for about 30 minutes. To my surprise 3 out of the 5 slid to varying degrees. At this point I knew I needed to order more magnets but I went on to get some more shakers made up.
In the process of finishing off the magnets I had left I was sticking on the second bottom magnet when it slipped out of my fingers and it attracted to the top magnet! I tried to get it off but because I had peeled off the cover of the sticky adhesive it had stuck to the other magnet (North side attracted the South self adhesive side). Facing a loss of one magnet I got another one and carefully added a third magnet at the bottom. To my surprise the top magnet felt a lot stronger. With this in mind I decided to even out the bottom magnet and added a forth and the magnetism felt very strong. So strong in fact it stopped it from sliding. I decided to peel off the middle magnet and stack them the same way and it worked. OK this meant a shaker had four instead three but it felt like it had a lot more pull.
I would love to get stronger or bigger magnets like some N52 and / or 2cm diameter ones but they were more expensive than stacking the current ones. Also the self adhesive are a worth it and less hassle but in the end the fell off too easily. I used sellotape to keep the magnets from falling off the jar but tape doesn’t always hold either. I have tried hot glue gun and the hot glue seems to hold fairly well to the glass. It also has a cleaner finish than tape. I did try preparing the jars by cleaning the surface with soapy water but the 3M adhesive didn’t hold up.
If there are no places to put them, a metal sheet could be mounted somewhere so that they would stick to them. For example cabinet doors or under shelves. If there were a lot stronger magnets then the metal sheet could be hidden behind the cabinet door and the spices would appear to be floating.
This is a very good way to save shelf space and can be mounted on a lot of surfaces.