How to Remove Iron Filings From Magnets

By Susan McGrath; Updated April 24, 2017
Bar magnets create a magnetic field.

Iron filings and bar magnets work together to make an amazing demonstration of magnetic fields. When they are separated by a piece of paper or a sheet of Plexiglas, the filings align with the magnetic field of the bar magnet in a dramatic way. However, if you are not careful, you can easily end up with a bar magnet covered with iron filings.

Pinch off as many of the filings as possible with your fingers.

Press a sticky substance, such as wax or adhesive tape, against the iron filings.

Remove the sticky substance from the magnet.

Repeat using a clean spot on the sticky substance until all iron filings are removed.


If you use warm wax, be careful with the wax while it is hot.

About the Author

Susan McGrath has been writing since 2004, mostly creative nonfiction. She is a regular contributor of science-related articles to various websites. McGrath has a Bachelor of Science in wildlife biology and a Master of Science in cell and molecular biology, both from Colorado State University.