Steel or ceramic magnets that have been stored incorrectly, dropped repeatedly or are simply old may lose their magnetic properties. For optimal results when it comes to rejuvenating these magnets, touch one pole to the opposite pole of a neodymium magnet.
Obtain the Materials
Obtain a neodymium magnet, which is made of neodymium, iron and boron. Neodymium magnets can be purchased through online retailers, or may be found at science supply stores.
Determine the Neodymium Magnet's Poles
Identify the neodymium magnet's north and south poles by placing a compass close to the magnet in question. The needle of the compass will point directly south when brought in close contact with the north pole of the neodymium magnet. Similarly, the needle of the compass with point directly north when brought in close contact with the south pole of the magnet. Use a felt-tipped marker to label the north and south poles of the neodymium magnet for future use. In cases where the magnet comes from the manufacturer already marked with north and south poles, this step will not be necessary.
Determine the Old Magnet's Poles
Determine the north and south poles of the old magnet that requires remagnetiziation. This can be done by following the same process outlined in step 2. As with neodymium magnets, the poles of some steel or ceramic magnets may already be labeled when they come from the manufacturer, thus eliminating the need for this step.
Position Poles Properly
Touch the north pole of the old magnet to the south pole of the neodymium magnet. Repeat the process, this time touching the south pole of the old magnet to the north pole of the neodymium magnet. You may want to perform this step several times in cases where the old magnet is especially demagnetized.