I love the magnets from dead hard drives! They are really strong and have a hundred and one uses. Here are a few simple kitchen projects using this versatile recycled resource.
Step 1: Chip and Bread Bag Clip
No matter how many plastic chip clips my wife buys from the dollar store, we'll always have one more bag of open chips. A pair of hard drive magnets seals the bag tighter than any plastic spring clip. Take it a step further and unleash your craft-fu to dress up the magnets. They're mounted on steel plates with convenient mounting holes, so get creative!
Step 2: Under the Counter Hiding Place
Shh... don't tell anyone.
I have this simple hiding place under my kitchen counter, behind the silverware drawer. The magnet is mounted high on the rear wall of the cabinet. The steel gift card box holds a spare set of identification, spare keys, and a small bit of cash. When the drawer is closed the box is hidden, but it can be pulled out and replaced easily without removing the drawer. You should avoid storing credit cards or other magnetically sensitive items this way.
Now I'm off to find a new hiding place...
Step 3: Over-Sink Utensil and Pan Hanger
I have a stainless steel sink. Whenever I leave a steel baking pan in the sink it leaves a rust spot and I get yelled at by my wife. We have very little counter space, so I mounted a magnet on the underside of my kitchen cabinet directly over the sink. It holds steel baking pans until I do dishes. It also comes in handy for holding utensils, freeing up more counter space.
Step 4: Remove the Iron From Your Cereal!
So why would you want to remove the iron from your cereal?
As you know, iron is a vital component of our diet. Many breakfast cereals are fortified with iron and other vitamins and minerals to insure that you get enough. You can use a hard drive magnet to illustrate the iron content of your food.
I added 1 cup of water to 1.5 cups of crispy rice cereal. I let it sit until it was mushy and then I pureed it in my little smoothie mixer (a prize from the Watermelon/Chervil Contest!). I poured the thick mixture into a 1 gallon zipper bag and added a little water, so that the bag laid flat about 1/4" high when it was 'burped' and sealed. I mixed the water and cereal slurry and slowly rubbed a flat hard drive magnet from the top of the bag to the bottom. I periodically rubbed the magnet from right to left across the bottom of the bag as well. After a lot of rubbing I had a tiny black speck in the bottom left corner of the bag. I could make it wiggle when I moved the magnet. Iron!
I decided to speed up the process by taping three magnets to a bamboo skewer. This worked much better. I soon had a bit of iron that could be seen without a magnifying glass. I could move it around with the magnet. Gee wizz- science. It wasn't enough to draw a mustache, but it was cool. I can't wait to show my nephews.
Step 5: A Few More Ideas
Have you ever lived in an old house where the kitchen cabinets have been painted so many times thaty they don't like ti stay shut? Replace the puny magnet catch from inside the cabinet and replace it with a heavy duty hard drive magnet- that door will never pop open accidentally again.
When you get a new major appliance, put the manual, warranty and any other important paperwork in a gallon sized zipper bag and stick it to the back of the appliance with a hard drive magnet. It will be there when you need it and it will stay clean.
These magnets are ridiculously strong, so you can make a magnet out of anything. This is a great way to display souvenirs and all the wacky nicknacks you want to show off. Go to a thrift store, drop $5 on a bunch of weird toys and junk, glue it all to magnets and open an Etsy shop. Retire at 30 and move into a tiny house in Austin- you're living the dream!