Instructables

Magnetic Scrubber That Can Clean the Insides of Vases and Fish Tanks

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Sometimes it can be difficult to clean the insides of containers like vases and fish tanks. Many flower vases have an opening that is too narrow to fit your hand through and a shape that makes it inconvenient to use a brush. With a fish tank, you often have to drain the tank in order to clean the glass. Both of these problems can easily be solved with a simple magnetic scrubber. All you have to do is embed a strong magnet inside a sponge or other scrubbing tool. Then you can guide it with another magnet on the outside and clean even the most difficult to reach places.
 
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Step 1: Select a Scrubbing Tool

Picture of Select a Scrubbing Tool
The first thing that you need is a scrubbing tool. The ideal thing to use is a sponge. Since the magnetic scrubber that we are making is reversible, you can use a sponge with a course scrubber pad on one side and switch between the two sides as needed. You can also use tools like a magic eraser but these will degrade much faster than a sponge.

Step 2: Select a Magnet

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You need a strong magnet to be able to firmly hold the scrubber to the inside wall of the container. I recommend using rare earth magnets such as neodymium magnets. You can purchase these at most hardware stores.

Step 3: Cut the Scrubber to be a Little Larger Than the Magnet

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Take your scrubbing tool and cut it so that it is a little bigger than the magnet on each side. You want the magnet to be able to fit inside the scrubber but you don't want it to be too big.

Step 4: Cut a Slot in the Side of the Scrubber

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Use a sharp knife to cut a slot on the side of the scrubber that is big enough for the magnet. You want the magnet to rest in the centerof the scrubber. Be careful not to cut all the way through. The easiest way to estimate the depth of a cut is to hold the blade up to the front face. This will show you how far the blade will reach.
diana.lawing2 months ago

Good Idea !!!

smiddenkidden6 months ago

be careful what you use if you have an acrylic tank! use only approved products or you'll end up with scratches! (ps.. don't drain your tank to clean it either!! you'll lose too much of your good bacteria!)

pdxwildchild7 months ago

Omg...excellent idea...on a larger scale, for cleaning older sliding windows, also.

...thanks for sharing !

For a much larger scale, you can use a commercial magnetic scrubber. They are sold in pet stores to clean large fish tanks
emmae217 months ago
I have a friend that has this on her fish tank it really helps n it work
Cool but I am lazy and bought one perhaps you could do a mod on how to stop the magnets from picking up the fish stones and scratching the tank :)
soccerrox207 months ago
Do you know that you posted this in a pet contest?
The idea was that it can be used for fish tanks and other animal cages. They accepted the entry so they think it is at least somewhat relevant.
Libahunt7 months ago

Genius!!! :) :) :)
I wonder if upsizing this would help to wash windows more easily - both sides at once and without climbing out there. I'll try it this spring.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  Libahunt7 months ago
You just need to make sure that the magnets are strong enough. Most windows are pretty thick.
sonic broom7 months ago

this is so cool

jaytronics7 months ago
Great idea. This will be absolutely perfect for those of us that hate cleaning our hard to reach rear windows in our vehicles.
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  jaytronics7 months ago
Just be sure to use really strong magnets so that they stay attached.
ledgehead7 months ago

Awesome idea, market it before someone else does!

stubbsonic7 months ago

As a lover of magnets and cleverness, this is one of those instructables that makes it worth visiting the site regularly and looking for ideas. THANKS!

robokidd7 months ago
pure genius! I love it!!
Jetrod7 months ago
Absolutely Brilliant! I cant wait to try this. I have a few hard drive magnets laying around.

It's one of those d'oh-why-didn't-I-think-of-that-before idea. Thanks for this hack...

ehfo7 months ago

brilliant!!! thank you!