Car Key Magnetic Switch Plate Hook

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UPDATE:  Thanks everyone for the kind words. If you like this instructable, please hit up the "Vote Now" link for the Green Contest at the top of the page.


This is the final product:  A surprisingly strong magnetic key hook that takes just a few minutes to do.  It is ridiculously inexpensive and does not involve replacing your existing plastic switch plate. I did not even use tape or glue.  This is so easy I debated not even posting it. However, someone else may find the information useful.  Keep in mind that you need to have the cheap, ubiquitous, builder's quality, plastic switch plates to make this work.  The magnetic force will easily cross a plastic switch plate.  Any other switch plate is YMMV. 

When you are done, you can turn the light out and take your keys. I already have 2 key hooks mounted on the wall next to the light switch. However, my wife has insisted on using both hooks to wrap the 2 rings she has on her key chain over top my keys. I constantly need to take her keys off the hooks to get to my keys. Instead of make a Federal issue over it, I made the switch plate into a magnetic hook for my car key.

Step 1: Begin With a Strong Magnet and Something to Wrap the Sides

Begin with a strong though small neodymium magnet. You can find them at hardware stores and on eBay. I had one lying around the house. I just found a rubber cap I had around the house.  You don't have to use a cap.  I needed it to bulk-up the magnet to wedge it between the switch plate and box.  You could just as easily tape the magnet to the inside of the plate or glue it. 

Step 2: Put Magnet in Cap and Put It Behind Plate

Remove the plastic switch plate cover and put the magnet in the cap and wedge it between the switch and electrical box.  You could probably wrap some masking tape around the magnet if you needed to bulk it up to wedge it or reduce the attraction to the adjacent switch.

I did not cut the power to the switch but I advise others to do so. Realize where the wires are attached to the switch. There was one screw on that side of the switch for the hot wire.  Therefore, I put the magnet next to the green ground screw at the bottom. That's it! You are done! The result is a surprisingly strong magnetic hook for keys (as seen in the first image).

Now I don't have to constantly take my wife's keys off the key hook to get mine. Yea.

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    73 Discussions

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    TheCommander

    3 years ago

    I see the author already addressed this issue my apologies

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    TheCommander

    3 years ago

    see comments on smart keys, pretty sure smart keys use RFID to communicate the data is read via radio waves not some kind of magnetically encoded data so I don't think that magnet is gonna do jack to them now your mag strip on your rewards card maybe but who cares the

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    DIY Dave

    4 years ago on Introduction

    That's great! I'm going to build one just as soon as I can get a strong magnet

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    Eonirn_toxic_ated

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, that's what interests me the most. Aside from magic electromagnetic interactions between the wires and the magnet, maybe there are more mundane risks.
    Like, what if the magnet gets loose and sticks to the nearest ferrous object.

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    kool1zeroEonir

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I dont know if it's a part of any electrical, safety, etc ... codes buutt magnetics only create a current in a conductor when there is a CHANGE in the magnetic field. i.e. if the magnet isn't moving it wont create any current in the conductors for the wall power.

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    countrylivin

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Teenage sons are impressed with Mom's "invisible keyhook." And it was sooo easy! Thanks, instructablesar!

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    decc1954

    7 years ago on Introduction

    to Instructablesar, All Genius solutions are simple. This is Genius.
    To others re hard drive, thanks for the info!!!
    Indeed, I had a great deal of fun reading these comments! Thank you.

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    bethbeth

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! Makes me think you could drill a hole partially through any cabinet door etc. and insert magnet. Making it usable for holding or hanging many things besides keys.

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    PSPerson

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I did it with a hard drive magnet and some duct tape... works like a charm! thank you for your brilliance!

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    siamonsez

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Brilliant, you have given me some interesting ideas too. The same idea could be used to "magically" hang key on the wall by putting a stronger magnet on the back side of the drywall, or on the inside of a hollow, interior door if you prefer to grab your keys on the way out of your bedroom or something.
    Could also be used instead of a hide-a-key because it could be placed somewhere a key shouldn't be like stuck to the under side of the eaves a bit down from the door, or the trunk of a nearby tree.

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    LStephens2

    7 years ago on Step 2

    I'm so glad you decided to post this. No idea is too insignificant. Some of the instructables are way over my head, but this is so practical and useful. Thanks!

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    rblprd

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea.. Too bad it won't work for me :-(
    But a great, SIMPLE idea (which is probably why I never thought of it before HI HI) pure greatness!

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    Kirk G

    7 years ago on Introduction

    WARNING: If your keys are magnetic enough to be attracted by the magnet in the wall switch, they can become magnetized.

    IF YOU HAVE A PROGRAMMED SMART KEY FOR YOUR AUTOMOBILE, you could demagnetize it... and loose your ability to start your car.

    Worse, if your key becomes magnetized, you'll be carrying a new magnet in your pocket...and possibly erasing objects that it comes in contact with.

    If you deal in magnetic media, jump drives, floppy discs, cassette tapes, credit cards, etc... this could be a VERY REAL RISK for you. USE CAUTION!

    5 replies
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    illuminKirk G

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. That was my thought immediately. As the author seems to be driving an Audi, he may want to be careful with a magnet this strong.

    I already have to keep my cell phone separate from the credit cards in my wallet, I can't imagine the juggling i would have to do if my keys became magnetized as well!

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    Spokehedzillumin

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You don't need to do that... None of your concerns are based in reality at all. My phone is in a leather case that I keep all my credit cards behind--not one of them has ever been erased in the years that I have had it back in there.

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    illuminSpokehedz

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That's weird, because my fears are based on experience. I've lost a credit card like that, and my dad has had numerous hotel key-cards cleared. Maybe we just have had some crazy phones.

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    Spokehedzillumin

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I will revise my statement a little bit. Hotel cards are made with lower strength magnetic stripes because they have to be erased over and over again. These are your best bet to have them be 'erased' by the phone--although it has never happened to me, and I keep them right next to my phone. And it's a smartphone (has been for years, the model changes but it's always a smartphone) so it's constantly sending data.

    So to each his own, I suppose?

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    SpokehedzKirk G

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    A smart key does not use magnetism at all. They use RFID or Infrared to transmit data.

    You don't have any risk of these things at all. Mythbusters showed that to erase a card you would need a magnet with such high Gauss that it would be gigantic in relation to the card.

    And even still, you don't put the split ring on the same way each time--thereby negating the magnetic effect each and every time you put it on there.