Do Magnets Affect Batteries? (What To Know)

A magnet is an object or a material that produces a magnetic field. The magnetic field is the region around the magnet within which its magnetic force acts. Magnetic fields are also present around moving electric charges. Magnets attract some metals to themselves and the force field surrounding them. It is invisible but is the primary property of magnets that pulls ferrous materials to themselves or repels them. 

The impact of a magnetic field on a battery is not significant to a damaging degree. In theory, the surrounding magnetic field could interfere with the movement of ions inside the battery. If it is a very strong magnet, it could also affect the thermal security mechanism.

Properties Of A Magnet 

Magnets have a unique characteristic. The major ones are;

Attractive Property

Magnets draw ferromagnetic objects like iron, cobalt, and nickel to themselves; this is the most common property magnets are known for. The magnet, unlike poles, also attracts each other, that is, the south pole to the north pole and vice versa. 

Repulsive Property

 Like poles of magnets repel one another, if you put the same pole of two magnets facing each other, they would repel. 

Directive Property

A freely suspended magnet will always point in a north-south direction. 

Do Magnets Affect Batteries? (What To Know)

Applications Of A Magnet 

  • To separate different metals, e.g., iron and steel
  • In compasses
  • Appliances like doorbells, fans, electric generators, and toys

To Separate Metals 

Magnet separates metals, like steel and iron, from waste and scraps. An electromagnet is fitted onto the long arm of a crane and lowered over the heap of scraps. The electromagnet is switched on, and the old steel and iron materials from the pile get stuck. The arm of the crane is then lifted to another place, and the current is turned off, which makes it lose magnetism. Once it is off, the steel and iron waste drops on a separate spot. 

In Compasses 

The directive property of a magnet is applied in compasses since it is a device used to find directions. A compass contains a tiny magnetic needle held on a pivot at the magnet’s center to rotate freely. The circular dial is calibrated with the directions (N, W, S, E). The magnetic needle always points in the north and south directions. Compasses are used by explorers, soldiers, sailors, and hikers to find directions. 

Home Appliances

There are different doorbell types with respect to the sound they make, like, the buzzer, the bell, and the chime. The core of a regular doorbell is an electromagnet. An electromagnet is a coil of wire wrapped around a magnet. Current flowing across the wire creates a magnetic field around the wire. Pressing the doorbell button closes the circuit, so current flows through the electromagnetic wire. The magnetic field triggers a noisemaking apparatus in the doorbell to produce the sound you hear. 

An electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, which is the reverse of a motor that converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. Both electric motors and generators use magnets to function. At their core, they have a wire coil in a magnetic field through which, in electric motors, the current is made to pass through, then the interaction between the magnetic field and the current causes the coil to spin. In reverse, the coil is spun for electric generators, generating the current. This principle is applied to fans for rotation also. 

Would A Surrounding Magnetic Field Affect A Battery? 

The impact of a magnetic field on a battery is not significant to a damaging degree. In theory, the surrounding magnetic field could interfere with the movement of ions inside the battery. If it is a very strong magnet, it could also affect the thermal security mechanism. The effect of magnets in close proximity also depends on the type of battery in question. Do not keep small batteries like AA and AAA alkaline batteries around free-floating magnets and other conductive materials because there is a risk of shorting the terminals, which can increase the heat in the battery. 

A regular magnet will ordinarily not do anything significant to a battery. Still, in the case of a science lab and high-power magnet, the iron around the battery casing will be attracted to the body of the magnet. If a few batteries are around the magnet, they will gather around it and short each other out. Strong magnets are capable of causing a short in non-ferromagnetic batteries such as lithium-ion, lithium polymer, and coin cells.

What Is The Force Of A Magnet On A Battery? 

A magnet’s force is determined by the strength of its field and its proximity to the battery. While the strength of the magnet is determined by how many turns of wire surround the coil of the magnet. If the magnet and the battery are close, the magnetic force will be stronger. It is possible to measure the magnetic force on a battery. Using a magnetic field meter, you can determine the strength of the magnetic field. With a ruler, measure and note the distance of the battery from the magnet. With both measurements, you can calculate the magnetic force on the battery using the formula;

 F = k * (B^2) / (d^2).

Where F is the force in Newton

            k is a constant (9.0 x 10^9 Nm^2/C^2)

            B is the strength earlier measured in Teslas

            d  is the distance between the battery and the magnet 

For instance, if the field strength is measured to be 1 Tesla and the distance is 1m, the force would give 9.0 x 10^9 Newtons when calculated.  

Things To Keep Away From Batteries 

To preserve your batteries, try to keep them away from the following materials or elements;

  • Other metals
  • Heat
  • Children and pets
  • Old batteries 

Other Metals

Avoid keeping metals and conductive material near your battery because it can lead to a short circuit, leakage, or high heat.


Excessive heat reduces the lifespan of a battery. It overworks the battery and can stop working, create sparks or start a fire or even explode. The hotter the battery gets, the faster the chemical reactions within the battery occurs. Unwanted chemical reactions such as gassing, corrosion, and passivation of electrodes are triggered, leading to reduced battery function. 

Children And Pets

Batteries are not toys and should not be given to children or pets to play with or kept within their reach. The contents of a battery are poisonous and not to be ingested. 

Old Batteries 

Avoid using old and new batteries together, or bad and good batteries close to each other. Keeping them together can cause leaks or rupture and damage the device. 

Other Things To Avoid Doing To Your Battery

  • Do not dispose of batteries by fire. This can lead to explosions and is very dangerous to you and the environment. 
  • Do not puncture or disassemble a battery. It can result in the battery rupturing and leaking acid.
  • Avoid storing your battery near heat sources.
  • Do not attempt to experiment with batteries without supervision. If you have to check a battery, ensure that you are knowledgeable enough and adhere to safety precautions. 
  • Do not try to charge a battery if it is not marked ‘rechargeable .’ You should only use chargers for rechargeable batteries. Charging a battery that is not rechargeable leads to rupture and can completely ruin the battery. Avoid using rechargeable alkaline batteries in nickel-metal hydride battery chargers.

How To Properly Store Batteries 

To preserve your battery, proper storage is part of the maintenance practices. Here are some tips for appropriate battery storage; 

  • Store it in the original packaging
  • Store them in a plastic container
  • Keep it in a cool environment
  • Use a battery box

Original Packaging

If you are not ready to use your new batteries, you can leave them unwrapped in the original packaging. It is safe and well preserved, and there is less risk of losing them, especially if they are small AA and AAA alkaline batteries.

Store In A Plastic Container 

The emphasis in the storage container is the make, which is plastic. Store the battery in a dry plastic container, away from the hot environment. Keeping it in a metal container can damage the battery or reduce its lifespan. 

Keep Batteries In A Cool, Dry Place.  

Ensure that you keep your battery in a cool environment. High temperatures make rechargeable batteries lose charge. High heat levels can lead to leakage and sparks. Heat also reduces the lifespan of batteries. 

Use A Battery Box

A battery box protects your battery from moisture or external elements like rain, snow, or water. It is a lightweight storage box made of heavy-duty polypropylene material. Most have ventilation holes and spaces where you can pass wires without taking the battery out of the safety box. 


What are some applications of an electromagnet? 

Electromagnets are commonly used in packaging equipment, animal feeders, security and automatic fire doors, simple solenoids, bus swing arm holders, and many more appliances. 

Does a magnet deteriorate with time? 

If a magnet is unused for a long time, it does not lose magnetic strength significantly, but magnets can lose their strength significantly in eight to ten years. 

What is demagnetization?

Demagnetization is when a magnet or an object loses its magnetic properties.  

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