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How to make Liquid Magnet

Updated on January 23, 2016


Liquid magnet, better known as Ferrofluid. Ferrofluids are colloidal liquids made of ferromagnetic/ferrimagnetic particles in a fluid ( usually organic solvent or water). It is used in electronic devices as sealing mechanism to reduce friction. It can be easily prepared by any one, so lets just cut the crap and get started with it.

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BeakerSteel WoolPipetteBurnerGloveOleic acidAmmoniaFerric ChlorideKerosineMagnetFilterGoggleGlass Stir Rod
Steel Wool
Steel Wool
Oleic acid
Oleic acid
Ferric Chloride
Ferric Chloride
Glass Stir Rod
Glass Stir Rod

Things needed for preparation

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Beakers
  • Glass stir rod
  • Pipette
  • Magnet
  • Burner
  • Distilled water
  • Steel wool
  • Kerosine
  • Ferric chloride
  • Ammonia
  • Oleic acid
  • Filter


  • Firstly wear safety goggles and gloves so that you are protected from any harmful chemicals. Remember SAFETY FIRST.
  • Now pour Ferric chloride (approx 25ml ) into a beaker.
  • Now add 25ml distilled water to the beaker.
  • Take a small piece of steel wool and put it in the beaker and stir well. Gently mash the steel wool as you stir until the steel wool starts disintegrating and the beaker becomes slightly warm.
  • Add few more steel wool in the beaker and repeat the same process.
  • Now filter the content of the beaker in an another beaker. Note that only those particles are removed which did not dissolve completely.
  • Now add 40ml of the strained solution into a clean and large beaker and then, add 40ml of Ferric chloride in the large beaker. The ratio should be approx 1:1.
  • Now add 400ml of ammonia solution into the large beaker very slowly, and stirring briskly. Note, you must have an adequately ventilated area as adding of ammonia will lead to elimination of toxic fumes.
  • The solution will first turn brown and then black as it becomes fully saturated.
  • Heat the solution prepared until the temperature of the solution reaches 120 degree F.
  • Now take 10ml Oleic acid in your pipette and add to the solution dropwise while stirring it.
  • Heat the solution until it reaches 200 degree F. At that temperature the solution will start to boil. Be careful to avoid any splashing and allow the solution to evaporate until it leaves you with 400ml of the solution.
  • Allow the solution to cool and after that add 200ml of kerosine and mix thoroughly.
  • After mixing is over the solution will begin to separate into two layers: dark top layer and lighter bottom layer. The top liquid is FERROFLUID.
  • Now separate the two layer using your own means. The ferrofluid will react when magnet is placed under it.

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  • If you don't have mesh filter then, use coffee filter.
  • For monitoring the temperature you can use candy thermometer.
  • Don't place the magnet in direct contact with the beaker containing ferrofluid, instead keep it at a distance of 2 inches from the beaker.


  • Read all the chemical warning labels before using it.
  • Work in well ventilated area.
  • Carefully dispose any chemicals.


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    • profile image

      Bruce Stewart 21 months ago

      What concentration of Ferric chloride?

    • blackpegasus profile image

      Partha Sinha 2 years ago

      Depends on how you want ferrofluid to act.

    • profile image

      Aidan 3 years ago

      How strong does the magnet have to be?


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