Here’s how to clean up metal shavings from drilling or cutting easily using just a magnet and a thin plastic shopping bag.

To clean up metal shavings:

  • Place a magnet inside a plastic bag.
  • Pass the plastic bag with the magnet inside over the work area so the shavings stick to the outside of the bag.
  • Turn the plastic bag inside out and remove the magnet.
  • Dispose of the bag with the metal shavings inside in the trash.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: When in the workshop, I typically like to clean up at the end of the project, except when I’m working with metal. These metal shavings can be pretty sharp and dangerous, so I like to clean up as I go, and here’s a quick way to do that.

We’re going to pick up the metal shavings with a magnet, here’s a magnet from a kid’s toy game. But rather than just using the magnet, here’s the real trick. Take the magnet and put it in a plastic grocery bag. Then you can use the magnet through the bag to collect the shavings.

See how quickly that works? Right onto the bag, and then even here down here on the floor, just slide the bag along. You see how quickly and easily it gets all the shavings? And now here’s the real trick. Pick up the bag and turn it inside out and then pull out the magnet.

And what you end up with is all the shavings are trapped in the bag. Then you just wrap it up, toss it out.

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avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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