How Fast Does Colloidal Silver Lose its Potency?
By far the #1 question I get from users of colloidal silver generators is “how long will a batch of homemade colloidal silver last before it begins to lose its potency?”
Whether you use a commercial brand of colloidal silver, or make your own colloidal silver, how long it remains potent during storage depends a lot upon how you store it.
Here’s some in-depth information on proper storage of your colloidal silver, so you can enjoy maximum potency no matter how long it’s stored…
Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge…
If you know what sign to look for, colloidal silver will actually tell you when it’s beginning to lose potency.
My general rule of thumb is to watch for precipitation of silver particles in the storage bottle.
If you’re using a dark glass storage container, such as the amber glass bottles many people like to store their homemade colloidal silver in, you may have to hold the bottle up to a bright light, or shine a flashlight through it, and carefully examine the sides and bottom.
If the silver particles are beginning to fall out of suspension (called precipitation) and coat the sides or bottom of your glass storage container, then it is time to make a fresh batch.
Otherwise, if there is no precipitation of the silver particles, then your colloidal silver solution should be as good to use as the most freshly made colloidal silver.
What Causes Silver Particles to Precipitate Out of Solution?
There are many things that can cause precipitation of silver particles. Indeed, everything from storing your colloidal silver solution in bright light, to storing it near a magnetic influence such as a large stereo speaker or a micro-wave oven, can create conditions in which the silver particles begin to fall out of suspension and begin to coat the bottom of your storage container with a thin gray film.
For those who make their own colloidal silver, one of the most common causes of precipitation of the silver particles is the use of a colloidal silver generator that produces overly-large silver particles.
The larger the silver particles are in your colloidal silver solution, the heavier they are. And the heavier they are, the more highly electrically charged they have to be in order to remain suspended in a state of Brownian motion in the solution.
What is Brownian Motion?
Brownian motion is, in part, what helps keeps your silver particles from precipitating out of solution. It is caused when the positive electrical charge on each of the billions of microscopic silver particles in the solution creates a condition in which the silver particles constantly repel each other, much as the positive poles on two magnets will always push the magnets apart and never let them join together.
Picture billions of tiny silver particles suspended in a solution of distilled water, with every one of the particles in non-stop movement because they are constantly being repelled by the next nearest silver particle. Each particle of silver acts like a “pong” paddle to the next nearest silver particle. Even though they never touch each other, they appear to “bounce” off of each other and propel each other in different directions. This goes on constantly, literally billions of times per second.
Agglomeration of Silver Particles
But when the electrical charge on some of the silver particles begins to weaken dramatically, those weakened particles will start to precipitate, or fall out of suspension.
And having lost their electrical charge, many of them will be attracted to more highly charged silver particles as they fall toward the sides or bottom of the bottle. And as the particles are attracted to each other they begin to bond together in clusters – a process called agglomeration, or aggregation.
Finally, as these silver particles begin to cluster, their size and weight is increased. And as more physical silver is added to the cluster, the electrical charge on the more highly charged particles is dissipated by virtue of the fact that the charge is now being shared by more and more silver particles.
Thus the electrical charge being carried by one silver particle now has to carry the weight of two, three, four, five, ten, or even more silver particles as the clusters begin to grow in size. And after a while, the remaining electrical charge on these growing particle clusters can no longer carry the sheer weight of the clusters, and they begin to fall completely out of suspension, eventually coating the bottom of the storage container with a thin gray film.
This situation is exacerbated when salt, baking soda or other additives are used during the colloidal silver-making process to boost the speed of production. The use of such additives actually causes particle clustering right from the beginning of the process, which in turn leads to premature precipitation of the particles from the solution as those overly large particle clusters slowly lose their electrical charge.
Not So With the Micro-Particle Colloidal
Silver Generator from The Silver Edge
The Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator produces silver particles so small there is usually no particle agglomeration and no precipitation whatsoever, except perhaps under the most extreme of conditions, such as sending a solution through a strong electro-magnetic field at an airport checking station.
Even then, micro-particle silver is usually so stable, there is very little if any precipitation of the silver particles.
In fact, I have stored a quart of micro-particle colloidal silver in my kitchen cabinet for well over five years now, and there is still zero precipitation of the silver particles. This means it is still just as fresh (and potent) as the day I made it.
If you tried this with a conventional colloidal silver generator, you’d probably get visible precipitation of the silver particles within six weeks, maybe a little bit longer, depending upon the generator and the quality of silver it produces.
That’s one of the huge benefits of producing micro-particle colloidal silver with a Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator. Because it is composed of very small silver particles (as small as .0008 microns), and because they are very highly electrically charged, they almost never fall out of suspension in the solution. They remain just as fresh and potent as the day you make them, literally for years on end.
Plus, during the colloidal silver-making process, each tiny silver micro-particle becomes attached to an oxygen molecule, thanks to the built-in air bubbling action of the generator. This further adds to the stability of the silver particles, and helps makes micro-particle colloidal silver completely unique from any other form of colloidal silver.
Storing Your Colloidal Silver Properly
But how do you maximize the longevity and prolong the potency of your colloidal silver batches while they’re in storage?
There are three basic factors you need to be aware of:
Factor #1: Bright Light
First and foremost, colloidal silver needs to be stored out of bright light.
That’s because prolonged exposure to bright light causes silver particles to oxidize, then lose their electrical charge and fall out of suspension, dropping to the bottom of your storage container.
As the silver particles begin to fall out of suspension, they’ll coat the bottom of your storage container with a fine gray silt-like coating.
If you see that gray, silt-like coating covering the entire bottom of your colloidal silver storage container, you know that particular batch of colloidal silver is fast losing potency.
That’s because, as more and more silver particles begin to oxidize and drop to the bottom of the container, fewer and fewer electrically-charged silver particles will be left suspended in the water. So when you use the batch, not nearly as many silver particles will be available to kill bacteria, stimulate healing and boost immunity.
That’s why most people store their colloidal silver in a dark glass storage container. Most people either use dark amber glass storage bottles with plastic lids, or the colored decorative Ball canning jars like the one shown on this web page.
Here’s the good news: If your colloidal silver is stored in a dark glass container, it can safely be stored on a kitchen counter top instead of in a dark cabinet, because the dark color on the glass bottle filters out the spectrum of light that causes silver particles to oxidize.
Cobalt blue glass storage bottles can also be used, such as the one to the left.
A lot of people also use old dark-colored wine bottles, Bailey’s Irish Cream bottles, or other dark glass bottles to store their colloidal silver.
Some people even use inexpensive glass bottles like these, which can be found at Walmart.
You can even wrap duct tape around a clear glass storage container to keep the light out, and store your colloidal silver in that.
If all you have available is a clear glass storage container, one of the simplest solutions is to take a dark sock and pull it up over the container to keep the light out (see a quick “how to” example, here).
The bottom line is that prolonged or frequent exposure to bright light can begin to oxidize your silver particles and cause them to fall out of suspension. So to extend the potency of your colloidal silver in storage you should always do your best to keep it protected from exposure to bright light.
A little bit of exposure to light, such as when you’re pouring some colloidal silver out of the storage container to drink or to apply topically is not going to cause a problem. Again, it’s prolonged or frequent exposure to bright light that causes the oxidation issue.
Factor #2: Temperature Control
Colloidal silver should be stored at room temperature (i.e., between 68-85 degrees), rather than, say, in a garage where temperatures can fluctuate dramatically between daytime and nighttime.
Over the course of time, fluctuating temperatures can cause silver particles to fall out of suspension prematurely, resulting in lost potency. Keeping your colloidal silver stored in a temperature-controlled climate (such as in a dark cabinet, inside your house) can extend its potency dramatically. Properly stored colloidal silver can retain its potency for years.
As an aside, never store colloidal silver in the refrigerator. That’s because the silver particles are in a state of Brownian Motion, which simply means they repel each other in the water. This Brownian Motion helps keep your silver particles from clumping together (i.e., agglomeration) and becoming too heavy to remain in suspension.
Indeed, if you could see the billions of submicroscopic silver particles suspended in the water, it would have the appearance of an elaborate (but erratic) dance, with silver particles appearing to collide or near-collide with each other, and then being repelled away from each other, over and over and over again, many times per second.
That’s because the positive electrical charge on each silver particle causes the particles to repel from each other, just as trying to touch the positive ends of two magnets causes them to repel from each other. So the silver particles in your batch of colloidal silver are constantly moving, quite literally every second.
Visually, think of an elaborate ballet with a dozen ballet dancers on stage all weaving in and out between each other in synergism, and you’ll pretty much get the picture.
But cold temperatures such as those from a refrigerator will cause that Brownian Motion “dance” to slow down dramatically, which in turn will allow silver particles to begin falling out of suspension.
The bottom line is to keep your colloidal silver batches stored at room temperature, and let the “dance” (i.e., Brownian motion of the suspended silver particles) continue.
Factor #3: Electro-Magnetic Influences
If possible, your colloidal silver should also be stored three or four feet (or more) away from strong electro-magnetic influences such as a microwave oven, or even from a set of large stereo speakers with large magnets in them.
That’s because prolonged exposure to strong electro-magnetic influences can, over time, disrupt the potency of a batch of colloidal silver.
This is probably the least worrisome of storage problems. But it’s another factor that colloidal silver users have found in the past to influence the longevity and potency of their colloidal silver batches.
Factor #4: Water Quality
Of course, there are a number of other factors that can influence how long a batch of colloidal silver will remain potent while in storage.
One of the most important factors is the quality of the water that was used to make the colloidal silver batch.
Only steam distilled water should be used when making colloidal silver, because all other forms of water have loads of mineral content in them. And over time, the mineral content can rob your silver particles of their electrical charge, causing them to fall out of suspension.
Even water produced by reverse osmosis still has too much mineral content in it for making high-quality colloidal silver.
This is important to understand, because if you fail to make your colloidal silver with steam-distilled water, over time the excess mineral content in the water will begin to bond with the electrically charged silver particles and rob them of their electrical charge, causing them to fall out of suspension.
So if you’re making batches of colloidal silver and you’re keeping them properly stored as I’ve explained above, but you’re still having problems with silver particles falling out of suspension while in storage, then you’re likely having a problem with mineral content in your water, and you need to make sure you’re using a good, high-quality brand of steam-distilled water.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that colloidal silver will retain full potency quite literally for years if it’s made properly, and stored properly. If not, the silver will only retain potency for a few months at best before beginning to fall out of suspension and coat the bottom of the storage bottle.
As I mentioned before, I have a quart of homemade colloidal silver in my cabinet that’s over five years old now, and it’s still just as potent as the day I made it. But that’s because it’s stored in a dark glass bottle…it’s stored indoors at room temperature…it’s stored away from powerful electro-magnetic influences such as a microwave oven…and it was made with very high-quality steam-distilled water.
Hopefully this information was helpful for you, but if you have any questions about properly storing and checking the potency of your colloidal silver batches, simply come join the Colloidal Silver Secrets Group on Facebook and ask!
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The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual
Important Note and Disclaimer: The contents of this Ezine have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information conveyed herein is from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee can be made in regards to the accuracy and reliability thereof. The author, Steve Barwick, is a natural health journalist with over 30 years of experience writing professionally about natural health topics. He is not a doctor. Therefore, nothing stated in this Ezine should be construed as prescriptive in nature, nor is any part of this Ezine meant to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Nothing reported herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author is simply reporting in journalistic fashion what he has learned during the past 17 years of journalistic research into colloidal silver and its usage. Therefore, the information and data presented should be considered for informational purposes only and approached with caution. Readers should verify for themselves, and to their own satisfaction, from other knowledgeable sources such as their doctor, the accuracy and reliability of all reports, ideas, conclusions, comments, and opinions stated herein. All important health care decisions should be made under the guidance and direction of a legitimate, knowledgeable and experienced health care professional. Readers are solely responsible for their choices. The author and publisher disclaim responsibility and/or liability for any loss or hardship that may be incurred as a result of the use or application of any information included in this Ezine.
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