Using Colloidal Silver in a CPAP Machine

I’m frequently asked about using colloidal silver in a CPAP machine, in order to help prevent the bio-fouling (i.e., microbial contamination) that’s so common to the water used in the reservoir, as well as the air tubes and breathing apparatus.

Since there are no clinical studies I’m aware of on this topic, I’ve turned to CPAP users to see what they have to say. Here’s what experienced CPAP users who add a little bit of colloidal silver to the water reservoir of their CPAP machine have told me…

Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge

Some people write me asking if adding colloidal silver to the reservoir in their CPAP machine will keep the water and breathing apparatus from getting “funky” (i.e., coated with gunk and microbes).

Other people want to know if using colloidal silver in a CPAP machine will help with their breathing problems, or help keep their lungs infection-free.

We’ll discuss those issues, in just a moment, but first…

What’s a CPAP Machine?

For those who don’t know, a CPAP machine is a “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure” machine – a device that helps people with a condition called sleep apnea in which airways constrict and normal breathing stops periodically during sleep.

The CPAP machine allows sleep apnea sufferers to breathe more easily during sleep, and thus keep their body’s oxygen levels from getting too low.

To do this, an air mask is worn at night. The device increases air pressure in the airways to help keep them open and keep oxygen flowing into the lungs while the individual is sleeping.

However, to prevent the soft tissues in the throat and lungs from drying out and cracking due to the added air pressure, a small amount of distilled water is usually added to a water reservoir in the CPAP machine.

Tiny amounts of this water are picked up by the air current, which in turn helps keep the soft tissues in the throat and lungs moist.

This small amount of moisture helps prevent the drying and cracking of tissues in the throat and lungs so often experienced by CPAP users.

The problem is, sometimes the water in the CPAP machine, if not changed frequently enough, can get contaminated with bacteria or fungus, and CPAP users can end up with serious chronic upper respiratory infections, bouts of bronchitis or even pneumonia.

As one unfortunate individual found out the hard way:

“…I have been frustrated with sleep apnea and having to use the CPAP device. I was diagnosed in 2008 and since then have had re-occurring bouts of what has been diagnosed as sinusitis.

Late last year (Oct) I contracted a rather serious bout of bronchitis. I was prescribed the usual antibiotics and inhaler and after about 6 weeks started to show some signs of recovery.

Then in April it came back and the same sort of regiment was applied again, another 6-8 weeks.

Early July again…this time I got into a local clinic as my GP was booked, same routine antibiotics and inhaler.

I had just recovered from that episode when it hit again this time sending me to the ER as now my breathing was severely compromised.

Chest Xray’s led the Dr. to diagnose bronchitis once again and once again the aforementioned regiment – however each time the antibiotics seemed to change and Prednisone was added.

I suspected something with my machine must be causing this and despite a thorough cleaning on regular basis I decided it was time for an upgrade.

The technician examined my old machine closely and was able to get inside and I was horrified to hear him tell me it was infected with mold!

…So I suspect I have mold that has taken up residence in my nasal cavity if not lungs as each night the constant air pressure sends these spores into my lungs causing the bronchial like conditions.

What else could it be?

Many of the symptoms a lot of CPAP users describe sound so familiar, sinus headaches, chronic infections, facial pressure, nasal discharge, dry and very wet cough, extreme fatigue and the list goes on.

…Someone will make a fortune when they invent a CPAP machine that is mold and infection-free and smart enough to force only enough air to prevent an apnea episode throughout the night.”

That pretty much sums up the experiences many people have had with their CPAP machines becoming contaminated with microbial growth that can later cause upper respiratory infections such as sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and more.


To help resolve this potentially very serious issue, a lot of CPAP users add anywhere from a teaspoonful to an ounce or two of 10 ppm colloidal silver to the distilled water in their CPAP machine’s water reservoir.

They claim this helps keep the water in the reservoir disinfected and clean of microbial buildup. It reduces the frequency with which the water needs to be changed. And more importantly, it is said to help prevent the chronic upper respiratory infections so often associated with CPAP machine usage.

I’ve never used a CPAP machine, so I’ve never had the opportunity to experiment with using colloidal silver in one.

But the operative word is “experiment” because that’s exactly what people who use colloidal silver in their CPAP machine are doing.

That’s because there are no clinical studies showing that it’s safe to breathe colloidal silver into your lungs for hours a day on a regular daily basis.

The animal studies I’ve seen have demonstrated that after 90 days of breathing an atomized colloidal silver mist into the lungs, animals started accumulating silver in their lungs, which led to reduced lung function over time.

Of course, as in many animal studies in which silver is involved, overly-large dosages of silver were used by the researchers. So it’s difficult to know for sure how those studies may, or may not, apply to humans inhaling small amounts of colloidal silver into their lungs at night through their CPAP machines.

So while these animal studies do not constitute “proof” that small amounts of silver inhaled into the lungs regularly, over long periods of time, is bad for you, at the very least they certainly indicate that the lowest levels possible should be used for anyone considering experimenting with this idea.

What CPAP Users Say

Over the years, a lot of CPAP users have told me they add colloidal silver to their water tank. As one gentleman recently wrote:

“My CPAP reservoir holds about 14 oz of liquid. Typically I’ll add 1 oz to 2 oz of colloidal silver, depending upon various factors, with the remainder liquid being distilled water…

I have tried a full reservoir of colloidal silver and it appears to work fine insofar as the uptake and therapy go.

I note though that the more colloidal silver I add to the reservoir the more problems I appear to have with the mucous membrane drying out in my nose, mouth, and throat…

I will say that I have no fungal growth problems with my hose or nose/mouth mask on my CPAP when using colloidal silver in the reservoir.

My wife had a fungal problem in her reservoir and hose until she started adding an ounce or two of colloidal silver to her machine and now she has none. Hope this helps.”

I find that particular anecdotal account quite interesting.

It appears from the above anecdotal account that adding too much colloidal silver to the water reservoir (i.e., straight colloidal silver, instead of few ounces mixed into a reservoir full of distilled water) negates the purpose of the distilled water, which is to help keep the soft tissues in the nose, mouth and throat from drying out.

That’s probably because of mineral residue (i.e., silver) that ends up coating the lungs and afterwards drying them out, sort of like the spots on a newly cleaned glass that’s been sitting in the dish rack for awhile to dry.

But adding just the right amount of colloidal silver to the reservoir (i.e., an ounce or two of 10 ppm colloidal silver to 14 ounces of distilled water) appears to stop microbial growth in the water reservoir and the breathing apparatus without the negative effect of drying out the mucous membranes caused by using straight colloidal silver in the CPAP machine.

Another CPAP user wrote:

“I use colloidal silver in a CPAP, and the water does not get funky.

I used to have to clean my water tank and hose about every week. Now I clean it about every gallon of distilled water, which is usually a month or so.

Once cleaned, I add an ounce of colloidal silver (just for the first fill). Now there are no weird smells or funkiness.

Plus it could be a coincidence but I used to always get bronchitis – I have not had a problem since I began doing this.”

So according to this anecdotal account, it appears that the addition of a relatively small amount of colloidal silver to the CPAP water reservoir (i.e., one ounce) helps keep the water disinfected, and helps prevent microbes from reaching the lungs and triggering bouts of bronchitis.

Another individual – a COPD patient – wrote to say the following:

“I have COPD. I also use a CPAP for sleeping and use both an ampule of Albuterol and about 1 ounce of colloidal silver in the reservoir along with filling it with distilled water.

This combination has kept my lungs clear for years with no problems.

In addition, the small amount of colloidal silver in the CPAP reservoir also keeps the reservoir, hose, and mask completely free from any fungal development.”

A lady who suffers from sleep apnea wrote:

“I have sleep apnea. And when I go to sleep, I use a machine to help me breath thru the night. I add colloidal silver to the water reservoir.

Since I started using it in the water my sinuses have cleared up. I sleep much better and do not struggle to breath now.”

An individual on the website wrote:

“I am using Electrically Isolated Silver [i.e., ionic silver – ED] in my CPAP machine’s water reservoir (distilled water w/ 1 Tablespoon of EIS).

…My dentist complimented on how healthy my mouth has been lately. I’ve been with him for decades and always had trouble with gingivitis.

Since I’ve been using EIS [i.e., ionic silver – ED] almost daily for the last several years all my gum issues have disappeared.”

In the above case, only one tablespoon full of colloidal silver is added to the CPAP machine’s water reservoir, and a rather pleasant “side effect” was noticed, i.e., no more gingivitis.

If you find that “side effect” interesting, you might want to read the article “Colloidal Silver Cures Teeth and Gum Problems.”

Here’s another anecdotal account, this time from the online archives of the Silver List:

“I also use a CPAP with a heated humidifier. I found that after 2 weeks the tubes would start to get a mildew smell and I would have to soak everything in vinegar to get rid of it.

I then began to put colloidal silver into the humidifier about 2 years ago and I never have to clean the tubes anymore as they no longer get mildew in them.

In fact after a couple months of running colloidal silver through the system I can only guess that all the tubes became coated with silver particles as I no longer have to put colloidal silver in the humidifier any more.”

Here’s another anecdotal account, this one from a Yahoo Groups colloidal silver forum:

“Just a bit of information you may be interested in. I was diagnosed with Asbestosis (not cancerous) a few years ago. The medication (3 different puffers up to 4 times a day) was improving me very slowly.

Then I put colloidal silver in my CPAP machine for 2 nights then nothing for 2 weeks. Then 2 nights again. Now I just do the silver 2 nights about every 4 weeks and no other medication.

I’m not 100% but I’m a hell of a lot better than I was. I don’t like to post on public forums, but if you find this information useful feel free to use it, BUT NOT my full name! thanks, Brian”

Notice the individual used very small amounts of colloidal silver, and only periodically, in his CPAP machine. His improvement was gradual. But he was able to wean himself off all medications for his asbestosis lung problems by doing so. Very interesting!

Here’s an account from a woman CPAP user who recommends changing the distilled water in a CPAP machine daily, and simply “spritzing” the water chamber with colloidal silver and allowing it to air dry, before adding fresh distilled water. She writes:

“The number one instruction that is ignored is to change the water every single day. Spores and other microbes are floating around in the air, and can get into the water. Hence, fresh distilled water daily is safest.

What I do is after emptying out the chamber into the sink, I just spritz it with a mist of colloidal silver, and set it upside down to air dry. Wow, big difference. It now always smells fresh and brand new. Never a musty smell. Same with daily washing the mask: wash, rinse, and spritz with colloidal silver. Never ever have I had that yucky smell since doing that, and it seems the masks last twice as long, always smelling fresh.”

Here’s an account from a CPAP user who says she only uses colloidal silver when cleaning her CPAP equipment, but occasionally puts some colloidal silver into her water reservoir if she feels she’s coming down with a cold:

“I now use colloidal silver to clean my CPAP and only add it to the water when I am fighting a cold. I find this works well for me. Since we make our own colloidal silver, we always have lots on hand therefore when cleaning my equipment I like to fill the hose with the CS and let it sit like that for a while then air dry. Also do the same with the mask and the water container. Makes the world of difference!!”

Here’s what another CPAP user wrote about using colloidal silver in his CPAP machine at the outset of a cold:

“I’m a happy owner of a Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator and I’d like to add my 2-cents to the discussion… My use of colloidal silver in a CPAP machine started at the beginning of a head cold episode.

I was already consuming several ounces of colloidal silver per day and wanted to get the presumed advantage of having silver particles in my lungs to prevent the cold virus from taking up residence in my chest.

At first I added an ounce or so in the 8-9 ounce CPAP tank. After a few overnight runs I went whole-hog and filled the tank with 10 ppm colloidal silver. My experiment was successful – the cold didn’t progress beyond the early aggravation stage.”

Naturally, a CPAP user probably wouldn’t want to continue using straight colloidal silver in a CPAP machine on a nightly basis. That could be too much for the lungs to handle over the long-term. But the above individual only did so at the outset of a cold, as a preventive measure, and it worked like a charm for him!

Here’s quite an interesting account from a person who didn’t use colloidal silver in his CPAP machine, but instead used silver dimes (i.e., pre-1965 dimes were made of 90% silver):

“For years, I have placed one silver American Eagle into our 5-gallon water-cooler jugs that I refill from the filter on my tap. It keeps slime from forming in the bottles AND in the cooler.

I also put silver dimes in my CPAP humidifier with the same result. My mother tells me that, as a child in the ’20s, they would put a silver coin in their milk bottles to make the milk keep longer.”

Of course, that works because the silver dimes leach very small amounts of silver ions into the water, on a gradual basis. Here’s one more very brief account:

“I use colloidal silver in the distilled water reservoir of my CPAP machine, to keep the water pure and to prevent microbial growth.”

So, that’s what people tell me they’re doing. And they claim they have no problems, so far.

And that’s probably because adding an ounce or two of colloidal silver to a 14 ounce reservoir dilutes the silver sufficiently so that the lungs can easily clean themselves of any residual silver.

Erring on the Side of Caution

However, considering the lack of good, solid clinical information about inhaling aerosolized colloidal silver into the lungs for hours at a time each day and doing so for days, weeks or even months on end, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Until better information becomes available, I’d personally either not do it at all, or only do it periodically rather than every single day. Or at least stick to the smallest amount of colloidal silver needed to keep the water reservoir of the CPAP machine from becoming fouled with microbial growth.

I say this because people once thought nebulizing colloidal silver into the lungs through a medical nebulizer was perfectly safe to do on a daily basis. There’s even a colloidal silver generator manufacturer who supplies a medical nebulizer with his generator so you can nebulize the colloidal silver every day.

However, when clinical studies on animals were later conducted by independent researchers, it was demonstrated that after 90 days of inhaling silver particles on a daily basis, the particles began to accumulate in the animal’s lungs.

Over time, this resulted in lesions in the lungs, and ultimately decreased air flow. Read the details here: Using Colloidal Silver in a Nebulizer

So, while I personally have no problem with inhaling colloidal silver into the lungs through a nebulizer when I have an upper respiratory infection, it’s definitely NOT something I’d do on a daily basis for weeks and months on end.

I’d only do it periodically, for a few days in a row, whenever I have an upper respiratory infection, because I don’t want silver particles accumulating in my lungs, however rare that might be.

The lungs are wonderful contraptions; under normal circumstances they’re very effective at self-cleaning, which is to say, at keeping themselves from being coated with dust, pollution and other substances that you breathe in on a regular basis.

But if you overwhelm the lung’s mechanism for self-cleaning by breathing in too much of a particular foreign substance (such as silver, for example), hours-a-day, day-in and day-out for long periods of time, then it appears based on the latest animal research that you could possibly end up with silver accumulating in the lungs, and even incur lung damage over time.

So once again, it’s a situation where moderation in all things should be the watchword. I’m not telling anyone what to do. I know many people tell me they’ve been using colloidal silver in their CPAP machines for years. I’m just setting forth the facts as I understand them, and letting people make their own decisions.

To learn more about using colloidal silver in the lungs and sinuses, see:

Make Your Own Colloidal Silver for Pennies

Colloidal silver can be purchased at just about any local health food store, or through a number of online sources including

However, it’s quite literally one of the most expensive and heavily marked-up nutritional supplements in existence.

Health food store owners, for example, often charge as much as $20-$30 for a tiny four-ounce bottle. Yet the cost to manufacture four ounces of colloidal silver is about 12 cents. Yes, I said twelve cents.

Of course, people are willing to pay through the nose for colloidal silver, since it’s safe and natural, and works so well against germs, mold, fungus, and even viruses.

But thankfully, there’s no need to pay such exorbitant prices for colloidal silver, when you can make your own, quickly and easily, in the comfort and privacy of your own home, for about 36 cents a quart.

Yes, you can make it yourself for its actual cost, and altogether skip the sky-high mark-ups charged by health food stores!

If you’re interested in learning how to make your own high-quality colloidal silver at home, for about 36 cents a quart, here are some additional short articles you might want to take a look at:

Meanwhile, I’ll be back next week with another great article on colloidal silver….

Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick Signature
Steve Barwick, author
The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual

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Meet Steve Barwick

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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[IMPORTANT NOTE AND DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors. We are distributors of electronic appliances and nutritional supplements. Therefore we cannot and do not offer medical advice. Please do not call with medical questions. If you have a medical problem, please see your licensed physician. Self-treatment is not recommended. The FDA has not evaluated the information contained on this web site. Products distributed by The Silver Edge are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Testimonials are the subjective experiences of our customers and are not intended to be construed as being prescriptive in nature, nor a guarantee that the usage methods described are safe, effective or reliable, nor a guarantee that your results will be the same; individual results may vary. Additionally, the contents of this web site are strictly for information purposes only, and should not in any way be construed as providing or attempting to provide medical advice. Information on this web site is derived from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee, express or implied, can be made regarding the accuracy or reliability of same. Therefore readers are encouraged to verify for themselves and to their own satisfaction the accuracy and reliability of all reports, recommendations, conclusions, comments, and opinions. The Silver Edge does not make any claims or promises as to health benefits accruing from the use of any product. There is plenty of publicly available independent documentation -- both pro and con -- regarding the uses and efficacy of colloidal silver and its long history in health and medicine. For a comprehensive overview, you may want to obtain a copy of The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual (547 pages, from Life & Health Research Group, LLC, 1-888-846-9029). Or see the link above to "Some Interesting Sources of Information on Colloidal Silver." Colloidal silver generators are electronic appliances designed to produce high-quality silver colloid. They are not medical devices. The Silver Edge specifically disclaims responsibility or liability for any loss or hardship that may be incurred by the reader as a result of the application of any information included on this web site, or as a result of the use or misuse of any electronic product or nutritional supplement. You are solely responsible for your health and nutrition choices. Anyone with additional information on colloidal silver is encouraged to write to The Silver Edge at the address directly below, so that it can be shared with others who may be interested.]