Recently I was asked “How do you determine the freshness and potency of colloidal silver you’ve had stored in a cabinet for a long period of time?”

My general rule of thumb is to watch for precipitation of silver particles in your storage bottle. If the silver particles are beginning to fall out of suspension 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.


Brownian motion helps keeps your silver particles from precipitating out of solution – google image

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.


As these silver particles begin to cluster, their size and weight is increased – google image 

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 awhile 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.


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