All About HEALTH > COLLOIDAL SILVER : the Magic of SILVER IONS
Super Easy & Cheap: make your own Colloidal Silver Solution at home
HOME-MADE COLLOIDAL SILVER
Easiest setting :
- 3 x 9 Volts batteries (2 x 9 Volts batteries are enough but the process is slower)
- 2 silver plates (or wires) of ultra pure 9999 silver. Distance between electrodes : around 1 1/2 inches or 4 cms
(Atlasnova.com sells very good quality silver for this purpose)
- Pure distilled water
- Recipient (glass recommended)
Useful accessories :
TDS Meter Laser Pen
HOW TO DO ?
To check the quality of you own colloidal silver it is wise to invest in a TDS meter and a laser pen. The initial investment to put together your own machine is worth it.
You have to use only 99.99% pure silver (or 99.999 %) !!
Price will fluctuate. You don't need a lot. Two silver coins will do fine, or anything around that size will last you for years.
Don't assume that any silver is pure. Purchase your silver only from a reputable source. Check local pawn shops for silver necklace, or try a local jeweler that does repairs (probably your best bet), or of course online (atlasnova.com by example).
You can also order 99.999% pure silver wire >> HERE <<
I purchase my silver wire from Atlasnova.com . I recommend using "Silver Wire 4-inch (2 each) 10 gauge" (12 gauge is also fine though thinner).
Video explaining how to build easily your own colloidal silver generator :
Video not working ? Watch it >> HERE <<
Go HERE for more videos.
Useful links :
Author's page : http://www.stenulson.net/althealth/makecs.htm#
UNDERSTANDING ELECTRO-COLLOIDAL SILVER GENERATION
Much has been written about the uses of Colloidal Silver since well before 1900, in reguards to the benefits of it's use in strengthening the immune system, and it's ability to kill over 650 different pathogens within 6 minutes of contact.
A couple of definitions may be a good place to start :
The term COLLOID, as used in chemistry, is defined in the Funk & Wagnall's Standard Desk dictionary as:" A state of matter in which finely divided particles of one substance are suspended in another in such a manner that the electrical and surface properties acquire special importance."
The Colloidal Silver we are interested in generating and using consists of extremely fine particles of pure metallic silver, each with a positive charge. These are also referred to as Silver IONS, because of their charge ( the +1 monovalent ion). It is the charge on a silver ion that is said to enable it to interfere with enzyme processes of bacteria and viruses, blocking their ability to use oxygen, killing them within about 6 minutes of contact.
Depleted soil mineral levels are associated with what some believe is a dietary silver deficiency problem for most people today - a deficiency directly related to decreased immune system function by Dr. Robert O. Becker, among others. Supplemental Colloidal Silver may be beneficial in many ways, and is not (in the metallic ion form) known to be toxic in any concentration, after over 100 years of study and usage.
BACKGROUND AND REFERENCES
British Columbia's "Ambient Water Quality Criteria For Silver" gives essential background for understanding silver's effectiveness.
There are two books in my library related to these processes I'll recommend now for those interested in researching further.
On the biological effects of silver, refer to Dr. Robert O. Becker's book, "The Body Electric : Electromagnetism and the Foundation Of Life" , ISBN 0-688-06971-1 for some excellent material on this topic. (I'll try to do a review with excerpts later, when time allows.)
Moving electrons between electrodes through a fluid to produce and manipulate charged metallic particles is not a process unique to Colloidal Silver Generation. The underlying principles are extensively understood and applied in practical applications by those in the Electro-Plating Industry.
For a book covering the basic electrochemical processes involved, as applied in Electroplating, I'll refer you to C.W. Ammen's book "The Electroplater's Handbook", ISBN 0-8306-0310-7 (TAB Books #2610).
I'd like to share with you some points that are relevant to the CS generating process, gained from my work, research, and observations over the last 20+ years with various electrochemical processes, and from my experience in some related Wet Analysis chemistry applications, as well as from my work in digital and analog electronic design and production engineering applications.
If my recommendations seem contrary to the recommendations of some others on the web, please understand that the information I am offering is based on my personal background, research, application experience, observations, and experiments, and my understanding at this point of the principles involved.
[Please note:] It is not my intention in offering the following information to 'step on toes' or contradict what others have said, but rather primarily to offer my family, friends, and any others interested, access to usable practical application information.
I'll ultimately tell you how to build your own simple devices and use simple test equipment you may already have, or can easily obtain from many sources, to produce high quality colloidal silver for your own use. If you choose to buy and operate one of the commercially offered devices available from myself or others (there are many listed on the LINKS page) you will hopefully have a bit better understanding of the process involved , and the underlying principles, after reading the following material.
1 - You may only need ONE silver electrode.
Here’s why: The positively charged colloidal silver ions are ONLY generated at the SILVER "ANODE", the one we have hooked to the POSITIVE power supply lead.
At higher current levels, some of the water is also converted to gases, with oxygen gas molecules evolving at the silver anode, and hydrogen gas molecules evolving at the negatively charged Cathode. While some others elsewhere on the Web have spoken of the possibility of oxidation of silver ions at the anode by this oxygen, such is not known to occur in electroplating operations. The Anode surface itself is what appears to oxidize, as evidenced by it's turning dark during the CS generating process. (We're continuing to research this aspect, and will report the findings here later.)
Here's a subject for further thought and research: In an AC powered operation as some others are promoting, where the polarity is constantly switched, other undesirable things may happen; it is known that in all electro-colloidal silver generating processes, some charge stripping of silver ions does occur as they come in contact with the cathode, resulting in their gaining electrons, and the resulting reduction to atomic silver particles (without the charge that is said to produce the pathogen disabling effect.) In a DC system, these reduced metallic particles remain as a grayish 'sludge' buildup on the surface of the cathode, and eventually are very visible at higher current levels. In a system where the polarity is switched constantly, this sludge is propelled and dispersed back into the water continuously, as evidenced by the 'clean electrodes' spoken of.
Mechanical effects of redispersal of plated out silver "sludge" from the cathode will occur at higher concentrations and especially at higher currents, especially if AC is used, resulting in much coarser, uncharged metallic silver particles than may be desired floating about in your product. Filtering with good lab quality filter media may be able to remove some of this "non-ionic" silver; settling of most of the really larger particle "clumps" might also occur within 72 hours, I'd estimate, if the particles are not too fine. I guess the question is this; are the positively charged colloidal silver ions, (as produced in a DC process), what you want in your product, or do you want non-charged 'non-ionic' metallic silver particles, as produced in the AC processes? From what I have researched and what I understand at this time, I'd stay with Dr. Becker's recommendations myself, and try to produce the positively charged Colloidal Silver Ions with a DC process.
[To summarize this for the technically inclined] please consider carefully that, just as positively charged silver ions are generated into the system at the anode, they are attracted to the negatively charged cathode. Many stay in the colloidal suspension, but as the concentration of silver ions build up, and the current flow through the system increases, more and more silver ions are drawn to, and come in contact with the cathode. When they do this, they are stripped of their positive charge, and 'plate out' on the surface of the cathode as a visible 'sludge', but do not bond to the surface structure - they accumulate as larger groups of loosely bonded, uncharged silver particles. If what I understand Dr. Becker and others to be saying is true, these uncharged silver particles, what I refer to as the 'silver sludge' formed at the cathode, should be removed if possible from your finished product.
Using a DC power source, with no polarity reversal, is my strong recommendation (and that of many others) for predictably generating positively charged colloidal silver particles (biologically active silver ions) in your product, while controlling silver 'sludge' dispersal problems. [Note that this DC supply can be produced either from an AC source, rectified, regulated, and filtered, or from a battery supply.] Electroplaters have long known that a well rectified DC power source was required to generate and manipulate metallic ions in their processes to achieve the desired results.
- The SILVER Anode is always connected to the positive of the power supply (+)
Remember[u/] : SILVER = ANODE = RED = POSITIVE
- Only ELECTRONS are donated by this process to the CATHODE which is hooked to the negative of the power supply (-) and silver ions remain in the water
Remember: CATHODE = BLACK = NEGATIVE = graphite, gold, stainless steel or ... silver !
Note that many talking about making colloidal silver may well be simply repeating what they’ve heard, telling others to use silver for both the anode and cathode, which can be done, but is not actually necessary. The silver anode, when hooked up to the Positive supply, will be slowly "eaten away" in this process, as it donates positively charged pure silver ions into the water. A stainless steel cathode can be used in DC generating processes, which is less expensive, and should last a lifetime if you don’t get carried away while cleaning it! Stainless steel of the alloy I use is chemically inert, and when Negatively Charged, donates only ELECTRONS to the process, and evolves some negatively charged hydrogen gas at it's surface at higher current levels . In a pure distilled water process, silver will not replate onto a silver cathode to reduce the 'silver sludge' accumulation, according to my test results.
Others on the web have commented that as the concentration of colloidal silver increases (in a constant current DC generating system), they have observed a 'growth of silver crystals between the two electrodes, shorting out the generating process'. I have tested using a higher frequency pulsed DC, between 20KHz and 30KHz, in generating my colloidal silver, rather than a constant current, and do not see this type of activity between electrodes spaced 1/2" apart. (Much lower frequencies would also be effective.) Stirring during the generating operation does not seem to be necessary when using the pulsed DC approach. It may also have added benifits in keeping the silver particle size small.
2 - You don’t need 27 to 36 volts to make Colloidal Silver :
Good things come to those who wait.
You can start with as low as 9 volts or 12 volts but it is just much slower.
In electro-plating, As little as 2 volts will move positively charged silver ions off the silver anode into a conductive plating bath solution, and other silver ions out of the solution to plate out at the Cathode. Using as much as 4 volts will produce a coarse, grainy texture, rather than a smooth, bright plated surface as would be desired. My thought that arises from this observation is this: Limiting CURRENT (for a given electrode configuration) may also be necessary to produce the desired fine particle sizes in colloidal silver generation. Too high of a current flow may possibly result in coarser silver particle production. Many others also emphasize the need to regulate current for this purpose.
In CS generating applications, pure distilled water has a very low conductivity to start; applying a higher VOLTAGE (= higher electron pressure is one way to think of it) helps get more CURRENT (= quantity of electrons) flowing through the silver generator system. The current flow through the system is what produces the colloidal silver. Please understand that no matter how high or low the applied voltage is, it's the actual CURRENT FLOW through the system that relates to the actual number of electrons moving through the system. See the Colloidal Silver Technical Discussions page for a further explanation if this seems unclear.
A single 9 volt battery will cause some current to flow through pure distilled water, but only at a very low rate; and it’s probably not necessary to be that patient! 12 volts applied to a CS generating system shows an increase in initial current, and hence gets the visible signs of the process going sooner. 15 volts works very nicely in my experience, and since the internal circuitry of the ZAPPER LTS+ and HFA, (or the 555 timer IC based pulsed CS generator I've shown you how to assemble ) has a maximum allowable operating voltage limit of 18 volts, the 15 volt external battery pack was settled on as a good compromise for most people's personal needs; It does the same job in a reasonable amount of time. Many others are using 27 to 30 volts, then using further means (the 40mA bulb in series) to limit the maximum current in the system to about 40mA once the conductivity has built up. This also works, as many will attest (although 40 mA may be more than what you want to use with small silver electrodes).
Starting with ONLY pure distilled water is critical to a quality finished product, whatever the approach.
If you're looking to generate large quantities for sale, etc., then a larger production system is in order. The same underlying principles still apply; however greater surface area of your electrodes would be very desirable. For now, we'll concentrate on the 'personal use' scale of production in this article. Making 8 (to 16) ounces at a time as you need it is most likely the best approach for personal and family use purposes.
For portable, go anywhere operation, using 10 AA size Alkaline batteries is an economical alternative to the multiple 9 volt transistor battery approach, since the resulting battery capacity (in mAH) is about 4 times as great. An optional plug-in wall transformer can also be used if you want to get away from battery use; they're available for $10 or less. I have a Yamaha Keyboard power supply transformer, bought at a WAL-MART, Model PA-3B, which is labeled as "Output: DC 12V 700mA" that actually produces 15.4 volts when used to generate CS. [Test to see that the no-load DC output does not ever exceed 18 volts if it is to be used to supply the Zapper LTS+ or HFA, or the Pulsed DC CS generator, or damage to the internal IC can result. ]
Rechargable batteries are another alternative to consider, along with solar photo-voltaic panel powered recharging systems.
It doesn't matter whether your power source supplies a flow of electrons from batteries or from another AC powered regulated DC source, in terms of the finished product, so you can choose whatever suits your preferences or anticipated operating environment.
Further advantages of working with 15 to 18 volts are realized when you get into monitoring the current flow during the generating process, to determine ongoing concentration levels of CS, and knowing when to end the process for a specific PPM product. Current flow never reaches the 'excessive' level, so a direct measurement of the current flowing through the system relates to the increasing conductivity of the Colloidal Silver solution, and that correlates directly to the PPM of colloidal silver in the product. In other words, you can watch the meter reading climb during the process, and end it at a specific current reading for the same PPM product each and every time.
DON’T ADD any other chemicals
to the water to speed up the process, as some have suggested! Some have suggested the use of salt or baking soda to speed up the process. Here’s why you don’t want to:
Salt, when disolved in water, ‘DISSOCIATES’ to produce sodium and chlorine ions in the solution. When silver ions are generated in such a solution, they rapidly combine with any chlorine ions to produce AgCl, silver chloride, which is visible as a suspended whitish cloudiness in the solution. The cloud slowly settles towards the bottom, but is too fine to be filtered out with coffee filters, no matter how many layers you use! This COMPOUND is not soluble in water, and precipitates out slowly to the bottom of the container. Silver Chloride is 300 times less effective against micro-organisms; see the B.C. water quality criteria for further information on this subject.
Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, also ‘dissociates’ in water to provide sodium and carbonate ions. When silver ions are generated into a solution containing carbonate ions, silver carbonate is formed, which also does not stay in solution in plain water, but also precipitates out, making it visible as a suspended white cloudiness which slowly settles to the bottom of the container.
Both of these compounds are generally referred to as silver SALTS, but because these compounds are not soluble in pure water, they are not what you want to get into your body. It's probably advisable to avoid producing them for any product that you think will ultimately be used for oral consumption! Since the positively charged silverions are 300 times as effective, it's most likely the form you want to make and use for topical application, too.
Argyria is a cosmetic condition caused by build-ups of silver compounds (non-water soluble ones) under the skin, and was experienced by the "Blue Bloods" in earlier times who were affluent enough to be able to eat all of their meals off of pure silver tableware, plates, cups, etc., injesting the blackish silver sulfide that tarnishes the surface. Colloidal Silver is said to not be known to be toxic in any concentration, and should not produce Argyria at our levels of usage.
Here's a brief quote from Peter Lindemann's "A Closer Look At Colloidal Silver"
(Speaking of making Colloidal Silver with low voltage DC = 36 VDC or less) First, the reaction proceeds very slowly. Often, for the first 15 minutes nothing seems to be happening. Then finally, a faint yellow mist will begin to form. Within a few minutes, the reaction will speed up, but the particles produced will be a golden-yellow as viewed with a flashlight. Using this method, 8 ounces of distilled water at room temperature can be made into a 3-5 ppm colloidal silver preparation in 20-25 minutes. Made this way, colloidal silver can cost under 10¢/oz to make. Electron microscope photographs of this product show a silver particle size in the range .001 to .004 microns. During manufacturing, the particle cloud is a golden-yellow. These particles will hang in the water at the level they are produced, and for the most part, will not fall to the bottom of the glass. This is what a "colloidal" preparation of silver looks like. After the particles disperse, the water will look clear again, but may turn a light yellow if the concentration is high enough and after the particles have become evenly dispersed.
"The Yellow Color"
There has been a fair amount of controversy in the public literature concerning the appearance of the "yellow" color. A lot of well meaning people have told me that "yellow is bad", "silver isn't yellow", "yellow is sulfur contamination", "yellow is iron contamination", and lots of other things. I finally found what I believe to be the answer to this question in a book titled Practical Colloid Chemistry, published in London in 1926. In the section on the "Colours of Colloidal Metals", sub-section on the "Polychromism of silver solutions" on page 69, I found the following statements: "The continuous change in colour from yellow to blue corresponds to a change in the absorption maximum of the shorter to longer wave-lengths with a decreasing degree of dispersion. This is a general phenomenon in colloid chemistry illustrating the relation between colour and degree of dispersion." This section goes on to describe the colors that show up in a wide variety of colloidal metal solutions. Interestingly, they ALL have a yellow phase. For true "electro-colloidal" silver, the particle size range that can appear yellow is .01 to .001 microns (10 to 100 angstroms) because that is the size of silver particle that best absorbs the indigo light, leaving only its inverse color, yellow, to be observed. The final transparent-yellow appearance only shows up after the particles have become evenly dispersed.
Please see Peter A. Lindemann’s excellent article about A Closer Look At Colloidal Silver on the Web at
for a further in depth discussion. It’s one of the better sources of information on this subject available to you.
HOW CAN YOU SAFELY ACCELERATE THIS PROCESS?
It's Simple: By adding the only thing you want in the end product, Colloidal silver from a previously made batch!
In the center, on the coffee cup warmer plate, is the "Started" batch mix, using 1/4th of previous batch and the remainder distilled water. On the right is the previous batch, a transparent deep golden yellow; pure distilled water is on the left for reference.
Use about 1/4 of your first batch as a "STARTER" for subsequent batches; fill the generator container up the rest of the way with pure distilled water. This gives the process a "Jump start" by increasing the conductivity dramatically, and will shorten the overall time to completion.*
STORE YOUR PRODUCT OUT OF THE LIGHT
Some on the web are claiming that their 'special process' can produce a product which does not 'deteriorate' in direct sunlight. Scientists / Chemists / Physicists will tell you, however, that real electro-colloidal silver particles- charged sub-microscopic silver ions, are extremely photo-sensitive. Exposure to light, and especially to ultra-violet light, results in 'knocking the charge' off of the silver ions, rendering them far less effective against pathogens.
In relation to this, consider silver as used in the photographic film and print processes; brief exposure to light causes profound changes to the minute silver particles in the film or paper, even though the change in these silver particles is not visible to the eye until 'developed' with another chemical process to reveal the changes.... in other words, while you can't see it, it's definitely happening.
So if someone is trying to tell you of some "magical" form of silver they are producing by their 'special process' which direct sunlight can't 'deteriorate', you might want to ask for more scientific details of their testing process. Does their product actually contain the extremely fine particle size, charged silver ions we are looking to produce? Maybe what they are talking about producing isn't really the same thing as what we want to be consuming - apples & oranges, if you will. More info is needed.
Useful Links :
UNDERSTANDING ELECTRO-COLLOIDAL SILVER GENERATION
A Closer Look At Colloidal Silver By Peter A. Lindemann
Colloidal Silver Benefits : The Truth About Colloidal Silver
51 Amazing Colloidal Silver Benefits
Making and Using a Colloidal Silver Generator By Matthew Stein, P.E. (PDF, 7 pages, 620KB)
Q: Which CS are we actually looking to create, mostly particular or mostly ionic (which is the one that actual does something)?
A: Mostly ionic. (About 85% - 95%) All generators make mostly ionic. Which part 'works' is still debatable. I think they both do.
Q: Generation of proper solution - which EC and PPM values indicate good quality Distilled Water?
A: Less than about 2 ppm or about 4.5 uS is satisfactory.
Q: Best voltage to run is: (9V, 27V, 30V, 40V...)?
A: You can make it with any voltage but generally lower voltage are better/easier. If you try to make it with anything above 12v you need to be pretty attentive.
Q: Does voltage need to alternate between electrodes and how often > (60sec, 5min, 10min...)?
A: No. It doesn't need to but reversing polarity every couple of minutes will keep the electrodes clean and probably make CS with a slightly higher particle content. But I find that polarity reversal is much slower. Personally I prefer straight DC.
Q: Is stirring necessary and how much (slow stirring, fast stirring)?
A: Stirring is very helpful for making clearer CS. A nice steady speed is fine. Doesn't have to be fast. Stirring gets the ions away from the anode and away from each other.
Q: Is current limiting required and is the current limited to a specific amount from the start (1mA, 2mA, 5mA...) using a fixed current rectifier such as 1N529X/1N530X or is it some sort of a dynamic process (which one and how)?
A: Its not essential but current limiting is just one more thing that helps you make a good batch more often. It slows down the process so the ions are released into a less saturated zone and the batch wont go too conductive too fast. 1 mA is the ideal for the average system but its just part of a whole range of variables such as voltage, electrode spacing, electrode surface area, stirring etc that effect the end result.
Q: How does one know the process is complete, is there a time variable (run for four hours then stop) or some other factor (until current reaches some value, ie. 3mA, but then how does current limiting work)?
A: Stop just before it starts to change color. That takes practice, or get a good EC meter and stop at around 15 ppm. An auto-shut off generator that shuts off based on water conductivity will solve a lot of your questions.
Q: Does one need to run the solution through a coffee filter(s) after the "brewing" is done to get rid of large silver clusters?
A: Coffee filter paper will only remove the fuzzy deposits that sometimes fall off an electrode. It won't remove any genuine colloidal particles. But its best just to let the batch sit for an hour then just use the paper to filter the last 10% of the batch.
Q: Should there be a (big) build-up on the electrodes (crystal formations) during the process and at the end, and if so what color should it be?
A: Some grey fuzz on one electrode (the - cathode) is common. The less the better. The color of the fuzz is not important. Only the color of the water is important. (But a black coating on the + anode often indicates bad water).
Q: Color of the finished solution, tyndall effect: Should the solution be clear, pale yellow, golden yellow...?
A: Clear is best. Very pale yellow is OK.
Q: How strong should a Tyndall effect be (strong defined beam, pale beam, none at all)?
A: A matt 'creamy' beam is best but it doesn't really matter. It varies from batch to batch. Sometimes there's almost no TE.
Q: Should there be sparkling particles in the solution or not?
A: Preferably not. They indicate larger particles.
Q: What about darker bands seen floating when intersected with the laser beam, should we see those?
A: I don't know what you mean. Maybe you mean the 'ion cloud' that looks like gold smoke coming off an electrode. That should disperse and not be visible in a batch that's been stirred.
Q: Concentration and measurement: Using a HM COM-100 meter, do we measure in KCl, NaCl, 442 solution range?
A: uS/KCL is a 1:1 conversion. (eg 10.1 uS is 10.1 ppm of colloidal silver). But its just a guide. Its not dead accurate. (ppm/NaCl mode is the same as an ordinary TDS meter.).
Q: Using a HM COM-100 meter, which values of EC are we looking for and what do they mean (do we convert those to PPM)?
A: About 15 - 20 ppm (15 - 20 uS) is about an average good result for clear CS.
Q: Using a HM COM-100 meter, which PPM concentration of the solution are we looking for and is that measurement accurate?
A: See above. Its not accurate. Its just a rough guide. But its the best rough guide you'll get.
Q: Consumption - do we ingest (drink it, how much) (argyria comes to mind as a potential risk if ingested due to creation of AgCl in the stomach)?
A: Hold it in your mouth for as long as possible then swallow. Or you can nebulise it. You won't get argyria if you stick to clear CS made with distilled or demineralised water.
Q: Gargle, swish and spit out?
A: I don't. Some do. I guess it depends to some degree on how much you take.
Q: Apply orally (as a topical solution or gel)?
A: You can do that. A spray is nice. Especially on the face and in the eyes.
Q: Something else?
A: You could put it in an ultrasonic room vaporizer.
Q: Storage - Should H2O2 be added to the solution (35% food grade)?
A: Never in my opinion. For human consumption just make it nice and clear in the first place.
Q: Should the solution be stored in glass or plastic containers?
A: Doesn't matter. Good plastic is as good as good glass. PET (Coke bottle) plastic is possibly the best.
Q: Do the containers need to be in amber or cobalt blue color?
A: No, but store it out of the light. Keep a small amber glass bottle on the bench top for daily use.
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