Adventures with colloidal silver

CS has been used historically as a disinfectant and germ killer up until the time of modern antibiotics which I think was sometime after the first world war? Internet data shows that it is quite good at killing pathogens, and if ever antibiotics become unavailable or ineffective, it will be nice to know how to make your own colloidal.

I am nowhere near being an expert on making this, but have read quite a bit and done some amount of experimenting so will share what I have learned. In view of its ability to kill microbes the old saying of being born with a silver spoon in your mouth makes a little bit of sense. I use it for cuts and burns and skin irritations and even have a spray bottle filled with it to spray down “environmental surfaces“. Note that the bottle is covered with duct tape to keep sunlight from affecting the solution. Apparently the sun makes it oxidize or something which may reduce its effectiveness.

Shown left to right. pure silver coins, hand-held green laser pointer, spray bottle of CS solution, empty pint canning jar, pint jar filled with already made solution, and on right two coins with alligator clips attached to the battery system.

It is important to use distilled water as your medium as it’s not nice to have any other elements or chemicals in there.. Apparently springwater is preferable to tap water in a pinch.

Use good .999 pure silver blanks rather than old US silver coins. The latter are only .99 pure and have other materials in them that you don’t want. It is rumored the old-timers would drop a silver coin into their milk to keep it from spoiling quickly. I drop a dime size blank into my plant water, but I don’t know that it makes any difference. You could probably ‘drop a dime’ in a quart of water and let it set overnight to help disinfect. I would also bet that during sickness you could suck on a dime blank to sooth possibly or help disinfect your mouth and throat. Some folks will gargle and swish with a colloidal solution. It is a good idea to first wash your silver in a solution of white vinegar or something to remove any coatings made from manufacture. Note – you can buy a pack of 50 of these dime sized blanks online. I think I paid just over 100 bucks which is about $2.20 a dime. They do look quite a lot like the old silver Franklin dimes, but they are a bit more pure. If you carry one in your pocket make sure you don’t put it in a vending machine. LOL.

You can find a lot of YouTube and Internet information on making your silver and that’s not a bad idea. There’s a lot out there and I have yet to understand the difference between colloidal silver, silver salt solutions, metallic silver solutions, and Ionic silver much less whether those ions are positively or negatively charged, but that’s ionic mystery stuff —. And there is a lot of theory about what size of particles to shoot for, and that may be related to the voltage of the battery.

The silver blanks are clipped to the inside of the pint jar and held in place with little alligator clips that go to the battery. You must make certain that the coins never touch. That might be exciting. Make certain that the only thing in the water is the silver and not the alligator clips or else you’ll be introducing stuff into your solution that you don’t want.

Internet sez that you can use 9 V batteries either singly or in series to produce anywhere from 9 to 18 to 27 volts. It may be that the greater the voltage the larger your particle size, and will let you know as soon as I’ve done some more experimenting. However some people say smaller particles are preferable. I am using a battery pack from an old lithium ion modem back up battery that is configured as a 3S system. This allows for a selection of four, eight, or 12 V. Again, lower voltages may help to create smaller particles which I think is what is wanted. Lower voltages take longer to create a solution than higher ones, but I am in no hurry.

Lower right corner above shows a module I built to limit the current draw via voltage drop from the battery pack above the module. As the density of the solution increases the current flowing between the two silver pieces increases. I have not watched this long enough to discover if there is a danger of overloading the battery when this happens, but this device will turn off the whole thing at a pre-selectable voltage. This would be nice if I ever go somewhere and forget that the device is still on. However if you are going to be around when your silver is brewing there is no need to build something like this, you can just plug your batteries directly into the wires to the alligator clip. Again make sure you’re around when you’re doing this in case the silver blanks accidentally touch and the current flow gets too much. It was not necessary to show the module and create extra work for you to build something new, but I thought it was pretty cool and want to share it.

Your first batch is going to take a while because you are starting from pure distilled water. After making the first amount then for your second try remember to pour a little bit of the colloidal silver you made into your new jar. This will help jumpstart everything and you’ll find it goes much faster.

The last thing to get, and it is optional, is a handheld green laser pointer. I bought this long before playing with colloids, but found out during research that the green laser is a great way to see how dense our solution is getting. Distilled water will not show the laser very much, but as it increases then you’ll see more of a light showing and you can even see the size of the particles. It’s way cool and fun to watch it concentrate, and you can easily see the different sizes.

I ran the last batch for a long time and it was pretty concentrated. The next day I looked at it and found that not only did I have different size particles in the mix but at the bottom of the jar some of the metallic silver, larger pieces, had settled to the bottom. Interestingly there were two different opposite places on the jar where the silver had collected. I am guessing that one side was the negative pole and the other was the positive. Also there were what appeared to be accumulated flakes of silver floating on the top of the water. Wonder how they decided to all come together into a flake? So much to learn…

Last thoughts on using silver as an antifungal for starting seeds. Apparently plants will not up take any more silver than they need so it seems you cannot OD your seedlings with silver. When I notice mold starting to grow in my wet seedling pots, I spray it with a little CS solution and it seems to help. Also touted for disinfecting water, studies say it is effective after five minutes so let it set another 10 or so. Well that’s all for now, I have to take a break because my brain is full. Oww, ow.

And the whole unit fits nicely into the pint jar for traveling and storage.

And for you environmental types, these batteries are charged using a small off grid solar panel. Thank you.