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Colloidal Silver Differences



Colloidal silver generators sold for home production like the one in the image to the left, primarily create ionic silver by the process of electrolysis. Single charged particles of silver are released into water, although some nanoparticles of silver may be found in the resulting product. Large quantities of ionic silver can be produced at a moderate cost using a silver generator.  

Colloidal Silver production is not 'rocket science' and most kinds of silver work to kill pathogens.  Some smaller particle versions do work better however. 

To understand the differences between so-called "true colloidal silver," nanosilver and ionic silver you first have to grasp the simple fact that the term "colloidal silver" is an umbrella term covering many different types of liquid antimicrobial silver products.  There is no actual- 'TRUE COLLOIDAL SILVER'.

 Using electricity and pure water (deionized or steam-distilled), there are really only two types of silver preparations: silver suspensions and silver solutions.

The word “colloidal” is used throughout most of the scientific world (with some exceptions) to refer to particles of something suspended in some kind of medium. This medium could be liquid (such as water), gas or oil.

“Suspended” means floating around in the medium. Suspended means that the particle is in contact with the medium but is not a part of it.silverelectrolicimage.jpeg

“Colloidal Silver” (CS) means silver particles floating around (suspended) in the water.

The size of these particles range from a large size to a very small size. If the particle is too big to stay in suspension (if it sinks to the bottom), it is not colloidal. The most common technique to help keep these particles suspended is to use DC electricity to produce them, which imbues each particle with a positive charge. Since all the particles have the same charge, they repel each other like the two north poles of two magnets would. This helps to keep the particles in suspension for a much longer time. This, by-the-way, is also called “ionic” silver. The word “ionic” simply means a particle of something that has a charge (look it up in ANY dictionary, popular, academic or scientific). All silver preparations made with DC electricity are ionic. It’s not possible to make non-ionic silver with DC electricity. “Ionic” has nothing to do with the size of a particle, it merely means it has a charge, whatever size that particle is. As long as the particles have this repelling charge, they stay in suspension (unless they are too big).


( Millions of people worldwide have been using ionic forms of colloidal silver with great success for decades.  However, in the late 1990's several websites appeared on the internet marketing their version of so called "true colloidal silver' or 'true colloids' which are the non-ionic version or metallic silver.)

 The second type of silver preparation is a silver solution. A colloid is generally defined as having a maximum size (above which it would be too large to stay in suspension) down to a minimum size, although the scientific world is not in complete agreement on that minimum size (and depending on which substance). Some say one micron, some say smaller, but the point is this: smaller than this minimum size, the particles are not considered to be suspended in the medium, they are considered to be DISSOLVED into the medium. If you were to stir a teaspoon of sugar into a glass of water, you would not say that the sugar is floating around in the water, you would just have sweet water. The sugar would be a part of the water, and it would never leave the water and sink to the bottom, because it is dissolved.

silver.jpegA silver preparation that has successfully dissolved silver into water (a silver solution) is called by the scientists, “Nanosilver”. The properties of dissolved nanosilver are completely different than suspended colloidal silver. Nanosilver is unaffected by sunlight, magnetic fields or freezing (like colloidal silver is). 

The advantages of nanosilver over colloidal silver is that the silver goes wherever the water goes, which is everywhere in the body. Colloidal silver particles are too large to pass through the membranes of the cells in our body, but inside the cells is where viruses like to hide. So, according to Drs Robert Demling and Robert Burrel, nanosilver is exponentially more effective against viruses than colloidal silver. Both forms of silver will kill pathogens in the blood stream, but nanosilver is able to pass through cell membranes to kill viruses within the cells.

Here's the important part: EVERYTHING we make or is sold (that is made with electricity) is a combination of both colloidal silver and nanosilver. It is impossible to brew something that is only one or the other. BOTH forms of silver are ionic (meaning, a particle with a charge). It is impossible to make a non-ionic silver particle when using DC electricity to brew it. It is ALL ionic.


There are several so called forms of 'colloidal silver' found on the internet these days-  forms such as:

Ionic silver – extremely small, positively charged atoms or molecules of silver in a colloidal suspension

Metallic silver – bare metal silver particles averaging 100 nm or larger, in a colloidal suspension- this is sometimes called " True Colloids' or True Silver

Nanosilver or Micro-Particle – bare metal silver particles averaging less than 100 nm in size, in a colloidal suspension

Mild Silver Protein – bare metal particles of silver complexed with denatured protein such as casein, in a colloidal suspension

Silver Citrate – ionic silver complexed with citric acid, in a colloidal suspension


While there are some pretty big differences between each of these forms of colloidal silver, the main thing to remember is that they're all "colloidal" in nature.  Which, in essence makes them all 'True Colloidal Silver". 


That is to say, they're all composed of relatively small particles of one form of silver or another, suspended homogeneously and indefinitely in water. They're not dissolved in the water. They're tiny, submicroscopic particles of silver suspended in the water, making them colloids. 


Silver can exist in ‘elemental’ or ‘ionic’ form. Silver ions are also referred to as ‘Ag+’ or ‘silver cations’. All silver-containing products, whether elemental or ionic, achieve their antimicrobial effect via the action of silver cations (i.e., silver ions)."

-- Systagenix Wound Management 2011, January 2011 Edition, Silver White Paper, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Use of Silver in Wound Therapy, Sharon Lindsay, Systagenix

What makes each of these forms of colloidal silver different is how they're produced and how they work inside yours or your pet's body.

Our micro-particle colloidal silver is composed of actual silver particles suspended in water and smaller particles basically dissolved in the water as well.  It is a positively charged form of silver. this makes our silver a combination of nano-particle and Ionic silver, however this is colloidal silver in nature.  The size of the particles  are extremely small, providing an overall large surface area thought to be more biologically effective. These nanoparticles of silver are in a stable chemical state and don’t combine with other atoms. They are believed to be better at killing bacteria, fungus, and viruses than other types of silver products.

 A nano-particle (aka micro-particle) colloid system is any process that produces ultra-small colloids, less than 1 nm or .001 microns, with a stable electrical charge. Our  Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generators far surpasses that standard by producing silver particles as low as .0008 microns in size, and leaving them with a strong and stable electrical charge. What's more, the electrical charge on the tiny silver micro-particles is so strong, the silver remains in suspension in solution indefinitely. Most other colloidal silver generators produce significantly larger silver particles that hold a comparatively weak electrical charge. This leaves the silver particles "precipitating," or falling out of suspension in the solution within a matter of weeks or months at most. 

 qr3j8.jpgOur  Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver represents a bona fide breakthrough in colloidal silver technology.  Our Colloidal Silver for Pets is produced using this newer technology.

The main difference between our Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver, nanoparticle and conventional colloidal silver is particle size, and if they are actually dissolved in the water or not. While conventional colloidal silver  produce silver particles that can be so large your pet has great difficulty absorbing and utilizing them, our Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver generator  we use produces highly bio-available silver particles as low as .0008 microns so small, they are about as close to being “dissolved” silver particles as you can get. Nano-particle or nanosilver is also as small as can be to dissolved in the water.  Micro and Nano are basically differences in terminology.  

Parts Per Million - PPM

Many products claiming to be high concentrations of Colloidal Silver, typically in the range of 30 – 5000ppm (parts per million), are actually a “mild silver protein.” These products generally have very large particles of silver and therefore need a protein, most commonly gelatin, to keep the heavy particles suspended. Mild silver protein can be identified by shaking the bottle. If a soapy-looking foam persists, a protein is present.  

When producing colloidal or nanosilver, there is a limit to how much silver can be dissolved into a quantity of water before it reaches a certain saturation point. After this point, the silver particles begin to aggregate together because the water is saturated with silver particles. Although there is disagreement on exactly when this point is reached, it is generally considered to be at about 20-30 ppm.

This saturation limit is affected by things like water pH, temperature, etc. Silver preparation products that are advertised as being 50, 100, 500 or even 1,000 ppm are not nanosilver. 20 ppm colloidal silver and 20 ppm nanosilver have the same amount of silver in them, but the nanosilver has many more particles of silver, which are just as lethal to microbes as the larger colloidal particles. These nanometer particles also go places the larger colloidal particles can't. Colloidal silver particles will float around in the blood stream and will kill any pathogens they come in contact with. But viruses like to hide inside the cells in our bodies, and colloidal silver particles are too big to pass through the walls of the cells. However, nanosilver particles go wherever the water goes, which includes inside the cells in our bodies.

In the past, there have been only a few ways to achieve the production of silver micro-particles. These methods have proven to be expensive and time-consuming, requiring the use of equipment found only in professional laboratories. Colloidal silver manufacturers basically have to make batches of standard colloidal silver through a high-voltage process utilizing upwards of 10,000 volts, and then use expensive laboratory equipment to extract the particles from the solution and separate the larger from the smaller particles before reconstituting the smaller silver particles back into solution.

Some colloidal silver manufacturers used a sophisticated centrifuge technology to achieve this. Others have used more conventional laboratory forms of separation such as filtration. There is also a “chemical milling” variation, where larger colloids are reduced in size with an acid bath.

This is why commercial bottled colloidal silver products that truly contain nano-particles of silver are always very expensive to purchase, costing as much as $59 for a tiny 8-ounce bottle.

Our Colloidal Silver for pets is made with using professional micro-particle colloidal silver generators -  custom designed for us, which has made it so we can provide  high quality silver at a fraction of the cost of health food store prices, as we are a small low overhead company, making small custom batches of high quality micro-particle colloidal silver.  Our Colloidal Silver Generators produce uncommonly small silver particles as low as .8 nm – a fraction of a single nanometer 

FDA Report:
Larger Silver Particles Are Less Bioavailable; Smaller Silver Particles Are More Bioavailable

According to the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research Annual Report for 2011, in animal studies conducted by the agency only limited absorption of silver particles was observed when the silver particles were relatively large.

However, as the silver particle size decreased, absorption increased proportionately.

According to the report:

  “Silver nanoparticles are highly effective antibacterial agents, and this property of silver nanoparticles is being exploited in an expanding number of commercial and consumer products…


…During FY 2011, Division investigators examined the effect of the size of silver nanoparticles on the bioavailability, tissue distribution, metabolism, and clearance in rats.

The results indicated that, after oral administration, only limited absorption occurs, with the extent of absorption increasing as the size of the [silver] particles decreased.”


Testing of this product was conducted using TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy), by a licensed, qualified and fully independent testing laboratory with no financial interest of any kind  in colloidal silver products in general.



colliodal-silverbottlepro.jpgWhile some manufacturers of Colloidal Silver  make a point to say that their product be stored in only dark glass bottles, this is not the case for a quality produced colloidal silver such as the one we sell on Holistic Pet Care’s website.

It is only necessary to store it in dark glass when it is a  protein fortified and inferior,  unstable product. We bottle ours in  PET Cobalt Blue bottles for the sake of shipping and safety rather than glass.  Glass is not necessary and it is possible silver is better stored in plastic (see study below)  although  you can store it in glass after you receive it if you prefer.   

Colloidal Silver that breaks down when exposed to light or falls out of suspension when stored in plastic is inferior and is not recommended. Our Colloidal Silver for Pets  does not have these issues and maintains it’s integrity for very long periods in PET Cobalt Blue bottles.


Silver in Glass vs. Plastic Containers


A great deal of controversy has arisen in the market place on the question of whether it is better to store silver solutions in glass versus plastic containers. There is a misconception that has prevailed in the market place that glass is better.
The idea that glass containers are better for storing products that contain silver has never been proven scientifically. In fact, it has been reported in other studies that glass may have a detrimental effect on silver products.
Test Work I have been conducting biological studies for 3 years, in the laboratory of a major private institution, on the use of silver products to kill and inhibit the growth of bacteria. I have conducted thousands of tests on numerous strains of pathogenic bacteria. In the testing I have completed, I have used both glass (5 ml glass test tubes) and plastic (Falcon 5 ml polypropylene plastic test tubes). In some of the test work we found that there was a difference in the amount of silver that was needed to kill the bacteria when glass was used versus plastic test tubes.
In order to make sure this was the case, it was decided that the MIC tests (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) should be replicated by more than one person and a direct comparison was made. The MIC tests were performed in triplicate in both 5 ml 13X100mm glass test tubes and 5 ml Falcon polypropylene plastic test tubes. Results of the bacterial (MIC) tests showed that Staphylococcus aureus was inhibited at 2.5 ppm when the MIC test was performed in the plastic test tubes. S. aureus was inhibited at 5 ppm when the MIC test was performed in glass test tubes.
This suggested that the material with which the test tubes were made, specifically glass or plastic, may have effected the results of the MIC test. Numerous other tests were also completed using larger concentrations of bacterium and in those tests it was found that there was no significant difference at all between using the glass test tubes versus plastic test tubes. Other Studies The studies that I performed are not the only tests showing that glass, in some circumstances, may have a detrimental effect on silver products.
It has been noted in another independent study that has been cited by other researchers that silver can adsorb to glass (Chambers 1960; Thurman 1989). With this in mind, it may have been possible that the silver could have adsorbed to the surface of the glass test tubes, reducing the concentration of available silver interacting with the bacteria, which resulted in having to use a higher amount of silver to kill the bacteria when the glass test tubes were used.
Conclusion In the test work I have completed as well as in other available studies, it was found that glass may, in some cases, have a detrimental effect on silver products. While it can be said that glass did not always show the detrimental effect, it can also be stated that we found no problems at all with using the plastic instead of glass.
Our tests, in conclusion with the other available independent study (1 Chambers et al. and 2 Thurman et al.), would suggest, by inference, that silver products should not be stored in glass containers which could reduce the available concentration of silver, but rather in a high quality plastic container.
Respectively, David A. Revelli, MS matter what you may have heard or read on the internet about the color of colloidal silver- it is all about marketing so be aware.  The highest quality colloidal silver should be clear.  

Colloidal Silver should  definetely NOT be  a yellowish or brownish color.  True Colloidal Silver is colorless because the micro-particles are too tiny for light from the nano sized particles to reflect back. 
There are many manufacturers  that create their CS under the false illusion that Colloidal Silver should be yellow or copper in color.  This can happen when the particle sizes are very large. 
The colour of Colloidal Silver will be yellowish or brownish  under certain undesirable conditions. 
  • The particles of silver are to big in size - which will make the product much less effective and doesn't absorb through the cell walls.
  • If the silver losses its colloidal state (suspension) and precipitates out of the solution (will have a black/brown color) the product will lose its efficacy and should be disposed of - contrary to what some people advise, shaking the solution will not bring the particles back to a colloidal state.
  • If food coloring or other coloring agents have been used
  • If the product was made with a more crude battery method
  • Do not purchase or use colloidal silver that have any of these characteristics  as they are inferior in quality!