How to Tell Quality of Colloidal Silver

Quality of Colloidal SilverWe often get similar questions about the quality of colloidal silver. Which is better, silver ions or particles? Is 500ppm better than 15ppm? How can I tell if colloidal silver is good or not? I’d like to help clarify the answer to these questions.

Ions vs. Particles

Mountain Well-Being Colloidal Silver is made using low voltage direct current (LVDC) and contains 80-85% silver ions and 15-20% silver particles, giving the user the best of both worlds. Some companies bash silver ions and try to claim that only silver particles are effective, which is absolutely not true. Both ions and particles are useful, however, silver ions work much more quickly and powerfully. But silver particles tend to have a longer lasting effect in the body because they work by releasing silver ions. If the particles did not release silver ions, they would not be effective.

In July, 2012, “New research by Rice University found that silver ions, not the particles themselves, are toxic to bacteria.” That is exactly what every book on colloidal silver that I own states very clearly. So in liquid form, silver ions are much more effective than particles, however both have benefits. Once a solution containing silver ions dries, it is no longer effective, which is why we make the colloidal silver for our Soothing Silver Gel extra strength with an abundance of particles and ions. The silver ions do the work initially, but then when the gel dries, the colloidal silver particles remain on the skin and are able to release silver ions into the skin for the benefit of your cut, scrape, burn, rash, etc.

Another benefit of LVDC produced colloidal silver is that the silver particles and ions have a natural (positive and negative) charge just like our bodies, and are absorbed and utilized more effectively than the artificial charge of HVAC produced particles.

Color and Clarity

The best colloidal silver will always be crystal clear for the following reasons. We just learned why silver ions are more effective than silver particles, so any good product will contain a decent portion of ions. And an ion is an atom that’s missing an electron, and you can’t get any smaller than an atom. In fact, ions are so small that they are completely dissolved into the water and cause no discoloration. Silver particles should be extremely small in size which will not reflect any spectrum of light, therefore keeping the liquid clear. Mountain Well-Being Colloidal Silver particles average about 1 nanometer, and the solution is always crystal clear.

Any time you see colloidal silver with color, usually either yellow or brown, you know at least one of two things: 1) either the particles are large enough to begin reflecting the light spectrum, or 2) there is some sort of additive. Neither of these cases are good, and I would caution against ingesting colloidal silver that is not clear. The colored varieties are most likely safe for external use, so if you have some you don’t necessarily have to waste it.

Parts Per Million (PPM)

Some companies will try to convince you that only colloidal silver in the hundreds of ppms will be effective. Again, absolutely not true when talking about a high quality product made with the preferred LVDC method. The industry standard is 10ppm for a reason. At this concentration, colloidal silver made correctly is both safe and effective. Once a solution becomes saturated with enough silver, smaller particles will tend to link together forming larger particles which are less effective and less safe. This process is called agglomeration and begins not far above 20ppm no matter how good the technology. Mountain Well-Being produces 15ppm colloidal silver, which is 1.5x stronger than the industry standard, because we use state-of-the-art equipment that is able to keep the particle size extremely small at this level.

Pretty much all of the brands that advertise 100’s of ppms, or even 1000’s, are making a product known as mild silver protein (MSP). These products are NOT safe and can definitely cause argyria, a permanent skin discoloration! To easily test for a MSP, shake the bottle vigorously and if foam persists (as if it looks like soapy bubbles are on the surface of the liquid), you have a MSP. Do not ingest!

The protein is usually gelatin or another animal product, so they are not vegan products. An analogy would be like tying a balloon to a brick to keep it from sinking. The particles of silver are so enormous in MSP that they would sink without the floatation assistance from the protein. But this protein coats the surface of the silver particles, keeping them from coming in contact with what they’re supposed to be targeting! There have actually been bacteria found living inside bottles of MSP because of this!


The best colloidal silver contains a nice mixture of both silver ions and silver particles, produced using LVDC, with the smallest possible particle size and a crystal clear liquid, in a concentration less than 20ppm to ensure the particles remain as small as possible, and without any additives. Mountain Well-Being is committed to making the finest colloidal solutions on the market. All batches are structured and energized using the latest techniques available. 100% satisfaction guaranteed!

What questions do you have about the quality of colloidal silver that have been left unanswered?

36 Responses to How to Tell Quality of Colloidal Silver

  1. lisa November 7, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

    i have been reading about the best and true colloidal silvers and they all say it should never be clear in colour and should not have silver ions only silver particles. You seem to be the only one saying it should be clear. Im not sure thats true if everyone else is saying the opposite

    • Jonathan Glauser November 14, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your email. Your question is pretty common, because there is a lot of misinformation in the colloidal silver industry. First off, all colloidal silver contains a mixture of both ions and particles. Some CS has mostly ions and some has mostly particles. All the books I have on colloidal silver all say that it should be clear in color. When colloidal silver is darker in color, it’s because either the particle size is getting larger, or it contains some kind of additive(s), neither which is good. Colloidal silver with the smallest particles of silver is clear.

      The largest colloidal silver producer in the USA is Natural Immunogenics. They produce Sovereign Silver, which is clear and contains over 90% silver ions. The largest colloidal silver producer in Europe is Ion-Silver in Sweden, and they also produce a clear and mostly ionic product. Almost all homemade CS contains mostly silver ions. There are hundreds of scientific studies that prove beyond any doubt that silver IONS are what give silver it’s antimicrobial properties. If this were not true, all the homemade users and users of the most popular CS brands would not be reporting such great results. Silver particles are good too, but only because they release silver ions!

      Particle size is the most important factor for the efficacy and safety of colloidal silver. A silver ion is the size of a single atom, and you cannot get any smaller than that. So, it’s certainly not everyone saying that CS shouldn’t be clear. It’s only the handful of people that sell mostly particulate silver that are spreading disinformation to sell more of their product. Please do your research on the germ killing powers of silver ions. Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Be well,

  2. Paul Dentler November 24, 2017 at 10:03 am #

    I have been making my own CS for a couple of weeks now, but after reading all this stuff about COLOR, I get a little confused about a couple of things.

    I use 3 9V batteries connected to .999 silver electrodes from a bullion bar that I cut in half inside an 8 glass. After about 20 minutes of run time I can observe a light brown streamer emanating from one of the electrodes. Are these streamers ions or non-ionic silver particles?

    The longer I allow the unit to run, the darker the distilled water becomes, I may add some CS from a previous batch for seeding but other than that, I put nothing else in the DS Water. So how do I know when to STOP to assure I have the most useful QUANTITY of ions in the water before it starts turning color & changing to yellow & thus increasing particle size?

    • Jonathan Glauser December 4, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

      Hi Paul,
      It’s very difficult to make high quality CS using 9v batteries. I started that way but soon realized there is no control over the particle size. The longer you run it, the larger the particles get. If you can see the particles with your naked eyes, then they are WAY too large to ingest. Ions are always invisible and so are nanoparticles. I would use this CS only for topical use. You need a generator with constant current technology to produce high quality CS. And your water needs to be pure, often times distilled is not pure enough. The water should be constantly stirred during production. If you want to use the 9v CS internally, so production long before you ever see anything. Get a PWT meter so you have some idea of water purity and CS strength.
      Be well,

  3. bob December 2, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

    Another question for Jonathan and to make sure I understand about clarity of water. So, what you are saying is the smaller particle size particles should not show up using a red/green laser lights trying to obtain the Tyndall effect, correct? Therefore, we could have 10-20 ppm of colloidal and ionic silver solution and the solution will have no Tyndall effect (it will appear as distilled water) if the particle size is very fine. Is that correct?

    And with that said, this is the highest quality nano colloidal silver solution we are after? Correct?

    • Jonathan Glauser December 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

      Hi Bob,
      Particle size is the most important factor in determining the efficacy and safety of colloidal silver. The smaller the better. A silver ion is the size of a single atom and that’s as small as you can get. Silver ions are completely dissolved into the water and don’t produce a Tyndall effect. Silver particles that are extremely small (in the <1-10 nanometer range) won't show a strong Tyndall effect, but any particles will show at least a slight Tyndall effect. You will probably have to use the laser in a dark room to be able to see it. Very fine particles don't show a strong enough tyndall effect to be seen in a lit room. This is the highest quality colloidal silver: one that contains both ions and particle and where the particles are so small that the Tyndall effect is faint. I hope this helps you.
      Be well,

  4. Michelle December 5, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    Hi Jonathan, I have a glass bottle of colloidal silver I used to take regularly but has been sitting in the back of my kitchen cupboard for a few years. It has a used by date of 2016, but it is still crystal clear and I took a shot this morning and it does not taste tainted or anything, slightly bitter aftertaste if anything but I think that’s probably normal? I feel it’s ok still to use but would love your opinion please.
    Also I have a father-in-law having chemotherapy and experiencing some problems with infection, one in the lungs, one in the arm at the entry point of a blood transfusion. Is there any reason he should not ingest colloidal silver while on chemo? Any other suggestions around this? Thanks so much.

    • Jonathan Glauser December 11, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

      Hi Michelle,
      If you store CS properly, which means at room temp, out of direct light, and away from strong electro-magnetic fields, it should last at least a decade or even much longer. Since it looks clear and still has the bitter (metallic) aftertaste, you should be perfectly fine.

      I don’t see any reason a person couldn’t use CS while on chemo, but of course I’m not a doctor and I must cover myself by recommending that you consult a healthcare professional for your question. For lung infections, I personally would not want to be without my nebulizer and CS. For topical wounds or infections, again, I would not want to be without CS or a CS gel. When using liquid CS topically, it works best if you can keep the CS moist against the skin by using a bandage or band-aid.

      I hope this helps you. Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Be well,

  5. laura December 18, 2017 at 2:03 am #

    I make colloidal silver at home (I bought a generator or whatever it is called). My question is how come sometimes it turns red, or this time green, after a few weeks? It’s driving me crazy! I pour the silver into 2 glass bottles and one will turn red or green and the other sill stay yellow. What is going on?!

    • Jonathan Glauser December 18, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

      Hi Laura,
      Yours is a common problem, because it’s difficult to find (or make) water that is pure enough for producing high quality and stable colloidal silver. You are dealing with some kind of impurity, whether it’s in the water you’re using, or possibly the bottles you are pouring into. You need to have a PWT meter by Hannah Instruments (with calibrating solution) to test the purity of your water. Try pouring into brand new bottles or make sure your bottles are 100% clean.
      Be well,

      • Jess January 10, 2019 at 11:05 am #

        Hi ,
        I have had my CS in the refrigerator for about 1 year and six months , do you think it still good ?

        • Jonathan Glauser January 14, 2019 at 11:32 am #

          Hi Jess,

          Chances are you colloidal silver is fine. We suggest not refrigerating CS because first of all it’s unnecessary, and secondly it can shorten the shelf life of CS. But the actual shelf life of Mountain Well-Being CS is over a decade when stored correctly, so you should be fine. Just take it out of the fridge.

          Remember, to store CS properly, you want to keep it at room temperature, out of direct light, and away from any strong electro-magnetic frequencies (such as computers, appliances, etc.).

          Be well,

  6. carla moore December 31, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    hi there
    thanks for all these posts – they have been really helpful
    We are wanting to use liquid colloidal silver in our spa pool and I have bought a generator and meter and using pure distilled water to make it. I cant find any advice re. amounts ideal ppm for this use etc. – any ideas?

    • Jonathan Glauser January 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm #

      Hello Carla,
      Thanks for contacting Mountain Well-Being. There is information on the web to help you. You need to keep doing more research and experiment. Many people have replaced harsh chemicals in their pool with colloidal silver. Often times colloidal copper is used in conjunction to help keep algae growth at bay.
      Be well,

  7. JOHN S. January 2, 2018 at 12:35 am #

    I bought a bottle of CS from Glenn Burkett Wellness in Naples, Fl. 239-596-3611 It’s 500 ppm. Its a dark yellow and when i shake the bottle theres plenty of foam. Did I get taken by this seller for $50? They only have one 5 star rating. There’s a clue
    Can you call them and ask some questions about their product and let me know what you think. So I will know what to say to get my money back

  8. Wendee February 3, 2018 at 3:59 am #

    Hi…When buying your product from an online store, how would I know it’s your product and not a replica of your product? Do you have a list of websites that sell your product?

    • Jonathan Glauser February 5, 2018 at 3:48 pm #

      Hello Wendee,

      Because we are a small, quality-oriented company, I seriously doubt if their are any replicas of our products out there. But if you have any concerns, you can contact us by email and we can confirm whether or not the website that is listing our product is legit. But if you want to play it safe and ensure that you are getting the freshest product possible, it would be best to order directly from our online store.

      Be well,

  9. Leslie March 2, 2018 at 1:24 pm #

    Hello, I’d like to make some cleaning products for my house , so will not be ingesting these particles at all. if I leave my generator on for a few days to get a brown colloidal silver, really strong for cleaning , just curious what the ppm would be . I can find color charts clearly delineating lower ppm solutions for internal use, but not very clear ones for darker solutions. Much appreciated .

    • Jonathan Glauser March 7, 2018 at 4:48 pm #

      Hello Leslie,

      The longer you leave your generator on, the larger the particles of silver will be. That’s why the color becomes darker with time. But smaller particles work much better, so it’s better to use a lower concentration (lower ppm). This is why the industry standard for colloidal silver is 10ppm. Mountain Well-Being colloidal silver is made between 15-20ppm because the state-of-the-art generator we use is able to keep the particles as small as possible even though the concentration is higher than the industry standard.

      Be well,

  10. luis pecchio March 2, 2018 at 6:00 pm #

    It is true ,ionic is the form more effective to combat pathogen bacteria ,the problem is that ionic is highly reacactive with sodium salts the resulting salt compound is complete ineffective,remember human serum has sodium in important quantities,this why the Silver particulate work better,he is non reactivate and has a great ionized capasity,once in contact with membrane protein of the Bacteria

    • Jonathan Glauser March 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm #

      Hello Luis,

      Thanks for your comments. This is probably the most debated topic in the colloidal silver industry. Many of the companies that are producing mostly particulate silver try to convince people that ionic silver is not effective inside the body, due to the sodium inside our bodies. While it’s true that ionic silver will react with sodium, it’s completely false that ionic silver is worthless inside the body. In fact, there are countless testimonials and studies that prove ionic silver works very well inside the body, even significantly better than particulate silver. The reasons why ionic silver works better inside (and outside) the body are due to many factors, one of which is metalloproteins. I’m going to write an article about this in the near future, but for now please read the factual information at this website: The information is very solid and very important!

      Be well,

  11. luis pecchio March 2, 2018 at 8:22 pm #

    I have a question, if I have a 20ppm CS can be diluted with pure destilled water to get a 10 ppm, with same bactericide power ?

    • Jonathan Glauser March 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

      Hi Luis,

      You can use good quality distilled water to dilute CS, and it will still have plenty of bactericide power, but it obviously won’t be as strong as 20ppm. For addressing topical issues, 10ppm is usually plenty strong to get the job done. For example, if you’re soaking a finger with nail fungus, you can dilute to make your CS last longer. Or if you’re using it on a bandage for a burn, the same is true. But for internal use, it will be effective but require a little more than if you were using 20ppm. Mountain Well-Being is made to 20ppm, even though the label says 15ppm. But make sure the CS you’re using has extremely small particles, because if you don’t have good equipment, 20ppm will likely have too large of particles.

      Be well,

  12. steve March 22, 2018 at 8:06 pm #

    hi i read here online about adding air to i guess the same thing you said about stirring as you make it. ive made some using the 9 volt battery method and every time one of my rods turn black with particles of siver i turn it off clean the rods. i made a 12 ounce batch that turned out really clear by doing this and very little was at the bottom so i i think ima try the air pump deal to keep from having to clean the rods every 15 min. so what you think????

    • Jonathan Glauser March 30, 2018 at 5:13 pm #

      Hey Steve,

      Using air bubbles is one way to keep the water circulating in a small batch, but it won’t prevent the silver oxide (black particles) from forming on the silver anode.

      Be well,

  13. Marc Tinkelenberg April 21, 2018 at 12:20 am #

    Jonathan, very helpful information in general, as this is a very confusing field of expertise. I have made a setup with an adjustable DC power source, and a magnetic stirrer/heater. As electrodes I use 20 oz Geiger bullions. The first test batch I ran at 30V, limiting current at 5 mA, and silver leached from the bullions very fast in big clouds. The liquid became cloudy after 30 mins and stayed that way. I have a strong suspection that the bullions had been coated with some product, and some doubt about distilled water quality.
    The second batch I ran at 10V with 1 mA limitation, and voltage varied from 3 to 6 V. The silver leached clearly much more slowly. I used the stirrer at 20%. After running for 45 minutes and a strong Tyndall effect, I took out the electrodes. Liquid is totally clear and colourless. I started heating and stirring until 70 Celsius and added glucose and sodium carbonate. Let it run for 2 hours. No change of colour. Tested a slight sample with table salt, with no effect, which should indicate no presence of ionic silver. Liquid has a slight metallic aftertaste. Can I be confident that it is safe to ingest? Will TDS meters give an accurate reading of ppm?

    • Jonathan Glauser April 25, 2018 at 10:08 pm #

      Hello Marc,

      I’ll do my best to answer all your questions. First off, if there is a visible cloud of silver coming off your electrodes, you likely are using water that is not pure. It could possibly be from dirty electrodes, but more likely the water. Or you’re not stirring the water enough. You need to make sure your water is very pure, and many brands of store bought distilled water are not that pure. You’ll need a PWT meter from Hannah Instruments to test.

      I do NOT recommend adding anything to a batch of CS, including heat, glucose and sodium carbonate. Make sure stirring is sufficient. If it tastes metallic, then you have silver ions, unless the taste is from some additives you’re using. TDS meters are not nearly sensitive enough for CS production. Clear is good but I can’t tell you that yours is safe to ingest, especially since you don’t know the purity of your water, and you’ve been using additives.

      Be well,

  14. Erica Largey October 17, 2018 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi Jonathan –
    I’ve used Mesosilver colloidal silver the last three+ years Sometimes with success, sometimes not. My family goes through this stuff….I buy it in the 5 gallon carboy. Recently, one of my friends that I’ve shared with was alarmed that the color is a very definitive brown. She said its not safe. She normally consumes your product and pointed me here.

    I’ve tried to make sense of Mesosilver’s information referring to the brown color of their product (supposedly unlike the rest)…accounting for the usual reason one would get brown colloidal silver.

    I’m not intelligent enough to figure this out.
    I’d sure like your take on their information and how you’d compare your product with theirs.
    They have lots of lab result comparisons…but your product isn’t there (yet).

    Additionally, I had read that structured water does matter…and when I asked Mesosilver’s general manager about it, he just replied that he wasn’t sure it mattered and he didn’t know “where he fell on the issue.” Thanks in advance for any insight/advisement you can offer.

    • Jonathan Glauser October 24, 2018 at 4:32 pm #

      Hi Erica,

      Thanks for your comments and questions. When the particles of silver are large enough, the liquid reflects color, and the larger the particles, the darker the color. Mountain Well-Being colloidal silver contains a majority of silver ions, which are the size of a single atom and the smallest silver you can possibly ingest. The remainder of silver particles are so small they do not reflect color and therefore the solution stays clear. Remember, the silver ion is what gives colloidal silver it’s medicinal properties, not silver particles. Silver particles are good too, but only to the extent that they release silver ions.

      Structured water has smaller water molecules that are organized and hexagon-shaped, and therefore is absorbed more efficiently by the body, which enhances the effect of our colloidal silver. One day in the future it will be common practice to structure all water, due to the significant benefits it provides.

      Be well,

  15. Lee November 27, 2018 at 3:04 am #

    Just wanted to ask – I purchased 2 bottles of colloidal silver and the first was clear as had the previous orders from the place I buy it. The second bottle was brownish in colour. I phoned the company and I was reassured it was safe to take. That it was brownish colour was due to extra silver being added. Would you recommend ingestion of this? Im a little dubious now. I normally give it to my kids sp don’t want to give them something that could cause harm understandably. Thanks!

    • Jonathan Glauser December 11, 2018 at 2:15 pm #

      Hi Lee,

      There are different types of colloidal silver. Some are clear and some are brownish in color. I can’t say what the quality of your colloidal silver is without testing it in person. But I can say that consistency is a desirable trait of any product, especially for something ingested like colloidal silver. If there is not consistency in a product, it makes you wonder about the quality control (or lack thereof) that the manufacture employs. Mountain Well-Being colloidal silver is always clear and is between 15-20ppm. If you are concerned about the quality of the colloidal silver you have, I suggest either asking the manufacture to replace the bottle, or alternatively you can save it to use topically only. I hope this helps you.

      Be well,

  16. Lawrence Beck January 5, 2019 at 4:57 pm #

    Hello Jonathan,
    I’m currently suffering from a heaviness in my chest with a persistent cough that has lasted for over two months. A local clinic here in Mexico prescribed a week of Levofloxacin, which I’ll finish tomorrow, but there’s been no improvement in my condition.
    I only just learned of using colloidal silver with a nebulizer this morning, and am wondering if I can use a 30ppm colloidal silver until I can get some of your 15ppm colloidal silver?
    Should anything higher than 15ppm be diluted or can I use the product I have (Source Naturals 30ppm Colloidal Silver throat spray)? A friend has loaned me her high quality nebulizer so I’ll begin my first treatment of colloidal silver as soon as I hear back from you.
    Thanks for providing so much useful information on your website!

    • Jonathan Glauser January 14, 2019 at 11:42 am #

      Hello Lawrence,

      I apologize for not getting back to you more quickly. Yes if I were you I would want to nebulize with colloidal silver right away. I’m not a big fan of Source Naturals colloidal silver because I’ve seen bottles of that brand have very large particles of silver, which is not good. If your bottle has any visible particles of silver, then I suggest filtering through a coffee filter to remove the largest particles. I would recommend getting a higher quality colloidal silver as quickly as possible, but in the meantime if you are suffering, you might want to try using what you have on hand. I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice, so as always, I encourage you to follow your own intuition. Please let us know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks and be well,

  17. jessie May 27, 2019 at 5:10 pm #

    is your product safe for cats and dogs to ingest?

    • Jonathan Glauser June 6, 2019 at 4:30 pm #

      Hello Jessie,

      Most of our products are safe for animals, especially our colloidal silver, colloidal gold and organic sulfur. Our superfoods such as algae and Moringa are also safe for animals in the appropriate dosages.

      Be well,

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