Colloidal Silver: The Benefits, the Risks, and How to Make Your Own

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Colloidal silver is an alternative medicine with a lot of controversy surrounding it. Advocates staunchly defend it; the FDA declared over-the-counter colloidal silver products unsafe.

What’s a prepper to do?

You and I both know that when (not if) a man-made or natural disaster occurs, it’s best to know how to take care of yourself and your family. We know help won’t be readily available. That includes health care, and during a time of shortages, you can be sure that medicines of all kinds are likely stuck in the supply chain somewhere far away.

image: pile of silver coins with one ounce bar of find silver (.999) in the middle

What if traditional medicine is not available?

If our modern, traditional avenues for health care aren’t available, what are some other options?

In the Great Depression, for example, people often had to get creative because they lacked access to doctors and medicine, or they lacked the money to pay for them. This included herbal medicines that are still popular today.

Colloidal silver is another option.

In this article we’ll look at:

  • what colloidal silver is,
  • some of its history as a medicine,
  • whether you should use it,
  • the pro and cons of medicinal use,
  • and how to make it yourself.

What is Colloidal Silver?

Colloidal silver is a liquid containing tiny silver particles. Silver itself is a mineral but not an essential one. That is, it’s not an essential mineral your body needs, unlike calcium, which it does need.

Some History

Silver was the main antimicrobial before the days of modern antibiotics, like penicillin.

People purified their barrels of water by dropping pure silver coins in them. It’s also thought that wealthy people fed their children with sterling silverware; they seemed to have less foodborne illness and sickness than the rest of the population.

Should I consider using it?

Any medical treatment you consider is by its nature going to be highly personal. That’s true whether it’s a traditional medicine or homeopathic.

I did mention above that it’s controversial; not everyone agrees that colloidal silver is helpful as a dietary supplement or as alternative medicine. Therefore, I’ve linked to some articles that illustrate both perspectives. Do your research before using it for medical purposes.

However, that being said here is some information to get you started in the process.

What are some pros of colloidal silver?

Silver has shown effectiveness in fighting bacteria, viruses, algae, and fungi. Its germicidal effects also kill many microbial organisms.

Hospital Use

In the past, hospital labor and delivery departments put Silver Nitrate drops in newborns’ eyes. This helped prevent blindness from certain bacteria that could be present in the birth canal. Most states have laws requiring this. Nowadays, however, hospitals mostly use antibiotic drops.

Silvadene, a silver-based antibiotic ointment, has been used to treat burn wounds for infection, and also infected bedsores.

Additionally, Dr. Joe Alton, aka “Dr. Bones,” recommends colloidal silver foot washes for athletes foot.

Some studies show colloidal silver slows viral growth and sometimes eradicates it. That’s because bacteria can’t utilize oxygen when a silver ion embeds itself in the cell wall. Therefore, the bacteria die.

Personal Use

Some people take a teaspoon of colloidal silver per day, internally, or use it topically. The intent is to support their immune system, prevent illness, and hasten healing. Some people take it only when they are sick providing much anecdotal evidence of how it has benefited them, either as a cure or just offering some relief.

However, as with any medicine, its use must be approached from a place of knowledge and thoughtful intention.

What are the cons of colloidal silver?

On the flip side, misuse can cause serious side effects such as:

  • neurological damage,
  • liver and kidney damage,
  • permanent skin conditions,
  • and the poor absorption of some drugs.

Let’s look at those last two for a moment, as they seem to be the most common concerns.

Can colloidal silver turn you blue?


Let’s just address that right off.

If misused, it can discolor the skin. Some will tell you that it turns the skin blue.

It’s actually more of a bluish-gray color. However, if you ingest too much silver over a long enough time, you can develop argyria. It’s skin discoloration that’s permanent and irreversible.

The lesson here?

Everything in moderation. If one teaspoon of 10 ppm (parts per million) is recommended, don’t drink a pint.

How will it affect prescription drugs?

Colloidal silver decreases the effectiveness of some medications by interfering with their absorption. Thyroxine, for thyroid deficiencies, is one example.

Just as you would with any other alternative medicine, it’s important you research how it will interact with what you are already taking. That’s true whether it’s a prescription drug, something over-the-counter, or a homemade remedy.

Make an informed decision.

Learn to make your own colloidal silver, step by step. Click To Tweet

How to Make Colloidal Silver

You can purchase colloidal silver, but it can be very costly to stockpile. It is possible to make your own, though, and it’s inexpensive.

In prepper circles, those who can afford them are often encouraged to buy precious metals. However, if you cannot afford gold and silver bullion or coins, there’s still value in having some types of silver in your stockpile.

The value is maintaining your health by making your own colloidal silver.

Here is one method for making your own:

Supply list

  • Distilled  water
  • Glass jar (Mason jars work great for this.)
  • 2 1-ounce ultrafine (.999) silver wire, bars, rounds, rods, or bullion
  • 2 clothespins with springs
  • 3 9-volt batteries
  • 3 9-volt battery terminal clip snap connectors
  • 2 small alligator clips with jumper leads
  • Dark glass bottles for storage
  • TDS meter (Total Dissolved Solids)


  1. Wash the glass jar and then fill it about 2/3 full with distilled water.
  2. Connect the 3 9-volt batteries in series to each other. DIY Colloidal Silver Machine
  3. Attach the snap connector to the empty positive terminal.
  4. Connect another snap connector to the empty negative terminal.
  5. Attach one alligator clip to the positive wire.
  6. Connect one alligator clip to the negative wire.
  7. Add one silver piece to each of the opposite ends of the alligator clips.
  8. Slowly place into distilled water in the jar, and clip it on with a clothespin.
  9. Repeat with the second silver piece.
  10. Make sure only the silver is touching the liquid and don’t let the silver touch each other.
The DIY colloidal silver machine hooked up and operating.
  1. Once the wires are connected to power, watch for a white cloud to begin forming between them. After 10 minutes or so, you’ll notice tiny bubbles coming from the positive anode on the silver bar. The negative anode will become darkened. Check it frequently with the TDS meter until it reaches your desired parts per million (PPM).  Then, it’s done. (The time varies depending on how fresh the batteries are and the PPM you want).
  2. The liquid should be either clear or a very light yellow. Running the process too long will create a dark or cloudy liquid which is less effective.
  3. When the process is complete, pour the liquid through an unbleached coffee filter to eliminate any dust or contaminants that may have fallen into the jar during processing.
  4. Store the liquid in an amber or dark blue glass container. These can sometimes be purchased at health food stores and on Amazon. Your liquid should be either clear or a very light yellow. Running the process too long will create a dark or cloudy liquid which is less effective.
  5. To check for a true colloidal silver result, shoot a beam of light through the solution. I use a red laser-type beam. The light will look like a thin line that gradually gets wider as it reaches the other side of the jar. If you have that, you have a true colloidal silver solution. It’s called the Tyndall effect.

The shelf life of direct current-generated colloidal silver is approximately 14-30 days. Shake well before using.

Other Resources

The following video provides very good step-by-step instructions on creating your own generator. He also includes alternative power sources including:

  • regular 9V batteries
  • re-chargeable 9V batteries
  • a DC transformer
  • solar panels

If you are concerned about your ability to build your own generator, some companies will sell you anything from a pre-fabricated generator to a complete generator kit.

What is colloidal silver used for?

SilverGen has an excellent list of uses for colloidal silver. Consider printing these suggestions and adding them to your Survival Binder or stashing the list next to your homemade version.

A Testimonial from The Survival Mom

The kids and I take a couple of teaspoons of colloidal silver a few times a week, although we’ve also used it for specific issues.

For instance, when my son had a mouthful of sores last year, I had him swish his mouth twice a day with colloidal silver. As a result, after just 2 days, the sores had cleared up. From personal experience I know they usually hang around a lot longer.


Most importantly, we should be educated consumers about any healthcare option we are considering. That applies to both traditional and homeopathic remedies. Therefore, do your research about using colloidal silver. Determine your risk. Whether it’s a store-bought version or having the supplies on hand to make it yourself, it could be an excellent item to add to your medical supplies.

What is your experience with colloidal silver? Let me know in the comments!

“This is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any disease. Consult your personal medical professional.”

This post was originally published on April 12, 2013, and has been updated and revised. It includes contributions from Mary Blandford, R.N.

32 thoughts on “Colloidal Silver: The Benefits, the Risks, and How to Make Your Own”

  1. You may want to look into published research on self-dosing with colloidal silver before practicing unlicensed medicine on yourself. Ray Sahelian M.D. has a webpage on colloidal silver with good references for recent published research on the subject. You can find his summary at It seems that a big side effect of too much self-dosing is that the skin turns gray-blue.

    1. thesurvivalmom

      I read that, Linda. In my own experience, most medical doctors aren’t into any type of alternative medicine, yet my family and I have been greatly helped by chiropractors and various naturopathic treatments. You really do have to do your own research and decide for yourself, but there are thousands of people who swear by colloidal silver. At this point in my life, I’m pretty skeptical of a lot of the conventional wisdom out there in the medical community. Their tendency is to over-prescribe pharmaceuticals, which are WAY more dangerous than taking a teaspoon or two of colloidal silver!!

      1. I’ve been making and using CS for 45 yrs. I have used it for so many things from toothaches to acne, cuts, burns, rashes , athletes foot, for kittens eyes to get rid of infections, sunburns, not to mention the flu, common colds and nasal issues and most recently I took it in pretty large amounts more than normal when I contracted Covid.. I really do believe it saved my life bc there was no medical treatment available where I was at when I got it so my gf and I touched it out with silver and lots of vitamins and zinc and for some reason beef bullion was about all we had for a couple of days.. but we survived and I’ve dodged many prescription drugs using CS and I’m never without my silver making kit no matter where I go bc I know that no matter what I can make silver and it will at the very least help. I once found a giant t one steak in the frig and it had gone bad like green and bad. The kids were like what are you gonna do dad? I took some left over silver I was about to throw out and put the steak in a container, poured the silver in sealed it up put it back in the frig. Next day took it out it was clean smelled fine looked fine… what are you gonna do dad … I ate it and did not get sick… these are just my own personal experiences with CS. I could go on for days about friends and relatives. Again do your research and make your silver right . If you think you’ve messed it up .. pour it out and start over.. it’s cheap to make. But in my opinion it has kept me alive many times through the years.

    2. Linda,
      Thank you for your caution. It is wise for people to research and make their own choices when it comes to alternative medicine.

      The main reason for posting DIY colloidal silver is to give Survival Moms the choice. If (or when) society collapses, access to quality medical care could become scarce or non-existent. History tells us that during a large-scale crisis, hospitals, doctors, and nurses can be overwhelmed. Medical facilities can become death traps. Look at stories from Katrina, Haiti, and the Indian Ocean tsunami as examples.

      If traditional medical care is no longer available or the facilities are more dangerous than the cure, alternative medical knowledge and skills could be the difference between life and death. I do not condone “practicing unlicensed medicine”. However, during a SHTF event I’d rather try to treat my family than go without medical care.

    3. You may wanna look into the patent for silver solution and stop listening to Dr paid by big pharma to sell drugs that give you side effects and keep you sick. Their is no side effects non toxic and read this “book” the patent even lists hiv. They show that one dude with blue face he is only one i saw but its because he didn’t know what he was doing you have to have voltage high enough if not ya the particles will be too large

  2. One of the main uses for Colloidal silver is washing. Washing wounds, etc. Cuts, stings, any opening in the skin to prevent an infection. Especially burns.

    Drinking a few tablespoons a few times a week is vastly different than drinking glassfuls every day like people who turn blue do. I only ingest it when we’re sick but it’s about the frequency and amount, not that you ingest any at all!

  3. The man who turned blue was making his own silver solution, but what he ended up making was silver salts which will turn skin blue. He was also rubbing it on his skin and then going to a tanning bed. Caution and knowledge are all very helpful!

    1. Oh ya i forgot about the salt part ya he did not know what he was doing the voltage has to be high enough too or particles will be too large Dr Gordon Pederson says you can put in iv bag to treat cancer but not with saline solution i thought it was just because salts cancel out ions but ya They have silenced Dr Pederson even claim he is no Dr because he said it will kill corona but i know it will because it took out sinus infection 7 years ago mersa with ex and urinary tract infection. So when he says it will kill all bacteria virus mold and mildew i believe him about it killing corona and then you read patent they cant list all of those things without providing evidence. I put link to patent on another response but here it is again

      1. The Survival Mom

        I’d suggest using common sense. No colloidal silver company or proponent recommends drinking a gallon a day. I’m sure you already know that.

  4. After having children with multiple allergies and infections, I became an expert on candida imbalance. One child was on antifungals for 5 years. So, the good traditional R.N. that I was began to question and research. We discovered colloidal silver. My favorite brand is Sovereign Silver which also has a homeopathic combination. At any rate, about a year ago, my granddaughter was diagnosed with strep. we treated it with this and took her back for a retest. She was negative. My chiropractor is my best friend! There needs to be a balanced perspective on the strengths of both traditional and alternative medicine and remedies. Where would we be without the expertise of trauma medicines, or surgeries to save lives, etc. Have to be careful to not throw out the baby with the bath water! How wonderful would it be if both sides could recognize the value of each and work together to really help reach optimal health!

    1. Hi, can you tell me more about the Sovereign Silver brand of water? What homeopathic combinations does this offer, and do you know how this could be incorporated into a diy of CS?

      1. The Survival Mom

        I’ve purchased Sovereign Silver before. It’s a good brand, trustworhty. I’ve also made my own using the instructions in this article.

    2. Work with Big Pharma? The same Big Pharma who hound and hide natural cancer and other illness cures, like GcMAF? That demonised Ivermectin and HCQ? That operated with the US DoD to roll out the Covid Bioweapon jab to sterilise and cull the human population, because they consider most of us ‘useless eaters’?

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  7. Debi actually there never needs to be a balance of traditional medicine to naturopathic. From a God stand point there is an evil spirit of Pharmacia that puts more harm on people than naturopathic that is solely from God. God can and does heal all that believe! The best health is a mind, body, and soul treatment with God always leading us to the appropriate action. Deliverance is key to health!

    1. Pharmaceutical comes from a word pharmacia not sure of spelling found in Bible that means witchcraft an evangelist told me when i explained to him what they had done to me in past so ya its modern day witchcraft these poisons they are giving the jabs are killing people left and right

  8. I don’t think you mentioned using an electrolyte
    In the process which I’ve seen described in alot of diy recipes
    Saline is usually what ive seen and apparently it helps conductivity and transfer of Tue ions…similar to a battery
    I also have a product called (concentrace) which is trace minerals
    From salt water…which I’m going to try
    Not sure if you have heard of it but it may be worth a try..

    1. No dont use salt the silver ions don’t need any help just 100 percent water and 100 percent silver or 99.98 highest possible Dr Gordon Pederson says not to put silver solution with saline solution in iv for treating cancer just by itself salt cancels out silver ions i think he said plus according to post i just read dude w blue face was using salt he did not know what he was doing and voltage was not high enough either the voltage too low particles too large

    2. Don’t use salt. I use a very small amount of a previous batch of colloidal silver to get the electrolysis started quicker.

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  10. My husband has been making our colloidal silver for about 10 years now and we have used it to treat ourselves and our dogs. I am thrilled to say that we have not had to take any antibiotics during this time, and have used it to successfully treat everything from skin conditions to the common cold, influenza, etc. We have definitely not turned blue like the Blueman that big pharma always tries to scare us with. Make sure you use the pure distilled water with no minerals added and do not store in sunlight as it will cause the suspended silver particles to settle. I was a little skeptical at first but hubby did his research and the results do not lie. This has been used for thousands of years, with many testimonials to its effectiveness.

  11. My mom has been turning a grey/blue color for years. Everyone has thought it was oxygen or heart related. But every one of those tests have been fine. I was researching silver last night and came across this. Her and my dad have been taking and making colloidal silver since the early 90’s when it was part of a home health trend. I’m pretty sure that’s why her skin is this color now. So if you are going to take it, be warned. The color change is permanent.

  12. No dont use salt the silver ions don’t need any help just 100 percent water and 100 percent silver or 99.98 highest possible Dr Gordon Pederson says not to put silver solution with saline solution in iv for treating cancer just by itself salt cancels out silver ions i think he said plus according to post i just read dude w blue face was using salt he did not know what he was doing and voltage was not high enough either the voltage too low particles too large

  13. richard beierle

    a common low cost electric source is a 12 volt car battery trickle charger for maintaining a batteries charge when not in use – set amperage is usually about 1 amp – what would be the best mille amp charge when using this 12 voltc dc source? – the mille amps can be adjusted by placing a small low voltage automotive light bulb in series with the silver – iam guessing that about 30 mille amps might work but to much current could be wastefull.

    1. 12 volts is likely too low – it will make too large particles of silver. You might get away with 24 volts.

  14. I ran across a brand called “Heritage House” and they make a Colloidal Silver bar of soap which is just wonderful. We have used for many things, it’s a staple in my house for cleaning or bathing and using on a wound. Works like a charm on humans and pets, clears it right up, We also have the drops, ointment and spray. It’s absolutely amazing how quickly things heal up!

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