Does Colloidal Silver Go Bad?

June 9, 2020

Almost everything—from food, to car seats, to plastic food storage containers and sunscreen—has an expiration date or will go bad. But does colloidal silver go bad?

MesoSilver 250mL

No, or at least, not usually. Colloidal silver shouldn’t go bad, but there are a few exceptions! 

Colloidal silver is so useful, so you might be stocked up for an emergency. If you’ve got a big stash, when should you worry about colloidal silver going bad?

Let’s explore more about whether or not colloidal silver goes bad.

What is Colloidal Silver?

We can’t answer “does colloidal silver go bad” without looking at what even is colloidal silver!  

Colloidal silver is just two things: silver nanosilver particles suspended in water.

Did you know that bottled water doesn’t actually go bad? A few small regions require an expiration date on all food type products, and since people will throw things out past an expiration date, keeping an expiration date on for all regions boosts water sales (and waste). The water in colloidal silver is clean, pure water than nanosilver is added to—so as an ingredient, you know water isn’t going to go bad!

What about nanosilver? True colloidal silver is not ionic silver; ionic silver is more reactive and sometimes sold in special bottles with special warnings to prevent ruining it. Colloidal silver is more stable.

How is Colloidal Silver Made?

While high-quality colloidal silver has a more complicated process (to reduce the ionic silver), there are some general things to be said in order to answer “does colloidal silver go bad”.

Over 150 years ago, Michael Faraday accidentally made colloidal gold. While it had already been known for hundreds of years, this accident inspired him to study its properties. What’s relevant is that we still have the colloidal gold he created! A mineral colloid is very stable, and can last a long time!

Does Colloidal Silver Go Bad if Left Unopened?

If left unopened, colloidal silver should not go bad. There are some exceptions we will get to, but generally, unopened, the answer to “does colloidal silver go bad” is a big no!

The biggest exception is freezing. If you freeze a colloid, the water will freeze and the suspended particles will fall out of suspension, and it will no longer be a colloid.

A second exception is other metals—some metals may mess with the colloidal suspension, so it’s best to avoid contact with them. A bottle of colloidal silver should be dark blue-gray, as light reflects off the particles. If it goes clear and the silver has changed or dropped to the bottom, it’s no longer a colloid!

Does Colloidal Silver Go Bad After Opening?

Most colloidal silver will not go bad after opening, but you should take a few precautions.

For example, it’s recommended not to drink directly from the bottle, and to keep the lid on when not in use. On its own, colloidal silver should be fine, but contaminants may eventually cause a problem.

For example, things won’t usually grow in colloidal silver, but if germs are left on the lid for long enough (the one time we heard about it, it had been well over a year) something might take hold. Especially because most people are more likely to use colloidal silver when they’re feeling sick, take steps to avoid introducing germs to your bottle.

Putting the lid back on prevents random things from getting in, so you won’t be looking at the bottom asking “did the colloidal silver go bad?” because of dust or curious bugs.

Does Colloidal Silver Go Bad if Left Out?

If you have a little silver left out in a glass on your bedside or something, it’s likely fine if it’s been a short while. 

Cartoonist Scott Adams once wrote an anecdote about nearly drinking a spider when he woke in the middle of the night for a drink, which is to point out that strange things happen, and two seconds of looking can prevent a lot of unfortunate accidents.

If you’re trying to decide “does colloidal silver go bad if left out” just apply a little common sense, like you would for a glass of water that was left out.

Does Colloidal Silver Go Bad if Mixed with Water?

Some people like to add a little colloidal silver to their water bottle so they can spread immune support out over their day. For purified water in plastic or glass water bottles that is likely fine, although I would avoid using metal water bottles which can sometimes react (most metal water bottles have a plastic coating, but I wouldn’t rely on that).

People also add a little colloidal silver to pet bowls, and that should be fine too.

Does colloidal silver go bad? Not usually, with a few minimal precautions (no freezing) and common sense, your colloidal silver should be fine for a long time.

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