Making Salt Water (Saline) Solutions
By Ken Adachi <Editor@educate-yourself.org>
It's simple enough to learn how to make a 100% salt water solution. Once you have a bottle of 100% salt water, you can take a portion of it and dilute it down with distilled water (or even tap water if it's not important to be too exact) to any percentage ratio you desire and wind up with a saline solution that runs anywhere from 1% to 99%, but you need to start with 100% solution in order to mix an accurate dilution.
I prefer to use Celtic Sea Salt (health food stores) because it doesn't contain the garbage that they add to refined, commercial salt and it contains a full compliment of minerals. Since I'm using my salt water solutions for different applications, including ingestion, I want to be sure it's totally organic and comes directly from Nature. However, if you are merely using this salt water solution to wet cotton pads used with zapping electrodes, then it's not necessary to be so fussy and ordinary table salt will serve your purpose just fine.
Making the Master Saline Solution
If you have a need to be a purist, then use distilled water. Otherwise, tap water is fine. Heat up enough water to fill the bottle that you plan on using to store your 100% master saline solution. An 8oz, 12 oz, or 16 oz bottle will suffice. Beer bottles with a screw-on cap work very well, but any jar with a lid will do. Label the bottle or jar "100% Salt Solution" . When you make dilutions, store them in a separate, marked bottle: E.g. "10% Salt Solution", "25% Salt Solution", etc.
You want to heat up your water substantially above room temperature, but it's not necessary to boil it. After the water is fairly hot, turn off the fire and start adding salt with a teaspoon. Stir the water with a wooden spoon as you sprinkle in the salt. Keep on observing the water as you stir. When the water approaches 100% saturation, the salt crystals will no longer dissolve in the water and you'll see the crystals swirling around in the water. Let it sit for a few seconds and then check to see if the crystal can still be seen. If they have dissolved, then add a bit more salt until they remain as un dissolved crystals sitting at the bottom of the pan. Now the solution is 100% saturated and can't dissolve any more salt crystals.
Let the pan cool to room temperature. You will find even more salt crystals sitting at the bottom of the pan after it has cooled off. After it reaches room temperature, carefully pour off the liquid into your labeled, 100% master bottle, being careful not to allow the un dissolved crystals to go into the bottle. If you are really clumsy, then you can filter using a coffee filter first, but most people can just pour off the liquid portion and leave the un dissolved salt crystals in the pan.
Making the Dilutions
If you measure out exactly one cup of the 100% master salt solution and add exactly one cup of distilled water to it, you now have a 50% solution of salt water. By adding the same amount of plain water to the 100% master salt solution, you have cut its concentration in half (1/2 = 0.5 = 50%). If you take 1/4 cup of the master salt solution and add 3/4 cup of distilled water to it, you now have a 25% salt water solution (1/4 =0.25 = 25%) The mixing ratios could be expressed as A) percentages, B) parts, or C) ratios (E.g. 1:1, 1:2. etc), but the ratios tend to confuse people, so I'll stick with the percentage and parts method of explaining the dilutions.
If you take 1/8 cup of the master solution and add 7/8 cup of distilled water, you now have a 12.5% salt water solution (1/8 = 0.125 = 12.5 %). Switching over to the milliliter system (ml): if you take 10 ml of the master solution and add 90 ml of distilled water, you now have a 10% salt water solution. If you take 5 ml of the master solution and add 95 ml of distilled water, you now have a 5% solution. I could have said the same thing using ounces (oz.) instead of milliliters: if you take 5oz. of the master solution and add 95ozs. of distilled water, you still have a 5% salt water solution. Using a base of "100", it's relatively easy to measure out the exact percentage of salt water concentration that you want.
Another way to figure the dilutions is using the 'parts' method, but it's slightly more abstract. The notion of 'one part' refers to using the same measuring vessel for both the master solution and the distilled water. Let's say you're holding a 8 oz. drinking glass in your hand and you fill it with the master salt solution, you now have 'one part' of the master solution. You dump that into a large jar and then you fill the same 8oz. glass with distilled water and add it to the same large jar. You have now mixed 'one part' master salt solution to 'one part' distilled water (or 1:1 mixing ratio) and you wind up with a 50% reduction in salt water concentration, so you mark it as a 50% salt water solution. If you take one part master solution and add two parts distilled water, you'll wind up with a 33.3% salt water solution (1:2 ratio). If you take one part of the master solution and add three parts of distilled water, you'll have a 25% salt water solution (1:3 ratio). If you take one part master solution and add four parts of distilled water, you now have a 20% salt water solution (1:4 ratio).
Using the 'parts' method, if you merely add the two numbers of the 'parts' ratio together and then divide that into 100, it will give you the final dilution percentage. For example, the 1:4 ratio adds up to "5". Five divided into 100 gives you 20% . What if you want a 10% salt water solution? Simple. What two ratio numbers (beginning with '1' of course) add up to 10? One plus nine or 1:9 mixing ratio. One part master solution plus 9 parts distilled water will give you a 10% salt water solution. If you are still not sure how to mix any desired percentage of dilution, just sit down and play with it on paper until the technique becomes clear to you. Once you have it clear in your mind, you won't have any trouble figuring any percentage dilution you want to mix.
By the way, it you're out in the boonies and don't have your salt water solution with you to wet your cotton covered zapping electrodes, just use water from a spring, river, brook, pond, well, or even tap water. All those sources will have minerals in them and it's minerals that give you the ionic conductivity you need for the covered electrodes.
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