Water treatment using Crystalline Iodine

Polar Pure Water Disinfectant:

  • 99.5% Crystalline Iodine
  • 0.5% Inert Ingredients
  • Shelf life: indefinite
    Size: 76 mm tall
    Weight: 85 grams
    Kills: Giardia, viruses
    Cost: $US 15
    Treats: 500 gallons
    Taste: Adds iodine odor to water above 2-3 parts per million.

From the Center for Disease Control

Crystalline Iodine (found at some chemical companies and sporting goods stores) First make a saturated solution and then measure your own dose to add to water. The crystalline form stores well indefinitely and new batches of the saturated solution can be made from a small amount of crystals each time you take a trip.

To prepare a stock of Crystalline Iodine saturated solution:

  1. Place 4-8 grams of crystalline iodine into a 1-2 oz container and fill with water. Note: 1oz=6 teaspoons.Warning: crystalline iodine at 4-8 grams is a lethal dose if accidentally swallowed in a single dose. Keep out of the reach of children.
  2. Shake the bottle vigorously for 1 minute. Allow several additional minutes for the iodine to maximally dissolve in the available water. Some crystals should always be visible; if they totally dissolve, then more crystals should be added to the container to insure that iodine saturation of the stock solution has been achieved.
  3. If the water to be treated is clear, add 13 ml of saturated iodine solution — liquid above the crystals, not the crystals themselves — per Liter or Quart. Note: 5 ml= 1 teaspoon. 13 ml = about 2.5 teaspoons
  4. In cloudy water, add 26 ml of saturated solution per Liter or Quart.
    Note: Allow the solution to stand 20 minutes before drinking the disinfected water when the water temperature is 20-25°C (68-77°F). Increase the standing time with colder water. For each 10° less than 25°C (77°F), allow the water to stand for double the time before drinking.

2 Replies to “Water treatment using Crystalline Iodine”

  1. Thank you. How does this treatment compare to the pills I bought?

    Also, how does this iodine compare to the iodine I take to protect my thyroid in the event of exposure to Nuclear radiation?

  2. I don’t know what kind of pills you have, but Potable Aqua makes Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide tablets for treating water. They are as effective as crystalline iodine, but they have two drawbacks: quantity and shelf-life. Their website says that 2 tablets treat one quart of water. It would take 4,000 tablets to treat 500 gallons, while a few grams of crystalline iodine can be used to treat 500 gallons or more. Potable Aqua also says, “Exposure to heat, humidity, moisture, and air will reduce the effectiveness of the tablets. We recommend that an opened bottle not be kept for more than one year.” Crystalline iodine has an indefinite shelf life.

    Potassium Iodide is used to help protect against the harmful effects of radiation exposure. As I understand, Potassium Iodide is not used in water treatment.

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