Iodine Buyers Guide

Once we have a better idea which type of iodine we’d like to get started with, we have to figure out which one to order. If we’re still trying to figure out which iodine to use at this point, we may want to read

Quality Control

The one major difference that separates iodine is whether it is a certified supplement or just “home brewed”. Certified supplements are bottled in facilities that have routine inspection and cleaning etc. Home brewed could be using the same exact raw materials, but they are mixing and bottling in unknown conditions. Some of these home brewers have make-shift labs that are just as clean as the supplement facilities, others rinse pet fur out of their equipment as they randomly create a batch.

Proper Storage

Certified supplement or not, some brands create very large batches and store them for a long time. As with any product, this increases the likelihood that someone will end up buying a very old bottle of iodine. Iodine is an element, so it ages pretty well. But as time goes on, iodine will come in contact with the rubber dropper which will degrade the rubber and contaminate the iodine.

The dropper of this bottle almost looks like its been chewed by an animal. But over time, the rubber dries up, which is most likely accelerated by the iodine vapors. Then when someone squeezes the dropper, it crumbles.

Some brands use a “Shipping Cap” for shipping and storage, and provide the dropper in a separate bag. This means the iodine and the rubber have not been interacting since the solution was bottled. 

Some brands use higher quality rubber droppers that do not degrade when coming in contact with iodine.

I buy iodine in a bulk 32oz quart bottle and refill small 1 ounce bottles. This is much more economical, the shipping cap keeps the iodine fresh and the droppers of my 1oz bottles do not come in direct contact with iodine.

By keeping my bulk iodine out of sunlight, heat and sealing with a better cap, it should last pretty much indefinitely. And by only having 1oz in a bottle with a rubber dropper that’s opened almost daily, I know my iodine is pretty fresh. Otherwise, by the time I’m finishing my bottle, it could have been stored for a handful of years and the rubber dropper could barely be making a seal anymore.

Raw material sources

There are a handful of active iodine mines around the world. But most of them are selling iodine for industrial uses which leaves only a few sources of raw iodine available for our purposes. Each of these sources have a different purity and contain small amounts of different contaminants depending what else is in the area being mined.

The main sources of iodine are in Japan, Chile, USA, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Indonesia. All current commercial production of iodine in the US comes from deep well brines in northern Oklahoma.1

Most home-brewed iodine will have unknown origin due to people grabbing whatever is available or whatever is cheapest. Without buying these products and shipping them off for private testing, we don’t know exactly what they contain.

Potential dirty sources

Although most iodine is 98% or higher purity, there is a potential for “dirty” iodine to make its way into the loop. Iodine is used in a lot of industrial processes that recycle the iodine when they are done with it, in order to save money.

Depending what they were used for and how they were recycled, this iodine could potentially be very toxic. I’m not sure what the chances of this iodine making its way to our Lugols production, but these things are being sold as crystals, there’s is no serial number and anything like that associated with it.

I was not able to confirm the original use/source, but apparently most table salt is iodized with recycled iodine.

  1. World Iodine Association - Iodine Reserves -
Was this article helpful?
October 12, 2020

Leave a Reply