Difference between Suspension and Colloid

Difference Between Suspension and Colloid

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We often listen to the words soil suspended in the water, sand suspended in the water as a suspension, and also smoke, shaving cream, milk, etc; as a colloid. but in the scene what suspension is? what colloid is? Suspension and colloid are heterogeneous mixtures and homogenous mixtures respectively.

What is suspension?

Take a glass of water and add a handful of chalk powder in it then stir it and stir it. The chalk powder doesn’t dissolve in water. It is a heterogeneous mix and such mixtures are called suspensions.

Suspensions are the heterogeneous mixtures of a solid and a liquid, in which the solids do not dissolve, like the mixture of soil and water.


  • Soil suspended in water
  • Sand suspended in water

What are colloid?

Take another glass of milk and add water to it and stir it. These particles spread uniformly throughout the mixer. Due to the smaller size of milk particles, it appears to be homogeneous but it is a heterogeneous mixture and such mixtures are called colloids or colloidal solutions. 

The colloid solution appears to be homogeneous but it is a heterogeneous mixture as well.


  • Shaving cream
  • Milk, butter, cheese
  • Smoke

Difference between Suspension and Colloid:

Suspension Colloid
Type of mixture
Suspensions are heterogeneous mixtures. Colloids are heterogeneous mixtures.
Size of the particle
The particle of suspensions can be seen with naked eyes The size of the particles of the colloid is too small to be seen by the naked eyes.
The particles of suspensions scatter a beam of light passing through it and make its path visible. The particles of colloids are big enough to scatter off light passing through it which makes its path visible.
The solute particles settle down when a suspension is kept is undisturbed. When the particles settle down it does not scatter light anymore. The particles don't settle down when the colloid is left undisturbed. I.e., a colloid is quite stable.
Suspension is unstable. The components can be separated from the mixture by the process. The components cannot be separated from the mixture by the process of filtration or decantation. The centrifugation technique is used in separation.

Bottom line:

So, when we compare suspension and colloid, Colloid is relatively homogeneous while the suspension is heterogeneous and for particle visibility suspension can be seen with the naked eye and colloid cannot be seen with the naked eye.

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