Chloriding a silver wire -- making a silver chloride electrode

Silver chloride electrodes are used in many applications to transduce a current consisting of ions in solution to a current involving electrons in a wire.  For example, silver chloride electrodes are used in pipettes for intracellular and extracellular recordings with glass pipettes, and silver chloride electrodes are used as reference electrodes for both intracellular and extracellular recordings.

If you are performing intracellular recordings and seeing large baseline drifts when you are not doing anything (that is, not moving the electrode), it is highly likely that you need to re-chloride one or more of your wires.

In order to create a silver chloride electrode, one usually takes a silver wire and dips it in bleach for 5 minutes as shown.

1)  Use a razor blade or sand paper to rub the invisible insulation off of the silver wire; if you are re-chloriding a wire, then use a razor blade or sand paper to scrap off the previous layer of silver chloride.

2)  Get bleach, a centrifuge tube, and a holder for the centrifuge tube.

3)  Put a few drops of bleach in the centrifuge tube.

4)  Put the wire in for 5 minutes, then remove it, rinse briefly in distilled water, and it's all done.