A method is described that differentiates between solutions containing silica-dominated colloids and solutions that are essentially free of colloids. Suspensions of tuff particles were treated to remove colloids by centrifugation, filtration or both. Agreement of silica concentrations determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and by a spectrophotometric method was taken as an indication of colloid-free solutions. For two tuffs, centrifugation was effective for removing colloids. For the third, highly altered tuff, filtration was more effective for removing colloids.