The stability of a colloidal system is defined by particles remaining suspended in solution at equilibrium.

Stability is hindered by aggregation and sedimentation phenomena, which are driven by the colloid's tendency to reduce surface energy. Reducing the interfacial tension will stabilize the colloidal system by reducing this driving force.

Aggregation is due to the sum of the interaction forces between particles. If attractive forces (such as van der Waals forces) prevail over the repulsive ones (such as the electrostatic ones) particles aggregate in clusters