Our Ultimate Guide to Cleansing Crystals
Are you a crystal collector? Maybe “hoarder” is a better word? We won’t judge! But all those beauties around your home, in your pocket, or your office, need to be cleansed regularly. To help, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on different ways to cleanse your collection. We’ve also included which gemstones and crystals should avoid specific methods to help keep your collection beautiful and its integrity intact.
When in doubt, research the items in your collection before cleansing them by direct contact with water, salt, or sunlight.
When Should You Cleanse Your Crystals?
Following the moon’s cycle is an excellent way to ensure your crystals are cleansed and charged regularly. However, your intuition may be a better guide. I know from personal experience that I’ve felt the urge to place individual gemstones on my Selenite charging plate immediately after getting them home. Other times, I just wait until it’s time to cleanse others and add the new stone to the mix. It’s truly up to you to decide.
If you’d like to cleanse them regularly, add a reminder to your phone once a month. It’s also a good idea to more frequently cleanse any crystals that you use often. For example, a palm stone may need a cleaning more often than a specimen that sits on your bookshelf.
Salt is a powerful cleansing agent, but be cautious when using salt around your crystals. While you can use salt water or dry salt, the safest method is the contact-free technique described below.
If you choose to cleanse your stones directly in salt, make sure to use a glass bowl to prevent anything from leaching out of the container itself – this might happen if you use a metal bowl. In both cases, whether using salt water or dry salt, you can leave your crystals in contact with the salt for several hours or even several days. When your cleansing is complete, discard the salt, and do not reuse it.
Contact-Free Salt Cleansing
To ensure your gemstones are safe from potential corrosion, fill a glass bowl two-thirds full of salt and then sink a smaller dish into the center, so the salt comes up around its sides. Just make sure to keep the inner container free from salt. Now you can place any crystal in the inner bowl, and the effect is the same as if you were to put it directly into a salt mixture.
A Note About Porous Crystals & Salt
Never cleanse porous stones with salt, as the salt gets inside the gemstone and weakens it. Some common porous gemstones and crystals include:
- Lapis Lazuli
- Selenite (It’s self-cleansing anyway!)
Others may be unsuitable for salt cleansing as well.
Natural water, either from rainfall or a natural water source, can be an easy and green way to cleanse your crystals. Hard, non-porous gemstones can be placed outside to bathe in the rain for five minutes or so. You can also put them in a river or stream.
Like salt, use caution before placing any of your crystals in water. Please do some research and make sure they will be unaffected by this cleansing method. Softer stones like Malachite, Sodalite, and Angelite, should never be placed in water – they can dissolve!
Contact-Free Water Cleansing
If you want to cleanse your crystals with water but don’t have a natural source nearby – or you’re afraid of damaging them – use the non-contact method outlined above, replacing salt with water. For a magickal boost, use moon-charged water to cleanse your crystals.
Smoke or Incense
Light your favorite incense stick, blend, or bundle of herbs and pass your gemstones one-by-one through the smoke to give them a gentle cleanse. Sage and Palo Santo work best for this type of cleansing, but resins including Frankincense, Myrrh, and Copal are good options as well. You can even mix a custom incense blend to create a cleansing smoke infused with the intention of your choice.
Sunlight can easily cleanse and charge your crystals. Allow them to bask in the sunshine for a few hours, but be sure to keep certain stones that can lose their hue away from direct sunlight. This also means you probably shouldn’t leave them on your windowsills or close to natural light between cleansings, unless you want them to develop a lighter color. Stones like Amber and Rose Quartz can bleach in very little time while in direct sunlight. Moonlight is an excellent substitute for more light-sensitive gemstones.
If you use a bell, tuning fork, or singing bowl to clear your space, use it to cleanse your crystals too! Sound baths raise the vibration of the room or object and drive negative energy away. You don’t need any particular frequency of sound to cleanse your crystals, so choose what feels right if you have multiple sound tools.
Selenite is one of those rare stones that cleanses, charges, and purifies other crystals without needing to be charged itself. Using a Selenite charging plate is especially beneficial for busy witches or those with familiars that can’t be around smoke – or might disturb bowls of water or salt. You can place stones or magickal jewelry on your charging plate for an overnight cleansing and charge. It’s a kind of leave it and forget it method that won’t damage the stone itself.
Lighting a white or cleansing candle and passing gemstones over the flame is an easy way to cleanse your crystals. Be sure to not pass the stones through the flame itself, but wave the stones at least an inch over the top of the flame so you don't burn your fingers. Flame cleansing works especially well with gemstones that resonate with the element of fire like Carnelian, Garnet, Fire Agate, Ruby, etc.
Meditation or Reiki
If you practice meditation or Reiki, consider a crystal-cleansing session. Visualize energy coming from the Universe, Spirit, or your hands. Infuse the crystal with positive energy and bright light. See any negativity washed away from the surface and inside the stone until you intuitively know it’s clean.
If you’re unsure about the best method to cleanse your crystal collection, take some time to do a little research, and be sure to consult your intuition as well. Remember, you bring the magick!