Crystals tend to hold on to energy, so for anyone interested in working with crystal magick, I highly recommend learning a few options for cleansing your stones. This is why I am writing this Crystal Cleansing Guide for you! In this post, I’d like to share why and when some people, myself included, choose to cleanse the crystals we work with. Then, we will cover 10 methods that you may wish to consider trying out for yourself!
Many people choose to cleanse their crystals as soon as possible after finding, being gifted or purchasing them. This is because the crystal may be holding on to negative or unwanted energy from other people who have handled it for various purposes as well as stressful events that the crystal may have been around for, and so it can help to clear the crystal in order to imbue your stones with your own energy and intentions. Some people refer to this process as activating or programming.
I also like to cleanse crystals before I use them for specific purposes, such as meditation, healing and other spellwork. Sometimes, I will choose to ask the crystal to hold the energy after a working. For example, this may include programming a crystal to support my efforts relating to confidence, creativity or productivity or making a crystal grid. I may place an activated crystal on my desk, altar, wear it or carry it with me to help me focus on my intention throughout the day.
However, there are also times when I choose to cleanse crystals again directly following a working, especially if the crystal was used for helping to release pain or process difficult emotions. Just as I wouldn’t want my body holding onto that energy, I wouldn’t expect my crystals to hold onto it, either. I see us as a team and want to take care of them to the best of my ability.
As a general rule of thumb, I’ll typically cleanse crystals on a monthly basis and as needed for workings. Otherwise, I just cleanse them if I have a feeling that they need it, which can sometimes happen if they lose a charge or soak up some funky energy. Your own wisdom will tell you when a crystal feels weak or unbalanced, so, get to know your crystals and you will intuitively know what they need from you and when. In this Crystal Cleansing Guide, we will start with 10 methods, but there are many more to explore! I find it helpful to try several different methods with several different crystals. You may also wish to do this in order to explore which methods work and feel best personally for you and your crystals.
So, now that you have an idea of why and when to cleanse crystals, let’s get into some cleansing methods!
The first method I’d like to talk about is moonlight. This is personally my favorite method for cleansing most of my crystals and I love doing this both on new moon and full moon. Moonlight is also said to charge crystals in addition to cleansing them, and I love the way my crystals feel after spending the night or sometimes even an entire moon cycle underneath the moon. To do this, I’d recommend arranging your lovely crystals onto a glass or ceramic tray…and placing them outside to bathe in the glow of the moon. If you’re concerned about rain, you may want to try wrapping the tray with saran wrap to protect your water-sensitive crystals from disintegrating, fading, etc. We will talk more about water sensitivity later in this video since water cleansing is also an option on today’s list.
Similar to the previous method, crystals can also be cleansed AND charged in the sunlight. You can place your crystals in direct sunlight for anywhere from 30 minutes to a full day. I do enjoy placing some of my crystals outside on the summer solstice to soak up that confident, assertive energy of the sun.
Keep in mind that sunlight may fade some crystals, such as amethyst, aventurine, aquamarine, citrine, kunzite, sapphire, fluorite, rose quartz, smokey quartz, among others. So, please make sure your crystal would be comfortable in the sun before you practice this particular method.
The third method I’d like to discuss is water cleansing. Some crystals can be cleansed by being submerged in water, showered in rain or placed in contact with running water. People use faucets and showers for water cleansing, but I personally prefer something more like waves in a lake or a natural forest stream. To do this, you just visualize the water washing away any unwanted energies until you sense that the crystal is clear.
Some crystals will not do well in water. For example, selenite, labradorite and halite will dissolve. Hematite, lodestones and galena will rust. Calcite will fade. Salt water can cause carnelian to fracture. Lepidolite and moldavite will flake apart. Pyrite produces sulfuric acid. Malachite can break in hot water and becomes toxic when submerged. You also want to keep turquoise, obsidian, pearls, and opals dry. This list does not cover all water sensitive stones. So, before you practice this method, please check to make sure it is safe for your crystal to get wet. You’ll thank yourself – and your crystal will thank you – for checking up on this. A few treasures that tend to do well in water are agate, amber, amethyst, aventurine, citrine, clear quartz, jasper, moonstone, rose quartz and smokey quartz.
Also, keep in mind that some crystal elixirs, that means placing crystals in water to drink, may be unsafe due to mineral deposits and such, so always do your research before ingesting any crystal water. If you’re unsure, you can always place the crystals around the outside of your glass or jar if you’d like to consume a crystal elixir without worrying so much about this risk.
Another wonderful cleansing option is to bury your crystals in the earth. Simply dig a hole, place your crystals in and fill with sand or soil. I typically leave mine for a day or two, but some people leave them for much longer.
If you feel drawn to earth energy, but don’t like the idea of burying your crystals or have concerns about moisture, sea salt is another purifying earthy option. Fill a bowl with sea salt. I personally like to use the pink Himalayan sea salt, and nestle your crystals in there. Sometimes they feel cleansed in a half hour, sometimes it takes a few days. So, again, using your inner wisdom to listen to your crystal’s needs. I also do not reuse the salt after this, because to me it is dirty, but I’ve heard that some people will find other ways to use it up.
Crystals may be purified through smoke cleansing methods such as incense, sage, sweetgrass and cedar or palo santo. To do this, you simply pass the crystal through the smoke while visualizing the smoke as a glowing, purifying energy or light…and I usually do this from anywhere between 30 seconds to several minutes. Again, there are no specific rules regarding time spent on cleansing…it really seems to be a matter of what you’re sensing as you hold the crystal.
Similar to smoke cleansing, some people like to pass their stones through candle flames. I personally tend to choose a white candle for cleansing and purifying magickal tools of all kinds.
Some crystals are actually self-cleansing…and you may also use them to cleanse and clear other crystals in your collection. One example of a self-cleansing crystal is selenite…this plate here is a selenite plate, which I keep next to my bed. It holds my favorite crystals that I use for improving my sleep hygiene. Another one of my all time favorite crystals is citrine, which is also known to be self-cleansing. Personally, I sometimes cleanse my citrine, but I also know some people who don’t feel a need to cleanse some of these types of crystals. I suppose, like nearly everything relating to magick, it is another matter of personal preference. A few other self-cleansing crystals are quartz, carnelian and amethyst.
This is a great method and another one of my absolute favorites because you can do this anytime, anywhere. You will use your own energy and power to cleanse your crystal. This is an incredibly unique process for each person, but I’ll share a tiny peek into my process – just in case this could be helpful as a starting point.
First, I like to close my eyes and meditate for a few minutes. I find it useful to imagine a glowing light flowing from the sky down through the top of my head, filling me up like liquid sunshine or moonlight – depending on the crystal and what I feel might work best for it at the time. Continue to focus on holding the intention to cleanse. Imagine the light pulsing through my body and flowing from my hands into the crystal.
Some people also enjoy visualizing a network of roots grounding their body to the Earth, much like a tree in the forest or a plant in a garden; and the roots carrying away any excess or unwanted energy to be deposited into Mother Earth’s core to be neutralized or transmuted.
Some people enjoy using sound such as a singing bowl or bells in order to cleanse their crystals. The idea is that the sound vibrations may neutralize and purify spaces and magickal objects.
In order to work most effectively with crystal magick, many practitioners suggest cleansing and programming your stones. Although I do hope that you’ve found this 10 method guide useful, there are many other ways to cleanse crystals if you’re interested in looking into more options.
Do you have a preferred cleansing method? I’d love to hear from you and soak up any wisdom you’re willing to share!