Claire has worked with crystals and many other aspects of paganism for over 14 years. She has also studied reiki up to master level.
Like humans and all other living things, each variety of crystal has its own unique vibrational frequency. These vibrations interact with and influence the vibrations of anyone that is around them as well as bring particular energies to the surrounding environment. It is these vibrational interactions that are believed to give crystals the ability to heal and benefit us in so many ways.
As well as sending their vibrations out, crystals also take in energy from the environment surrounding them and the people that they come in contact with. When you buy a crystal, it's likely that it will have travelled through various places and many people, including when it was mined and processed or handled by shop staff and customers. As a result of this, the stone may have accumulated energy that can affect how well it works and the energy that you experience from it. In addition to this, when crystals are used in healing, they will hold the removed unwanted and negative energies. This can also have an effect on your experiences with the crystal. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to care for your crystals and ensure that their vibrational energy remains at its best.
When crystals form within the earth, they are able to replenish their energy whenever needed. Once they have been removed, they no longer have this link to the earth’s vibrational energy, and because of this, may become drained or clogged with stale, negative and generally unwanted energy. In order to restore the stone to its natural state and working at its best, it will need to be cleansed, removing this build-up of stale and ineffective energy.
There are many methods of cleansing and most require no specialist equipment or large amounts of time. Most of these methods can be used with any type of crystal, but care does need to be taken in some cases and you may need to avoid certain ways of cleansing with some crystals. One example of this is not placing selenite into water as it is water soluble and will be damaged. Crystals should also be cleansed when they are first bought home to remove energy they will have collected beforehand in the shop, warehouse and from other people handling them. Once they have been cleansed, crystals can be used as normal.
There are no set rules on how often crystals will need to be cleansed as this depends on the individual circumstances it is being used in. It is good practice to cleanse a crystal after you have finished working with it as this means that it is not left holding the removed energy and is ready for use again in future.
Crystals that are used daily or used in more serious or negative situations will need to be cleansed more often than those that rarely come into contact with people. As you work with and become attuned to your stones, you are likely to get a feel for when they need to be cleansed and this inner guidance is rarely wrong. You may also get a feel for how the crystal should be cleansed or feel as if it is asking to be cleansed and by which method. You do not have to use the same method to cleanse all of your crystals or even use the same method every time with a certain crystal. Choose whichever method you feel most comfortable using or that suits your circumstances best.
1. Cleansing Crystals in Water
One of the simplest methods of cleansing crystals is using clean water. In the case of newly bought or heavily used crystals, this can be done by soaking them in a glass bowl of still spring water for 24 hours. For regular cleansing or for crystals that have received light use, you can hold them under the running water of a tap for a few minutes. Crystals can also be held under naturally running water such as springs or brooks of clear water. While cleansing your crystals, you can visualise the water removing negativity and bringing the crystal back to its natural neutral state. Afterwards, ensure you dry the stone thoroughly.
Some people like to use water that has been left in the moonlight overnight in cleansing their crystals. This method can be carried out quickly and easily in most circumstances, however, it is unsuitable for some types of stone. Selenite, lapis lazuli, malachite and turquoise are examples of crystals that should not be cleansed using water.
2. Cleansing Crystals by Smudging
Smudging is an ancient Native American tradition that is used to clear unwanted and unpleasant energies from a place, person or item. It is carried out using smudge sticks, which are made by rolling dried herbs into a long bundle. These are then lit to produce a cleansing smoke that can be carried around a space or have an item placed within it.
Sage is commonly used in smudging and is considered to be a powerful cleansing and healing herb. It can be used to clear crystals of negative energies and vibrations whether they are raw or tumbled stones or part of jewellery and other items. Smudge sticks can be bought or it is possible to make your own using fresh herbs and other plant material.
Smudging a crystal is a simple process but care should be taken as you will be working with naked flames and high temperatures. Be sure that there are no flammable items or materials in the area and watch for items such as curtains or heat sensitive surfaces such as plastics.
In order to use a smudge stick, it must be lit and then the flame blown out. The stick will smoke and this is wafted all around the crystal several times. Any negative energies that are present will be carried away on the smoke. You may wish to visualise this happening as you smudge the crystal. Once you have finished the cleansing the smudge stick must be fully extinguished using water. This can be done by running it under a cold water tap. The herb materials will dry out and be ready for future use.
Incense can also be used in this way but is considered to be less powerful than a smudging stick. If using incense you should only work on one crystal at a time. Once finished you can put out the incense or allow it to burn out in a suitable holder. Whether you chose to use a smudging stick or incense, sage and frankincense are both good choices of scent to use in cleansing crystals.
3. Cleansing Crystals in Salt Water
The method for cleansing crystals in salt water is a little different than when using fresh water. This method should not be used with delicate crystals or those with low Mohs hardness scores and many crystal users do not recommend it is used at all. This is due to the fact that they feel the abrasive nature of salt is too harsh for the crystals and can cause physical damage. If you decide you would like to use this method, some stones to avoid include calcite, carnelian, labradorite and opal, as well as any stones that should not be cleansed using water.
Salt has been used for thousands of years as a natural purifier and preservative. Salt and salt water can be used in physical healing and is also used cleansing sacred spaces and in ceremonies. Within feng shui, sea salt is used to remove negative energy from the surrounding environment. It is also beneficial in cleansing baths.
To make salt water, dissolve one teaspoon of sea salt in a glass of clean water. Once the salt has completely dissolved immerse the crystals in the salt water. Opinions differ on how long the crystals should be left soaking from a few hours to overnight. Crystals can also be placed in clean sea water.
4. Using Moonlight to Cleanse Your Crystals
This is a very simple and powerful method that can be used to cleanse any variety of crystal. The full moon or during the waning moon are considered the ideal time but any time of the month is fine.
To use this form of cleansing, simply place your crystals in a safe place where the moonlight will fall onto them. You can put your stones outside in a space place such as a garden table, windowsill or pathway or they can be placed on an indoor windowsill. Leave the stones for as long as you feel is necessary and if needed they can be returned outside the following night.
If you are leaving your crystals outside overnight avoid placing them anywhere that receives a lot of direct sunlight as this can cause fading. Care should also be taken when placing water sensitive crystals such as selenite outside in case of rain or snow.
5. Cleansing Crystals by Burying Them
Stones can be buried in any spot of earth and can be cleansed by the earth’s energies just as they did before being harvested. Just be certain that you know where they are or mark the spot in some way so that they are easy to find and dig up. There is no set time to leave the crystals and some may need more than others but as a guide, a day or two should be fine in most cases.
If you do not have a garden or access to another outdoor space where your crystals will be safe, then a pot or other tub of soil can be used. Ideally, the container should be made of a natural material and the soil as natural as possible. If you can collect some from outside that is great, but if not, avoid buying those that have fertilisers and other chemical additives.
6. Using a Singing Bowl to Cleanse Crystals
Metal singing bowls have long been used as meditation aids and as a way to raise energy. They can also be used to cleanse healing crystals as the sound vibrations produced dispel negativity.
Place or hold your crystals next to your bowl. Stroke the mallet around the bowls inner or outer edge, slowly building up in speed. As you do this negative energy from the crystals will be drawn out and carried away on the sound waves, allowing positivity to fill the stone. As with using a smudge stick, you can visualise this happening if you wish. Alternatively, crystals can be placed into the singing bowl but take care with delicate crystals or those that scratch easily such as fluorite, malachite and turquoise. It is also best not done with any terminated (pointed) crystals or with raw specimens and clusters.
Recordings such as the video above can also be used in cleansing. Simply place the stones next to your speakers and play the audio.
7. Cleansing Crystals Using Breath
If you are unable to perform any of the other methods of cleansing or need to use a crystal quickly, it can be cleansed using your breath and intention. This is not as powerful as other methods, but it will be okay until you can perform a more thorough cleansing. Cleansing using breath can be used with any crystal type.
Take a few deep breaths and focus on removing negative and stale energy from the crystal. Pick up the stone, breathe in deeply and breathe out over it in one quick breath. Visualise the bad energies being blown from the crystal, being absorbed by Mother Earth and becoming vibrant again.
© 2015 Claire
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on July 08, 2018:
Thank you. It sounds like you have everything covered with your crystals. As with all aspects of crystal healing, following your intution is unlikley to to guide you wrong.
albichi on July 06, 2018:
greetings, when i Cleanse & Consecrate my Crystals, i light a White Candle, burn Sandlewood Incense, Spring water (from a Bayou Spring) & Salt...when on a Full Moon, i set them out while Drawing Down the Moon to "Recharge" them...is that O.K.!?!...ur info is "Lit"!...Blessed Be!
Maurice Glaude from Mobile, AL on June 26, 2018:
This is the first time I've heard of the breathing method. Interesting.
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on December 31, 2015:
Using a container of soil is fine, especially if it has been collected from nature rather than bought. Forest soil sounds ideal. I am not sure about the runes but I don't see any reason why burying (or any other of these methods) wouldn't work to cleanse those as well.
Marthrach on December 31, 2015:
Love this article. Ihave few stones and always used the moon to cleanse tem. Your advice about puting them into a soil made my day. I live close by a forest so I will collect a soil there and put in a big container where I burry my stones. Would that work please? Do you think the burrying can be applied to runes as well? Thank you dearly for reply
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on March 19, 2015:
Thank you all for your kind comments. Sorry to hear about your crystals Amanda, that is a shame. WiccanSage, I have not heard of cornmeal being used before, good to know :) I normally put mine in the moonlight in my veggie garden.
Amanda from Michigan on March 18, 2015:
What a great article! I learned the hard way that any gemstones containing iron shouldn't be cleansed in water. It damaged some of the stones and created rust. Thanks for sharing!
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 18, 2015:
Very useful and informative hub! I am always fascinated by the beauty and benefits of crystals. Thanks for sharing more information about them
Voted up as useful!
Mackenzie Sage Wright on March 17, 2015:
Excellent advice, it's good to know different ways to do this. The water method is so common but people don't realize it can be damaging to some as you said. I like to bury it myself... if not in soil, then in a bowl of cornmeal.