How to cleanse crystals

There are many ways to cleanse crystals – but, first of all, why even bother?

Crystals absorb energy from people and the environment and they also get dusty so if you want to make sure they’re working at their best then you need to clear out the gunk from time to time.

When a crystal first comes into your possession it is extremely important that you do this, as the stone will have taken in energy from previous owners and other people who have touched it. You wouldn’t share a soap bar so let’s just apply that principle to other things we put on our body ;P 

How do I cleanse crystals?

How you cleanse crystals will mainly come down to personal preference and whether the method is suitable for the healing stone’s properties. Here are a number of options…

Running them through water

Cleansing crystals in water

Hold your crystal under a running tap or in a natural water source such as a stream or waterfall for a minute or so. Some people say it should be filtered water but, for me, that’s not practical and I find tap water works just fine. Us Scots are very proud of our water – we get enough of it, that’s for sure!

Now, here’s a very important thing to remember… Some crystals should not be cleansed in water (some are too porous or have a high metal content). If this is the case then you should choose another method of cleansing. Selenite, for example, is water-soluble and can dissolve. Cleansing in water is a bit of a contentious issue. Crystal expert Ethan Lazzerini, for example, does not clean any of his crystals in water. You can find out why here.

Many other people choose to use the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale determines the hardness of the crystal and it is thought that if the stone has a hardness of 6 or above then it is okay to put it in water. However, hematite has a hardness of 5-6 but can still rust in water… you can see why this becomes a tricky and time-consuming cleansing method if you are dealing with large volumes of crystals. 

As with everything in the crystal world, it all comes down to personal preference. I only cleanse the crystals I know for sure are okay in water (clear and rose quartz, amethyst, citrine, aventurine, tiger’s eye etc). Ethan’s article details a few more.

Top tip: Many crystals that cannot be cleansed in water end in ‘ite’ – for example, angelite, selenite, calcite, celestite, fluorite, lepidolite, malachite, halite, hematite, sodalite. This is not a hard and fast rule as there are others like lapis lazuli, desert rose and tangerine quartz that shouldn’t go in the water but it should help you to think twice before giving some of them a soak. You can find a good list over here at Crystal Clear Intuition if you want to read more about it.

Visualise white light passing through them/ use Reiki

Cleansing crystals with reiki

Imagine a white light all around the crystals and passing through them, taking away any negative vibes. If you are Reiki attuned then you can also use this. This is a great method if you have a number of crystals to cleanse in the one go – and it’s safe for all crystals which makes it an appealing choice.

Passing them through incense or a candle

Cleansing crystals with incense

Hold your crystals over smoke from a smudge stick or incense or over the light of a candle (make sure it’s a crystal that’s not affected by heat or it might crack). I like to turn them clockwise for a couple of minutes. Sandalwood, juniper, sage, pine or frankincense are particularly good choices for refreshing a stone’s natural energy.

Using other crystals

Selenite cleanses other crystals

Carnelian, selenite and clear quartz can also help cleanse other crystals. Put a carnelian tumblestone in a bag with some tired crystals and it will bring them back to life. Remember to cleanse the carnelian afterwards though. Alternatively, you could sit the crystals in a selenite bowl or on a clear quartz cluster/ inside a geode. An amethyst bed also works well.

Leaving them out during the full moon or in the sun

You can leave crystals to charge on a window ledge during the full moon

Crystals love bathing in the glorious light of the full moon and it really helps to draw out any impurities. Sunlight is great to give them a boost too.

Another important thing to remember…. Some crystals fade in the sun or can focus the sun’s rays and start a fire (beware clear quartz or crystal balls for fire hazard and crystals such as amethyst and smoky quartz for fading!). Please do your research before placing any crystals in the sun.

Also, if you live in a rain-heavy country (me!) it is best to check the weather forecast before leaving your crystals out overnight during a full moon. If it looks like bad weather is coming then leave them on your window ledge instead. They’ll still get the good moon vibes. Full moon energy lasts for a couple of days around the main event so don’t panic if you miss it.

Using earth or salt

Cleansing crystals with salt

You can let your crystals return to mother earth and recharge for a while by burying them in soil (in the ground or a plant pot). Overnight should suffice but it is even better to work with the moon cycles (bury during the full moon and take them back out at the new moon). I don’t like to be without my crystals for too long so I don’t really use this method, I must admit.

You can also leave crystals in a bag of sea or rock salt overnight. Take care to wipe all the salt off afterwards though so the crystals don’t get damaged.

I’m not really a fan of the salt method either as I’m scared it will damage my crystals (opal, for example). You choose what feels right for you though. Plenty of people like doing it this way. I guess I’m just a worrywart.  


Singing bowls are great for cleansing crystals

Sound is a great cleanser for us all and that includes crystals. You could chant, drum or use Tibetan cymbals. The vibrations they give off help remove any energy that is no longer needed.

Let them clean themselves

Kyanite and citrine are self-cleansing crystals

Some crystals such as selenite, citrine, azeztulite and kyanite are self-cleansing so you can leave them to their own devices. Think of them as the Mrs Hinch of the crystal world. Always 99.9% bacteria (or negative energy) free 😉 

Remember to hold the intent

Whichever option you choose, remember to hold the intention that all negativity is coming out of the crystal and the stone is being filled with positive energy.

How often should I cleanse crystals?

This really depends on personal preference, how much the crystal has been used, what type of crystal it is and many other factors. The best approach is to do a little bit of research on the particular crystal you want to cleanse and see whether it absorbs energy quickly. 

Have a good look and feel of your crystal to see if it is getting tired. Does it appear lacklustre and dull? Is it a bit dusty or sticky? When you hold it, does it feel like it is giving off less energy than before? 

If I have used crystals on someone during a healing session then I feel it’s good practice and hygienic to make sure I cleanse them before using them again. However, if I’m using a crystal purely on myself then I can go days without giving them a boost, depending on what I think the crystal needs. More often than not, I will cleanse them on a daily basis though as it doesn’t take much effort to place it on some selenite, pass it through some incense, give it some reiki or run it under water.

It also feels good to give them all some monthly attention, particularly at the new or full moon. 

So there you have it. Lots of ways to keep your crystals in tip-top condition and remove any stale energy.

Do you have a favourite way of cleansing your crystals?

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