Whether you’re new to crystals or you’re just brushing up on your knowledge, one of the first things you need to learn is how to safely and effectively cleanse and energise them. Every time you buy a new gemstone it’s important that you cleanse it before using it for crystal healing or within crystal grids. They also need cleansing regularly to clear them of energies they have collected while sitting in your home, car or bag. And no, we’re not talking about washing them with a cloth, we’re talking about cleansing their energies…
WHY DO WE NEED TO CLEANSE CRYSTALS?
You may have heard that crystals emit energies and can make people feel happy, calm, compassionate and so much more… but did you know that crystals absorb energies too? Our sensitive crystals pick up energies from our thoughts, feelings and also those of other people around us, so they need energising just like we might meditate or take a spa break. Well, it’s kind of the same… Refreshing and recharging their batteries helps them to do their jobs properly. And it isn’t as complicated as it may seem.
By cleansing crystals you will remove them of any unwanted residual or negative energy they may have collected and restore them to the original clarity they possessed before being collected from the ground. When crystals are not cleansed, they become less effective and may even neglect to prevent the circulation of imbalances, negative energies or energetic static in the air around them. This can lead to a feeling of ‘heaviness’ in the air of your home or office or a simple sensation of unpleasantness and negativity. It’s recommended that crystals are cleansed at least once a month and crystals that cleanse other crystals that are close to them should be cleansed at least once a week.
Cleansing crystals will only remove the negative energies that are clogging them up, not any positive energies they have collected. And remember: whichever method you choose, you need to focus your intentions on energetically cleansing the crystal to fill them with positivity and light. Cleansing crystals doesn’t remove the intentions you have previously programmed into them, unless that is your intention.
You’ve probably heard of many ways to cleanse your crystals but have you ever thought ‘but which one is best?’. If so, you’re not alone. The truth of the matter is simple: there is no ‘best way’, however some crystals can be damaged by certain methods so it is important to always do your research before assuming that every method works for every crystal. Find out the 14 most common crystal cleansing techniques here.
WE’RE GOING TO START WITH THE BEST WAYS TO CLEANSE YOUR CRYSTALS…
One of the easiest and most effective methods of cleansing and energising your crystals moonlight cleansing. Gemstones can be left on a windowsill which faces the moon all night and they can even be energised on a cloudy night. If you have a private outdoor space where your expensive crystals aren’t at risk of being stolen, they can be left outdoors, but remember to keep stones that can’t get wet indoors in case the weather changes, or you could cover your crystals with a clear glass or bowl for extra protection.
For an added bonus, leave your crystals outdoors during a full moon or a new moon for them to be charged as well as cleansed. Laying out crystals on a cloth or in a dish under a full moon is one of the most popular methods used by healing crystal experts. Super moons are larger and closer to the earth and although we don’t usually get to see them, the earth – and your gemstones – will benefit from their effects. Learn more about super moons here.
Remember to collect your crystals as soon as you wake up to protect them from the risk of their colours fading in the sunlight.
2. MOTHER EARTH
Returning crystals to their original source helps to naturally cleanse them of the negative energies they have collected and renew their energies. Most crystals can be safely buried under soil and if you have a private garden they can be left for up to 24 hours.
Alternatively, they can be placed near to, or inside, plant pots for a decorative yet useful cleansing experience. If the stones are set, or strung, onto jewellery or are part of a keyring, carefully cover the metal with a cloth so that small bits of dirt don’t get into the fastenings or settings.
Although this method is generally considered to be safe, do your research before burying your stones – sometimes the earth can expose natural cracks which make them more fragile. One example of this is Carnelian.
3. SMUDGE STICKS & INCENSE
Cleansing crystals with smudging sticks is a popular Native American cleansing technique which uses bundles of dried white sage. All you need is a smudge stick, a lighter and a dish to catch the ashes or cinders that will fall from it. A popular dish to use is a large abalone shell as this is actually traditional in some Native American tribes. Smudging has the added bonus of removing negative and unwanted energy in your home and personal space.
Light up a smudge stick, a stick of Palo Santo wood or an incense stick and blow out the flame. Run the smoke over your crystals a few times to cleanse and purify them and stub out the stick in the dish or shell when you are finished. There are many options, including sage (white sage is very popular), sandalwood, sweetgrass or even incense.
Some smudging sticks contain lavender, frankincense, cedar and other herbs to make your home smell wonderful. You can also hold crystals over the smoke if you prefer. When cleansing crystals using this method, it is important to speak a phrase to set your intentions, as is generally associated with sage smudging.
Pass each crystal over the light to purify it. Despite this being the exact same method as sage smudging and using incense sticks and is slightly more dangerous if you have shaky hands and get too close to the flame, it is still worth us noting it. ‘So why is it worth doing?’ you ask. Simple. This method purifies the crystals and surrounds them with light and positive energy as well as cleansing them.
A Tibetan singing bowl is a metal Buddhist bowl which comes with a cushion to rest it on and a wooden stick to make your beautiful melody with. Gently strike the sides of the bowl with the stick or slowly rub the outer edge in a clockwise direction for the bowl to emit a soothing and cleansing tone. When using a Tibetan singing bowl, DON’T put your crystals inside the bowl as it might damage them. Instead, place your crystals around the outside of the bowl. The sound vibrations of the notes can cleanse your crystals of negative energies, plus you will find some beautiful sounds to relax or meditate to.
Although this is the most common way to provide a positive sound energy for your crystals, it is not the only option. Other sounds you can use to cleanse crystals can come from a bell, gong or tuning fork. If you cannot access any of these, find sound clips of singing bowls, bells, gongs or tuning forks which state that they can be used for cleansing crystals online. Set your intentions before you play your chosen instrument or listen to a sound clip for a few minutes.
6. OTHER CRYSTALS
Certain crystals are believed to cleanse and energetically charge surrounding stones. Selenite is a self cleansing and charging stone which does the same for other crystals and Clear Quartz also cleanses other crystals. You can also place these crystals on top of other crystals or sit the crystals on top of them if they are large clusters.
Place your gemstones in a bowl of dry brown rice to cleanse them. Dispose of the rice afterwards.
8. MEDITATION & VISUALISATION
Take the time to cleanse each crystal separately by taking a deep breath and blowing over it while visualising it being surrounded by intense white or gold light. Envision the light entering your crystal and fill it with love with your intentions.
Spend some time repeating this technique for each crystal and imagine its negative energies being cleared away. The positive energy you will emanate during this time will help to cleanse, purify and energise your crystals. This method is a great use of meditation time and is useful for when other options aren’t available.
9. USE YOUR INTENTION
Another way to cleanse each crystal during your meditation time is to focus your mental energies on them and ask the universe, or your angels, to cleanse them of their negative energies and to re-energise them. Always remember to thank the universe, and/or your angels, for helping you.
10. REIKI HEALING
Reiki healing is a Japanese technique which is used for healing ailments and reducing stress on the body. If you are a reiki practitioner or have the time to start learning how to practise it, it’s a great technique which encourages meditation and focus. It’s ideal for when no other techniques are available and it can be done where ever you are. All you have to do is hold your crystals and pass the healing energy through them.
11. CLEANSING SPRAY
Cleansing sprays can be bought from a number of online retailers or in many crystal stores and a simple spray on each crystal is said to cleanse them, just be careful to read the reviews before buying to ensure the product is trustworthy. Crystals can also be cleansed with a homemade spray comprising of water and essential oils.
AND FINALLY: THE MOST RISKY METHODS (WHICH ARE STILL VERY POPULAR…)
Sunlight is one of the better known crystal cleansing techniques and it’s also one of the easiest. All you have to do is place your chosen crystal(s) outdoors or on a windowsill – even if it’s cloudy – and walk away, allowing the sun’s rays to cleanse and energise them. What many people don’t know is that it carries a big risk…
So what’s the risk then, you ask? LOTS of crystals have been found to fade in the sunlight. Yep, their colour literally becomes paler over time. Crystals which tend to be damaged by direct sunlight include Amethyst, Rose Quartz, Carnelian, Flourite and some Calcite.
To use this method, you have to fact-check every crystal to be confident that they won’t fade, however you can’t forget about any you do leave in the light – ALL crystals can begin to fade if left for days.
Believe it or not, water can be like acid to certain minerals. Water can eat away at the surface of your favourite gemstones or even gradually dissolve them. It can cause some crystals to rust, change the colour of crystals and even cause them to crack. Despite all these risks, people still continue to cleanse their crystals in water, but why? Well, it’s an easy process and some crystals are water soluble so people forget that some aren’t too…
To cleanse crystals using this technique, they should be held under clear, purified running water or immersed in purified water – don’t use ordinary water straight out of the tap. Simply allow the water to wash over your crystal for around a minute. If possible, leave them in the sun to dry naturally.
Some common crystals are considered safe to submerge in water, such as many crystals in the Quartz family like Amethyst, Clear Quartz, Citrine, Rose Quartz, Snow Quartz and Smoky Quartz. Other water-safe crystals include Agate, Aventurine, Red Jasper and Tiger’s Eye. Stones that end in ‘-ite’ tend to be hydrophobic so can’t be placed in water.
But the Mohs scale determines water-solubility, right?
Have you heard of the Mohs scale of hardness? Basically, minerals are rated in hardness with 1 being incredibly soft and 10 being hard and durable. So why are we mentioning this? Well, many people believe that crystals which are rated above 5 on the scale are water safe, but any mineralogist or geologist can tell you that this isn’t true.
Some hard crystals are not water safe:
- Hematite has a hardness of between 5 and 6 but it can rust in water due to its iron inclusions. This is also the case with many other iron-based minerals.
- Opals are rated between 5 and 6 yet can crack while drying off after being put in water.
- Tangerine Quartz is a type of Quartz so many people assume it’s safe in water… The orange colour is created by traces of iron oxide, meaning the crystal can rust or even change colour, with the crystal appearing almost clear after being submerged in water.
Some soft crystals can be safely cleansed in water:
- Amber has a hardness rating of only 2 – 2.5 on the Mohs scale but can be safely submerged in water.
- Jet has a rating of between 2.5 and 4 but can also be cleansed in water.
If you must use this method, do your research for every. single. crystal before assuming they’re water safe. If you have lots of them it isn’t a great use of time when there are so many easy, safe and effective techniques available.
14. SEA SALT
Cleansing crystals in salt is even more dangerous than using water due to it being corrosive. While it’s true that certain crystals can safely be left in dry sea salt or pink Himalayan salt for a few hours or even overnight, other crystals can be permanently damaged. Sea salt has long been known to have purification properties and crystals can be left in a glass bowl of it for up to 24 hours.
It’s important to do your research before assuming that all crystals can be safely left in salt and check their hardness on the MOHS (mineral of hardness) scale. Never use wet sea salt due to the risk of softer stones being damaged. Be sure to carefully brush off all traces of salt once the gemstones are removed from the salt bowl as leftover salt crystals can damage the structure of your gemstones over time.
15. SALT WATER
Cleansing crystals in salt water can be equally as corrosive as cleansing them in salt due to it being too harsh for softer stones. If you’re unsure about which crystals are salt water safe, there are lots of different methods which are simple and effective. Place some natural sea salt into a glass bowl, cover with some purified water and add your gemstones. They can be left for up to 24 hours and can either be gently patted dry or left to air dry.
There is one main thing to remember when cleansing crystals: you need to visualise and hold the intention that all negative energies will be washed away, with only positivity being returned to each crystal. This returns your gemstones to their natural state and helps them to attune to your intentions.
All photos are sourced from pixabay unless otherwise stated.