A comprehensive guide to crystal cleansing
As you trek on as an avid crystal collector, you will have undoubtedly heard of the practice of cleansing your crystals. Crystals can hang on to energy, growing a little stagnant and then not performing in their best possible way. Crystals can do many things, like amplify energy and promote positivity, but many crystals absorb negative energy, so it's always a good idea to relieve them of housing those impurities.
There are many ways you can cleanse your crystals. My tried and true go-to's are using my trusty herb, sage (though not white sage because it's over-harvested), or harnessing the lunar cycle to cleanse and charge my stones on a full moon. But crystal cleansing isn't limited to these methods. There are many effective ways to cleanse your crystals, and one of them may really resonate with you and make sense with your personal schedule.
ANOTHER REASON TO CLEANSE:
If you've charged or programmed your stones, cleansing them may relieve them of their charge so you can use them for something else. You can do this through regular crystal cleansing!
Cleansing your crystals with moonlight is extra potent because the moon has the ability to charge your stones with added moodlets and attributes.
Once per month, on the full moon, set your crystals outdoors or on a windowsill where it will be bathed in moonlight, and leave them out until morning. The moon cycle is a great regular reminder to keep your stones neat and tidy.
Approximate time: 8 - 12 hours
Want to know when to cleanse your stones under the full moon?
Track the lunar phases and cosmic influences like eclipses, supermoons, retrogrades and more with RW’s Moon Calendar. You can check it out here!
HERBS & PLANTS
Cleansing herbs are my go-to cleansing technique when it comes to caring for my crystals. This technique is quick and effective. Sage is an herb that is often used, however, white sage - a popular choice - is being over-harvested. I'd like to encourage you to try local sage, sage you grow yourself or other herbs to offer your crystals a thorough smoke cleanse. Rosemary is an amazing herb to try, as is hibiscus, peppermint, and roses.
Ignite herbs like these with a careful flame, and then blow the flame out to create a lick of smoke. Douse your crystals through the smoke to bring their energy system back to a neutral playing field. This is called smoke cleansing.
Approximate time: 1 - 5 minutes
HERBS & PLANTS II: BURY IN THE EARTH
Burying stones in the earth offers an added dose of grounded, supercharged earth energy. This is a great technique to use with stones that have grounding properties as it gives them an even more powerful undertone while removing impurities and bringing them back to a neutral state.
Bury your stones in your garden, using garden markers as not to lose your stones in the earth. Let them sit beneath the soil as long as you feel comfortable, allowing them to experience a dynamic range of weather, from sunny skies to rainclouds. Be sure to leave them overnight. You can also set your stones atop the soil in a flower, herb or plant pot. Hey, not everyone has a garden!
Approximate time: one day - one season
Chanting is a great way to cleanse your crystals, but also connect with them on a deeper level. You may sing to them, chant an affirmation, or simply sing omm, and then wave the crystals through the invisible sound wave that escapes your mouth.
The vibration of sound is very cleansing and healing. Just imagine how cats purr to heal their broken bones - that's some potent sound! Project sound with your vocal chords any way that you wish, and then pass the stone across the sound wave a couple times. This should only take a few seconds.
What should you sing? Anything that feels good! Just be mindful of the words. You can't go wrong with a trusty "Ahhh"!
Approximate time: a few seconds - 1 minute
This is another quick and easy cleansing method, but it is important to be mindful of which stones you are submerging as some soluble stones may be damaged by water (or salt). You can give your stones a quick rinse beneath the faucet if you are in an emergency!
Hold the stone between your hands and submerge your stone beneath the water, ensuring all sides are coated and rinsed, while envisioning all energetic residue being wiped clean from the crystal. Pat dry.
You may also leave the stones in the water for a few hours, either in the outdoor water or in a bowl filled with the outdoor (or indoor) water. Trust what feels right to you. If a quick rinse isn't enough, opt for something more lengthy. (Typically, regular cleansing keeps the stones fresh, allowing a quicker rinse rather than a long soak)
*see salt, below
Approximate time: 1 minute - 2 hours
Clusters are crystals that have a bunch of points jutting out from one large base (called a matrix). You can typically sit another crystal in the cluster of crystals, offering another cleansing and charging method.
Place your smaller stones on top of the crystal cluster for a full day, allowing the cluster to absorb the impurities in the smaller stones, replacing them with a full charge. You can program a clear quartz cluster with an intention using visualization, and this will charge the smaller stones with your intention while wiping them clean as well. Double duty!
Approximate time: 24 hours
Using the cleansing method of the candle flame requires a bit of praying or visualization to accompany it, but it adopts the same principals as using smoke to cleanse.
Pass your stone through a candle flame - very quickly - as not to damage or darken the stone with heat, asking/praying to the candle to remove impurities. You may do this out loud or internally. I'd recommend using a white candle, as white symbolizes purity in chromotherapy (colour healing). Pass the stone through the flame until your intuition guides you that it is enough. Try not to get too hung up on this part. Donning this ritual will become second nature to you and you'll know what works for you and your stones.
Approximate time: 1 minute per stone
Never underestimate the power of visualization! This is probably the safest way to cleanse your crystals, but it can be intimidating to a newbie or someone new to crystals, spirituality or visualization techniques.
Hold your crystal between both your palms, your hands in prayer position. Imagine the crystal filling with pink, healing light, and ask all impurities to be removed from the stone. You can do this internally or out loud. Visualize all the impurities dissolving from the crystal, transforming into healing white light. When the crystal is shining brightly in your mind's eye, it is cleansed and ready to go.
Do you know how to perform reiki? Giving your crystals reiki is another healing/visualization technique that will cleanse the crystals immaculately.
Approximate time: 30 seconds to a few minutes
Just like the sound waves you release when you sing, drumming creates a similar vibrato - an energy pulse conducted from sound. You can pass your crystals through these cleansing sound waves the same way you would through chanting. Or, you can use a hand drum alongside your crystals, gently drumming over them with a soft mallet, letting the sound waves beat and reverberate down on top of the crystals.
Approximate time: 30 seconds to a few minutes
Smoke cleansing with sacred woods offers an alternative to cleansing herbs. Palo santo is commonly used as a smoke cleansing wood, however like white sage, it is being over-harvested. I would encourage you to seek out a sustainable wood source, or harvest some yourself. Birch, pine, and cedar are other great cleansing woods, though I would offer that you could use any wood for smoke cleansing, especially if you felled, harvested or chopped it yourself. A great alternative is using seasoned wood native to your own area and offer your crystals a smoke cleanse by burning the wood. The smoke cast from the wood when it is set aflame is what is cleansing.
Set the wood aflame, holding it downward and allowing the flame to lick up the wood before blowing it out. The tendril of smoke is smaller/thinner than using herbs. Douse your crystals through the smoke to energetically cleanse them.
Approximate time: 1 - 5 minutes
Using abundant full sun to cleanse your stones is another great option, but it isn't cut out for every stone (as seen above), since some stones actually fade in sunlight. Always check if your stones are resistant to fading before tucking them beneath the sun's rays. And since the sun can make stones brittle over time, this is not a suggested regular cleansing method, but good if you're in a pinch. Sunlight will also charge your crystals with masculine energy, much like moonlight cleansing (though the moon is more feminine).
Set your stones out in the sunlight at dawn, leaving them until dusk. They may be placed outdoors or inside on a windowsill that receives full sunlight.
Approximate time: 8 - 12 hours
There are some really great cleansing mists available as an alternative to smoke cleansing; some people are very sensitive to smoke! Note: this is not a cleansing mist like Windex or Shout! Energy, aura or good vibe mists are made up of water and cleansing herbs and salts, condensed into a spray form. These can be sprayed on most crystals, despite being made of water and salt which can usually damage some stones. This type of mist is easy to use and uses such limited amounts when sprayed that most crystals are generally safe when using it. If you're not sure, avoid stones that are susceptible to water and salt damage.
Gather your crystals and mist them with the cleansing spray to neutralize their energy, bringing them back to a cleansed state.
Approximate time: instant
Carnelian is a special stone. This orange dreamboat has special properties that keep its energy spick and span, and it even does double duty in keeping the stones it is with energetically clean as well.
If you keep your crystals all together, keep a piece of carnelian tucked with them to keep them all as energetically sparkly as possible.
Meanwhile, Selenite enhances the other stones it is with, while keeping them energetically charged and cleansed.
Approximate time: zero
To cleanse your stones with water of any kind, it is best to use water that is free of chemicals and toxins, and preferably out in a natural habitat, such as a lake, pond, the ocean* or a fresh spring. Rainwater is especially powerful! If you collect rainwater in barrels, reserve some in a tiny bowl, and plop your water-safe crystals into the water to cleanse them.
You can also melt snow for a more polar cleanse.
You may also place the stones in a bowl outside, letting it rain onto them for the duration of the raining cycle, and retrieve them when then rain has stopped. Pat them dry.
Approximate time: one minute - one day
Singing bowls, a gong, or music is a great way to remove impurities. Crystals release vibrations, but sound also emits a powerful vibration. The vibrato that many voices and instruments project are deeply cleansing.
If you're using something that can emit vibrato, like a singing bowl, a gong, bells, etc, sound the instrument until you hear the vibrato, summoning it a few times. For this method, you will need to trust your intuition. You can summon the instrument for each stone individually, or you can summon the instrument over a group of stones, but it's important that the sound waves pass over the stones. If your instrument allows you to get close to the stones (like a bell or drum), sounding the bell/drum/gong close to the instruments will suffice.
Should you want to play music of drumming, a singing bowl, gong or chanting, doing this in the vicinity of the stones will project the sound waves onto the crystals.
Approximate time: 5 minutes - 15 minutes
Cleansing with salt can apply to your crystals as well. Burying crystals in a bowl of sea salt or pink himalayan salt, extracts the impurities from the crystals, trapping it within. You can even keep your stones sitting in salt to prevent them from absorbing any unwanted energy.
Bury your crystals in a bowl of salt and leave them for one hour, or as long as you feel guided to. If you have to squeak out and run some errands, I think it would be fine to leave them for a little salt cleanse, but the whole cleansing practice is a mindful experience and really does ask for your focused attention.
Salt isn't for every stone. If salt gets humid, it can liquify and cause the same problems that immersing the stone in water would. So because of that, I would suggest not using the salt method for any stone with a water sensitivity (above), or any stone that could get a shard of salt trapped within it (geodes, etc).
I had a pink himalayan salt lamp in my studio, which got humid and leaked all over a wooden table, rendering it damaged and unusable. Darn!
Once you’re finished with the salt, give it back to the earth! You can pour used salt outside and offer it back to the land. Once you retrieve the stones from the salt for use, their impurities are left in the salt. If you leave your stones sitting in a bed of salt for long periods of time - that’s fine! - just make sure not to put the stones back in the salt before replacing it. Once the crystal leaves the salt, do your best not to put it back in. Use new salt!
Approximate time: one hour +
It's important to note that not every cleansing method is recommended for each crystal. If for whatever reason you aren't sure, you can reference this post or message me directly regarding your stone and what is a safe way to cleanse it. Using the smoke of a sacred herb is almost unanimously safe, as it does not harm the crystal's exterior in anyway. If you're confident, visualization is another amazing method.