Cleansing Crystals

You have a new stone that you want to use for magical purposes, and you’ve heard about people cleaning them before they use them.  Are they talking about physically washing them or what? 

Energetic Cleansing

This is not about physically washing your crystals.  Cleansing refers to making them energetically neutral, so that you can program them for a specific purpose. In a metaphorical way, it’s like a factory reset, expelling any vibrations or thoughts that the rock may have picked up along the way.

For example, if you’re carrying a stone for protection, it’s going to soak up a lot of negativity.  In that case, you need to cleanse a crystal for the same reason you need to empty a vacuum cleaner when it’s full.  

Charging Versus Cleansing

Charging and cleansing are not the same thing, although many of the same methods can be used to charge, or program, your crystal after it’s been cleansed.  It’s all in your intention.

Ideally, you would do both.  It’s not necessary to intentionally charge a stone, it’s just more likely to pick up all sorts of extra stuff if you don’t.  The more focused you are about it, the more it will work how you want it to.  

Maybe you’re carrying a rose quartz piece, because you’ve been feeling sad and unloved.  You want to set a clear intention about how you want the rose quartz to solve this problem.  Otherwise, the rose quartz will attract whatever has the path of least resistance.  This is how you end up with unwanted attention.  Setting an intention sets boundaries.

Use the Elements

When cleansing your crystals, using the elements is a great way to do it. Each element has its own unique energy that can help clear away any negativity or energetic blocks.


The spring at Blue Springs Heritage Center in Eureka Springs, ArkansasWater seems like the obvious choice for this purpose, but some crystals, such as selenite, will dissolve if brought into contact with water.  A dyed stone can bleed.  Definitely don’t leave dyed stones out in the rain.

With that in mind, it might be best to find a way to put the rock in a container, and then submerge it part way into a natural water source in a way that the crystal doesn’t make contact with the water.



A candle burned down low.Fire is powerful for cleansing and clearing away unwanted energy.  Light a candle and hold the stone near the flame, but far enough away that it doesn’t become hot to the touch.  Or set it down near the candle and intend that the energy of the flame and the crystal will merge.

If you have a fireplace or campfire, you can place your crystals near the flames to clear them.  Be careful with this method, however, as heat can damage some stones.


A handful of dirt to bury your crystal in.You can also choose to bury your crystals in the ground. The use of obsidian or other stones that are particularly successful in releasing negative energy would be ideal in this case. You can also leave them outside on the ground for an hour or so if you are unable to bury them completely.

But you don’t have to go to the trouble of taking your stone outside.  Putting one in a pot with a plant would work as well, especially with smaller palm-sized stones.



Another way to access the element of Earth is to use plants for cleansing.  Dried herbs could be sprinkled over the rock for a quick cleansing, or it could be put in a bowl with plant leaves, such as pine needles, lavender, kitchen sage, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, fenugreek, or chili powder.

Cinnamon sticks for clearing negative energy.


In the same way, spices and resins can clear away the crystal cooties with an even more powerful punch.  Try spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and anise seed.


Resins such as myrrh and frankincense are made from the dried sap of trees. It would be best to save resins for a special occasion, such as a ceremony or important ritual.  


You can cleanse your crystals by using a feather or fanning them with your hands. The movement of the air will help dislodge any negative energy attached to the crystal.

Another way to get rid of unwanted energy is to put the stone out in fresh air.  The breezier, the better.

Essential Oils

The scent of essential oils is carried by air.  Using them to cleanse a crystal can be as simple or complex as you want.  Lavender would be a good place to start, because it’s universally known for cleansing.  Any of the herbs mentioned above would work the same way in their essential oil form, but with more of a punch.


Cone incense for purification.For centuries, incense has been used to reset the energy of a location. When it comes to cleansing crystals, it’s no different. Burning something to create smoke combines all of the elements.  

You could write your intention on whatever you’re going to burn.  You could write it on paper, but it might be nice to focus on using something that has a nice scent, especially if you’re doing this inside.  

Another way to use smoke is to make a bundle of dried plant material from your environment.  It’s probably best to burn this outside, unless you crushed it into a powder and used just a small amount.


This is how Llewellyn author Richard Webster describes using your breath to purify a crystal:

Hold your crystal in your cupped hands and blow on it, while focusing on your intention of cleansing it. Do this at least seven times, turning the crystal each time to ensure that every part of it receives your breath.


Using Spirit for cleansing can be approached in many ways.  You can use your own intention by envisioning a powerful cleansing light enveloping the crystal.  Or you could see the crystal in any of the physical methods listed above in your mind’s eye.

Spirit is connected to the sun and the moon, so using the light of both to reset the crystal’s energy is helpful when you want to invoke a higher power to do the job.

Spirit is sunlight and moonlight.


When putting a stone in sunlight, however, just a few minutes should do the job.  The sun’s rays can actually fade certain crystals.  Plus, the sun is so powerful it only takes a moment to reset the stone.  Use sunlight when you want to do a quick reset, and if you’re going to use the stone to work on things that require action. 

Sunlight is also what you want to use if you want to grow something quickly.  Say you want to attract some sort of income quickly.  You could use green aventurine, because green represents growth and health.  Put it in the sun for 5 minutes first, with the intention of resetting it to be used for prosperity. 


Moonlight, however, takes more time to remove the energy.  It is a different type of energy than the sun.  If you have already tried sunlight and are not getting the results you want, there may be hidden influences and energies in play.  Moon energy sheds light on things unseen.

Crystal Hygiene

Cleansing crystals is an important part of keeping them energetically clear and powerful. By using any of the elements – earth, air, fire, water or spirit – you can quickly and easily cleanse your stones.




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