Many people are looking for ways to introduce calm into their lives, reduce stress, and quiet anxieties, especially during times of uncertainty. As more people try alternative or complementary therapies to traditional medicine, using crystals for healing and mindfulness has become a more common practice.
So how do crystals work? Proponents of the practice say that crystals help to soothe their minds, heal their bodies, and bring them inner peace. Some also believe that crystals interact with the energy around and inside our bodies, sending natural vibrations out into the world, attracting good energies, and removing and absorbing any negative energies surrounding you. There are also those who enjoy using crystals because it satisfies the need for shiny things that our “lizard brains” have.
Cleansing crystals accomplishes two main things: it purges protective crystals of the negative energy they’ve absorbed, and it helps you strengthen your connection with them. There’s a variety of ways that you can cleanse your crystals, and we’ve gathered eight of them for you to explore.
Eight Ways to Cleanse Crystals
Charging crystals in sunlight is a common practice with newly acquired stones. Enthusiasts say the sun brings a masculine energy, a vitality, and a potency to crystals. To charge crystals in the sun, leave them outside for anywhere from six to 24 hours, making sure to bring them inside if there’s inclement weather. You can also leave your stones on a windowsill before dawn and remove them after sunset, to get the most sunlight exposure possible.
Note that some stones, including aquamarine, amethyst, and citrine, may fade or lose color if left in direct sunlight.
2. Salt water
Historically, both salt and salt water have been used to neutralize crystals’ negative energy. Many people use fresh salt water from the ocean for this type of cleansing, but simply mixing a handful of table salt or sea salt into clean water will do the trick.
Make sure that your stones are completely submerged, and allow them to soak for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Once you’re satisfied with your cleanse, rinse your stones and pat them dry. Rinsing well removes the negative energy that’s been drawn out of the crystals.
Softer, porous stones and stones with trace metals – like selenite, angelite, malachite, and calcite ‒ should not be exposed to water.
Moonlight is the opposite of sunlight. Where sunlight brings masculine energy, moonlight has long been considered a source of feminine energy. It’s also regarded as a more delicate way to cleanse stones. Moonlight cleansing doesn’t pose the same risk of fading to your stones that sunlight cleansing does. The best kind of moonlight for cleansing stones is debated, so it’s up to you to determine which phase of the moon to cleanse your stones in. The most popular phase for moonlight crystal cleansing is the full moon.
Because there’s no exposure to direct sunlight or to water, moonlight cleansing can work for most stones. Place your crystals on a windowsill before going to bed and leave them there the entire night.
Sound healing isn’t just for your body! Using singing bowls, tuning forks, and bells ‒ or simply chanting ‒ are all ways to use sound when cleansing crystals. Let the sound wash over the crystals and allow the vibrations to seep into them for a few minutes. This cleansing method works for all stones, and it is a great option for someone with a large crystal collection that needs cleansing.
The earth is a grounding element, and standing barefoot on grass or soil can help cleanse your spirit. The same goes for crystals. By exposing your stones to raw earth, you are inviting any bad energy trapped within them to seep away. Cleansing your stones this way can help reground and recharge them. If you’ve recently done some heavy energy work with your crystals, burying them for up to 24 hours is a good way to get them seriously “clean.”
Place your stones outside on soil or bury them somewhere that’s special to you. If you’re burying your stones, they need to be only a couple of inches underground. Agate, jasper, tigereye, and citrine all do well with this type of cleansing.
6. Other crystals
You can also use other, larger crystals to cleanse your stones. Geodes or slabs are typically used for this method, but clear quartz and selenite are also favorites. Cleansing crystals with larger stones allow the crystals to work together in order to share the healing energy. To cleanse your crystals with other crystals, simply place the stones you need cleansed on top of the cleansing crystals or rest them all on a plate together. You can leave them together for anywhere from six hours to overnight.
Using healing thoughts and visualizing what you want and need from your stones is another popular cleansing method. It helps strengthen your bond with your crystals as well. By cleansing your stones with meditation, you avoid the risk of fading or upsetting the energy of certain stones that comes with salt water, soil, or sun.
Before cleansing crystals this way, it’s important that you are in a good headspace and exude positive energy. Any negative energy you are holding on to will interrupt the process. To cleanse your stones this way, hold them one at a time in your dominant hand and ground your energy until you feel centered. Picture clean, positive energy soaking into every pore of the stone. Then focus on the negative energy and impurities flowing out of the stone. This process may take several minutes for each stone you’re cleansing.
8. Brown rice
It may not save a waterlogged phone, but you can cleanse your crystals with rice! Unprocessed brown rice can be used to draw out negativity in a safe, contained way. This method of cleansing is said to be extra beneficial for protective stones like black tourmaline.
Fill a glass bowl with brown rice and bury your stone or stones completely for a full 24 hours. After they’ve been cleansed, make sure you throw the rice away in order to prevent reingesting the negative energies you’ve just released from your stones.
Tips for Cleansing Crystals
How often should I cleanse my crystals?
How often you cleanse your crystals will depend on the kind of work you use them for and how frequently you use them. For crystals you use or carry with you every day, it’s recommended that they be cleansed more often than stones that decorate altars or bedside tables.
If you’ve been doing any chakra or Reiki work, a good rule of thumb is to cleanse your stones once per month or after an especially heavy session. It’s ultimately up to you: If you feel your crystals are due for a cleansing, do it!
How do I know if the stones are clean?
Since cleansing crystals releases the negative energy that they have been absorbing, the crystals should feel lighter, both physically and emotionally, afterward.
When should I cleanse new crystals?
You should cleanse all new crystals as soon as they come into your possession. Part of crystal cleansing is building a personal connection with your stones. Cleansing sessions help to start this relationship off on the right foot.
The Bottom Line
Cleansing crystals is an important part of owning and utilizing these powerful stones. Removing the negative energy your crystals have absorbed allows them to function at full capacity again. Perhaps most important, the process of cleansing your stones also deepens the connection you have with them ‒ and this small ritual can bring a sense of peace, healing, and spiritual fulfillment to your life.
Primary food encompasses everything except what’s on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career, and a spiritual practice (like using crystals) can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiating, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary. Feeling fulfilled spiritually is a lot like feeling fulfilled physically – the food in your belly feeds your body, while using and cleansing crystals feeds your mind and soul.