Crystal Clearing and Cleansing 101

Once I acquired my very first crystals, I read everything I could get my hands on about them. Purchasing was, of course, just the first step in many, according to the books I read. Each book reminded me that crystal clearing and cleansing was a necessary part of being their caretakers. And oh, how they ALL had different ideas and techniques to do so!! I was overwhelmed at the differences in opinions. Added to that, were the opinions of those I met who told me clearing crystals had to be done a certain way.

I did find out, usually by trial and error, what worked for me and what didn’t. One of my first purchased pieces was a lovely Rainbow Fluorite wand, which I immediately put on my dashboard altar of my car. I loved that wand! It even color coordinated with the car which was a lovely teal.

A few weeks later, I noticed my fluorite friend had faded in color and intensity. I went back to the books. Yes, they did say sunlight was excellent for cleansing stones, so why was my fluorite fading? I was devastated. (I later learned that Fluorite fades if put in direct sunlight).

More than a decade later, my fluorite friend is still with me, faded and worn, but truly loved. It taught me a very important lesson; just because you read something, it doesn’t mean it will necessarily hold true in every case.

Everyone needs a starting point and it is my intent that this information I am sharing here will provide you with a beginning. Each section will contain one cleaning/clearing method and detailed information on each. Take and use what information you will, leave the rest. Remember, common sense is key.

Crystal Cluster for clearing and cleansing

apophyllite crystal for clearing and cleansing

A nice sized crystal cluster or a large slab of Selenite is an excellent energy cleanser! Sit smaller crystals on a cluster or Selenite piece for a wonderful, easy, total cleanse.

They now make thick, smoothed Selenite charging “plates” in many sizes which are perfect for clearing/cleansing pretty much everything!

Crystals are energy and as energy, they cycle out those unneeded energies on their own, transmuting them to the positive LOVE energy of the Universe.  If you have many, as I do, just know that the crystals help each other to purge that energy that is no longer useful to them.

Moonlight

moonlight

This is my chosen and most recommended modality for cleansing any crystal/mineral. The light of the moon will cleanse, without fading.  It does not scratch or dissolve any stone or crystal.  It is gentle and loving energy, much like a mother rocking a sleeping baby.  Leave your crystals out to soak up the positive energy and release any negative or dense energy is no longer needed.

Two Cautions:

First, if laying crystals outside on a large table or on the ground, cover with some kind of netting. Crows are infamous for taking sparkling pretties 🙂

Second, be aware of leaving your crystals outside in colder temperatures. Some may crack or disintegrate under damp conditions. The easy fix is to put them inside in a window that will let the moonlight through.

Sea Salt

sea salt for clearing and cleansing

This was my favorite cleansing/clearing method when I first began cleaning my crystals. Who wouldn’t like a nice bath, right? Dry or mixed in water, this seemed the perfect way to cleanse many crystals at one time.

I have since learned that a lot of crystals can actually be damaged due to a chemical reaction with the salt, which may change the appearance (looking scratched or as if the finish has been removed, etc.).

Many times pieces are coated with a high temperature wax (such as shoe polish).  Salt is corrosive, so putting these pieces in salt or salt water actually removes this coating, which gives the appearance of scratching, pitting or a flat finish.

I also learned that salt, “can actually weaken the energy amplifying ability of the quartz.” Dael Walker, The Crystal Healing Book (Currently out of publication. Check used book stores and websites for your copy. It is worth the read!)

Softer Crystals (1-5) on the Moh’s Hardness Scale (below in BOLD) should not be cleaned in a Salt Bath.

  • 1 Talc
  • 2 Gypsum
  • 3 Calcite
  • 4 Fluorite
  • 5 Apatite
  • 6 Orthoclase Feldspar
  • 7 Quartz
  • 8 Topaz
  • 9 Corundum
  • 10 Diamond

DO NOT use salt (wet or dry) for:

  • Angelite
  • Apatite
  • Calcite
  • Celestite (Celestine)
  • Hematite
  • Labradorite (often coated with wax, spray or other protectant)
  • Lapis Lazuli (often coated with wax, spray or other protectant)
  • Malachite (possible wax, acrylic spray coating)
  • Rhodochrosite
  • Selenite

Clearing and Cleansing by Smudging

smudging

Using sage, sweet grass or other smudging herb, simply light the sage (for example) and allow it to smoke in your bowl or abalone shell. You can either pass each stone over the smoke or use your sacred feather to “brush” the smoke over the stone.

Make sure to open a window while you are smudging in order to let the old, dense, negative energies and smoke to flow out of your sacred space. This is a non-invasive method for the crystals. It will not fade or discolor, dissolve or scratch.

If you or someone in your home is allergic to smoke, I do not recommend this method for cleaning/clearing your crystals. Try an alternative method like a Sage Spray.

Sound

sound

I love music and harmonies. Cleansing crystals with sound has long been one of my favorites. It is not invasive (unless you are an opera singer hitting a super high note) and can be done at any time.

You can use Tuning Forks, a singing bowl (Crystal, Tibetan, etc.), the piano, bells or other musical instrument to move dense energies out of your crystals/minerals, leaving them clean, fresh and re-energized.

Sun

sun for clearing and cleansing

Sunshine is wonderful for many crystals. Clear rock crystal quartz especially love it. Putting many of your crystals out in the sun to cleanse is perfectly OK. There are things you should be aware of. For instance, it is highly suggested that you do not allow your crystals to sit in hot, direct sunlight.

Some crystals may fracture with sudden temperature changes or while under intense heat. Clarified quartz (treated spheres) generates increased heat, acting similar to a magnifying glass, which could be a fire hazard. Others will fade and depending on the species it could be only a matter of minutes, hours, or days).

Here is a list of crystals that are light sensitive:

  • Amazonite
  • Amethyst
  • Ametrine
  • Apatite (Pink)
  • Aquamarine
  • Barite (Blue)
  • Calcite
  • Celestite
  • Citrine
  • Danburite
  • Fluorapatite (Pink)
  • Fluorite
  • Halite, Blue
  • Realgar
  • Rose Quartz
  • Sodalite (Var. Hackmanite)
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Spodumene (Hiddenite, Kunzite)
  • Sulfur
  • Topaz (Brown, Sherry, Blue)
  • Tourmaline (Pink, Red)
  • Vanadinite
  • Zircon

These next crystals may darken when exposed to sunlight from as little as a few minutes to an extended period:

  • Barite (Some Barite turns blue when exposed to sunlight)
  • Cinnabar (possible if Antimony or halogens occur within the crystals).
  • Crocoite
  • Phosphovanadylite-Ca
  • Sodalite (Var. Hackmanite)
  • Vivianite
  • Any crystal that has been irradiated to change/intensify the color has a tendency to fade in sunlight. These would include:
  • Scapolite, Purple
  • Topaz
  • Some Tourmalines (Red, Pink)
  • Some Spodumenes (Hiddenite, Kunzite)

Enhydros (crystals with water bubbles trapped within the crystal itself) should never be left in the sun as they may explode or craze.  In short, liquid, heat, boil, boom.

Sulfur will fall apart under even a mild exposure to sunlight, and could melt under intense sunlight. Gaseous fumes (sulfur dioxide and trioxide) may also be released with exposure to intense sunlight, which could make you ill. Realgar, Orpiment, and many silver minerals will completely change under any light exposure in only a few minutes.

Visualization

visualization

Try a simple visualization technique. Just sit the crystal down on a table, altar, desk, etc. and visualize ALL of the stored up energy you don’t want to be there, filling a balloon and flying away, or in your mind’s eye, see a mist moving out of the crystal and into the Universe to be transmuted into positive, love energy.

You can place your crystals under running tepid (NOT hot and NOT cold) water for a few minutes and visualizing the unneeded energy flowing down the drain. (Make sure they will not dissolve or be affected by water first).

Use pure water or spring water if you feel the chemicals in your water system would be harmful to the crystal.

Clearing and Cleansing with Water

water for clearing and cleansing

Some crystals/minerals are very sensitive and soluble in water. I am listing the most common crystals found in the metaphysical community. There are others, like Acetamide that are water soluble and classified as a potentially carcinogenic substance. It also is a mild irritant. I do not see your favorite metaphysical Crystal Shop carrying such minerals.

It is best not to soak or clean these crystals using water:

  • Alum (Lab created)
  • Barite
  • Chalcanthite (usually lab created although there are real)
  • Cryolite (slightly soluble in water)
  • Gypsum (Selenite, Satin Spar)
  • Halite
  • Malachite (Slightly if water contains CO2)
  • Pyromorphite (Slightly soluble in carbonated water)
  • Sulfur
  • Turquoise

And while many crystals/minerals themselves may not be water soluble, the matrix material may be. For instance, Celestite crystals that are in matrix are only slightly soluble in water, but the matrix itself will often crumble.

Take care with crystals like Adamite that form in Limonite matrix as well as the matrix may crumble.

Many softer minerals (see Moh’s Hardness Scale) like Talc (1), Gypsum (2), and Calcite (3) may also be affected.

All of this information and more can be found in my book Crystal Basics 101 (Download here) or on Amazon

Crystal Basics 101 is copyrighted at the US Copyright Office. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy or re-post without permission.

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