People use crystals to quiet the mind, body, and soul believing that crystals act on an energetic level to send vibrations into the world. These crystals can travel long distances to get from original source to seller, each hand-off exposing the stone to new energies. This can allow the crystal to absorb random energy from the holder. This may misalign with your needs for the crystal. When used for healing, crystals absorb the negativity you are trying to release which is why cleaning them is of such importance. Keep reading to learn the most common methods for cleaning and how to align your chosen crystals with your intention.
- Running Water – Water is believed to neutralize stored energy and return it to the earth. Although the use of natural running water is best, rinsing under a faucet can also be effective. Whatever the source, the stone needs to be fully submerged for one minute and patted dry when complete. This is ideal for hard stones like quartz, but should be avoided for stones that are soft or brittle like kyanite or halite.
- Salt Water – Salt has historically been used to absorb unwanted energy and banish all forms of negativity. If you are close to an ocean, collect a bowl of fresh salt water or mix a tablespoon of sea, table, or rock salt into a bowl of water and submerge the stone fully. Soak the stone for a few hours to a few days at your discretion, rinse, then pat dry. Perfect for hard stones like amethyst, but not soft or porous stones like angelite, calcite, or malachite.
- Brown Rice – To draw out negativity, brown rice can be effective. It is best for protective stones like black tourmaline. Fill a bowl with dry brown rice and bury the stone, leaving it for 24 hours. When complete, dispose of the rice immediately because it is believed to have absorbed the negativity of the stone. This can be used for any stone type.
- Natural Light – Ritual cleansing is often centered around certain solar or lunar cycles, but you can set a stone out anytime in order to cleanse and recharge it. It is best to set the stone out before nightfall and bring it in before 11 AM because direct sunlight can weather the surface. If possible, place it directly on the earth, but ensure it will not be bothered by wildlife or other people. After this cleansing, rinse it quickly and pat it dry. This takes about 12 hours and is appropriate for most tumbled stones, but those like amethyst, selenite, or halite may be damaged by sunlight or weather.
- Sage – Sage is a sacred plant with healing properties. Smudging your stone is believed to clear negative vibrations to restore natural energy. To do this, you need a firesafe bowl, a lighter, and sage. Smudging is best done outdoors, but if doing it indoors, do so near an open window so the smoke can carry the negative energy outside. Ignite the sage and place it in your nondominant hand. Hold your crystal in the other hand and pass it through the smoke, allowing it to be enveloped for about 30 seconds. Hold the stone in the smoke longer if you feel it is needed. This is appropriate for any stone type.
- Sound – Sound healing is the use of a single tone to wash over an area to bring the same vibration of the tone. This is accomplished through singing bowls, chanting, a bell, or a tuning fork. The key is the sound, not the note, but it must be loud enough to encompass the stone. This is ideal for those with large collections. Emit the tone for 5-10 minutes for any stone type.
- Larger Stone – Large clusters of quartz, amethyst geodes, and other larger stones can be used to clear smaller stones. Place the stone inside or on top of the cluster and leave for 24 hours. This is fine for any smaller stone type.
- Smaller Stones – Clear quartz, carnelian, and hematite have an overall clearing effect, but are typically smaller so you may need several to clear other stones. Place the clearing stones into a small bowl and place the stone to be restored on top for 24 hours. Fine for all stone types.
- Breath – Breathwork can be used for cleansing. Hold the stone, any smaller stone, in your dominant hand. Focus on the intention and inhale deeply. Bring the stone close to your face and exhale in short, forceful breaths through the nose and onto the stone. Do this for about 30 seconds for each stone.
- Visualization – This is considered the safest way to cleanse a stone, but some find it intimidating. The more attuned you are to the sense of self, the easier it is to direct this energy to the stone. Though it only takes about a minute per stone, you need to ground yourself and center your energy before picking up the stone and visualizing your hands filled with white, radiating light. Feel the light grow brighter and the impurities flushing out, the stone shining brighter with renewed and refreshed purpose. Continue until the stone’s energy feels like it has shifted.
Programming a Crystal
Crystals are said to have innate healing properties, but taking time to set an intention for the stone can help you connect to its energy and restore a personal sense of purpose. Hold the stone in your hand as you meditate or let it rest on your third eye. Envision the stone’s energy merging with your own and ask it for assistance in working through your current issue. Thank the stone as you spend time in meditation.
You can also activate your crystal when it seems to have lost its shine. Lend the stone your own energy by speaking, singing, or sending it some vital life force through breath. Take it outdoors with you to soak up natural energy. You can also surround it by energetic counterparts to revive the stone.
Some wonder how often to cleanse stones and a good rule of thumb is once a month, but more often if they are heavily used. The best method of cleansing is whatever resonates with you personally. You will know a stone is cleansed when it feels energetically lighter to touch. Store stones in mindful places near plants or windows to absorb natural energy. When we care for crystals, we are also taking care of ourselves.