Crystals have the ability to receive, store, and transmit energy. For this reason, it is important to routinely perform crystal cleansing to rid crystals of unwanted or negative energies.
UPDATE: This article previously mentioned White Sage and Palo Santo among the recommended methods for cleansing your stones. Smoke cleansing using these materials is culturally appropriative in the context it was previously described, especially shared by the author here (who is white). This article has been updated to reflect this change. Further, the term “smudging” has been updated to “smoke cleansing,” since the term smudging was incorrectly applied to the act of cleansing crystals without the cultural context and deeper meaning connected with the act of smudging by Indigenous people.
By the time you bring your stone home, it has come into contact with many, many energies, and each person and place the crystal comes into contact with will leave an energetic imprint on its energy field. For this reason, you can see how important cleansing can be to the health and wellbeing of the crystal as well as to any healing work in which you use it.
Cleansing should be done before AND after using your stones. Remember, as always, your intention plays a very important role in this process. When first beginning to work with crystals, you may want to clear your stones on a routine schedule (once per week or once per month depending on the amount of use), but after more practice, you will come to intuitively know when your stones need cleansing.
You may also find it helpful to use your intuition to help you choose a cleansing method for your stone. Some healers are even gifted with clairaudience (psychic hearing) and may be able to ask the stone being which method it would prefer.
For all of the following methods of cleansing, have a clear intention to cleanse the crystal. Have a receptacle of your choice filled with white light to absorb negative energy and transform it into positive energy. Common receptacles include: a black hole filled with white light, a waterfall, a rainbow, etc.
Methods of Cleansing:
Place your crystal in a container (preferably glass) of natural or purified water and leave overnight. Alternatively, you can hold your crystal in a stream or lake for approximately five minutes (or until you intuitively feel is has been cleansed) while visualizing any negativity being washed away by the water. It is best to use this method to cleanse your crystals on the night of a full moon. Use caution when using this method to cleanse stones as some stones may dissolve or be damaged when placed in water (i.e. Angelite, Celestite, Calcite, Turquoise, Rhodochrosite, Fluorite, Azurite, & Selenite).
Place your crystal in a container (preferable glass) of sea salt and leave overnight. It is best to completely cover the stone with the salt.
To clear a stone using your breath, you must first clear your mind of any outside thoughts. Then, hold the crystal in one hand and breathe out forcefully while quickly waving your other hand over the crystal.
SEA SALT WATER:
Place your crystal in a container (preferable glass) filled with Sea Salt water. Be sure not to saturate the water with salt (you do not want un- dissolved salt in the solution as it may scratch some stones); try using about two teaspoons for every eight ounces of water. Leave the stone in the water overnight. Upon removing the stones, rinse them in clear water to remove any remaining salt residue. This is typically best used for stones of 7+ Hardness (Quartz and harder). Use caution when using this method to cleanse stones as some stones may dissolve or be damaged when placed in water (i.e. Angelite, Celestite, Calcite, Turquoise, Rhodochrosite, Fluorite, Azurite, & Selenite).
Place your crystal in a container (preferably glass) of brown rice and leave overnight. It is best to completely cover the stone with the rice. Some healers suggest eating the rice after the stones have been cleared, but personally I would not recommend it. Since the rice is absorbing the negative vibrations from the stones in order to clear them, I do not believe it to be a good practice to ingest that energy.
BURNING CLEANSING HERBS:
Burning cleansing herbs or herbal bundles and using the smoke to envelop your stones can remove negative energy. To cleanse your crystals, run your stones through the smoke of burning herbs (such as Lavender, Cedar, Rosemary) or incense (such as Sandalwood, Rose, or Jasmine) for approximately two to three minutes (or until you intuitively feel that the stone has been cleared of negativity or unwanted energies).
Be cautious if using this method around fragrance-sensitive clients. When cleansing crystals with herbal bundles, the smoke will typically surround them with some smoke on each side of the stone. A common indication that the crystal has been cleared is that the smoke will begin to move to one side of the stone more than the other.
Use a gong, chime, or singing bowl to emit cleansing sound vibrations into your crystal. You may even place your crystals within a singing bowl to cleanse them, but use caution with points or clusters as the intense vibration of the bowl may chip points. Tumbled stones work best for this method.
To cleanse your stone by burying it in the earth, you should follow a few simple steps to ensure that it does not get lost. First, dig a small hole where you would like to bury your stone. Place the soil you have removed into an earthenware pot or jar. Bury the crystal in the soil within the pot or jar. Then, lower the pot into the hole and cover it with the remaining soil. Mark your crystal with a flag or some other marker so you can later retrieve it.
Leave the stone buried for at least one week (more if you intuitively feel that it needs more time to cleanse). Because this is such an intense cleansing method, it is really only necessary for stones which have been overworked and that need a break to re- charge and re-generate their healing energy. An alternative method is to bury the stone in a pot of soil within your home (i.e. in a houseplant). This cleansing method is best performed during the time of the waning moon.
Hold your crystal in your hands and breathe deeply. While focusing on your breath, try to feel the energies of the stone. Visualize universal, healing light filling the stone until all negativity has been dissolved. See the light expand until it surrounds the stone and fills your hands. Intend that all negativity be removed from the stone and dissolved. When you intuitively feel that the stone has been cleared, you may stop the visualization.