If you work with crystals in any form — even if that just means wearing them in a piece of jewelry or displaying them around your home — here's something to keep in mind: You're going to need to cleanse them. Don't be a lazy witch! Knowing how to cleanse crystals (and then doing so regularly) is a must-do, non-negotiable part of being a responsible user of crystal energy. You don't want your crystals' vibes to be all gunked up and junked up, do you? The whole point of having crystals is to be able to bask in their radiant, healing, good-vibes energy and use them in your magickal rituals — but we can't well do that if they're all in desperate need of a spiritual bath.
Any time you add a new crystal to your collection (whether it's from a shop, ordered online, or gifted to you), it's going to be super important to cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Crystals pick up energy and vibrations (that's why they are such a potent tool when it comes to setting intentions), and when a crystal has been sitting in a shop or shipped around, you have no idea what types of weirdo energies it's picked up along the journey. Nobody wants to bring in a batch of unknown and possibly unwanted vibes into their space — especially via a healing tool — so you're going to want to cleanse your new crystalline babies as soon as they enter your space, and definitely before using them in any sort of spiritual practice.
That said, even crystals that have already made themselves nice and cozy in your collection need to be cleansed from time to time. This keeps them energetically fresh, pure, and ready to be charged up with your intentions. The more you work with your stones and infuse your energy into them, the more often they should be cleansed — which makes sense, because over time, they may pick up energy that you didn't intend them to be imbued with. Naturally, this is also true of crystal jewelry (especially if you wear the piece often). Even though you may not be intentionally working with it as you would with a crystal in a ritual, you're still inherently charging it up with your energy, as it's physically within your auric field throughout the day.
Think of this way: You wash your clothes. You clean your house. And there's surely nothing better for your physical and emotional well-being than a nice hot bath. Well, crystals need that same sort of regular cleansing, too — except it's more than just dusting them off every once in a while. You'll need to cleanse your crystals energetically, and there are lots of different methods you can choose from. Some methods work best for certain crystals, but others may simply vibe with your personal preference. You've got options, and because this pertains to energy work, you should trust your intuition and go with whatever methods feel right at the time.
Here are seven simple ways to cleanse your healing crystals to ensure you wash away any weird vibes and leave them shiny, new, and ready for you.
Cleansing With Moonlight & Sunlight
Moon goddesses unite! There's nothing sweeter and more cleansing than an evening-long soak in the rays of the moon's light. While you can use this form of cleansing any time, I think it's most potent under the bright, powerful light of the full moon. As the moon rises, put your crystals outdoors in a safe place (just check the forecast for rain or heavy mist first to ensure you don't risk messing up any crystals that are sensitive to moisture), and leave them there to cleanse in the moon's rays all night if you can (but even just a few hours is useful, if that's not possible!). Your crystals will be lunar-fresh and ready to charge up once the night is done.
Also, partial as we are to the moon and her mystical nighttime reign, we'd be remiss to not mention the life-giving powers of the sun! Placing your crystals out in direct sunlight during the day can be just as cleansing and powerful as letting them soak up the moonlight all night. Do whatever feels right or works best for your schedule.
Cleansing With Salt
Salt is naturally cleansing — that's why people use it for things like disinfecting wounds, adding it to bathwater to draw out toxins, and creating circles of protection during ritual work. Similarly, it can be used to cleanse your crystals. Fill a shallow bowl (large enough to fit the crystals you're looking to cleanse) with sea salt and add your crystals in, partially burying them in the salt. Leave them here for a day or overnight and the salt will work its cleansing magic.
But note: Contact with salt can be really damaging to certain types of crystals, so do some research on the ones you plan to cleanse before using this method. The Hoodwitch describes a really great "non-contact salt" cleansing method on its site, which involves putting crystals in a separate container and placing that container in a bowl of salt. This is a great way to take advantage of salt's cleansing properties without risking the integrity of your salt-averse crystals. Read the full instructions here.
And finally, just as you wouldn't wash yourself in used bathwater, you shouldn't use this salt for any other purpose, either. Nope, no cooking with or cleansing additional crystals in it once it's been used. After cleansing, it's full of all the energetic gunk you didn't want around, so throw it away or bury it in the ground instead.
Cleansing With Water
As the classic saying goes, "As above, so below." Cleansing your crystals with water not only washes away any physical gunk that's accumulated on them as they've sat pretty on your altar, but this method works just as well as a nice energetic cleanse, too. Use a bowl to create a miniature bath for your crystals (feel free to use a natural water source like rain, river, or ocean water, if you've researched to ensure your crystal can handle it). You can also add salt to your water for an extra cleansing bath. Allow the crystals to soak in the water, or "bathe" them yourself by pouring water over each, imagining them becoming fresh and clean.
But don't forget: Just as some crystals can't handle salt exposure, there are certain stones that should never get wet or be submerged in water. Do your due diligence and research any stone before using a water cleansing method — you don't want to ruin your precious pieces!
And as with the salt, don't go using this water for any other purpose after using it to cleanse your crystals. It's absorbed and cleansed away all the excess, unwanted energies, so don't go drinking it, K?
Cleansing With Smoke
Sometimes you just need a little smoke to clear the air. Whether your smudging tool of choice is incense, palo santo, sage, or any other bundle of herbs, using a cleansing smoke (or "smudging") is a super quick and easy way to cleanse your crystals. Light your smudging tool and wait for it to generate a strong stream of smoke. Cleanse yourself, and then cleanse each crystal one by one, allowing the smoke to circle around each piece and carry away any negative or stuffy vibes. Place the smudging stick in a fireproof dish near your freshly-cleansed crystals so it can continue banishing the bad vibes until it goes out.
Cleansing With The Earth
It's the Earth that we must thank for giving all of us human beings life. It's also the Earth we must thank for giving us crystals, in all their sparkling, healing-vibes glory. Nothing can cleanse the soul like a lil' bit of nature, so give your crystals the spiritual camping trip they deserve by choosing a safe (and easy to find again!) spot in your yard and burying them in the soil for a day or night. The pure and grounding earthy energy will suck away any impurities or weird vibes, and you'll dig up crystals with fresh, cleansed energy imbued by the power of Mother Nature. They'll be fully ready to charge and work with.
Cleansing Using Other Crystals
Some crystals are actually known for their ability to cleanse other crystals — that's how powerful these babies can be! For example, selenite is immaculately cleansing, and you can wave a selenite wand over and around your other crystals to cleanse them with the stone's strong energy. Quartz are another great cleanser (which makes sense, as their energy is as clear as their appearance!), and you can place other crystals on a large bed of quartz or inside of a geode to cleanse them. Carnelian is another powerful stone known for its ability to cleanse other crystals. Try placing it a bag or box with your other stones and allow them to absorb its energy.
Cleansing With Visualizations
I love this method, because you can do it any time, any place, and with any crystal — so it works really well in a pinch. Our minds are super powerful tools, and our thoughts and visualizations can create energy — that's the basis of the visualization cleansing method. Find a quiet space where you can concentrate, and do your best to get into a meditative state. Hold your crystal in your hands, and then visualize a bright stream of pure white light beaming straight out of your third eye, surrounding the crystal with its glow like a protective shield. Imagine the light as the most cleansing energy, with the power to transmute any negative into a pure goodness. Do this until you feel the energy of the crystal shift (trust your intuition on this!), and then move onto the next piece.
Just note that it can be psychically exhausting to use this method if you're cleansing a large number of crystals, so take breaks if you're feeling drained or noticing that your visualization is becoming less effective as you go on.