how to cleanse crystals

Recently, I asked my Charging Sky Instagram community which crystal-related topics they would want to know more about. The first response that came in was “how to cleanse crystals.” Since it also happens to be the first thing you should do when you receive a new stone, I figured it was the perfect way to start a new season of blog posts. In this specific article, I’ll discuss the most common ways to cleanse stones (i.e., smudging, water, natural light, salt, rice, and meditation), and include my own personal commentary (obvs) on each method.

Cleansing vs. Purifying

Although many talk about cleansing crystals, what we actually want to do is purify the stones, in addition to cleansing them. The difference between the two is pretty simple: cleansing entails removing any residue from the stone (as you would yourself by taking a shower) and purifying means removing any negative energy that’s been absorbed by the stone in its lifetime. Since most people use the term cleanse when they mean purify, I will use them interchangeably throughout the article.

When performing any one of these rituals, please remember that the most important part of the process is your intention. The materials you use won’t do what you want them to if your innate magic is not the guiding force behind them.

Why Cleanse Crystals?

Just as you are walking your own life path, so are crystals. Before coming into your care, a crystal may have experienced past trauma or absorbed negative energies at any point along its journey. The ritual of cleansing allows the stone to return to its natural state. While performing any one of the following, it would be a good idea to speak your intention out loud or focus on it silently. I usually recite these words in my mind three times (because 3 is a magic number) to solidify the intention: “My intention for these stones is to remove any past trauma or negative energy and return them to their natural state.”

Once purifying is complete, your crystal will be ready for programming (a blog topic for another day). Stones want to be of use, so take some time to think about how your crystal’s metaphysical properties can benefit you on your journey.

Pro Tip: You’re more likely to experience a successful outcome while working with a crystal if you have a clear and specific vision of how you want it to help you. Intentions that begin with a grateful heart and align with your highest good are key.

Crystal Cleansing Methods


What you’ll need:
Bundle of sage or palo santo sticks
Matches (preferred) or lighter

  1. Begin by lighting the bundle of sage, or the palo santo stick.
  2. Once it is firmly lit, blow out the flames, letting the sage or palo smolder.
  3. Hold your stone over the smoke, allowing it to engulf your stone.
  4. Repeat your intention aloud or in your mind.
  5. Use your intuition to know when the stone is completely cleansed. Some say stones will gradually feel lighter as the negative energy is released.

You can also use loose leaves of sage or other herbs. If you want to go this route, you will need additional materials (e.g., charcoal rounds, salt or sand, cast iron or fireproof bowl). Smudging is one of the quickest ways to cleanse your stones, but if you or someone in your household is sensitive to smoke or smells, you may want to opt for a different method.

Cleansing crystals with sage or palo santo.

Running Water

What you’ll need:
Access to flowing water (a natural body of water is preferred (i.e., ocean, river, etc.), but a sink or tub faucet is fine)

  1. Simply let the running water wash over your stones as you recite your intention.
  2. Once again, you will know when your cleansing is finished.

***PLEASE NOTE*** Some stones MUST AVOID water! Rule of thumb: if the stone/mineral ends in “ite,” DO NOT let it go near water (e.g., Selenite, Labradorite, Apatite, etc.). If these crystals are exposed to water, they may begin to dissolve, lose their luster, or break apart.

Cleansing crystals under running water.

Natural Light

What you’ll need:
The sun or the moon
A bowl or tray (for more than one stone)

  1. Place stones in a bowl or tray.
  2. Find a safe spot outside that has access to the light source (if leaving stones outside is not an option, a windowsill is fine).
  3. Make your intentions known before you leave your crystals.
  4. The stones may stay outside in direct sunlight for as long as you wish or overnight under the moonlight.
  5. Collect your stones in the morning or when you feel they are purified.

***PLEASE NOTE*** As is the case with water, some stones should avoid being out in natural light for too long (e.g., Amethyst, Clear Quartz, Turquoise, Calcites, etc.). The crystals may overheat, become brittle, or lose color. Also, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait for the Full Moon or New Moon to reap the benefits of their light.

Brown Rice or Salt

What you’ll need:
Brown rice or salt (sea salt is preferred, but any will do) (amount depends on how many stones you are cleansing)
A bowl (size also depends on number of stones)

  1. Pour some uncooked brown rice, or salt, into a bowl.
  2. Place your stones in the bowl. (They do not need to be completely covered by the rice or salt.).
  3. Recite your intention for the stones.
  4. Leave them in the bowl overnight or as long as you wish. (I usually leave them for a few days.).
  5. When you feel the stones have been purified, remove them from the bowl, dusting off any residue.
  6. Pour the used rice/salt into a bag and dispose of it outside of your home. ***DO NOT put it in your trash can inside the house. The rice will have absorbed all of the stones’ trauma and negative energies, so you will want to make sure to remove it completely from your home.

Brown rice is my favorite way to purify stones. It doesn’t involve smoke or strong odors, and almost has a “set it and forget it” process. Salt is okay, but granulated salt tends to stick to the stones, making it difficult to remove completely or get it out from the inside of geodes or druzy crystals. 

Cleansing crystals in brown rice.


What you’ll need:
Any type or form of Selenite stone

  1. Place the Selenite in a safe spot (avoiding areas near water).
  2. Then place the stones near the piece of Selenite. They don’t necessarily have to be touching Selenite to be purified. As long as they are as close as possible, it will work.
  3. Leave them there overnight or for as long as you feel is necessary.

In general, Selenite is hands down my favorite stone because not only is it self-cleansing, but it also cleanses and charges other stones, among a number of other amazing metaphysical properties. You can find bowls, plates, and bars of Selenite that have been carved specifically for this purpose. I would recommend investing in these carved shapes for the ease of cleansing and charging your stones or crystal jewelry.

Cleansing crystals with Selenite.


What you’ll need:
A comfortable and quiet space

  1. Get into a comfortable position, holding the stones in your dominant hand.
  2. Begin with three deep breaths, then focus on your intention to purify the stone, and breathe it into the stone.
  3. Focus on removing the negativity from your crystal and resetting it to its natural state.
  4. Once you feel a shift in the energy of the stone, your ritual is complete.

If you are particularly skilled in the practice of meditation, this may be the best way for you to cleanse your stones. During the same session, you could easily transition into programming your crystal with your healing intention.

While there are more ways out there to purify crystals, I chose to focus only on the methods above for this post. The cleansing ritual is a very important step in beginning to work with it for your highest good. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via the Contact page or DM me on Instagram @chargingskycrystals.

<3 Laura

Author: thatlaurainsley

current mood: Gratitude. | mama bear | intuitive writing | empath | crystal healing | living intentionally | rainbows | #bemorewithless | @laurainsleywriter | she.her | end scene.

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