Crystals 101: How to Cleanse and Recharge Crystals Properly

Bowl of crystals

When we think of holistic healing, crystals are one of the few images that pop in our minds. These beautiful stones aren’t just for show; they are also for physical and emotional healing. Crystals can easily absorb or pick up imbalances, subtle negative energies and psychic debris that burden your overall well-being. With the right crystal, you can soothe your mind, body and soul.

However, they can also get overloaded. Just like you, your crystals need regular recharging and cleansing. But do you know how to properly cleanse crystals?

For some people, cleansing crystals involves wiping their crystals down with a clean cloth. Others might think it’s OK to run your crystals underwater. Both can work, but they aren’t always the best ways to clean your crystals. And not all crystals can be washed!

If you’re not mindful of the different cleaning instructions, you could mess up with the energies of your crystals.

Why is Cleansing Crystals Important?

Before you learn how to properly clean your crystals, it’s important that you understand why you should do it. This ensures you don’t see cleaning crystals as a burdensome chore but as need.

As mentioned, many people use crystals to soothe their body, mind and soul. Some even believe that crystals promote positive energies by sending natural vibrations. So, to get the most benefit out of your crystals, you have to keep them clean.

Crystals often travel long distances. From the source to the seller to you the buyer, it has seen plenty of hands. Each transition exposes your gems to energies that may not be aligned with yours. When you use them for healing, these stones redirect or absorb all of your negative energies.

Regular charging and recharging and cleansing of crystals restores your stones to their natural state. Caring for your stones can also reinvigorate your sense of purpose.

How to Cleanse Crystals

crystals on a wooden stump
Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

There are different ways to clean your crystals. The most basic ways are:

Running Water

Water neutralizes the negative energies absorbed by the crystal. For some crystal experts, it’s better to wash your stones in natural running water for recharged and clear crystals. If this isn’t an option, you can clean your stone under a faucet. No matter your water source, always make sure that your crystals are submerged. The average duration of cleaning crystals is a minute per stone.

As mentioned above, not all crystals can be submerged in water. Any crystal that scores a five or below on the Mohs Hardness Scale can’t be cleaned with water. Otherwise, they’ll crack or dissolve. There are also harder crystals that cannot be submerged in water because they contain minerals that rust or release toxins in the water.

Which Crystals Cannot Be Washed?

  • Aquamarine
  • Fluorite
  • Black tourmaline
  • Ruby
  • Pyrite
  • Turquoise
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Moonstone
  • Amazonite
  • Angelite
  • Calcite
  • Gypsum
  • Talc
  • Celestine
  • Selenite
  • Malachite
  • Desert Rise
  • Fire-Opal
  • Red Coral
  • Imperial Topaz
  • Amber
  • Pyrite
  • Azurite
  • Kunzite
  • Kyanite
  • Tangerine Quartz
  • Magnetite
  • Jade

Any crystal that contains copper shouldn’t be cleansed in water, too.

Salt Water

Salt isn’t just useful in preserving food; it can also banish negativity and absorb unwanted energy. If you live near a body of salt water (like the ocean), collect a bowl of freshwater. But if you don’t live near the ocean, you can make your own salt water. Just mix a tablespoon of salt in a bowl of water.

When cleaning your crystals in salt water, submerge them completely and let them stay there for up to 48 hours. Afterward, rinse and pat them dry.

A salt water cleanse is ideal for hard stones like amethyst and quartz. On the other hand, you shouldn’t use salt water to clean the following:

  • Selenite
  • Calcite
  • Halite
  • Malachite
  • Angelite
  • Lepidolite

Natural Light

Although ritual cleansing is focused on certain points in the lunar or solar cycle, you can clean and recharge your stone at any time of the day.

Here’s a tip: set your crystal out before the night falls and bring it in the morning. This bathes your stone in the light of both the sun and the moon. Also, avoid setting your stone from 11 AM to 3 PM. Direct exposure to sunlight weathers out the stone’s surface.

If possible, set your crystal on the ground for further cleansing. If you place it on the earth, make sure it won’t be disturbed by passersby or wildlife.

The natural light method is not ideal for the following crystals:

  • Selenite
  • Halite
  • Amethyst
  • Celestite

Brown Rice

This crystal cleansing method draws out negative energy in a safe setting. It’s especially beneficial for protective stones.

So, how do you cleanse your crystals with brown rice? Fill a blow with your chosen brand of dry brown rice and bury the crystal under the grains. After cleansing and charging your crystals, dispose of the rice since it may have absorbed all of the negative energies.

Brown rice is ideal for any stone. Also, the approximate duration of recharging your stone in rice is 24 hours.


In the world of holistic healing, sage is a sacred plant known for its numerous healing properties. Smudging your crystal with its essence clears all negative vibrations while restoring the stone’s natural energies.

When cleansing your stones with sage, you’ll need:

  • Bundled or loose sage
  • A fire-safe bowl
  • Matches or a lighter

Once you have all the materials, light up the tip of the sage and transfer it to your non-dominant hand. Firmly hold your crystal in one hand and move it through the sage’s smoke. Smoke your crystal for 30 seconds. If it has been a while since you smudged your stone, envelop the crystal for an additional 30 seconds.

If you can’t cleanse with sage outdoors, do it near an open window. This enables you to clear out the negative energy and smoke easily.

How Do You Charge Crystals With Other Stones?

different crystals on a plate
Photo by Steph Cruz on Unsplash

Amethyst geodes, large quartz clusters and slabs of selenite are great for clearing smaller stones. All you have to do is put your stone on top or inside of any of these stones. The larger stone’s vibrations will remove the negative energies found in your crystals.

You can also use smaller stones like hematite, carnelian and clear quartz to clean other crystals. Since these crystals are smaller, you may need more than one stone to clear your other crystals. Place your cleaning crystals into a bowl and set the crystal you want to clean on top of the stones.

For both methods, you need to wait 24 hours before you can fully charge your crystals. Once you’ve cleaned them, you can use them.

When Should You Cleanse Your Crystals?

When you first bring your crystals home, you have to clean them immediately. As mentioned above, they could have picked up negative energies from the source to the seller to you.  You should also clean your stones if you’re going through difficult times and need a high boost of positive energy.

Ideally, you should clean your crystals regularly. Once a month is a standard for cleansing your crystals. By regularly cleaning your crystals, they are always ready to go, especially if you need their energies.

How Do I Use Crystals?

Are you a crystal beginner? If so, you might not know what to do right after you clean your crystals. How do you use them?

Similar to the crystal cleansing process, it all boils down to what you want. Like any energetic or spiritual practice, it’s best to use crystals in a way that heals you. Some of the best ways to use your crystals are the following:

  • Use them as part of your yoga or meditation practice.
  • Hold them when you need reassurance or support.
  • Keep them in your purse or wallet.
  • Take a bath with them. Put your crystals in the water (but make sure that your stones are waterproof first).
  • Place a crystal or two inside of your pillowcase before you sleep.

Stones are helpful in healing you emotionally and physically, especially during these trying times (e.g. COVID-19 pandemic). Like you, crystals can get overloaded with negative energy. Give your fave stones some extra love by cleaning them regularly and properly.

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