I first started using healing crystals when I realized most of my old college friends had settled down – marriage, kids, a big house, the works – and there I was, still single. It sent me in a bit of a tailspin, feeling like I was being left behind. It was a rough time that plunged me into a long period of soul-searching. And I found a lot of comfort and introspection in crystals. I still do.
They’ve helped me a lot, so now I spread the word about them. In this article we’ll go over the basics of crystal care: why crystals are important, how to cleanse crystals, and how to charge crystals.
Why are Crystals Useful?
It might sound strange, but people have been using crystals for their mental and physical health for centuries. Crystals are said to emit healing energy found in the earth. They can be used to help people feel grounded, balanced, peaceful, and to feel a connection to something bigger than themselves. Crystals are versatile; every variety has a different effect to help with a different aspect of your well-being.
Not for nothing, but they’re also beautiful. I’m not a big home decorator, but my condo looks 100% better now that I have a handful of crystals sitting on my bookshelves and nightstand. That never hurts.
Why is Cleansing Crystals Important?
Crystals have memory. They absorb the energy around them and react to the people and places that surround them. Over time, that energy builds up. To keep them working for you, you need to cleanse them regularly.
Don’t forget to cleanse a new crystal right when you bring it home. You don’t know what energy it may have picked up before it got to you. You want to clear that out and get it ready to absorb the energy you’re giving it.
10 Ways to Cleanse Crystals
Sunlight is an excellent way to break in a new crystal after you’ve acquired it. The sun gives off yang energy, while crystals hold yin energy from the earth. Just pop them on a sunny windowsill for a few minutes. If you have crystals that are vulnerable to discoloration from the sun (like rose quartz, amethyst, or amber), you can still use this method. Just put them out for an hour at dawn instead of into a beam of direct sunlight.
Moonlight is generally regarded as a gentler, more delicate version of sunlight cleansing. It also doesn’t run the risk of discoloring any of your stones, which is why I like it. If you’re into tracking the phases of the moon, moonlight cleansing is especially effective during a full moon. This can increase the stone’s vibrations as well.
Salt has long been used in rituals all around the world and in a variety of belief systems to absorb unwanted energy and to protect against threats. To use this technique, soak your crystals in a water bath with a pinch of sea salt. If you can get your hands on seawater for this, even better. Rinse your crystals off in the morning to clear away any salty residue.
Some crystals don’t hold onto energy the same way others do, so you can actually use them to cleanse your other crystals. Put stones like quartz, amethyst, or carnelian into a container with your other crystals for 24 hours and voila, you’re done.
Whenever I smoke-cleanse my condo, I extend the same courtesy to my crystals. This clears away disparate vibrations and brings back the crystal’s natural energies. All you have to do is create a tuft of smoke with your herb bundle, then hold your crystal in the smoke for 30 seconds.
Water works by neutralizing the negative energy the crystal is holding onto. As the water flows over the crystal and down the drain, it takes the negative energy with it back to the earth. To do this method, rinse your crystals directly in rainwater for 4-5 minutes. You can also rinse your crystals in the sink for about 10 minutes.
Remember that water can erode delicate crystals. Only use it for hard stones, never for brittle, crumbly, or sedimentary crystals.
If your crystal’s been subjected to a lot of negativity lately and you want to clean that away but are nervous about releasing the energy into your home or taking it on yourself, brown rice is an excellent method. Fill a bowl with dry brown rice and bury the crystal in it. Leave it there for. A full 24 hours. When you’re done, throw out the rice. It will have taken on the energy you’re trying to get rid of.
Pull out any singing bowls, bells, or even your favorite chant. Emit the sound loudly enough for the vibration to fully envelop the crystal. Continue for 5-10 minutes. This is an especially effective method if you’re cleansing a lot of stones.
Meditators love this one. State an intention, then sit with your stone for a few minutes. Breathe slowly and deeply, letting each exhale wash over the stone. This balances your own energy (since it’s technically a meditation and breathing exercise) while cleaning away the energy your crystal is holding onto. Be sure to state an intention before you start.
Only try this if you’re feeling at peace and connected with your higher self. Center your energy, hold your stone in your hands, and visualize your hands filling with radiant white light. Do this for about a minute per stone.
Tips for Charging Crystals
Crystals can lose their charge over time; their power isn’t constant. The entire point of owning crystals is for their energy benefits, and all energy can be depleted over time. Eventually, by nature of their very purpose, they’ll need to be recharged, just like a battery.
Make sure you always cleanse your crystals before you charge them. This wipes away all the energy buildup over time. Otherwise, when you try to charge your crystal, it’ll already be full of the energy you’ve already put into it.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to cleanse and charge crystals at the same time: sunlight. This is my favorite way to renew my crystals’ energy. Find a sunny windowsill, lay out your crystals in a sunbeam, and leave them there for 30 minutes. When you come back, they’ll be all cleansed, charged, and ready to go.
Before you do this, check to make sure your crystal won’t be damaged by sunlight. Some crystals with a high shine can be dulled by the sun. But if not, this is an easy way to take care of your crystals without a long process.
Getting the most out of your crystals can seem like a lot of work at first. But my crystals bring me a lot of comfort and benefits, so it makes sense that I’d need to spend some time paying back that energy and care. When you find a charging and cleansing ritual that works for you and feels right, you might even find you enjoy it. It’s a comforting pattern and can be a nice way to signal the beginning of a new week or month.