Cleansing Crystals and Charging Crystals ~ There is a BIG Difference!

Cleansing Crystals and Charging Crystals ~ There is a BIG Difference!

Hello There

I have seen the question come up time and time again in forums, during workshops and from countless clients over the years…..

‘How do I cleanse a crystal?’ followed closely by ‘How do I charge a crystal?’

There is a huge difference between the two and there is only ONE proven method that will actually cleanse AND charge a crystal. There are however plenty of other, different methods for cleansing and charging. What complicates things is some methods will not work for crystals that vibrate at a very high frequency, some methods won’t work for crystals that are porous, containing metals or water and other methods won’t work for crystals that are too soft!

To keep things really simple, the method that is proven to both CLEANSE AND CHARGE ANY crystal is:


See the lists below for other proven and unproven methods as there are many.

In layman’s terms, a crystal is like a battery. It vibrates at a certain frequency and emits a lovely energy. When we use that crystal, it will often discharge it’s positive energy into our body. This is why people may feel a tingle or strange feeling in their hand/arm/body when they first pick a crystal up or wear one for long periods of time. The energy of our body is merging with that of the crystal, which can feel quite odd at first.

Crystals can also absorb negative energy, which turns their positive energy to negative after awhile. Some crystals can deflect or push away negativity, but that still requires using their energy in order to facilitate a protective shield. However we choose to use a crystal, it will eventually run out of energy and need to be recharged, just like a battery.

So our crystal has been used and has run out of energy. Not only has it run out of energy, but it may also have absorbed negative energy. Therefore, we need to cleanse the crystal and then recharge it. When we talk about ‘cleansing’ a crystal, it means energetically.

If you want to physically clean a crystal, just wash it under running water or use a soft, dry cloth or soft toothbrush. Unless the crystal is under 4 on the Mohs hardness scale (ie. its really soft), it’ll be fine under a tap.

When first starting to use crystals, I always recommend the PROVEN methods of cleansing and charging first. There are tons of ancient methods that came about due to our indigenous culture’s beliefs in god, the spirit world and the power of the planets in our solar system. However, when starting out, always use the proven methods first.

A proven method gives an excellent base from which to work….our logical mind can understand science and if we know a proven result is going to happen, we can keep experimenting until we get that result. If we aren’t sure, then how will we know whether something has actually worked or not? When you take a crystal that has run out of or absorbed negative energy and you cleanse & charge it with sunlight, you should be able to see or feel a difference immediately. It may feel fizzy, it may make you smile when you pick it up or it could simply look sparkly and ‘happy’…..I’ve lost count of the lovely folk who’ve commented that my crystals are extremely happy ~ that is because I physically clean them, then cleanse and charge them in lovely sunshine, then reiki them for the highest good 🙂

So start with proven methods, then experiment with the unproven methods…after all, we are all unique individuals and will each have our own way of working with crystals. Part of the delight of working with these spiritual tools is the fun we can have in playing with them 🙂

And please learn the difference between cleansing and charging as it is very important. Don’t think because something cleanses it has the ability to charge as well…..smudging is a perfect example. Sure, smoke can bind negative energy and dispel it, but it cannot energise things ~ it is fantastic for cleansing/clearing, but will NOT charge a crystal.  Sound is also excellent for clearing negative energy, the sound wave literally whacks the negative frequencies right out of the crystal. However, for it to add a frequency to a crystal, the sound wave must be of a higher frequency than that of a crystal. Sound is great if we’re wanting to cleanse and charge a piece of Lapis, Onyx or Obsidian perhaps, but it probably won’t work if we’re trying to charge a Brandberg, Selenite or Apophyllite. The tables below clearly show the different methods of cleansing and charging and also whether they are proven or not. 

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There are also some myths I’d like to dispel. Lots of people give warnings about leaving crystals in direct sunlight for too long and on some levels, they’re right. Half an hour is more than enough if you’re not sure whether a crystal can be left in sunlight or not. Half an hour will NOT damage any crystal and believe me, I’ve experimented with this very issue with 1000s of crystals over the past 25 years. If you live in an extremely hot country with strong sunlight, put crystals out early in the morning or late afternoon when the beams from the sun are weaker, to ensure they don’t crack or explode in the intense heat. Crystals will charge on a cloudy day too as sunlight is super strong ~ if we have light outside, a crystal will cleanse/charge.

As a general rule, many purple or pink crystals will fade in sunlight due to their chemical content breaking down in sunlight. Be wary of leaving Amethyst or Kunzite in the sun for too long. Fluorite is the only crystal on the planet to have TWO internal lattice structures (every other crystal has one). Sunlight breaks down one of those structures, causing Fluorite to shatter easily. It is fine in the sunshine for half an hour, after that, pop it into a shaded area. I have had Amethyst that has faded in sunlight and pieces that sit in sunlight every day and haven’t faded one bit. I have no idea why and can only assume its due to the concentration of chemicals in the crystal…some pieces have more than others. I also had a LOT of Fluorite smash over the years before a mineralogist taught me about lattice structures!

Natural sunlight is the only proven method of both energetically cleansing and recharging a crystal, which is handy as its also the cheapest and easiest method to use. Not everyone is aware of or proficient in Reiki, which is the other method I believe cleanses and charges, but it’s unproven so we’ll stick with fact for now. I pop all of my crystals on the windowsill when I do the housework ~ not every week, sometimes every two weeks or once a month. Simply wait for a nice day, pop everything onto your windowsills, go about the housework (or whatever you do that will only last 30-60 minutes) and then remove any crystals from the windowsill that you might be concerned about. Ask Google if you aren’t sure. Most solid crystals such as Lapis, Malachite, Hematite, Iron Pyrite etc could be left in the sunlight for life and never fade. Clear Quartz is fine to be left in the sun forever too! I automatically cleanse and recharge any crystal I’ve used for a few days.

Moonlight is a huge bug bear for me because it is not a proven method of charging a crystal. Now I know science cannot explain everything, but on this one, I have to side with logic. To energetically cleanse a crystal, we need to remove or break down it’s negative energy and as the moon’s energy is magnetic, it cannot do it. If we want to look at Moonlight itself, then it simply isn’t powerful enough. We get 0.2 lux illumination in a direct beam of moonlight. We get 120,000 lux illumination from a beam of sunlight. There is no comparison.

However!! Before half the moon goddesses reading this send scorching thoughts my way, you MUST go with what feels right to you. Just because science cannot prove something doesn’t mean to say it isn’t so (anyone, like myself, who works with Spirit knows the truth in this!!). I have tried and tried to cleanse/charge crystals in moonlight and for me it has never worked. If it works for you however, then that is part of your belief system and must be honoured. What I will say is I always set my grids to the lunar calendar. I love the moon and have followed it’s cycles for many years. The symbolic meaning of the moon makes up a big part of my energy reports and I feel the magnetic pull of it can and does effect human beings and our planet as a whole.  

Another myth I’d like to dispel is that certain crystals do not need to be cleansed and charged. Experience has taught me this simply isn’t true.  Information was released decades ago in a certain book that Natural Citrine & Blue Kyanite never need to be cleansed or charged. I can understand the logic behind this given their chemical composition, but having worked with them both extensively over the decades, depending on what they are used for, they must be cleansed and charged. Think about it logically.  No battery is a self supplying source of energy or the energy giants would be digging it out’ve the ground by the bucketload….it really is that simple.  I didn’t cleanse or charge my Kyanite wand after using it during a particularly sticky healing session with a client….and that energy was taken straight into my next session, which caused quite a negative energetic reaction! We live and learn 😉

It’s also a myth that Selenite and Black Tourmaline don’t need to be cleansed or charged ~ OF COURSE they need to be cleansed and charged. They are no different to any other crystal. Selenite may have a lovely, high vibration, but its not THAT high….it can absorb negative energy like any other crystal. Someone wrote a blog on this a few years’s ago and I could bop him as it’s just his belief and an ego trip that simply isn’t factual. The rumour mill got hold of it, chinese whispers ensued and hey presto, all of a sudden this big misnomer has suddenly become fact!! Nooooooooo!!

It’s particularly damaging given many of us use large pieces of Selenite to charge our smaller crystals. If you have any doubts, think about this logically…..once the smaller crystals have absorbed the energy of the bigger Selenite, where is that Selenite going to get more energy from??? And what if a smaller crystal discharges it’s negative energy into the Selenite before sucking up some charge?

The same goes for Black Tourmaline. It is THE stone recommended to deflect negative energy and protect us, so to not cleanse or charge it makes no sense. Don’t leave Selenite in water either……another lesson learned the hard way, it simply dissolves if you leave it in a bowl for a few hours. Ooops 😉  Washing larger (such as towers, slabs or lights) or thick pieces of Selenite under running water will do no harm if they are dried naturally in the sun afterwards or with a cloth. It appears it’s leaving Selenite in water rather than washing it under water that causes damage. 

I’ve detailed below in simple tables the most commonly used methods for cleansing and charging. Some are proven, some are not and there are probably a few more unproven methods that haven’t been mentioned too. Start with the proven, gauge how crystals feel before and after cleansing and again, before and after charging….then go for it with the unproven methods.

Walking a sparkly, crystal path is all about playfulness, about adventure and experimentation. What works for one may not work for another, so forge your own path and do so with joy!

With much love, Krissy XXX


Method Information Basis
Sunlight Place crystals in sunlight for no more than half an hour. Sunlight breaks down negative energy. No crystal will fade or be damaged from only half an hour in the sun. Proven
Sound Use a singing bowl or chimes/bells/tuning fork and strike it directly next to a crystal. Be aware that the sound emitted must be of a higher frequency than the crystal you are trying to cleanse. Proven
Salt Water Place crystals in a bowl of salt water for a few hours. The salt water will absorb any negative energy. Natural sea salt or Himalyan salt is preferable to white, processed salt. Remove crystals, wash them off in clean, fresh water and dry them. Do not use salt with porous, water based or metal based crystals (ie. opal, lapis lazuli, malachite, hematite etc.) If in doubt, do not use salt. Proven
Dry Salt Place crystals in a bowl of dry sea salt for a few hours. Bury the crystals deep in the salt. The salt will absorb any negative energy. Discard salt afterwards. Do not use salt with porous, water based or metal based crystals (ie. opal, lapis lazuli, malachite, hematite etc.) If in doubt, do not use salt. Proven
Water Wash crystals under running water, preferably the fresh water of a stream, river or waterfall, but under a tap is just fine too. This method will not necessarily clean a crystal energetically & remove the negative energy, but it will physically clean a crystal. A soft toothbrush can be used to clean a cluster. Do not use water on crystals softer than 4 on the hardness scale. Crystals such as Selenite will dissolve in water. If in doubt, do not use water. Proven
Reiki Reiki energy is strong as it is universal energy channelled with intent. Firstly, place your hand above the crystal, activate your energy and say 'cleanse'. Wait until the energy lessens a little and then ask it to 'charge'. Wait until the energy lessens again and know that the crystal is now cleansed & charged. Unfortunately, this method cannot be proved, but I have found it works quite well. Unproven
Smudging Light sage, Cedarwood, Paolo Santo, Sweetgrass or Sandalwood and waft the smoke over and around the crystal, passing the crystal through the smoke several times. Ask in your mind that the crystal be cleansed and know that it is so. Unproven
Earth Burying a crystal in the earth for a few days or weeks will ensure all of the negative energy drain out of the crystal and into the earth. See above information regarding salt & water (which is present in a lot of earth). Unproven


Method Information Basis
Sunlight Place crystals in sunlight for no more than half an hour. Sunlight breaks down negative energy. No crystal will fade or be damaged from only half an hour in the sun. This method can be used to both cleanse AND charge a crystal. It is the easiest & most cost effective method to use. Just pop your crystals on a windowsill or outside if you prefer. Proven
Crystal Cluster Large clusters of crystals can be cleansed, charged and then programmed with the intent to 'energise'. If we then place smaller crystals (of a lower vibration) such as tumble stones or pieces of jewellery on to the cluster, the smaller pieces will absorb the energy of the larger piece and will become charged. The larger cluster must be cleansed and recharged after each use. Amethyst, Clear Quartz, Kyanite & Selenite are all excellent energisers. Proven
Reiki Reiki energy will charge up a cleansed crystal. Place the crystal on a table, hold your hand over the top of it and send reiki into the crystal with the intent that the energy will Charge. The crystal be filled with universal energy. I charge all of my crystals in sunlight AND then reiki them too for good measure 🙂 Unproven
Moonlight Place your crystals under the light of a full moon and they will be charged. Please be aware that the moon's effect on the earth is magnetic. The light from the moon is so weak, it cannot charge up a crystal. However, many people strongly believe that it does, even though there is no evidence of such. Unproven
Running Water Wash crystals under running water, preferably the fresh water of a stream, river or waterfall, but under a tap is fine too. This method will not necessarily clean a crystal energetically & remove the negative energy, but it will physically clean a crystal. If the crystal is of a lower vibration, then running water may both cleanse and charge it. Unproven
Earth Burying a crystal in the earth for a few days or weeks will ensure all of the negative energy is drained out of the crystal and into the earth. The earth is then said to recharge the crystal. Unproven
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