6 Ways To Cleanse Your Healing Crystals

Photographed by Dan McCoy.
Once you select the best crystal (or crystals) for your needs, it won't serve you to let it sit on your desk and collect dust. It's important that you maintain your crystal like an engine — otherwise, how else will it continue to run properly?
Some varieties of crystals are believed to soak up the energy around them, while others act as a magnet for energy. For example, protective crystals absorb negativity while prosperity crystals attract positivity and success. Whether they function like a sponge or a filter, they're bound to get a little clogged, so to speak, after a while. That's when it's time to cleanse.
There's no exact rule for when and how often you should cleanse your crystals. As you form a relationship with the stones in your collection, you'll be able to recognize when each one is starting to lag in its powers. If you have a black tourmaline, for instance, and notice that you're having a streak of bad moods, it's probably time to purify that stone, to get it back in tip-top, bad-vibe-blocking shape.
Ahead, we've rounded up six ways to cleanse your crystals. Read on to determine which method is right for you.
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The Moon — Or Sun

Lunar energy is sort of an all-purpose cleansing tool: It's often the first method recommended to newcomers to crystals, and it can activate any new stones you've recently added to your collection (brand-new crystals usually require a boost to start working properly, so think of activating a crystal as similar to plugging in a laptop for the first time). Leaving a crystal on the windowsill under a full moon will replenish its energy (in a sense "refueling" it), while bathing it during a new moon will purify it. Some people will let their crystals sit in the sunshine, especially if their stones are associated with luck, comfort, and happiness (like citrine).
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Running Water

Dipping your crystals in a stream or under a running tap is a simple way to give them a quick energetic rinse, since the movement and clarity of water can remove any surface-level negativity — but there's a catch. Some crystals (including hematite, calcite, and turquoise) are better off staying completely dry, since getting them wet can lead to damage or even rust.
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The most concentrated form of salt cleansing is to bury your crystal completely in a container of dry sea salt, let it sit, remove it, then throw away the salt (since it has absorbed the negativity you wanted out of your stone). You can also soak your crystal in salt water, but, as we said before, make sure it isn't vulnerable to water damage before taking this route. Either way, salt is a powerful tool in any kind of spiritual cleansing ritual. We recommend keeping a container of it around, whether you have a crystal collection or not.
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This method is particularly customizable, as you can choose to burn Palo Santo, sage, or another type of incense. Any of these will be able to clear away the negative energy that's accumulated in your crystal. If you want to be especially thorough, you can cleanse the entire room where you normally keep your crystals. Burn your cleansing item of choice and let the smoke collect in every corner. Having a purified space will help your crystal function — and, if nothing else, it will make the room smell nice.
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Essential Oils

The most straightforward way to cleanse with oils is to choose an essential oil with purifying or restorative properties (peppermint, citrus, or sage oil will all do the trick). That said, you can also select an essential oil that shares a healing property with your crystal. For example, aventurine and bergamot are both associated with success and prosperity, so bergamot should be able to give aventurine an energetic boost. Whatever oil you choose, anointing your crystal in it will cleanse and rebalance it easily. You can dab a few drops of it on the stone or cover it entirely.
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Another Crystal

If you have selenite or clear quartz handy, place them beneath the stones you want to cleanse and simply leave them be. These types of stones are associated with purity and are believed to act like energetic megaphones, so not only will they help to cleanse and reset your crystals, but they should amplify their natural properties, too. Some crystal healers say this method will work in as little as 15 minutes, while others recommend leaving them there for at least six hours.