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. If in doubt, please Click Here to see the Mohs Hardness scale.

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 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. 

altar cropped

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.

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 becoming 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


SunlightPlace crystals in sunlight for no more than half an hour. Sunlight breaks down negative ions. No crystal will fade or be damaged from only half an hour in the sun.Proven
SoundUse 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 WaterPlace crystals in a bowl of salt water for a few hours. The salt water will absorb any negative ions. 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 SaltPlace 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 ions. 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
WaterWash 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 ions, 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
ReikiReiki 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
SmudgingLight sage, Cedarwood, 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
EarthBurying a crystal in the earth for a few days or weeks will ensure all of the negative ions drain out of the crystal and into the earth. See above information regarding salt & water (which is present in a lot of earth).Unproven


SunlightPlace crystals in sunlight for no more than half an hour. Sunlight breaks down negative ions. 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 ClusterLarge 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
ReikiReiki 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
MoonlightPlace 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 WaterWash 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 ions, 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
EarthBurying a crystal in the earth for a few days or weeks will ensure all of the negative ions are drained out of the crystal and into the earth. The earth is then said to recharge the crystal.Unproven


  1. Anonymous says:

    very interesting and full of info ,thank you

  2. I have a question.
    If you have time to answer it, it would be awesome!

    I just got my first crystal: Celestial Aura Quartz | AKA: Tanzine Aura Quartz.

    Your blog article on the subject of cleaning/charging crystals listed that:
    “As a general rule, many purple or pink crystals will fade in sunlight due to their chemical content breaking down in sunlight.”
    Celestial quartz has blue and purple… as a coating.
    It’s also composed of clear quartz, which “…is fine to be left in the sun forever too!”

    Also that: “… half an hour {in the sun} will not damage any crystal…”

    Because this clear quartz has a purple/blue coating, should I be safe and only leave it in
    the sun for :30 min, or will longer be ok since it’s base is comprised of clear quartz?

    Thanks for any time and consideration in the matter!

    Much respect,


    • Hi Joanie

      That’s a great question!! Aura Quartz should not fade in the sun as the process to bond the precious metals to the quartz is permanent and doesn’t involve dye.

      The only time I’ve known them to fade is when they haven’t been high quality aura quartz (usually from India), where the company will have gone cheap instead of buying the expensive vacuum metalising equipment. A low quality aura qartz may fade and the coating may also peel off.

      If you would like to send me a picture, I can confirm yours is the high quality and it can sit in the sun all day long 🙂

      Bright blessings and have a wonderful day

      • Awesome!!! Thanks soOO much! I would love that! I’ll take a picture of it in sunlight. Do you have any particulars you would need for it to be best displayed in the photo? -Thanks again!

        • Best pics are when a crystal is popped on a white background (piece of paper would do) and photographed in natural sunlight. Artificial light can really throw off the colour or hue of many crystals. 🙂

          • Great! That’s how I’ll photograph it. I have an opportunity to do it this Sat. Then I’ll e-mail it to you. Thanks again for all your help! I really appreciate it!! ツ

            – Joanie

          • OK! I have sent images to your ‘serendipidy’ e-mail I found on this website. I hope that’s ok. Thanks again!!! I’m excited to hear what you have to say. Let me know what you think. All the best, -Joanie

  3. That’s a great article – thank you. It answers many of my questions, especially about how long in the sunlight is okay for sun sensitive crystals, and about bathing them in the moonlight too. I’ve bookmarked this 🙂

  4. Frances woolf says:

    Please put all this amazing info into a book Kirstie. Even in a formate that we can buy & download. Something I can have on hand as a reference tool. Whilst there are many books out there, your wisdom has a clarity, elegance and energy about it that is both uplifting & empowering.
    Thank you

  5. I have had crystals damaged in sunlight in less than 30minutes-that wasn’t because of the sunlight though, it was because of the heat. Just mentioning it so people can keep it in mind when placing their crystals in sunlight. It was over 90 degrees that day my crystals broke, but I was a novice and didn’t know better.

    • Yes, there is some wisdom and common sense in using crystals (no offence)…..LOL I live in the UK where the average temperatures and heat from the sun aren’t going to damage anything….LOL… when I lived in the Middle East, nothing would be put out in the sun in the heat of the day as it would literally fry eggs on car bonnets! With age, comes wisdom and we all learn 🙂 If a crystal has a fracture in it or is quartz, it may shatter in that sort of intense heat or if left in the sun, may focus the beam of sunlight onto something else so it burns. Natural sunlight is great, but if you live in a crazy hot country, be smart and pop crystals in sunlight for half an hour early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is weaker. Have a great day 🙂

  6. Do the 12 Synergy Crystals need charging. How about Cintamani?

    Details of the Synergy Crystals above.

    Lovely article, thank you for sharing you wisdom. Love and Blessings


    • Hi Yohan

      Thank you for the lovely feedback 🙂 Yes, those Synergy Crystals definitely need cleansing and charging, although it is fairly hard to charge Moldavite. It seems to prefer meteor showers or sound to any other form of charging. I cleanse and charge all crystals. They are tools and if we take care of our tools, keep them clean, shiny, happy and ready to use, then they take care of us 🙂

      Have a lovely day, bright blessings

  7. usha says:

    Can crystals be energized by keeping them under a pyramid

    • I do not believe they can unless it is made of charged copper or quartz. The shape of something itself is not enough to charge a crystal in any way am aware of. Hope that helps and have a lovely day 🙂

  8. Jessica says:

    You’re saying sunlight breaks down negative ions. But doesn’t sunlight create negative ions? To me what you’re saying seems backwards. It’s the negative ions that are positive. There are too many positive ions (moon) in the atmosphere, and they get breathed through the lungs into the blood platelets, which creates serotonin and affects the mood. Too much serotonin creates depression. I know the internet claims different, but intuition makes much more sense, and this is what intuition tells me. Can you help me understand? thanks 🙂

    • Hi Jessica

      Thank you for your comment 🙂 I have rephrased the blog slightly to read energy instead of ions. I do not claim to be a scientist and simply write blogs in a way I feel people can understand ~ am trying to make a very complicated subject easy for the layman to process. If you want exact science, by all means there are lots of amazing, technical sites out there that can provide that. There is no proof of what you say regarding the moon, but if that is what resonates as truth for you, then that is all that matters. Follow your own intuition and heart as it will guide you better than anyone else ever can 🙂 Have a wonderful day, bright blessings, Krissy.

  9. Anna says:


    What do you mean when you say ” The same goes for Black Tourmaline. It is THE stone recommended to deflect/absorb negativity. Don’t cleanse/charge it at your peril!! ”

    My understanding was that I needs to be charged? Yes?

    • Hi Anna

      I will change the wording on the blog as ~ do not cleanse or charge it at your peril ~ means, if you do not cleanse or charge it, then it will not work well.

      Hope that clarifies and yes, ALL crystals need to be cleansed and charged. If there were any crystal that had an endless supply of energy after we used it, we would be using it as some form of fossil fuel by now 🙂 Many thanks and have a lovely day.

  10. Luciana says:

    Proven? By whom?


  1. […] There are many statements in books and online that indicate that Citrine does not need to be cleansed or charged, but I haven’t found this to be the case at all. I can understand why some might think it, but in reality, it simply isn’t true. Amethyst must be cleansed and heat treated Citrine starts off as Amethyst, which is a big, crystalline sponge for absorbing electro-magnetic energy. The Amethyst is then put through a man made process that heats it until it becomes Citrine. Having worked with both forms of Citrine for MANY years, please trust me when I say that ALL Citrine MUST be cleansed and recharged on a regular basis. If you’d like to read more about the proven and proper ways to cleanse and charge crystals, please Click Here.  […]

  2. […] Although many books state that Kyanite does not need to be cleansed or charged, I have found this to be a misnomer. I can understand scientifically why this has been stated, but in reality, some forms of Kyanite can retain negative ions and all forms of Kyanite will run out of charge eventually. No crystal is self energising or the energy giants would be digging it out of the ground by the bucket load. Always cleanse and charge every crystal, its better to be safe than sorry. If you’d like to read more about Cleansing & Charging crystals, along with information that dispels the myths, then please Click Here. […]

  3. […] on from my extremely popular blog Cleansing Crystals and Charging Crystals ~ BIG Difference, there have been quite a lot of questions regarding crystals and water. I therefore thought […]

  4. […] you have any questions about cleansing or charging a crystal, please Click Here for detailed, accurate information. Shamanic Dreamstones are quartz based, so can be washed in […]

  5. […] as when we put it in there! If you’re not sure how to cleanse and charge a crystal, please Click Here for detailed […]

Leave a Reply