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Gemstone Articles

Cleaning Gemstones - How to cleanse your stones

There are many methods in use today for cleaning gemstones and crystals in order to increase the effects of their metaphysical energies.

Stones are believed to have an extensive memory, remembering where they've been, who they've touched, and all forces and energies that have surrounded them. A stone can pass onto others any energy that it has stored within it. Periodically, stones need to be cleansed of any unwanted energies that they may have collected from you, from others, or from the environment.

For instance, healers take care to clean their healing stones after each use because the stones might take pain (both physical and emotional) into themselves and pass it onto others if they have not been cleansed of those energies between uses. If a stone has absorbed negative energies, it may not work well for whatever purpose it has been programmed. (Read about programming gemstones here.)

When should a stone be cleansed?

  • As soon as it's purchased.
  • Before it's programmed.
  • After each use.
  • When you feel it has become drained or dull.

How often should a stone be cleansed?

How long does it take to cleanse a stone?

The time needed varies depending upon how drained the stone is and which method is used. The durations mentioned below are minimums based on moderately drained stones. Heavily drained stones will take more time and mildly drained stones will take less. Newly acquired stones and stones to be programmed will take the greatest length of time. Exactly how long a cleansing takes is up to you. Listen to your intuition and it will tell you.

How is a stone cleansed?

There are many ways to cleanse a stone. Which method you choose should be based upon the type of stone, how much time you have, and what tools are readily available to you. Once again, let your intuition be your guide.

Natural forces, such as the elements of nature (fire, water, earth, and air), the sun, the moon, and plants, are very effective in cleansing stones of negative energies. Stones respond to the intentions of their users, so it is important that while you are actively cleansing your stone, no matter which method you use, you hold in your mind the intention of carrying away unwanted energies to a place where they can do no harm, and your desire to re-energize the stone with positive energies.

Methods for cleansing stones:

  • Fire - carefully pass the stone through the flame of a candle several times until you intuitively feel it has been cleared. The fire will burn away any negative energy. (Always use care when dealing with fire to ensure safety for yourself and environment).

  • Smudging - carefully pass the stone through the smoke of a white sage smudge stick several times until you intuitively feel it has been cleared. Read more about smudging gemstones here....

  • Water - rinse the stone in moving water. This can be done in one of three ways:
    • by holding the stone in a river or brook (placing it into a mesh bag will make it easier to hold onto) for several minutes,
    • by leaving it out in the rain for several hours,
    • by holding it under the faucet for several minutes.
    The water will wash away negative energy and return it to the Earth where it can be neutralized.

    DO NOT USE WATER on soft stones such as angelite, some calcites, howlite, aragonite, azurite, dolomite, malachite, selenite, sulphur, etc. as it may dissolve the stone to a greater or lesser degree.

  • Earth - bury the stone in the ground for one full day, placing a marker over it so as to be able to find it later, or bury the stone in a pot of ground soil. (Do not use potting soil as it has been treated.) The soil will absorb negative energy, disperse it, and transmute it into positive energy. Stones feel very comfortable in the earth as it is where they formed and grew.

  • Air - smudge the stone on all sides with a sage smudge stick, or with dried sage or cedar, or pass it through the smoke of sandalwood or sage incense. Sage is a very effective cleanser, neutralizing negative energy and transmuting it into positive energy.

  • Sea salt - the most common method of cleansing stones is with water and sea salt. You can do this by placing the stone in a mesh bag and rinsing it in the ocean for several minutes, or by soaking the stone for several hours in a glass of water with a pinch of sea salt. CAUTIONS: *Salt may damage the finish on some stones. * Water may damage soft or friable stones. *Placing a stone in dry sea salt (without the water) may damage its electromagnetic field.

  • Light - place a stone in bright sunlight, either outside or on a windowsill, for at least an hour. NOTE: solar energy may be too violent for some stones, having been formed within the Earth devoid of any light. CAUTION: over time, sunlight may fade the color of some stones. An alternate, and gentler, method is to place the stone in moonlight for at least one night under a full moon, longer if the moon is not full.

  • Sound - produce a tone using a bell, chime, or tuning fork. Repeat the sound until the stone's energies feel cleansed. A pure tone will reset a stone's vibration to one that cannot hold negative energy.

  • Breath - hold the stone to your heart while inhaling. Then bring the stone to your mouth and exhale your breath onto it. Repeat several times, always keeping in mind your intention of cleansing the stone of all negative energies. Your breath (the Breath of Life), combined with your intention, is a powerful enough force to cleanse a stone of negative energy. Your intuition will tell you when the cleansing is complete.

  • Visualization - visualize a column of pure white or golden light coming down and surrounding the stone. Imagine it cleansing and transmuting the stone's negative energies into positive ones. Visualization combined with intention is another force powerful enough to cleanse stones. Again, listen to your intuition.

  • Plants - place the stone in a flower pot with one of your plants for several hours. Just as live plants purify the air; they can also purify stones as well, transmuting negative energy into positive energy. If you do not have a plant available, an alternate method is to bury the stone in a glass of dried sage or cedar for a full day. The herbs will absorb the negative energies. After use, burn the herbs, or bury them in the Earth, or discard them in a river or creek. Do not reuse them.

  • Quartz cluster - place the stone on large clear quartz cluster or bag of crystal chips for at least one full day. Clear quartz is excellent for magnifying, focusing, and, in this case, transmuting energy.

  • Pyramid - leave the stone under a glass pyramid for several days. The energy produced by a pyramid has the ability to neutralize any negative energy that is placed within it.

Cleansing can be done using just one of these methods or a combination of them, such as the four elements, or light and quartz, or plants and breath, or smudging and visualization and sound, just to name a few of many possibilities. Combinations typically include using anywhere from two to five different methods.

All cleansing methods are compatible with each other; so use whatever combination feels right for you and your stone. Using a combination of methods is especially good for cleansing new stones, clearing stones for programming, and cleansing and recharging heavily drained stones. Combinations cleanse the stones more effectively and sometimes more quickly.


More articles of interest:

No claims are made. These alleged powers are gathered from writing, books, folklore and various sources.