Cleansing and Charging Your Crystal

What are cleansing and charging and why are they necessary? How do they differ from clearing and programming?

We talked about how crystals are inherently healers and teachers. They may be here to teach something specific or simply teach by healing. They may have a definite lesson or the energy may simply be beneficial. You will be drawn to the crystal you need.

Cleansing a crystal is basically energetic washing. Charging is what you might think (charging a battery for example). Clearing on the other hand is erasing prior programming. Programs are specific goals we are working toward with our crystals’ assistance. So you could simplify this by saying that cleansing and charging have to do with stored energy generally and clearing and programming have to do with stored energy specifically.

Don’t get tripped up by terms or worry if you can’t keep them straight. They are incredibly similar terms and they serve incredibly similar functions. I’ll split them up and we’ll discuss CLEANSING and CHARGING in this post and CLEARING and PROGRAMMING in the next.

energetically cleansing your quartz crystalCLEANSING YOUR CRYSTAL

Let’s begin by discussing cleansing. You will need to cleanse your crystal friend of previous energy or experiences it may have encountered. This applies to crystals you have been working with as well as crystals new to your home. Crystals are empathic by nature, and pick up energies in their environment even if you aren’t actively working with them. If the vibrations in the environment are low, the vibrations of the crystal will get all wicky-wacky. Sometimes the crystal will feel “full” or “sticky” energetically. You will need to cleanse your crystal friend of any possible negativity absorbed on your behalf.

When would you need to cleanse a crystal?

  • When it first arrives in your home
  • After using it for healing or intense energy work
  • After a particularly negative experience

It is also wise to cleanse your crystal at least monthly. Even if you aren’t actively working with it, you can be assured it is working with you.

There are as many ways to cleanse a crystal as there are people to cleanse them. Here are just a few suggestions you might want to try:

1.) Hold your crystal under running water. Visualize it cleansing, being open, receptive and energetically “clean”. CAUTION: if you choose this method, be CERTAIN that you match the temperature of the crystal to the temperature of the water. For example, if your crystal is cold, use cold water. If it is warm, use warm water. The best way to do this is to hold your crystal in one hand and run the water over the other and adjust the heat until the temperatures are roughly equal. This isn’t rocket science, I don’t mean to the exact degree, but if you “shock” your crystal by placing it in a temperature very different from itself, you can shatter the inside or even break it (for instance dropping a cold crystal into a very hot bath or a hot crystal into a cold bath). I am told that they don’t like it physically and they also don’t like it energetically. It is jarring and it also indicates to them that you aren’t being mindful while you are cleansing. Testing the temperature causes you to be fully present in the NOW. Once you have the temperature adjusted, hold your crystal under the running water and while visualizing the cleansing, thank it for the work it has been doing on your behalf. If you have access to a clear running stream this works nicely as well. (Secure your crystal in a sock or nylon hose so it doesn’t swim downstream!!)

2.) You may use salt to cleanse your crystal. I’ve been told by the Crystal People that salt water is too harsh. It has to do with the ions of sodium chloride in solution. So if salt is your cleansing method of preference, “soak” your crystal in DRY sea salt. Nestle your dry crystal in a bed of dry sea salt (or other salt). Stir the salt around with your finger periodically as you bury the crystal and visualize it being restfully cleansed. You may add sage or another herb such as lavender or sweet grass if you like. Again, thank your crystal for the work it has done. After a nap in the sea salt, you may want to brush any remaining salt away and bathe it in clear running water and carefully dry it with a natural cloth. However a water bath after the salt nap isn’t necessary, it’s simply a matter of preference. I feel that one or the other is sufficient.

3.) You may use incense, sage or smoke to cleanse your crystal. Simply hold or pass your crystal over (or through) the smoke and visualize it being cleansed and refreshed.

If your crystal is large or if you have too many to possibly cleanse them each individually, it is fine to leave them where they sit and use sage, smoke or energy (such as Reiki) to cleanse your crystal as a group. The only ESSENTIAL ingredients for cleansing are that you are fully present with them in the NOW at the time of cleansing and express your gratitude for their hard work.

If your crystal is new to your home, you might want to meditate with your new friend or carry it around with you so it will pick up your vibrations and become acclimated to you (and you to it).

charging quartz crystal in full moonCHARGING YOUR CRYSTAL

Now let’s briefly talk about charging. Charging is similar to charging the crystals’ “battery”. Crystals like to be charged in the moonlight. Compare it to giving it a vacation from work to rest and rejuvenate. You may want to charge it in the energies of the full moon or the new moon. Choosing which phase of the moon will become more important with crystals which you are programming. However for the purpose of charging in general, full moon energy is preferred. At this time the lunar energies are at their fullest.

Again, if you are like me, you may have far too many crystals to carry them all outside. It’s not a problem. Use the two essential ingredients from the cleansing example and apply it to charging.

  • Be fully present in the NOW and request that the moonlight penetrate and reach your crystals right where they are. 
  • Be grateful and thankful to your crystals and intend that the moonlight is recharging them energetically.

Charging is pretty simple. Add crystal plus the moon and viola! Charged!

Next time we’ll talk about clearing and programming.

If you have any questions about cleansing or charging, feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them. If you have other topics you’d like me to cover, let me know. I’ll write a full post on the subject another time.

Until next time, try cleansing and charging your crystals. They will thank you for it!

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About Genn

Genn John has been acting as the legs for the Crystal People as the Keeper at Arkansas Crystal Works, an internet-based source for crystals and crystal knowledge, since 1995. Having accepted the honor to be their voice as well, she is the author of Understanding The Crystal People: A Handbook for Lightworkers; a crystal reference book for people who desire to fully understand their connection to the crystal kingdom and who wish to enhance their working knowledge of these majestic beings. Genn has also published a 4 part series of coloring books which are a useful tool for anyone with an interest in learning the anatomical structures of quartz crystals. It features precise, extraordinary hand-drawn designs crafted especially for easy coloring and interactive study. Find the store and more at, or her blog at To connect: email -, facebook -, Instagram - gennjohn or Twitter @GennJohn.

24 Responses to Cleansing and Charging Your Crystal

  1. Pingback: Cleansing Crystals ~ Genn John | Redwolf's Remarks

  2. Christina says:

    I carry my Rose Quartz on me all the time (tucked in my bra), but have found on occasions when I’ve removed it, its temperature will vary from very warm, to less than body temperature, do you think there is a reason behind this, such as differing energies being held by the Rose Quartz

    • Genn says:

      Hey Christina! Yes, I do. I have seen quartz laying in the direct sunlight remain very cool to the touch and the same piece of quartz, just above someone’s head during a healing treatment (also in direct sun), and the crystal was so hot you could almost not touch it… so yes, I think when they are working or doing different things the temperature will vary. Interesting, isn’t it!? Thanks for your comment!

  3. Pam says:

    I recently purchased a quartz necklace that I was drawn to at a local jewelry store . Last night was the blue moon, blood moon and lunar eclipse so decided to set my necklace out with a few other stones to charge . I used a sage stick to cleanse it first. after retrieving it today I put my necklace on and immediately started feeling warm. Like my inner body was warming up. I’m just wondering if that is a good thing. This was my first time charging any stones so I just want to make sure I did it right

    • Genn says:

      Hey Pam! I would definitely say you did it right. What you are experiencing may just be the increased energy from the charging. Those are some very powerful energies and you set your new crystal friend in with the intent of charging, so it responded. It’s a good thing. If you feel a little overwhelmed, you can ask the crystal to tone down the energy for you, if not, then simply enjoy! Good job!

  4. Fatima says:

    Can I use my crystals immediately after cleansing?

  5. lori says:

    I have a variety of different crystals and I want to charge them under the super moon, but it is really cold outside (10 degree F). Will the cold “shock” my crystals? Would it be better to leave them inside near a window?

    • Genn says:

      Hey Lori! This is a very good question. It is possible, since they are warm inside the house and if you put them right out in the cold that it _could_ cause a problem. I would err on the side of caution and put them in the window inside just in case. Also if you have a LOT of crystals like I do (hundreds and hundreds), you can simply use the intention that they be charged right where they are. Thanks for your question! Happy super moon!

  6. Lynda says:

    Hi Genn I just bought myself 3 peach selenites and received it last Friday and noticed I had really horrible dreams of bad spirits and restless night. I have cleansed the crystals with with sage and was wondering if it’s enough or shall I send it back to the seller thanks

    • Genn says:

      Hey Lynda! Thanks for your question! I know much more about quartz crystal than other stones such as selenite, but I have heard that you do need to work with it with caution. (Selenite isn’t able to hold negativity, and doesn’t require cleansing so it isn’t the stones, no need to return), it is a very angelic stone but can be strong when working with it intensely. I would definitely ask my guides and angels to help buffer the effects of the selenite. Perhaps you have been under psychic attack and the selenite brought that to your consciousness? I did a Google search and found this very informative website that did echo what I had previously heard about working with selenite, you have to scroll down to the “caution”, here is the website: there is more, but it reads in part: “This crystal is not to be used without understanding and care. Many changes will occur within your 4 body system, that is physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You must desire this transmission of light energy and be ready to process these changes into your being. If you are meant to work with this crystal, you will feel the calling to do so. Do not purchase one out of mere curiosity or for fun.”
      I’m not implying here that you simply got them for “fun”, indeed you may need to work with it since you were drawn to it. But it is helpful to know that you need to proceed with caution as you work together. Before you begin, ground and even ask the selenite to turn it back a notch, that you aren’t quite ready for that much opening right off. And as a side note, don’t let this cause you to be afraid of your stones. They will work with you, and if you need it dialed back, simply ask. It’s a little like a stove, it is an AWESOME tool, but can burn you if you aren’t careful. Don’t let one burn scare you away and cause you to eat uncooked food forever due to one mis-step! Best of luck to you, I hope this has helped.

      • Lynda says:

        Thanks for replying i actually bought them on eBay.I was advised by my psychic reader to get them as it helps ease any tensions at home and good for both my partner and I trying for a family. When I rubbed the crystal in my hand I felt a good energy with it but when I had the bad dream the same night I got scared.

  7. Antwuan says:

    Thanks so much that really helped

  8. Antwuan says:

    Will your have to reprogram the crystal stones everytime you perform a sage cleanse?

    • Genn says:

      Hey Antwuan! Great question! No, as long as you are still running the program, and the crystal understands you aren’t CLEARING the program, it should be fine. When you sage, you might want to let the crystal know you are simply cleansing and not clearing so your program remains intact.

  9. Colette says:

    I was searching for an answer and I think I found it. Thank you.

    When a day has been particularly hard and negative, I will climb into the shower without taking my quartz off my neck. After I have rinsed it, and I feel like it is ready, I hang the crystal on my bathroom mirror. I’ve never felt that this was not ok, but my boyfriend recently told me that I should be cleansing my crystal with cold water. That feels wrong to me, although it felt right for him.

    Reading this helped. Thank you.

    • Genn says:

      Hey Colette! Thanks for your comment! This is a perfect example of how we intuitively know what is right for our own crystals and for ourselves. As you said, what is right for your boyfriend is not necessarily right for you and vice versa. PERFECT! I am glad you listened to your intuition… I encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing. Much love!

  10. Timma says:

    I am new to the crystal world as well and I have a fascination for amethyst, recently I bought a tumbled rose quartz crystal and I sometimes carry it with me I don’t know why but I’m trying crystals out to feel their energy and learn from them.. I sit it on my window sill (not in direct sunlight but it feels like the right place to put it..) for cleansing and recharging and when I pick it up it’s always cool/cold to the touch – is that a good or bad thing?

    • Genn says:

      Hey Timma! Thanks for your comment! Not a bad thing at all (rose quartz and even amethyst _WILL_ fade if left in direct sunlight for prolonged time, so be aware of this). Crystal is often cool to the touch until you pick it up, even sitting in hot sunlight I have experienced crystals staying cool. They often get very warm even hot when you hold them. Keep doing what you’re doing! Sounds like you are right on the right track!

  11. claudette chambers says:

    I am new to the use and meaning of the crystal world. Had jewelry for years, but never knew what or how they could help me and my family. Each time I read about cleansing and charging I get diffirent information. I read several places about cluster of quartz crystel for cleansing and charging. occassionally about selenite for cleansing and charging. The sun for charging using the south side. My house get most sun on the east side. Is that ok. I need clarity in what to do. I clean my crystal with white sage. Does sage also charge them. My son uses the selenite to clean and charge. HELP

    • Genn says:

      Hey There! Thanks for your questions. I know there is a lot of information out there and some of it seems contradictory and because there is so much of it, it gets confusing. I think that is because there are as many ways to cleanse and charge as there are people needing to do so! The bottom line is that if your intent is clear, it doesn’t really matter which method you use, as long as it feels right to YOU and your crystals. You may cleanse with anything from selenite to incense or sage or simply your focused intent to do so. You may charge in the sunlight or moonlight or with your own energy and intent. There really are no wrong answers. Sage is a wonderful method of cleansing. Whichever direction your house gets the most sun is fine. (If you have colored stones such as amethyst or citrine (etc etc) keep them out of direct sunlight however, they will fade. Clear crystal is fine in direct sun.) The main thing to take away from anything you read in books or instruction from people about cleansing or charging (or anything else for that matter), is to do what feels right to YOU. You may have a method you like to use that you have never seen in a book, but just because it isn’t in a book doesn’t make it wrong. To answer your direct questions, yes, sage is great for cleansing, but might not be as good for charging… you might want to use sunlight or moonlight for charging (or your focused intent or energy such as Reiki or . . .) . Your son’s method of selenite for cleansing and charging is also nice. Does this answer your questions? If not, or if you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

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