How to Cleanse and Charge Gems, Stones and Metals

by Patti Wigington
Crystals sensitive to water or direct sunlight should be moon bathed.

Crystals sensitive to water or direct sunlight should be moon bathed.

The use of crystals, gemstones, and metals in metaphysical practice goes back thousands of years. Many people continue to use a variety of these items today. However, when you acquire a stone or metal object, there's a chance it may have absorbed a variety of energies. Some of these will be vibrations from previous owners or handlers, so it's important to cleanse your crystal, gemstone or metal before you use it yourself. Once you've cleansed it, you can charge it for ritual use.

How to Cleanse and Charge Gems, Stones and Metals

Cleanse your crystal or gemstone first. The cleansing is not so much a physical cleaning as it is a way to remove negative vibrations from the object. The most popular way of cleansing a crystal or gem is to place it in salt water. Salt has long been known to have purification properties, so many crystals can be left in a mixture of sea salt and water. Fill a glass bowl halfway with salt water, and leave your crystals fully submerged overnight. If the crystal or gem needs a more thorough cleansing, you may even wish to leave it for up to a week in the salt water. After you've soaked your crystals, rinse them thoroughly in cool running water to remove any excess salt. Don't re-use the salt water; it will have absorbed the negative vibrations, and should be flushed away.

Cleansing can also be done with dry salt. Fill your bowl with sea salt or cooking salt, and place your crystals in it. You can either bury them completely, or just leave them sitting on the surface. Either way, leave them there for at least 24 hours. Once you remove them, go ahead and rinse them to remove any trace amounts of salt. Be sure to properly dispose of the salt so it won't get used again.

Be careful when cleansing your crystals and gemstones. Although salt is one of the best ways to cleanse a crystal, some crystals and gems shouldn't be placed in salt water at all. It can change their appearance or magical properties, and can have an adverse effect. Porous crystals, or stones that have a metal or water content, shouldn’t be soaked in salt water. Stones such as opal, hematite, lapis lazuli and pyrite should all be kept away from salt water.

You can also smudge your gemstones and crystals. If you're not crazy about using salt on them, smudging is a very popular method. This can be done either by burning a smudge stick, available at most metaphysical/New Age stores, or using incense. Once you've lit the smudge stick or incense, hold the crystal or stone in the smoke to cleanse the stone of any stored energies. Sage, sweet grass, or sandalwood are particularly desirable for this process, because they release elements into the air that remove negative energy. Smudging only needs to be done for a short time, from 30 seconds to a minute for each crystal.

Charge your crystals after you've cleansed them to your satisfaction. This is a process by which the item is empowered with energy. One of the most popular method is to charge the item by moonlight or sunlight. The natural energies of the sun and moon can be absorbed into your crystals. To do this, leave your freshly cleansed stones out under a full moon, to take in its natural gentle energy. The sun has a stronger energy, so if you wish your stones to take on solar properties, leave them out in bright sunlight for a day to absorb those vibrations. Bear in mind that some colored stones, such as amethysts, can fade over the years if you leave them out in sunlight too often; a way to avoid that is to only place them out for an hour or so, and to do so before the sun reaches its peak. Place your stones out at sunrise or sunset instead.

You can charge your stones through physical contact. Many cultures, such as some of the Native American tribes, believe that the more time an object spends in someones possession, the more it absorbs their own energies. In this method, crystals and stones naturally energize themselves with vibrations from our bodies. In other words, the more you handle the item, the more "yours" it becomes. Find the method that works best for you, and you'll get a lot of great use out of your crystals, gemstones, and metals.

Items you will need

  • Crystals or metals, salt, time to spend cleansing and charging your items


  • Be sure to use a glass bowl, and never a metal one, when charging crystals with salt.

About the Author

Patti Wigington has been writing for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared on a variety of websites and in a number of print publications, and she spent five years as a staff writer for a Columbus, Ohio, newspaper. She is the author of a children's book, a novel for middle grade readers, and two adult novels.

Photo Credits

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