Cleaning Your Crystals

What Do You Do?

You've just received your new crystal in the mail, and are wondering "what next?" A good next step might be to give your new specimen a bath! There are two common reasons to clean gemrocks: the obvious one is for physical aesthetics, the other leans toward the esoteric and involves clearing your crystal's energy field. Although there are many ways to clean crystals, here are a few quick and easy ideas to get you started:

Physical Bath

Assuming that all the dirt and mining debris have already been removed, it's now up to you to give your piece that last, final makeover.

  • Determine your stone's Hardness Value from the Mohs' Hardness Scale below.** Hardness is the stone's ability to resist external stresses, such as scratching. For our purposes, minerals with a Hardness Value of 7 or above can be considered a Hard gemrock. Values under 7 should be treated as Soft minerals.
  • HARD METHOD: For quartz clusters (clear, smoky, rose, citrine, amethyst) and other HARD gemrocks: Soak your cluster, geode or polished piece in warm, soapy water as long as it takes to loosen trapped dirt. If appropriate, use a very soft toothbrush to gently brush the dust out of nooks and crannies, carefully avoiding those areas with very fine, tiny crystals that could easily break off with a brush or bump. Rinse with another soak; or, in some instances, it is okay to use a very light-pressured water faucet spray. Use common sense with this! Drip dry or wipe with a clean, soft cloth.
  • To remove sticky tape, labels, paint markings, ink, etc. from hard gemrocks: Pour or rub a good paint or adhesive remover (such as turpentine or "Goof Off") on the affected area only. Apply directly to exterior matrix rock and/or to actual crystals themselves. If needed, a scratch-free only kitchen scrubber works quite well with these products. Again, this method is to be used on quartz and other equally hard gemrocks ONLY. NEVER use with softer minerals. Refer to list below to determine your stone's hardness value.
  • SOFT METHOD: For SOFTER stones (malachite, calcites, celestite, fluorite, organics such as amber and other fossils, pearls, copper, etc.): A soft clean cloth may be your best bet for removing fingerprints or markings, and bringing your piece to a warm, glowing sheen. Especially avoid scratchy materials or fingernails - you want to clean your rock or mineral, not damage it!
  • REMEMBER: If in doubt about your stone's hardness value, always err on the side of safety, and use either a short-term, plain water soak or just a soft cloth to clean or polish.

**Mohs' Hardness Scale:

  • Talc
  • Gypsum
  • Calcite
  • Fluorite
  • Apatite
  • Orthoclase
  • Quartz.
  • Topaz
  • Corundum (includes sapphire and ruby)
  • Diamond

Energy Clearing

Now that your gemrock's outer surfaces have been cleaned, you may want to turn your attention to the energy field within and without your crystal. Quartz crystals, especially, are great conductors of energy; and although you may not see it, your crystal will come to you carrying energy collected from previous travels. Since many of you prefer to start "from scratch" with a new crystal, the next step is to clear out any lingering prior energies (especially negative vibes!), and begin to immerse it in your own. Remember that your "intention" will be reprogrammed into your crystal, so be sure you are resonating to vibrations you would like your crystal to carry!

Soaks: Soaks are simple, effective ways to start anew with your recently acquired rock, mineral, crystal, or jewelry friends. Simply cover your crystal with water, salt or rice. You may use a soak for hard gemrocks certainly, and soft gemrocks only after careful consideration. Let soak for an indeterminate period of time, remove from solution, and lightly rinse with water if needed.

Natural Light: Leave your items to sparkle in direct, natural light, preferably sunlight if possible. This can be done as a sole clearing method or in conjunction with any soak.

Smudging: Immerse your crystals in the aromatic aura of a burning incense stick or scented cone, sage leaves, etc. (you get the idea). Again, your intention is important here.

Meditation: Sit quietly with your crystals, creating the "thought" environment you wish your crystals to absorb. Above all, do not worry about which method is the "right" one! After working with your wonderfully unique pieces for while, you will begin to intuitively sense how to handle each individual personality. Until then, experiment with all the methods! Or better yet, come up with your own special ritual to totally personalize your gemrock relationships. At this point your crystal adventures will just be beginning, so don't forget to simply sit back, relax and "enjoy the ride!"