Crystals 101: Cleansing and Charging

Crystals pick up energy from their environments, which can have an impact on the next person who uses them. Crystals generally need to be cleansed and charged every month to every few months (or at the very least before introducing them to new energy).

Using crystals that haven’t been cleansed and charged brings that old, stagnant energy into places it shouldn’t be- like your presence! It can result in useless or lackluster stones. Fortunately, cleansing, charging and programming your crystals is easy and there are a lot of options to choose from. Knowing which route to go is pretty straightforward and you should always do what feels right. If you’re not sure, try a couple of different methods and see which one resonates with you.


The purpose of cleansing is to purify and honor each crystal. Giving gratitude for its healing properities while releasing all the energy that it has picked up through its healing work.

Energetic cleansing can be done in any of the following ways but this list is not all-inclusive. There are many many ways to cleanse your stones and if none of these feels right to you, research other ways or just follow your intuition and try something new.

Sweet reminder that some crystals cannot be cleansed in certain ways so be sure to do your research beforehand. For example, Selenite should not be cleansed in water because it will break down the structure of the crystal overtime.

Here are some ways to cleanse your crystals:

  • Sunlight/Moonlight – Leave your stones in natural sun or moonlight. Some crystals should not be left in sunlight for long periods of time because the color will fade over time.
  • Sacred Smoke – Using sage or incense, cover your crystals in sacred smoke. This works with all stones and is one of my favorite ways to cleanse crystals.
  • Crystal Pairing – Pair your crystals with other crystals that have a cleansing property. The most common and frequently used are Selenite and Clear Quartz. Pairing crystals is as simple as laying them next to one another.
  • Water – Hold your crystals in/under water to cleanse them. Natural bodies of water work best such as rivers, lakes and oceans. However, feel free to use pipe water as well. The most important thing is your intention to while cleansing your crystals.
  • Sound – Use a singing bowl or tuning fork to restore the harmony within your crystals. Use it near your crystals and allow the vibrational frequencies to clear the energies stored in the crystals. This is another of my favorite ways as it allows for us to cleanse a large amount of crystals at a time.
  • Earth – Bury your crystals in the Earth. Allow Mama Gaia to offer a healing hand. You can also bury you crystals in any plant pots that you may have.
  • Meditation – Spend time meditating with your crystals and envisioning a cleansing white light clearing your crystals of old energy. Crystals not only have the ability to amplify our energy but they feed off of our energy as well. Meditating to cleanse your crystals is not only good for them, but it is good for you.
  • Salt – Place your stones in a bowl of sea salt and allow them to remain there overnight. Research what crystals shouldn’t be placed in salt. The salt absorbs the energy from the crystals so well that it is recommended that the salt be disposed of after each use.


Some use the terms charging and programming interchangeably while other like differentiate between the two. You can charge and program your crystals at the same time or you can separate the process. Do what feels intuitively best for you.

Once your crystals have been cleansed, you will need  to charge and program them. Each stone has several metaphysical properties and can be used in a variety of different ways. Charging and programming our crystals helps us hone into the magick and healing energies that each crystal may provide us with. Additionally, when you plan to use multiple stones for a common goal (such as a grid), programming encourages them to work together toward a common goal.

Why charging? Charging helps to pour loving/high vibrational energy back into your crystals. This allows your crystals to work with more vibrancy. Charging can also increase the intensity of any intention (program) placed into your sacred stone.

Why programming? To program a crystal means to set  an intention for it. Doing this allows for the crystal to focus its energies on a specific goal, intention, or desire. For example, many would set the intention for Rose Quartz to usher in more love into their lives. A programmed crystal is said to be  a more powerful crystal.

Charging gives a crystal additional energy, allowing your crystal to work with more vibrancy and for a longer duration before it needs to be cleansed again. Charging can also increase the intensity of any intention placed into the stone.

Similar to cleansing, charging and programming can be done in many different ways and the ‘best’ way will be the method that resonates the most with you. Here are some popular ways to charge and program your crystals:

  • Sunlight/Moonlight – Just like cleansing, Sun and Moonlight have the ability to charge your crystals.
  • Earth – This is the same for Earth energy.
  • Visualization – Imagine a white light moving down from your crown Chakra (top of the head) and into your crystal, charging and programming it with your intended purpose.
  • Your Energy – You are powerful. You are divine. Thus you have the ability to charge your crystals if you choose to. Sit and meditate with your crystals as you think about your desires, goals and intentions. Speak love and light over your sacred stones and ask for their assistance in your journey.
  • Crystal Grids – Placing certain crystals together using sacred geometric patterns helps to charge and program your crystals.

Now Let’s Program

You can definitely make programming your crystals a ritual. Cleanse your space, your aura and you crystals. Create a sacred space (where you’ll be uninterrupted for a decent period of time).

You can program your crystal/s to assist with specific tasks, projects or goals. You can also program them to help amplify an intention. The possibilities are endless. For example: Rose Quartz is a stone of love. If you feel like you are lacking in that department, you might program a crystal to help you amplify self love.

Here’s your ritual to journey with:

  1. Determine what you need assistance with
  2. Choose your crystal and ask for its help. Need assistance with choosing a crystal? Click here for some beginner tips on how to pick crystals. If the energy is aligned you’ll feel it. And if it isn’t … you’ll feel that too.
  3. Hold your crystal to your heart and then to your third eye. With clear intent, visualize how you want your life to look like when you intentions are manifested. When you goals, tasks and projects are completed.
  4. Say your intention outloud and/or write it in your journal.
  5. Thank the crystal for assisting you. Thank the Divine for the tools you have. And hold a moment of gratitude for yourself.

Sweet Reminders To Journey With ∙

You should clear each new crystal as you get them.  Additionally, a crystal will absorb energy as it is working to assist you in your journey. For that reason it is imperative to cleanse and charge your crystals frequently. At least every New Moon and/or Full Moon (in my opinion). Each has its own purpose and like people, needs a rest, a recharge, from time to time. You may notice your crystal feeling heavy or dull or you may intuitively get a message that it needs some refreshing.

And most importantly, with each practice … do what feels best FOR YOU.

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