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How To Clean & Store Your Crystals—Plus A 6-Step Programming Technique

Christy Lynn Abram
Updated on March 21, 2023
Christy Lynn Abram
By Christy Lynn Abram
mbg Contributor
Christy Lynn Abram is an author and founder of Brown Girls Write, a self-care initiative aimed at helping women of color reflect, heal, and thrive.

Healing crystals are a great addition to any self-care regimen. They can add life to your home, remind you of your financial goals, and help you attract love—but not overnight. The trick with crystals is that you need to make them your own and "program" them with a specific intention before they can start working for you.

Here are some tips on how to clear, program, and safely store your stones so they're always energized and ready to go.

How to clean your crystals

Cleaning and charging any new-to-you crystals is very important since, depending on where you purchased your stones, several people could have touched them before you and left their energy—good or bad—all over them.

In fact, consider cleansing your gemstones any time somebody else has been touching them to clear their energetic fingerprint. If you ever find an old crystal that's been hidden away and forgotten for a while, that's a good opportunity for a quick cleanse as well.

Here are a few strategies for clearing your crystal companion. They are all effective, so go with the method that most appeals to you:


Use sea salt

Sea salt and water can help rid your stone of unwanted energy. If the stone is not brittle, using sea salt should be fine. However, you don't want to put a porous stone that has lots of little holes or ridges (think pyrite, hematite, etc.) in salt water since it can get damaged.

Leave the stone in the water overnight and add dried sage, basil, or lavender to enhance the bath's cleansing effect.


Use running water

Holding your crystal under running water is also a very effective cleaning method. As you do so, ask the Universe to remove all of its negativity. I usually imagine a ray of white light around the stone as I do this, cleaning it and filling it with wisdom.


Use other stones

Certain crystals associated with purification like carnelian and clear quartz are thought to actually cleanse other stones. Stack these stones on top of any crystals that need clearing, or keep them all in the same bag when you travel.


Place them underneath the full moon

On the next full moon, place any crystals you'd like to cleanse on your windowsill to soak up some of the lunation's refreshing energy.


Bathe them in moon water

Moon water is exactly what it sounds like: distilled water that has been left to charge under the energy of the full moon. There are many creative ways to use it, and soaking crystals—as long as they're not too porous!—is one of them.


Visualize cleansing

Visualization is the powerful practice of imagining that which you desire. The next time your crystal is in need of a refresh, hold it in your hands, close your eyes, and visualize a ray of cleansing light washing over it.

How to program your crystals

Crystals get their power once they're "programmed," or dedicated to a specific purpose of your choosing. The best time to do this is directly after you've cleared your stone. I've tried programming my crystals with intentions a few different ways but found the following the most effective:

  1. Hold the crystal in your hand. (Your left hand, preferably, since your left side is your receiving side.)
  2. Stand in natural light, either outside or next to a window.
  3. Say aloud, "I dedicate this crystal to the highest good. I ask that it be used in love and light."
  4. Then, program the crystal for a specific use. Think about what you want that crystal to support you with, whether it's landing a new job or speaking more kindly to yourself. While still holding the stone in your left hand, visualize and feel into what it would be like if you were to achieve that intention.
  5. Once you've envisioned the crystal's purpose, finish the process by saying aloud: "I dedicate this crystal for the [your purpose]."
  6. This is optional, but I also like to wear my stones on me for seven days to further connect with them. Personally, I find this is the best way to energize them.

How to (safely!) store your crystals

Crystals can be fragile, so handling them with tender love and care is essential. Some gemstones fade after prolonged exposure to sunlight, so when you're not using your crystals, keep them inside in a pouch or wrapped in a silk scarf to keep them safe.

The takeaway

In order to get the most out of your crystals, you need to make sure they're clean and programmed with your intention. With these techniques, you'll be ready to keep them in tip-top shape.

Christy Lynn Abram author page.
Christy Lynn Abram

Christy Lynn Abram is the founder of Brown Girls Write, a self-care initiative aimed at helping women of color reflect, heal, and thrive through expressive writing. She is the author of Chakra Wellness: 7 Ways to Renew the Total You and Speak your Truth, Heal Your Heart as well as the novel Little Miss Somebody, which earned the Seattle Public Library/In the Margins Award for Best Youth Fiction.