Like any other of your prized possessions, healing crystals too need to be cared for. More so, because crystals emanate energy and their power diminishes, if they become dirty and stained. With diminished power, its effect on the body and mind gets reduced and so is their power to absorb negative energy.
Before you set out to clean your crystals, you should know there is no one way to clean them. Each healing crystal possesses different properties and may differ from others in solidity and stiffness, and may react differently, when subjected to light, heat and acid.
Crystals, especially gemstones, are sensitive to chemicals and may get discolored by them. Similarly, crystals of softer material may get scratched, if brushed with a stiff brush. Some crystals are so sensitive as to lose their radiance, exposed for long durations under direct sunlight.
Thus, it is of utmost importance to know the characteristics and properties of your crystals, before you commence the cleaning process. Although most crystals can be safely cleaned by common jewelry cleaners available in the market, some crystals need special care.
Let us see some of the ways crystals can be cleaned:
#1 Cleaning with water
The most common way of cleaning a crystal is to hold it under running tap water and scrubbing it with an old toothbrush to remove the dirt. The crystal may require several rounds of scrubbing. This type of cleaning is ideal for coral, pearl and amber.
#2 Removing stains
For non-persistent stains on a crystal that won’t come out by gently rubbing with a soft damp cloth, household cleaners and bleach comes in handy. In this, the crystal is soaked in water mixed with laundry detergent. Afterwards, it is soaked in bleach overnight.
This process softens the stains, dirt and debris deposited on the crystal, which can then be removed by gentle scrubbing, using a soft cloth. For more persistent stains, use warm water and increase the duration of soaking.
#3 Using chemicals
A hardier crystal may require vinegar and ammonia for cleaning. The dual action of acetic acid in vinegar helps in removing calcite, barite and lime carbonates that lead to discoloration and staining of crystals. Never use this process for Opals, Onyx, Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise, as they may soak up chemicals.
For a thorough job, completely submerge the crystal in vinegar for eight to 12 hours. After removing it from vinegar, soak it in ammonia for the same duration. Finally, take the crystal out, rinse it completely and wipe it dry with a soft cloth. You will find the stains gone. However, if the stains persist, continue this cycle till they are completely eliminated.
#4 Using harsh chemicals
For adamant stains that do not respond to vinegar and ammonia, use oxalic acid, also known as wood bleach. Such stains may be caused by iron. Here you have to be sure which crystals will withstand this treatment.
For this, take a plastic container and fill it three-fourths with distilled water and the rest with oxalic acid. Stir to dissolve the oxalic acid crystals. Now soak the stained crystal in this mixture. The severity of the stains will dictate the duration of soaking that can range from a few hours to a few days.
It is nice to keep your crystals gleaming, but be well informed regarding the cleaning methods and use of chemicals for particular crystals, before you begin to clean them.