Clearing isn't the same as cleaning, although both acts can be accomplished by the same process. Whether or not your crystals often need to be cleared they will sometimes need to be cleaned. I recommend immersing them in water for a minute or so, then gently drying them with a towel.
Don't use any kind of detergent unless for some reason grease has gotten on them. Detergents, even organic ones, tend to leave a film on crystals.Inner Dust
Clearing crystals is more an act of getting rid of inner, psychic dust. Crystals are valuable in the technical world because they record and store information. When we translate this role into spiritual terms we say that crystals take in and store the vibrations which surround them.
This benefits us in that we are able to program them to translate our desires and dreams into a vibration which attracts the energy which will materialize them. Crystals, however, not being us, don't discriminate between "good" and "bad" vibrations, and collect whatever's around. Making a Crystal Yours
When you first purchase crystals you want to make them yours. You will want to erase or clear from them the vibrations of all those who have handled them -- even those of the nice people at Beyond the Rainbow -- not because those vibrations are bad, but because your crystals, in order to respond to your needs and wishes, must be attuned to your vibrations.There are times when you don't want a crystal to have your vibrations, either.
* If you've been working with crystals to heal emotional pain, your crystals may absorb these vibrations.
* The same can be true if you've been doing a lot of releasing work.
* If you've programmed crystals for specific purposes, you'll need to clear them if you want to program them for new goals/dreams.Crystal Baths
One way to clear your crystals is to bury them in sea or kosher salt overnight. Wash them afterwards and, if possible, put them in a place where they can dry in the sun. You can get similar results by using salt water, and this is a better idea for highly polished stones, as salt crystals may scratch your crystals' surfaces. Immersing them in salt water serves the dual purposes of cleaning and clearing.
My method is to fill bowls in filtered water into which I shake some salt (probably the equivalent of two tablespoons per pint of water.) I leave the crystals in the water overnight. The next day I rinse them and put them out to dry. I prefer to let them dry by themselves.
If the temperature is warm (crystals may crack in subfreezing temperatures) I put the bowls outside and let them dry in the sun.Precautions
Although I've used this method for many years without traumatized crystals, I think it's appropriate to say that other people feel this is too harsh a clearing method. If you'd like to try this method, use it with a few crystals and see how you feel.
Some crystals shouldn't be placed in water, particularly soft stones such as azurite, malachite, rough chrysocolla, selenite. I've heard that calcite shouldn't be placed in water, but I've done so with no negative results. A variant on the sea salt method is to clear your crystals by placing them in the ocean. I recommend putting them in a pail unless you plan to give a gift to the sea.Smudging
This is the least invasive and most popular method for clearing crystals. You can use a smudge stick for this. A smudge stick may consist of some of the following herbs: include cedar, sage, lavender, juniper, pine.
Pass your crystals through the smoke -- or, if you have arrangements of crystals around your house, pass the smudge stick over the crystals. This method is excellent as well for clearing yourself and your environment. Cleaning/Clearing with Essential Oils
The relationship between crystals and essential oils deserves an article of its own. My focus here is on particular oils that have cleaning/clearing properties. The most economical method for using oils is to place crystals in a container, fill it with filtered water as you would for the salt water method, and put a drop or two of essential oil into the water.
Lemon: This has a purifying effect and, on a practical level, cuts grease.
Juniper: Like juniper in a smudge stick, juniper oil has the ability to help release any negative vibrations.
Lavender: If you've been doing any kind of intense emotional work with your crystals, lavender oil has a calming and balancing effect. Put some on yourself, too.
The previous methods can work well for large quantities of crystals. The following methods are better for individual crystals or small quantities of small crystals. The Earth Method
You can bury your crystals in the earth. (Do not use this method on iron-based stones such as hematite and tiger iron.) This method can clear any rough energy from your crystals and give them a kind of rebirth in the earth (from which most crystals are mined). It's like taking them home.
Be sure to mark the place where you've buried them.Visualization
Close your eyes, relax, and while holding your Crystal, visualize it glowing with white light or rainbow hues. Feel it radiating smooth, balanced energy.Reiki
Using Reiki alone or in combination with visualization can be effective in clearing your crystals.
If you're Reiki Level I hold the crystal in your hand and simply Reiki it. If you're Reiki II you can also draw the mental/emotional symbol over your crystals.How Often Do Crystals Need to be Cleared?
It depends on how much you use them. If they're sitting on your desk, looking pretty (and you can get a great deal of value just from having them around) once every three months is probably sufficient, in which case they probably need baths, too. Crystals you work with every day need to be cleared no less than once a month.
If, as mentioned above, you do intense emotional work with your crystals, clear them after each session.
If a crystal looks cloudy or has a dull feeling it probably needs to be cleared.
It is always a good idea to clear a crystal before you program it. However, once you've programmed it don't clear it until it's done its work.