Caring For Crystals 101

Caring For Crystals 101

Have you ever been so excited to bring a new plant home, only to mourn the death of your new friend 2 months later? Known to be careless or clumsy with your possessions? Or occasionally forget to check the washing instructions on a nice new garment and ruin it completely? I know we can’t be the only ones…. right?

Lucky for you, we take crystals very seriously, and we’ve put together a guide to caring for them, so you can keep yours safe, cleansed & charged up without worry!

First things first….

It’s important to have a general understanding of the mineral composition of your crystal to know how to care for it properly.

Mohs Hardness Scale

mohs hardness scale

Image Credit: Sierra Pelona Rock Club

The Mohs Hardness Scale was created in 1812 by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs. He used the above ten stones that are readily available and range from the softest known mineral (talc) to the hardest (diamond) to create a scale to test the hardness of all other specimens. The test is based on the ability of one mineral to scratch the surface of another mineral.

For general use, the above scale lets us know how careful we need to be when bringing stones into contact with one another, other hard surfaces, and water.

Caring For “Soft Stones”

On the very soft end of the spectrum is talc & mica, minerals that give many eyeshadows and bronzers their shiny aesthetic. It’s chalky and difficult to even keep together.

Gypsums are also on the very soft end of the spectrum and include popular stones like selenite, desert rose and alabaster. As a rule of thumb, be careful to keep soft stones dry, and out of contact with hard stones as they scratch easily and can disintegrate. Even sweaty palms can cause a stone to lose its shine. 

Anything from 1-6 on the hardness scale is considered a soft stone. Smooth soft stones should be dry polished; use a clean soft cloth and rub in small circular motions to remove any dirt or fingerprints.

Caring For “Hard Stones”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, quartz, which ranks at 7 on the hardness scale, can scratch glass. Remember though, the Mohs scale only takes into account the ability of one mineral to scratch another, and doesn’t consider how easily a stone can break.

For example, a diamond is almost impossible to scratch, yet if you hit it with a hammer, it would crush into a million pieces.

Anything 7 and higher on the Mohs scale is considered a “hard stone” and can be cleansed in water. For raw, hard geodes or clusters, it can be a good idea to bathe the stone in salt water for a good amount of time to loosen up debris and dust. To polish a crystal point or sphere, we like to use an eye glass cloth as it will help to remove oils and fingerprints. 

Traveling With Crystals

For most stones, the biggest threat is another crystal. Many common stones fall between a 4 and 6 on the hardness scale and cannot be scratched by something like a nail, however, these specimens can easily damage each other and hard surfaces (ie- it is a good idea to put a cloth between a cluster and wood furniture). It’s best to treat all stones with extreme care, like they carry precious ancient wisdom coming from the earth or something.

When traveling with crystals, wrap each of them individually. Raw or rough stones especially you don’t want to come into contact with each other, clothing, or anything else you don’t want damaged. I suggest wrapping in a cloth scarf, tissue paper, lightweight towels or anything else you have around that won’t take up much space.

How To Cleanse & Charge Crystals

Okay so you’re taking great care of your crystals and you’ve infused your energy and personal intention into them. Like anything of value, it’s important to nurture the health of your crystals to keep their energy potent.

Traditionally, crystals are cleansed by the energy of the Full Moon’s light. Add crystal cleansing to your moon phase ritual, or if you have a bigger collection and can relate to the meme above, cleanse the stones you are working with most on an intuitive basis. It’s also a good idea to cleanse most stones after other people touch them.

We love cleansing hard stones in the ocean; and tracing the curves of crystals with the smoke of palo santo (holy wood) to provide clean oxygen and literally clear the air and the energy around the stone. Treat it like a cleansing meditation, watch the smoke disperse, close your eyes and take in the scent.

The act of cleansing itself will charge your stones up and reassert their intention and value in your life.

Crystal quartz is known as the master healer, and has the ability to charge up other stones. Selenite is another powerful stone that amplifies the energy of other stones it touches, and we carry small selenite charging stands in our shop (will be back in stock soon!). Simply place any stone on it either overnight or permanently on display. See if you notice a new brightness or shine upon charging.

Final Notes

  • Direct sunlight can cause some minerals to fade, including amethyst, citrine, some quartz varieties including my beloved smokey quartz, aquamarine, fluorite, celestite, opal, turquoise, kunzite and topaz.
  • Which brings me to our next point…. Do your research! Take 5 minutes to search the specific stone in question, and make sure you’re not unintentionally damaging your crystals or other belongings by having them in the sun, near water, or on a surface they’ll ruin!
  • Mistakes happen, and you might read this whole article and still break a crystal. Don’t worry! It could even be a positive thing. And there’s plenty of ways to still utilize the energy of your stone!

Read: What It Means When You Break A Crystal & What To Do With It

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