How to Cleanse Magical Items

How to Cleanse Magical Items June 10, 2018

I’ve received so many secondhand magical items.  The list is vast, and includes books, an athame, a Tibetian singing bowl, crystals, statues, a cauldron, jewelry, and more.  All had to be cleansed before I could use them.  If you don’t cleanse the residual energy from objects you’ll use for energy work, you might unintentionally draw upon someone else’s energy, or be drawn upon.

Photo by Tony Alter, CC2.0

I’ve noticed that this energetic residue doesn’t occur as much with new objects, but they still have to be cleansed too.  Here are my favorite ways to cleanse objects so that they can be used for ritual or energy work.


Water is and always has been an excellent cleansing element.  The list of cleansing waters includes spring water, river water, rain water, lake water, and ocean water.  Use moonwater to cleanse and charge the item.  Some fancy pagans might like to use rosewater, or another floral water to cleanse.  The addition of a little vinegar might also be a good cleansing method; however, it’s not good for all crystals and stones.  It might make the ones containing carbonates start to dissolve.  Although this isn’t a great method for books, I have washed the covers before.


cleanse magical items with salt

Salt is one of my favorite methods of cleaning, especially combined with water.  Salt charges items too, but be careful that the item won’t corrode.  Salt doesn’t work well with metals, as it makes them rust.  I like to use it to cleanse crystals.  Set the item in a dish of salt or sprinkle some salt over it and let it sit.


If an item is greasy, contains leather, or has been touched a lot,  fingerprints and oils likely cover the object.  Soap might be the only way to remove the grimy energy still clinging to it.  Nothing else comes close to the power of a strong, natural soap to get rid of hard-to-kill energy.  If all else has failed, consider using soap.


Creative Commons CC0

Fire cleansing works great for metal objects, especially after washing them with water (and possibly soap).  Light a candle and pass the item quickly over the flame, being careful to not let it get too hot.  You might want to use tongs or an oven mitt to protect yourself from the heat.  Do this several times until the energy feels different.

Burning Herbs

Smudging is an ancient practice that cleanses air and objects.  All manner of dried plants and herbs can be used, including rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme, bay, catnip, mint, pine, and more.  It can be used for cleansing virtually any object.  It’s my favorite method for cleansing tarot cards and books.


When I received a bronze statue of Gaia, I liked it, but the energy didn’t quite feel right.  It went straight into my garden, getting rained on and being entrenched in the mud and earth.  After a month, the energy of the statue felt different.  Contact with the earth cleansed most of the residual energy.  However, the statue didn’t come into the house yet…

skinny gaia statue crop

Air, Sun, and Moon

I left the statue of Gaia outside the back door of my house.  It was exposed to the air, the sun, and the moon.  Weeks later, when it finally came into the house, all residual energy was gone and it was ready to go on my altar.

Air cleansing is a good last step.  It decompresses the remaining energy and can create an atmospheric shift that makes it more receptive to new energy.

If there isn’t a good place for cleansing objects by air, sun, and moon outside, a windowsill inside your home can work.  Be aware, however, that some crystals and stone may be harmed by sunlight.  It’s best to do some research before leaving them outside for a long time.  Likewise, you may wish for something to receive only a sunlight cleansing or only a moon cleansing, in accordance with the energy of the object.

*    *    *

Use your intuition to discern the best method to cleanse your new magical objects, but be sure to do your research so you don’t harm the object.  The goal of cleansing is to change the energy from the former use to a more neutral energy.

If you know of other good methods, feel free to leave them in a comment below.  I’d love to hear about how you cleanse your items.

 ~ Align with Starlight Witch ~

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About Astrea
Astrea is a polytheistic pagan witch, fire dancer, new ager, and writer of fiction. Check out her social media accounts to see all her blog posts and extra special witchy / artsy / personal content. You can read more about the author here.
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  • Unlabeled_Unlimited

    I use many of the above.
    My most effective is blessing it with the light and love of Creation/Goddess, I ask them to re-energize and bless it.
    Thank you for this list. Fabulous

  • DesertRose

    This is a really useful list!

    And since you asked for other options, here are some I’ve used. 🙂

    I cleansed my tarot deck when I first got it by shuffling it repeatedly, just until it felt right (I didn’t count, so I have no idea how many times I shuffled the cards). It felt to me like a way to cleanse the deck, introduce myself to it, and familiarize myself with the energy of the cards all at once.

    I also cleanse it before any reading by shuffling once each for Air (visualizing cool golden light around the cards as I shuffle), Fire (warm red light), Water (cool blue light), Earth (warm green light), and sometimes Spirit (white or sometimes rainbow [as through a prism] light of a comfortable temperature neither cool nor warm) before I ask whatever question. I then repeat the shuffling sequence in reverse before I put the cards back in the silk cloth on which I lay them when I read them and in which I keep them wrapped when not in use and put them away.

    That’s card-oracle specific, but it seems to work reasonably well for me.

    With other tools (my athame, cauldron, candle-holders, the little brass censer for cone incense, etc.), I actually went outdoors and did a small ritual to cleanse and dedicate the implements as I acquired them. (I also live in Florida, so my local weather is warm enough that outdoor ritual is practical a good bit of the year, but I see no reason that an indoor ritual wouldn’t work just as well in climates/times of year less hospitable to outdoor ritual.)

    When sewing anything for ritual use (such as hemming the aforementioned silk cloth for the tarot deck and hemming my altar cloth, and, for the future, the silk sheath I intend to sew for my athame when I get the silk dry-cleaned), I try to keep my purpose and intent in mind as I sew (while, admittedly, occasionally getting distracted by the mundane elements of sewing).

    My home gets smoke-cleansed periodically as well, usually after I’ve done the physical housecleaning. (It just seems to work better to do the smoke-cleansing on a physically clean space.)

  • John Kulm

    Thanks for the useful, interesting article!
    I like to acquire used, second-hand items when the energy feels positive.
    Similarly, antiques have higher value when they have a nice patitna. An antique’s value can be harmed by removing the patina.
    I wonder if anyone has thoughts on preserving / maintaining an item’s positive energy while cleansing anything negative.
    Maybe the process isn’t simply to cleanse, but also to introduce a new item to other objects on an altar or in the surroundings, to have a harmonious environment.

    • JenniWest

      I find placing on or very near selenite has a gentle cleansing effect. I always set the item by stating the intention to neutralize it’s prior vibrations but not remove its essence.