Image courtesy of Noelle Australia at Unsplash

Can you recall the last time you cleaned your tarot deck? How about your candles? Did you know that moon water can actually destroy some of your crystals?

Thanks to Marie Kondo, I’ve been more mindful about my decluttering and cleaning (and I always, always remember to thank the things that have served me, now). I change my sheets regularly, clean the walls…I’ve even been moving my appliances to sweep up beneath them! All pats on the back aside, I’ve got to admit that my magical tools have seen better days. There are certain candles I only burn when the moment feels really special, and while that means I’ve been able to keep some expensive pretties for longer than I might have otherwise, it also means I can get the occasional snap, crackle, or pop from them. It’s not Spirit, and it’s sure not Rice Krispies…it’s dust and cobwebs, and since it’s that time of year, it’s time to get down to cleaning. Read on for a few simple ways to keep your ritual tools shining, and to find out which crystals would be absolutely ruined by a splash of sacred water.

  1. Cleaning Candles

There’s a rule of three when it comes to cleaning candles, and it’s this: dust, drink, dry. You’ll want to wipe the candles down first with something like a microfiber cloth or old pair of pantyhose. This is because these cloths are less abrasive, so you won’t damage the wax, but also because just applying liquid to the candle right away will turn that dust into mud.

Next, take a good, stiff drink (such as Everclear, or rubbing alcohol in a pinch) and wet down a cloth to rub over the surface of the candle. Make that candle shine (no, not with flame, unless you want to burn the house down)!

Finally, take another lint-free cloth and gently pat the candles dry. You’ll want to let them air dry overnight to be sure the alcohol evaporates entirely.

  1. Cleaning Resin Statues

There are a fair number of gods I worship, and because I’m fortunate enough to sometimes have the money to spend, there are a fair number of holy statues in my home. Most of these are resin statues, and odds are good that if you’ve ever made a purchase of one from Azure Green or supported the work of Maxine Miller, yours are, too. These statues may look like stone or metal, but they’re far more delicate. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean they’re hard to clean. Warm, soapy water and a gentle cloth are enough to keep these statues glistening (though I wouldn’t recommend submerging them). And, should the worst happen and the statue slip out of your hands and onto the floor, a bit of superglue and some bronze paint from Walmart will normally set things right.

  1. Cleaning Tarot Cards

Please, please don’t take soapy water to these…not unless you have a special deck that’s been coated in plastic. Instead, take a paper sack, toss in a few tablespoons of cornstarch, and toss your cards right in after it. The cornstarch will absorb any grease or finger oils that may have gotten on your cards, and after a few shakes you should be able to remove the powder with a soft brush, such as a clean foundation brush or paint brush.

  1. Cleaning Stones

Get familiar with Moh’s Hardness Scale, because according to folks in the know, the only time water should come in contact with a crystal or stone is when it has a rating of 6 or above. This rating is all about a stone’s scratch resistance, with the hardest being a diamond (10) and the softest being talc (1). This can’t be the only determination of whether to have bath time with your crystal, though…you should also take into account how much iron is in the stone, or how porous is it (something you should also take into account before playtime with your stones) (https://www.health.com/condition/sexual-health/jade-egg-goop).

I’ll leave you with a handy list of some of the most common stones I’ve come across in the Pagan community, sorted according to which are considered water-safe and which should avoid pool time.

Moon Water…ACTIVATE!:

  • Tiger’s Eye
  • Rose Quartz
  • Moonstone
  • Clear Quartz
  • Obsidian
  • Citrine
  • Agate
  • Rose Quartz
  • Amethyst

Dust Those Babies:

  • Opal
  • Selenite (what you probably think of as your quartz wand)
  • Malachite
  • Pyrite
  • Labradorite
  • Hematite
  • Halite
  • Turquoise

[Written by Ashley Nicole Hunter.]

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