Cleaning a stone is getting rid of unwanted dirt or other substances on the surface of the stone. Cleaning stones and clearing stones are not the same thing, though often the terms are used interchangeably.
Some methods will do both at the same time, but it works best to think of them as two separate tasks until you’re used to doing both. That way you can be sure to take care of both parts well.
For harder stones, water is the best thing to clean stones or crystals of any kind with. A mild soap can be used sometimes, as can specialized cleaning solutions. Specialized cleaning solutions vary widely, and should be used only according to their instructions
Soft stones, those with a mohs hardness of 4 or less, may be very porous and may absorb a lot of soap, chemicals or detergents when you are cleaning them. These stones definitely should not be cleaned with anything harsher than just plain water for very brief periods.
Do Not Place in Chemical Cleaners
(This is a partial list! If in doubt, don’t put it in any chemicals!)
- Lapis Lazuli
Other stones, such as halite, which is a salt, will dissolve in water, so they should only be dusted lightly with a feather duster or something like that.
Quartz crystal and harder stones can be cleaned with heavier detergents or cleaners if needed. In fact, at many crystal mines, the crystals are cleaned with oxalic acid to remove iron stains before they are shipped out. Clear Creek Crystal Mine in Arkansas has an article on cleaning quartz crystals.
Harsh cleaners can damage the finish on polished stones or abrade the surfaces, and are considered by some to change the energy of the stones.
I recommend using the mildest possible method of cleaning your crystals and stones, as this is least disruptive of their looks and energies. And from there you go on to clear the energies of your crystals and stones.