Cleaning Quartz Crystals With Vinegar

Last Updated on August 9, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

You can clean your quartz crystals with household vinegar if they are encrusted with barite, lime carbonates, or calcite. Soak the pieces in full-strength vinegar for 8-12 hours. Clean the stones thoroughly and then soak them in washing ammonia for the same period. You will then rinse and wipe them dry properly.

Is It Possible To Cleanse Quartz Crystals With Vinegar?

Quartz crystals, known for their aesthetic beauty and metaphysical properties, require periodic cleansing to maintain their vibrancy and effectiveness. The question frequently arises whether vinegar can be used in this process. 

Principally, vinegar is lauded for its cleaning properties. However, when it comes to cleansing quartz crystals, it is recommended to take a cautious approach. It is vital to remember that vinegar is an acetic acid, and therefore carries corrosive properties. Being a mild acid, it may over time cause damage to quartz crystals by dissolving the silicon dioxide that makes up the crystal’s physical structure.

Furthermore, vinegar has a strong, permeating odor. There’s a potential that this odor could linger within the crystal, thereby affecting the crystal’s natural fragrance and properties. This can interfere with the crystal’s energy vibrations, impacting its functionality in energy-centered practices such as meditation and crystal healing therapy. Notably, vinegar’s corrosive properties could also result in altering the crystal’s appearance, losing its luster and brightness.

In light of these factors, it is generally advised to avoid using vinegar for cleansing quartz crystals. Instead, non-corrosive materials such as water, sunlight, moonlight or earth can be used. Known as the safest and most natural elements, they aid in the effective and delicate cleansing of quartz crystals, helping to maintain their integrity and maximize their vibrational energy.

In conclusion, while vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent for many materials, its characteristics may not make it the best choice for quartz crystals.

Does quartz dissolve in vinegar?

The answer is no. Quartz is a mineral, and it does not rust. Vinegar does not affect quartz since it is a weak acid, but it can dissolve mineral impurities coating quartz. You can clean quartz with dilute vinegar but be careful not to leave it wet with either vinegar or water for long. You may also boil quartz crystals in concentrated vinegar to remove the embedded minerals. 

How To Clean Quartz

Newly dug quartz crystals come stained red-brown from iron and clay. They may also be coated with harsher substances like calcium and limonite deposits. To remove these impurities and display quartz’s sparkling appearance, a lot of hard work is involved. But, applying the right techniques and substances makes the process worthwhile.

The following steps make the process quick and manageable:

Step 1 Initial Cleaning

This step involves removing the clay using bamboo shish kebab skewers and an old toothbrush. If the crystals are many, you can leave them to dry in the shade for the clay to crack. You will then have to hose them off hard using your spray nozzle. Ensure that the nozzle is set to the maximum pressure. 

Repeat this step severally and allow the clay to dry completely between housings. Do not carry out the process in your bathtub or sink as the clay can clog your pipes. You may also use household bleach to clean the crystals if they have organic matter, such as algae. Allow them to dry for at least one day before you can use any acid to clean.

Step 2 Removing Iron Stains

Iron causes a rusty stain on quartz crystals, thus disfiguring them. You will want to soak the crystals in oxalic acid to remove the coating. You can buy oxalic acid (also known as wood bleach) from rock shops, cleaning supplies, or drug stores. Place the clay-free specimens in a plastic bucket, cover them with distilled water, then put the oxalic acid powder. 

If the package has instructions, be sure to follow them. If the box does not have directions, you can try different acidic solution concentrations depending on how the crystals are stained. You need to be careful when using oxalic acid since too much can turn quartz to yellow.  Check the table below;

Amount Of Quartz CrystalsQuantity Of Oxalic AcidVolume Of Water
Small quantities½ – 1 cup½ – gallon
Large quantitiesAbout 16 ouncesTwo and above gallons
Large or small (if staining is light)2-tablespoons½ – gallon

Always add acid to water and not vice versa. Allow the minerals to soak in the acid for one or several days, depending on the staining’s extent. If the stain is too heavy or you don’t want to wait for long, then you can place the bucket containing the contents under the sun to heat. Avoid heating the solution on your kitchen stove or using a metal container. Carry out the procedure outside and never boil the solution as the acid emits poisonous fumes.

While oxalic acid is mild, it is advisable to wear rubber gloves when handling its solution and the crystals. Ensure they are appropriately rinsed before handling with bare hands.

Step 3 Soaking In Baking Soda 

If you notice some powdery coating on the crystals as they begin to dry, soak them in a solution of baking soda. Add about 1/3 – cup of this powder to a gallon of distilled water and stir to dissolve. Use this solution to rinse your crystals thoroughly. If, during the process, the specimens get a yellowing coating or stain, soak them in distilled water for about one week. Try to use a less concentrated solution of the acid for your next batch and keep stirring it.

You can reuse oxalic acid several times by adding a little powdered acid and water each time. If the solution turns deep green, it means you need a fresh one. Neutralize the mixture by adding some agricultural lime or baking soda (do not purchase un-slaked lime from a building supply store). Keep adding the substance until there is no more fizzing. Discard the solution by pouring it on the ground or down the drain. 

Step 4 Using Naval Jelly Or Iron-Out

This method will remove iron stains using iron-out (a commercial bisulfate cleaner used in cleaning kitchen and bathroom fixtures to remove iron). Add 1 tablespoon of iron-out to a plastic bucket containing a pint of water. Soak the crystals in the solution and allow them to stand for 5-20 minutes. If the stain is heavy, leave it to stand for a maximum of 2 hours. Pour the used liquid into the drain, then rinse your crystals thoroughly.  

You may also want to use naval jelly to clean the crystals. This product contains phosphoric acid and is suitable for removing rust from metals but can also be used on quartz. Apply a coat of the substance on your quartz, then wash it off with distilled water.

How To Remove The Tough Mineral Coating On Quartz

If your quartz crystals have tough mineral coatings such as limonite or resistant calcite, you may clean them with a muriatic acid solution. Muriatic acid is dilute hydrochloric acid that needs caution when using. Avoid using this acid if the crystals contain pyrite to prevent damage. Muriatic acid is readily available since it is used as a pool and concrete cleaner.  

Dilute hydrochloric acid (muriatic) is more potent than oxalic acid or vinegar. Using this product requires a lot of care to prevent injuring your skin. Ensure that you have goggles, rubber gloves, several buckets, large boxes of baking soda, and enough space to work outdoors.

How To Clean

  • Place the quartz crystals that need cleaning in one bucket.
  • Fill another bucket with distilled water for rinsing and two other buckets, each with a robust solution of baking soda.
  • Place another empty bucket handy for pouring the acid to check the progress.

You may dilute the muriatic acid or use it straight from the container. The choice is yours. But if you decide to dilute it, always remember to add acid to water and not vice versa. Adding water to acid may cause an explosion. 

  • Ensure that the crystals in the first (cleaning) bucket are dry. 
  • Please put on your goggles and gloves and then pour enough acid over the crystals to completely cover them.

If you are cleaning an alkaline mineral or calcite, the solution will fizz vigorously. You can leave it until the fizzing stops.

  • Ensure that you check the crystals after five minutes if you are cleaning clusters. You might end up with many loose quartz crystals since the clusters are sometimes held together by calcite.

Safety Rules To Follow When Using Acids And Other Solutions To Clean Quartz

You need to be careful when using acids and other cleaning solutions to prevent injuries and damage. Here are some safety rules to follow;

  • Use clearly labeled chemicals and store them safely away from children and pets.
  • Always put on rubber gloves and safety goggles when using acids and other cleaning solutions.
  • Place some clean water in a large container where you are working from. You will use the liquid to wash off any accidental chemical spills.
  • Always add acid to water and never water to acid.
  • Keep enough baking soda handy to use in case of acid spills.
  • Keep enough vinegar nearby in case of alkali spills.
  • Rinse specimens thoroughly with clean water

How To Clean Clear Quartz Crystals

Depending on where you purchase your quartz, it is essential to clean it as several people may have touched them. The following strategies will help clean your gemstones;

Using Sea Salt

You can use water and sea salt to rid your gemstones of unwanted energy. Use fine sea salt if the stones are not brittle but if the crystals have hematite or pyrite, avoid sea salt as the stone could be damaged. Leave the crystals overnight in water, and add basil, dry sage, or lavender to improve the bath’s cleaning effect.

Using Other Stones

Carnelian and clear quartz are used to clean other stones. Stack them on the crystals that need cleaning or store them in the same bag while traveling

Use Of Running Water

Hold your crystals under running water to rid them of any energy. 


Burning sage, also known as smudging, helps to clear the stones. Light a dry sage stick and blow out the flame quickly. Waft the smoke around the crystals to draw out all the impurities.

Putting Them Under The Full Moon

Place your stones on your windowsill during the next full moon. Doing this helps to soak up some of the vital energy.