How to Clean Selenite


Selenite is a type of gypsum that is also referred to as Moon Stone. It’s a stone that is can range in visual appeal from clear to translucent. Some Selenite has light tints of assorted colors. It’s a common stone that is found throughout Europe and the United States. If you own selenite stones, there are a few things you need to know about cleaning them. It’s not impossible to accomplish, but you must have a basic knowledge of how to go about the task without causing damage to the stones. Here is everything you need to know about cleaning selenite or Moon Stones.

Selenite is delicate and vulnerable to damage

The first thing you need to know about Selenite before you begin is that the stones are delicate and easily damaged. Most of these crystals are made of gypsum, a substance that dissolves in water. The composition means you can’t use water with a toothbrush to clean them without causing damage. It makes the task of cleaning selenite more difficult, but not impossible.

Yes Dirt advises that some stones sold as selenite may not contain any selenite, so confirm that you have a genuine stone before you start. Selenite contains gypsum, but some types of selenite contain sodium selenium which is an exceptionally toxic substance. It dissolves in water and it should not be placed in water nor be combined with cleaning products. Some types of selenite should not come into contact with bare skin. It’s wise to confirm precisely what type of selenite stone you have before proceeding. You don’t want to damage the stone or create toxic fumes during the cleaning process.

How to clean all types of selenite

Selenite stones may be cleaned using a soft clean cloth, gently rubbing the surface of the stone to remove all dust particles. You may also lightly moisten the cloth with drug store alcohol or acetone with brief and light rubbing, followed by drying the area with a dry cloth. You should only use liquid briefly, then dry the stone quickly. Canned air is another option for cleaning selenium that has crystals with deep grooves. The powerful air can safely remove any debris collected in hard-to-reach places in the crystal.

When to use water to clean selenite

In general, using water to clean selenite is discouraged, but if you have a piece that has large deposits of unattractive material that you want to be removed, you can submerge that area in water to loosen the mineral collections. Gypsum is highly water-soluble and it will begin to dissolve. Cold water dissolves gypsum at a higher rate than warm water. You may use a toothbrush to remove the gypsum to leave the crystals fully exposed, but take care not to remove too much of the gypsum.

It could cause the stone to fall apart. When you’ve removed the desired amount of material, pat the remainder of the stone dry. Using this method is likely to cause a dulling of the crystals. You may need to polish the remnant of the stone to restore it to its bright and shiny finish. You may experiment with this method to see what results you get. Take your time working with an unknown type of selenite stone to avoid breathing in any toxic fumes or getting the liquids or powder on your bare skin.

How to keep your selenite stone clean

The best way to keep a selenite stone clean is to store it in a pouch. Avoid handling it with bare hands because the oil from your hands will coat the selenite stone and attract dust particles. You may also cover it with a mineral sealant to protect the surface from oil and dust contamination. A sealer will make the stone easier to clean.

Cleaning large raw selenite stones

If you find a large selenite stone with some attractive features but far too much gypsum or other minerals and debris attached, you may want to take a more aggressive approach to the cleaning process. The goal is to remove any unattractive deposits without damaging the crystals, but first, you will need to determine how much of the gypsum you want to leave on the stone. Once you start washing with water, you can’t add the materials that will dissolve or become dislodged.

Hunker suggests washing the portion of the stone you want to be removed with warm (not hot) water. Use a soft brush to apply the warm water to the parts of the selenite stone for removal. Gently scrub the surface until the gypsum begins to dissolve. Work on a small area at a time to avoid taking too much. You may gently pry loose any large items on the surface using a piece of bamboo, which is softer than the selenite and will not scratch the crystals.

What to avoid when cleaning selenite

Humeshed advises that it’s essential to know what to avoid when cleaning selenite stones. The delicate stone is damaged easily by water, abrasives, or harsh chemicals. Submerging it in water or any other liquid will result in damage, causing crumbling or a dull, scratched, or milky surface. Avoid using wire or metal brushes or acidic chemicals. You may use small amounts of water, acetone, or alcohol, but use sparingly, working with small areas, then drying them thoroughly. Cleaners with a strong odor will impart the scent to the stone because it absorbs smells and retains them. Avoid overhandling the selenite stones with your bare hands to keep oils. Body oils attract dust and make it necessary to clean it again.

How to polish a selenite stone

If your selenite crystal is dull or scratched, you can polish the surface by lighting sanding with a fine-grit sandpaper. Use three grades of fine grit ending with the finest grit. Work on a small area at a time, and take your time to get the best results.

Final thoughts

Selenium is a delicate stone that requires a little knowledge of its properties to clean without damage. It’s a time-consuming process that is well worth the effort. Avoid using methods that can damage the stone, and use cleaning tools and supplies that are softer than the stone for the best results.

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