Can Carnelian Go In Water? (Full Guide)

Carnelian is one of the few stones that I always carry with me. It has such a nice grounding energy and gives me a little confidence boost whenever I need it. In order to make sure it continues to do this, it is important to cleanse your stone regularly. There are plenty of ways to do this, including using water.

Carnelian can go in water, including salt water, as it is a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. As a result, it is hard enough to withstand water without being damaged. Beware that there are risks involved. Other safe ways to cleanse your carnelian are by smoke cleansing, sound and by using selenite.

Continue reading if you want to know more about why carnelian is fine in water, as well as the risks and alternative methods of cleansing and recharging. On the bottom of this page you’ll find a quick overview of the traits, such as element, chakra, zodiac, and benefits, of this stone.

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Also Read: Can Carnelian Be In The Sun?

Can Carnelian Go In Water? (Explained)

Carnelian can go in water, as a result of the stone’s hardness. Carnelian is a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which gives each mineral a number from 1-10. The higher the number, the harder it is, and thus more likely to be able to withstand water. For reference, talc is a 1 and diamond a 10.

As a general rule, minerals need to be at least a 5 in order to be safe in water. Anything lower and your stone is very likely to either break or even completely dissolve. With carnelian scoring a 7, this probably won’t happen to your stone.

I do want to warn you for the fact that if you soak carnelian (or any other stone) in water regularly and for extended periods of time, it is likely to still end up damaged. Reason for this is that every stone has miniscule cracks in the surface. This is especially true for rough stones or geodes, but even your most polished stones will have them. Water will settle into these cracks and cause them to become bigger. Over time, this will cause them to become more fragile and likely to break.

However, some stones polished stones are protected with a finish. This finish will be the first thing to break down in water, before it even touches your stone. Stones that are sealed this way will thus be less likely to break, or can hold out for longer.

Although some would argue that a broken stone is an unusable one, I believe differently. As I travel with my stones regularly, I have unfortunately broken a fair few of them. I still use all of them and do not feel a difference. It is always best to check in with your stone and see how it feels. If you feel it doesn’t have the same energy, or does not feel right for any other reason, it might be better to replace it.

Lastly, regular use of water will turn any stone dull. If you’re using the stone to make crystal elixirs, this is something that is guaranteed to happen. This won’t affect its vibrations, and you’ll be able to use it just the same, but it just won’t be as pretty. So if you care about the looks of your crystal it might be better to avoid water altogether. This includes carnelian in jewelry – don’t swim or shower with it!

Can Carnelian Go In Tap Water?

Technically, all water will energetically cleanse your stone. However, I personally choose to only use (tap)water that is clean enough to drink. After all, there is no point cleansing a stone with dirty water and if it’s not good enough for you, it is not good enough for your carnelian. In this case, you might be better off filtering the water before using it. 

Can Carnelian Go In Salt Water?

Carnelian is safe in all water, including salt water. However, beware that there are more risks involved than with fresh water.

Reason for this, is that salt is extremely powerful and naturally abrasive. Fresh water is already likely to damage your stone over time by causing the cracks to expand, but the problem with salt water is that the water will eventually evaporate, but the salt will be left behind. This speed up the process. As a result, I never recommend using salt water unless you feel your stone needs a deep cleanse. 

Again, note that raw carnelian and geodes have more cracks and are therefore more likely to be damaged.

Lastly, beware that silver will get tarnished in salt water. So if you have any piece of jewelry with carnelian and you don’t want the chain to turn black, avoid salt water.

If you want to know more about salt and carnelian, and how to use it safely, I‘d recommend reading this post that I wrote: “Can Carnelian Go In Salt?

How To Make A Carnelian Water Elixir?

An elixir is really just another way of working with your carnelian. Some like to meditate with their stone, or just keep it in their pocket all day, and others prefer to drink water that is infused with the stone’s vibrations. If you haven’t found your way of working with crystals yet, or you would like to try something else, elixirs might be good to try!

Carnelian elixirs are especially great for opening your sacral chakra and when you need a little boost in confidence. If this sounds like what you need, here is how you make it:

  1. Start with a crystal that is (energetically) cleansed and recharged. A crystal depleted of positive energy is not going to infuse your water with anything, or worse, leave low vibrations in your water. There are some suggestions on how to cleanse your stone in the next chapters.
  2. Fill a bowl or bottle with drinkable water. Tap water works just fine as long as you’re happy to ingest it. If not, use bottled or filtered water please!
  3. Place your carnelian in the water and set an intention if you’d like. To do so, answer the question “What do I want to get out of this?”.
  4. Leave the bowl or bottle in the sun or moon, depending on what type of energy you are looking for. The sunlight is more uplifting, whereas moonlight is grounding.
  5. When you feel the water is ready, take the stone out. Some people keep the stone in for ony a few minutes, whereas others leave it in moonlight overnight. This is completely up to you. I do want to caution you about leaving water in sunlight for a long time. Bacteria love water, especially when it is nice and warm. To protect yourself, never leave it for hours.
  6. If you aren’t going to use all the water within a week or so, fill your bottle with about 1/3 alcohol (like vodka or brandy). This way you stop bacteria from growing. If you are going to use it within that time you should be fine just leaving it in the fridge.  
  7. Drop a few drops of the elixir into your water bottle to drink throughout the day.

How To Cleanse Carnelian Using Water?

Like I said, I don’t recommend cleansing your stone like this if you care about the way that it looks. However, if you’re not too worried about this, water is very effective. Below, I’ll explain how to use both running water and salt water to do this.

If you’re looking for ways to charge your carnelian, you might want to read this article: “Can Carnelian Be In The Sun?” At the bottom of this page I explain a few methods to safely charge your crystal.

Running Water

If you are going to cleanse your stone with water, this is probably the safest method. It minimizes the contact and thus the risks.

Simply leave it in some running water for a little bit. A creek is ideal, but tap water will work just fine too. A few minutes should do the trick. Whenever you feel it is ready, dry it with a soft cloth and make sure to recharge it. You have washed away the low vibrations, now it is time to fill it with high ones!

Salt Water

This is a more risky method, but might be nice to use every once in a while if your stone feels especially heavy.

Collect a bowl of fresh sea water (if you can!) or put a tablespoon of salt into a bowl of water. Make sure all the salt has dissolved and place your carnelian in it. Leave it for a few hours, depending on how energetically heavy it feels.

When ready, take your carnelian out of the bowl and run it under tap water to get rid of any leftover salt. This will minimize the damage. Afterwards, dry it with a soft cloth and make sure to charge it!

How To Cleanse Carnelian Without Water

If you want to make sure your stone stays intact and pretty, it might be better to avoid water altogether. Luckily, there are other, safer ways to cleanse your carnelian. Some of these are smoke cleansing, sound and selenite. Below, I’ll explain how to use each.

If you’re looking for ways to charge your carnelian, I recommend reading this article that I wrote: “Can Carnelian Be In The Sun?

Smoke Cleansing

When smoke cleansing, you use a herb to remove negative vibrations from your stone. You first have to light it and when you blow out the flame, it produces smoke that is very cleansing to objects and people. As a result, it is great to use on your crystals as well!

Make sure you set an intention for your carnelian – what do you want the stone to do for you? When you’re ready you can waft the smoke over your carnelian and repeat your intention out loud. The stone will be done cleansing when you feel like it is. Pick it up and feel it’s energy!

NOTE: Beware that using the term ‘smudging’ and the practice of burning white sage/palo santo is commonly used in the spiritual community. This is a specific type of smoke cleansing used by Native Americans, and which was illegal up until about 40 years ago. We recommend using a form of smoke cleansing that is appropriate for you and your culture.


Using sound is great if you want to cleanse and recharge at the same time. Perfect if you don’t want to spend hours cleansing and charging your crystals.

For this method, you can use either singing bowls, a tuning fork or a simple YouTube video. To use it, set your intention and let the sound fill the room. Check in with your stone by picking it up. If you feel the energy is light, it’s ready!

I’ll link my favorite video to cleanse my crystals below.


Some crystals are so powerful and full of light that they can be used to charge other stones. Selenite is one of those crystals.

I love this method because it is incredibly simple. All you have to do is leave your carnelian on some selenite. Selenite plates are ideal, but if you’re just using a stone make sure it’s bigger than the carnelian that you’re wanting to charge. Leave it for about 24 hours and your stone is ready to be used again.

Be aware that selenite is a very soft stone, so if you’re using raw carnelian or a geode this may leave indents or scratches on your selenite.

Carnelian Overview

Chakra: Sacral
Element: Fire
Zodiac: Leo | Cancer
Benefits: Grounding | Sexual Energy | Creativity | Energy Boost | Self Esteem

If you’re feeling a bit lethargic or need a pick-me-up, this orange-colored stone is your savior! It is filled with fire-y energy and is happy to share some of that with you. Meditation with this stone can help you raise your self-esteem, (sexual) energy and boost creativity. As it is associated with the sacral chakra, this stone can also help us feel more grounded in the world.

Neat Crystal

I am a Crystal & Gem Specialist with 20 years experience collecting and analyzing crystals and gems. My main focus is on crystal and gem abilities to influence our human experience through energy caused by visual and physical properties of each. I also love to dive into the formation, chemical makeup, and rare impurities found within crystals - a Geologist in training. I started Neat Crystal as a place to jot down my thoughts, notes, and share my knowledge to help others.

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