Can Obsidian Go In Water? (Black, Rainbow, Snowflake and Others)

As obsidian is a black stone it is great a drawing out negative energies. The downside of this is, is that over time the stone becomes a storage box for low vibrations. In order to remove those energies we need to cleanse our stone regularly! One way to cleanse stones is by using water. If you choose to use this method, be aware that there are risks involved.

Obsidian can go in water, including saltwater. It is a 5.5 on the Mohs scale, meaning it is just hard enough to prevent damage. Beware that there are risks involved when leaving your obsidian in water. Other safe ways to cleanse your rock is by using sound, selenite or smoke cleansing.

Continue reading if you want to know more about why obsidian is fine in water and how to use it. I will also tell you about other (safe) methods to cleanse and charge your obsidian. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find a quick overview of obsidian’s properties.

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Also Read: Can Obsidian Be In The Sun?

Can Obsidian Go In Water? (Explained)

Generally, your obsidian should be fine if you give it a rinse or soak it every once in a while. However, beware that there are risks involved when using this method to cleanse your stone, or make an elixir.  Continue reading to learn more about these risks, as well as how to avoid them.

Risk 1: Breakage

First of all, no matter how polished your obsidian looks, every crystal or rock has tiny cracks in it. When you use water on your obsidian, the water will go into those cracks and cause them to widen. This won’t be an immediate problem, and it can take a very long time before you even see any results of this. However, if you soak your obsidian regularly, or leave it for a very long time, these cracks will widen quicker. The result is that your stone can break. If it doesn’t break it’s integrity will still be compromised, leaving it more likely to break in the future. Raw obsidian will have more miniscule cracks and should therefore never be left in water.

This breakage is more likely to happen to softer stones (5 or below on the Mohs scale of hardness). For those unfamiliar; this scale gives each mineral a number between 1 – 10 – the higher the number, the stronger the mineral. In turn, the stronger the mineral, the less likely it is to be damaged by water. The cracks in stones with a number lower than 5 are simply more movable and will break the stone easier. With obsidian being a 5.5, it is only slightly harder than necessary, which is why it should be fine, especially if you only rinse it.

Additionally, just like any other form of glass, obsidian is essentially just molten rock. As a result, it reacts to temperatures the same as you would expect from clear glass. This means that extreme temperatures (very hot or cold water) will cause the stone to turn brittle and leave it broken, or more likely to break in the future. Just lukewarm water will do the trick.

Risk 2: Rust

Next, we also need to think of the makeup of obsidian. The reason obsidian is different from ordinary glass is its high iron content, that causes the glass to turn deep black. As you may know, if you leave iron to soak in water it is guaranteed to rust. The probability that your obsidian will rust is a lot lower though, but is something to be aware of.

Risk 3: Loss of Shine

The last thing to keep in mind is that any stone that is left in water for a prolonged period of time will turn dull. If you’re using the stone to make crystal elixirs, this is something that will be 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. Besides, just like clear glass, obsidian has incredibly sharp edges when broken. It has been used for thousands of years to make arrowheads and spear points, after all. If you continue to use it, be careful that you don’t end up cutting yourself.

Obsidian spear

Can Obsidian Go In Tap Water?

I only like to use tap water to cleanse my obsidian (or to make elixirs with) if I know it is clean enough to drink it. If it is not good enough for you, it is not good enough for you stone. After all, you can’t clean something with dirty water.

If your water is not drinkable, you could filter it before using, or get some water from a running stream. 

Can Obsidian Go In Salt Water?

Although salt water can be a bit much for most stones, obsidian should be just fine. However on top of the normal risks that come with using water on your stones there is even more to think of when using salt water.

The problem with obsidian and salt is not that it will damage the surface (like it would with a soft stone like selenite). Obsidian is a lot harder than salt (5,5 on the Mohs scale, compared to the 2,5 of salt) and won’t be scratched by a bit of salt. However, issues can occur when the salt is dissolved in water.

When dissolved, the salt can get into the tiny cracks of your rock easily and when the water evaporates, the salt will be left behind. If a little is left, that won’t be a problem. But if you use this method regularly, the salt can build up and cause the stone to crack.

For this reason, it is not recommended to ever leave raw obsidian in salt water.

To avoid build-up of salt you can rinse your stone under running water when you’re done. It won’t get rid of all the salt, but most of it will be washed away.

Besides, water will cause your stone to turn dull over time and salt will only speed up this process. If you care about the looks of your obsidian you’d be better off using a different method to cleanse the stone. If it does turn dull, this won’t affect the positive vibrations from your stone and you can continue to use it the same as before.

Dull obsidian

The last risk to keep in mind is when your obsidian is part of silver jewelry: silver will get tarnished in salt water. So if you don’t want the hardware of your jewelry to turn black, avoid saltwater.

How To Cleanse Obsidian With Water

If you’re not too worried about the looks of your stone, or feel like water is the right way to cleanse your obsidian, you totally can! There are plenty of obsidian owners who swear by cleansing their crystals with water. If you want to be one of them, I’ll explain how to use both running water and salt water to do this.

Running Water

This is one of the safest ways to cleanse your stone with water as it minimises the contact and thus the risks.

You can just leave it in some running water for a few minutes and that will do the trick! If there’s a creek near you where you can leave it for a little bit, this is ideal. If not, in your sink under a running faucet is fine too. Even better is if you visualize the low vibrations being washed away. When you feel it is done, dry it with a soft cloth and it will be ready to be charged!

Salt Water

This is a more risky method, but might be nice to use every once in a while if your stone feels especially energetically 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 in the water, and place your obsidian in it. Leave it for a few hours, depending on how energetically heavy it feels.

When ready, take your obsidian out of the bowl and run it under tap water to get rid of any leftover salt. Dry with a soft cloth.

How To Cleanse Obsidian Without Water

If you’re more risk averse like me and want to be sure your obsidian won’t be left broken and sad after cleansing it, you might want to avoid water. Some other options are smoke cleansing, sound and selenite. Below, I’ll explain how to use each.


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 stones.

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 and stones below.

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 energetically cleanses objects and people. As a result, it is great to use on your crystals as well!

Make sure you set an intention for your obsidian – what do you want the stone to do for you? When you’re ready you can waft the smoke over your obsidian 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.


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 obsidian on some Selenite.
Selenite plates are ideal, but if you’re just using a stone, make sure it’s bigger than the obsidian 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 obsidian or a geode this may leave indents or scratches on your selenite.

How To Charge Obsidian

If you cleansed your stone, it is now ready to charge it. Whereas cleansing gets rid of negative vibrations, charging it fills it with positive ones!

As mentioned above, sound and selenite will cleanse and charge your stone. Another way to charge your obsidian is by using sun or moonlight.


This is my personal favorite way of charging crystals and stones in general, as it is safe for all of them. Place them outside on the day before, during or after a full moon and let them charge for about 7 hours. Leave them directly on the earth as they like to be grounded.

If for whatever reason you prefer to keep your stone inside, you can let it charge on the windowsill. The moon won’t be as powerful here, but it’ll be enough to charge the crystal.  


All obsidian can go in the sun, due to its glass composition. This is a great way to charge your stone, but don’t leave it for than 4 hours in direct sun. This can cause obsidian to fade. If you want to be safer, you can leave it in the morning sun. This is less intense. If you want to know more about charging your obsidian using sunlight, I recommend reading this post from earlier: “Can Obsidian Be In The Sun?

Obsidian Overview

Chakra: Root | Heart
Element: Fire | Earth | Water
Zodiac: Scorpio | Sagittarius
Benefits: Grounding | Reflection | Decision making | Protection 

The black color, as well as its association with the root chakra, makes this stone a perfect one for reflection. If you find yourself in a difficult situation and you’re not quite sure what to do, obsidian can help guide you. It is also good if you find you keep repeating the same mistakes and want to release yourself from this. Lastly, obsidian is a great stone to protect you from negative energies. Carry it with you if you find you always absorb other people’s energies.

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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