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Guide to Cleaning and Caring For Crystals and Fossils

  • 4 min read

Guide to Cleaning and Caring For Crystals and Fossils

Crystal and Fossil Care 101:
How to Properly Handle, Clean and Care for Your Stones

 

This Guide will help teach you how to properly care for your new geologic goodies, including tips for handling and cleaning your specimens properly. We will also explore the best places to display your new treasures so that they keep looking beautiful for years to come! 
 

Tips for Handling Your New Crystal or Fossil Specimen

You've purchased a brand new rock or fossil specimen, but now what? It may be a hardy and easy to handle specimen like a chunk of Rose Quartz, or it may be an extremely fragile crystal of selenite.

So what is the best way to remove crystals or fossils from their packaging? It is best to open your package over a sofa, bed or other soft surface in case you have a butterfingers moment! Some of these items are very delicate and should be treated as such. Be careful to slowly remove the packaging material so crystals do not get stuck or broken in the unwrapping process.

Try and avoid touching or poking at delicate crystals directly, as this could loosen them from the rock matrix and cause them to fall off the specimen. When picking up a crystal or fossil, always attempt to gently grab from the sides of the specimen, then place it in the palm of your hand and cradle to examine. 

Knowing Your Rock / Fossil

Being familiar with your new specimen will be very important when determining the best display location, methods for cleaning, and also how to handle it around other pieces in your collection. 

Does your rock have special needs? Is it water soluble? If so, you would never want to clean it using water. Does it have color or light sensitivity? Is it ok to be physically touching another piece in your collection or will it scratch or be scratched by something else? When in doubt, just ask! Drop us a line and we'd be happy to give you some tips specific to your new piece. 

Display Location

Finding the right display location for your crystals and fossils is key to both enjoying your geologic goodies AND keeping them safe and looking beautiful for years to come. So what do you need to consider when picking the perfect display location?

Light Exposure

Nearly all crystals naturally formed in dark environments deep inside the earth. Long exposure to sunlight can cause your crystals to fade in color. Just as too much sun can negatively effect certain plants, fade your clothing or eventually damage paint color on a car, it can also effect your crystals. Be careful that you don't place your crystals or fossils in a sunny spot. Keep your beauties looking spectacular by keeping them out of direct sunlight.

Spacing

Some people like to keep their crystals and fossils in one tightly concentrated area. While this is fine for some specimens, always keep in mind what hardness your minerals are. Minerals have varying hardness levels based upon the Moh's hardness scale. Some will scratch others. Some can be scratched by others of higher hardness. If storing crystals together in a dish, bowl, or tightly packed on a shelf, be sure they won't scratch or damage one another. 

Display Case vs. Shelf / Night Stand

Display cases are great to keep your pieces safe and secure and also reduce dust build up and also reduce your pieces to excess humidity. If you do not have a display case, that's ok too! Plenty of people (including myself) have rocks and fossils sprinkled all around the house. Almost every shelf and our night stands have crystals or fossils on them. Just make sure to keep them out of reach of curious hands or paws you may not want touching them. Keeping your rocks safe from kids, pets and even from accidentally bumping into them yourself will help keep them safe and sound. 

 

Cleaning

This is where knowing your rock is so important. As we discussed earlier, does it have special needs? Is it safe to clean it with water? When in doubt, ask!

In general, cleaning your crystals is best done with an air duster (from a safe distance) which is available at most stores. These air canisters are the same used to clean your computer keyboard. Hold the canister a safe distance from your specimen, and in a light sweeping motion, blow are over your crystals. It is best to do this one at a time, and away from your other specimens. This ensures dust isn't just blowing from one piece to another. 

Some crystals are hardier than others. For example, quartz/amethyst and agate can typically be cleaned by running under cool water, or wiping with a soft microfiber cloth. However, other crystals require a gentler approach.

Halite and Selenite for example, should NEVER be cleaned using water. They are both evaporite minerals and can actually start to dissolve if they are rinsed with water. For more fragile specimens or evaporite minerals like these, it is best to clean them with an air canister or blowing lightly on them from a safe distance. If you are unsure on what the best cleaning method is for a particular rock or fossil, feel free to reach out to us at info@unearthedstore.com! We would be happy to answer your questions in regards to cleaning and handling your items.
 

How Do I Care for My Stone Jewelry?

It is best to always remove your jewelry before showering / swimming. Never wear your jewelry in a hot tub or hot springs as it will tarnish or even damage the stone. Make sure to remove your jewelry and store it in a safe place. Removing jewelry over a soft rug or bed is a good idea in case you accidentally drop it. If you notice the sterling silver surrounding your stone is beginning to tarnish from normal wear, try polishing the metal with a pre-treated silver polishing cloth. Avoid getting the polish on the stone and stick to just the metal areas. This should keep your jewelry looking just as fabulous as you do!

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