Tips on When and How to Clean a Tarot Deck

How to Clean a Tarot Deck

Many people are getting tarot cards these days in hopes of finding some insight but newbies don’t often realize that having a deck includes a responsibility to keep it spiritually clear.

Objects like a tarot deck hold energy and can get clogged with the old energy left behind from use. This can affect future readings either by not being effective or even giving a bad reading.

There are times you should cleanse your tarot deck to keep it functioning. Realistically, you should cleanse it every time you use it but cleansing is more critical at specific times.

When to Clean Your Tarot Deck

  • A New Deck

Just because it’s a new tarot deck doesn’t mean it’s clean. It takes many people to produce, distribute, and ship the deck to you. All of that has energy. Plus, cleansing the deck is a good way to get used to the cards and how to use them.

Some suggest sleeping with the cards under your pillow for three nights after you cleanse them to develop a bond.

  • When Others Use It

Anyone else using your tarot deck will bring their energy into the deck. This includes using the deck for readings of others. Negative energy can be particularly potent and it’s best to clear the space after your readings to neutralize all energy.

  • When a Reading is Stressful

Those who do readings know better than to do one when they are stressed. However, it can happen. A more likely scenario is the other person is under undue stress. You should clear the card’s energy if you find yourself trying to do a reading with heavy energy.

  • After Travel

Some travel with their tarot card deck and you should always do a cleansing after you return home. It can pick up all kinds of energy when you’re on the road, in hotel rooms, or at friends’ homes.

  • Your Gut Says So

Those who have tarot decks will find they do bond with the deck and the deck will “tell” them it needs a cleansing. This will be in your gut and you will feel a need to do a cleansing. Sometimes, you may feel it when you shuffle the deck and pull a card.

Ways to Cleanse Tarot Cards

There are seven solid ways to cleanse tarot cards. All are highly effective and you must pick one or more of the ways you find works best for you.

  • Cleanse with Crystals

You can use crystals like selenite or clear quartz for cleaning the deck. All you do is put a crystal on top of the deck. You can also put your deck on top of a large flat crystal. It will give your deck a recharge.

  • Cleanse with Sunlight

Fanning your tarot cards in the sun can cleanse them but don’t leave them outside in direct sunlight. The sun can fade and damage them. Just wave the fan of cards around in the sunlight for a few minutes.

  • Cleanse by Moonlight

Those who don’t want sunshine can use moonlight to cleanse a deck. Place them in a safe area with direct moonlight overnight. To boost the cleansing, put them under a full moon and hold them down with a crystal.

  • Use Smoke

Smoke has always been a purifier in many cultures. Some of the best types of smoke are copal incense, white sage, or palo santo. All you do is wave the smoke around your cards for a few minutes and then cleanse your reading space.

  • The Knocking Method

This is a quick and easy way to cleanse a deck before each reading. All you do is knock on your deck before you shuffle. It knocks old energy out of it.

  • Purify by Sound

Sounds carry a purifying force with them. Things like bells, frequency music, and singing bowls can pleasantly purify a deck.

  • Using Salt

Salt, by its composition, is meant to purify and preserve. It’s one of the oldest techniques. All you have to do is sprinkle some sea salt on the deck to cleanse it. You can also place the tarot deck in a bowl of sea salt for an overnight cleanse.

  • Securing Your Tarot Deck

It’s important to keep your cleansed deck in a secure place so it doesn’t pick up energy. It could be a calming, secure place like a special box. Then, you know it will be ready when you are prepared to do a reading.

Keeping a clean tarot deck will ensure your deck will be effective for a long time and will help you give the most accurate readings. That is part of your responsibility to those you are helping with readings.


  1. The notion of cleansing new decks because they have been through multiple hands is an insightful point. It makes me wonder if other spiritual tools require similar attention.

    • Absolutely, even spaces like homes can hold energy and benefit from periodic cleansing. It’s a holistic approach to maintaining positivity.

    • Indeed, many spiritual tools like crystals and pendulums also require cleansing. It’s about maintaining a clean slate for effective use.

  2. The recommendation to sleep with tarot cards under your pillow is intriguing. It seems like a meaningful way to bond with a new deck and could potentially enhance the reader’s connection.

  3. The idea that objects can hold energy is quite fascinating. It reminds me of the concept of ‘residual energy’ in psychometry. Tarot readers might benefit from integrating scientific principles with their spiritual practices.

  4. The cleansing techniques mentioned in the article are well-documented practices within the tarot reading community. It’s critical for users to understand the importance of maintaining their decks, not just for accuracy, but for the overall longevity of the cards. Personally, I find using moonlight, especially during a full moon, coupled with crystals, to be a deeply spiritual and effective method for purifying my cards. It’s a holistic approach that acknowledges the energy exchange involved in tarot readings.

  5. It’s interesting to see so many methods for cleansing tarot decks. Each method seems to resonate with different elements and traditions, which might cater to various personal beliefs and practices.

  6. The suggestion to use moonlight for cleansing resonates well with me. The moon has a historical association with intuition and emotions, making it a fitting method for purifying tarot cards.

  7. This article is incredibly enlightening! It’s fascinating to see the various methods to cleanse a tarot deck, something that I believe is often overlooked by beginners. The emphasis on the responsibility of maintaining the deck’s spiritual clarity resonates deeply with me. I’ll definitely be incorporating some of these techniques, especially the use of crystals and moonlight, into my own practice. Thank you for sharing such valuable insights!

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