How to Cleanse a Tarot Deck: 7 Simple Ways

When you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or restless, you may find that your tarot cards are capturing your attention in an unhealthy way. A lot of tarot readers are familiar with tarot cleansing and the importance of it.

Others may think that it's hokey or that it doesn't work. Although how you choose to treat your cards is a matter of personal preference, regularly cleansing your deck is still strongly advised.

What steps should you take to cleanse the decks

There are several options, but let's dig deeper into why you should cleanse the deck in the first place. Why would you want to cleanse tarot cards? Some people love to buy brand new decks, while others are collectors and love second-hand vintage decks as well. Whatever camp you belong to and whatever ritual you use your tarot for, once you get a new deck, it's a good idea to cleanse it.

Tarot cards carry the energy of those who hold the deck in their hands or even just glance at it. Accumulated energy will interfere with your readings. That is why it is advisable to clean the deck periodically.

Additionally, tarologists frequently cleanse the deck if they are receiving incorrect and absurd answers during readings, if they are reading to an unpleasant person, or if the deck is being touched by a stranger or unwanted person.

Back of tarot cards

There are also other, more personal reasons for cleansing, and each tarologist makes his or her own decision based on intuition. In short, by doing cleansing and removing any built-up negative energies lingering within your beloved tarot deck, you keep your deck happy and feeling good, which can in turn lead to better readings for you - which is what we all want. Win-win!

To cleanse your tarot deck, you'll need to find the right method that works for you. There are a few different ways to do this, so experiment until you find what feels best. To find the right way to cleanse your tarot deck, you'll need to consider a few factors.

First, ask yourself, "What is the purpose of cleansing my deck?" Are you concerned about a specific situation or just want a general clean-up? You must clearly understand what you want to change in your reading or what type of energy you want to eliminate, and then you should concentrate on those factors.

Different ways to cleanse tarot cards

Elemental cleansing

One of the most effective means of tarot card cleansing is with the 4 elements. This method sounds complex, but in reality, it’s simple, effective, and only requires a few items that you likely already have on hand.

The first cleansing is carried out by water flow: Arrange the tarot cards in order, in the correct position, then pack the cards in a waterproof container, bag, or jar. After making sure that the cards will not get wet, place them in running water for 20-30 minutes.

Then, with the same container, bury your stack underground and leave it there overnight. This will be a cleansing by the element of earth.

If the environment does not allow you to do this, you can use an alternative method and completely cover the deck with salt and leave it in this state all night.

Candle and Tarot

The following step is to cleanse with fire, don’t freak out, it's not that dangerous! You have to move each arcana very carefully over the candle's flame for a brief period of time. It should be 2-3 seconds or else you will burn your deck.

And finally, the deck is cleaned with air, you guessed it right. For this, it is necessary to light incense sticks and pass each arcana over the smoke. Choose an incense that is linked with blessing or purification. White sage, sweet grass, or palo santo are the most widely used incense for cleansing.

Moon bath

Did you know that the full moon is ideal for clearing and cleansing your tarot cards? Every 29-ish days, the moon is full. You can even download apps that will notify you a few days before the full moon (perks of living in the digital era for tarot lovers). Put your cards in a window or, if the weather permits, outside in the full moonlight and leave them for the night.


Sun energy is an ideal cleanser for tarot decks. It gives the cards a new lease of life and also restores their vibrancy in a very natural way, as well as providing you with spiritual guidance and refreshment. To cleanse your deck with sunlight Use a well-lit room free of clutter and distractions.

Witch window

If you want to cleanse the entire deck at once, simply put them in full sunlight wherever possible for 4 or 5 hours (depending on where you live). Make sure it stays in direct sunlight during the process (no shade).

Warning: don't leave them out for too long, as they will bleach.


This is one of the most useful ways. Crystals have been used for centuries to cleanse and purify different objects.

Tarot decks are no different; many tarologists recommend using crystals to cleanse your deck. When not in use, place clear quartz on top of your tarot deck. That's all there is to it!

Other than clear quartz, you can use blue calcite, selenite, black tourmaline, amethyst, labradorite, or any other healing stone that you own. Leave the deck under/between crystal(s) for at least three hours, for deeper cleansing, overnight, or for more than two days.

Knocking on the deck

You heard it correctly; You must knock on your tarot deck as if it were a door. Knocking involves just two simple steps:

  1. Take your cards and place them in your dominant hand.
  2. Knock three times on the cards with your dominant hand, as if they were doors.

You might consider this method a bit weird and might even have a few questions, such as why knock 3 times and not just once? Well, three is a lucky number, it has enormous power and has long been regarded as the perfect number by ancient and modern civilizations. Using three repeats of a ritual gives it more strength and solidity.

You might also want to know: Why do you use your dominant hand to knock specifically?

It is believed that power and intent are most easily channeled through a person's dominant hand. Using a non-dominant hand for cleansing might be uncomfortable, making it difficult to maintain clear intent and success.

Singing Bowl

If you have a Tibetan singing bowl, also known as a standing bell or a gong, which is widely used for meditation, you can use it to clean your tarot deck as well. It is an excellent method, plus it’s just plain fun.

Singing bowl and tarot

Start by smudging your deck with sage. The sound and vibrations will cleanse the cards of any unwanted energy that has become stuck to them. Here you can incorporate burning sages and pass your deck through the smoke.

Meditation and visualization

Cleansing and purifying your tarot cards without the use of tools can be as simple as a meditation or visualization to remove any previous energetic connection to the cards.

First things first, find a peaceful environment. You don’t want to do your cleansing ritual while surrounded by distracting noise. You can light the candles as well.

When your mind is clean and calm, imagine a ball of light purifying the cards or a light breeze clearing away lingering energy. Or visualize a big eraser "erasing" any energies associated with the cards. This can be done while shuffling the deck or while holding it in your hands. You can also charge your cards by praying or incanting over them.


To sum up, your personal spiritual beliefs and practices are the best way to discover what will work best for your cleansing procedure.

You can use cleansing methods with your interpretations. So basically, this means that there is no right or wrong method to cleanse your deck. The most effective way to energetically care for your cards is to match the process with whatever is meaningful to you based on your spiritual practices or just what works for you.

Hint: simple is preferable since it allows you to devote the majority of your attention to the process of cleansing your cards. Your tarot cards are like your best friends: they're always there for you when you need them, offering advice and guidance. Your deck will serve you better if you take better care of it, just like any other tool you regularly use.

Cleansing your tarot deck is an important part of making sure that it stays in good condition and continues to give you accurate readings.

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