When To Cleanse Your Tarot Cards | A Complete Guide

  • By: Reece
  • Date: 20 February 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Tarot is a form of divination that has been around for more than 500 years. Tarot cards are tools used to access wisdom, gain clarity and make better decisions. They are not toys or games, but can be used as such when you feel the need to have some irreverent fun!

To use your tarot cards effectively you need to cleanse them regularly. You should also keep them in a special place that is accessible to you at all times. If you don’t have space for them in your home, then store them in a box where they won’t be damaged.

Here is what you should know about cleansing your tarot cards…

When To Cleanse Your Tarot Cards

The times when you should cleanse your tarot deck are:

  • When you first get them
  • When someone else has touched them
  • When you feel you need to reconnect with them
  • After each reading

The purpose of cleansing your tarot deck is to reenergise them. The ideal therefore is to do it after each reading you do – either for yourself or others – however this is probably not achievable for most readers.

If you are unable to find the time to cleanse your tarot deck after each reading, then once a week should suffice, especially if you are doing a daily reading.

If I am planning a reading for a particular day I will often leave extra time to cleanse before the reading, instead of after, but do whatever suits your style of reading.

What is card cleansing?

Cleansing is the process of removing negative energies from your tarot cards. There are several ways to do this by either burning incense, using a smudge stick or using sea salt. After cleansing your cards you should let them dry in a safe place.

You can do this regularly, maybe every few weeks or after any major life change. In addition to the energy cleansing, it’s also a good idea to wash your cards, too. While you only need to do this a few times a year, it can keep them in good shape.

Why you should cleanse your tarot cards

Your tarot cards are like anything else in your home – they will take on the energy of each person who touches them. This includes the reader, the person who shuffles the cards and any person who handles them during a reading.

If the person who uses the cards has any negative emotions, this will be transferred to the cards. They will, therefore, need to be cleansed regularly to get rid of this unwanted energy.

Because tarot cards are used to help you make decisions, see the future and gain clarity, they need to be open to receiving this information. If they are filled with negative energy they will block any positive messages.

You will end up receiving a jumbled mess of unclear thoughts and feelings. When you cleanse your tarot cards you are also cleansing your intentions before you do a reading.

This will help you to stay focused and achieve a more positive outcome.

How to cleanse your tarot cards

Here are a couple of common ways you can cleanse your tarot deck.

Incense and candle ritual to cleanse your cards

Using an incense stick to cleanse your cards is an easy ritual that can be done at any time. All you need to do is light the incense, place it in a safe place and then place each of your cards over it. Let the smoke gently shift any unwanted energies from your cards.

When you are done, simply let the incense burn out on its own. If you want a more in-depth cleansing ritual, you can use a candle.

First, set up your altar. You can either use a special table or create a mini altar on your desk using a small table. Next, you need to select the appropriate candle. This will depend on what you want to cleanse from your cards.

For example, if you want to cleanse your deck of emotional baggage, use a pink candle. Once you have selected the candle, light it and place the tarot cards face down on the table.

Place the candle on the table beside your cards. Let the candle burn down completely and then let your cards cool before you handle them again.

Using sea salt to cleanse your cards

You can also use a bowl of sea salt to cleanse your cards. Simply place your cards in a bowl of sea salt and let them sit there for a few hours.

This will shift any negative energies from your cards. After a few hours, remove your cards and let them dry out.


Keeping your tarot cards clean will keep them in good shape and help them last longer. Regularly cleansing your cards will clear away any unwanted energy that might be attached to them.

This will help you to receive clearer messages during your readings. You should cleanse your cards after every reading. You might also want to cleanse them regularly when they are not in use.

You can do this after any major life change, such as a death in the family or a big change at work. This will help you to keep your cards clear and ready for use whenever you need them.

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