How to Clean Iron Stained Quartz Crystals

There is a simple method for cleaning iron from quartz crystals. Learn what solution I soak my crystals in to get them sparkling clean.

There is a simple method for cleaning iron from quartz crystals. Learn what solution I soak my crystals in to get them sparkling clean.

My girls have the crystal collecting bug just as much as I do. And we love digging crystals too, so we like to go as a family. It’s a ton of fun!

If you’ve ever dug your own quartz crystals, then you probably noticed that they’re often covered by rusty red iron deposits. It makes the clear quartz you just dug out of the ground look like dirt compared to store bought (and professionally cleaned) crystals.

Here’s a side by side comparison of crystals we dug next to some that I already owned. Pretty dramatic, huh?

Iron coated quartz crystals next to clean clear quartz

We have so many crystals that we’ve dug up that would be so beautiful if only it weren’t for the rusty iron coating on them. The girls love making jewelry and other crafts from the crystals we find too.

So I started to do some research on how to clean rust from quartz crystals and quickly found there are several methods for doing it. Since this would be my first time cleaning crystals, I wanted something simple.

So I decided to order a couple of bottles of Iron Out from Amazon to try. Soaking crystals in it seemed like the easiest method. Many of the methods require you to neutralize the solution before dumping it down the drain, but Iron Out is designed to be used in places like showers, so it seemed like a safer choice.

Iron Out bottle next to iron coated quartz crystals

What you need to do to clean the iron from your quartz crystals is to place them into a jar and then cover them with the Iron Out solution. I used the gel version, but there is also a powdered version that I may get next time since we’ll be doing this often.

Be sure to wear gloves. And do not make the mistake I did in using a butter knife to move the crystals around in the solution. It will ruin the knife! A craft stick would make a much better choice.

Allow the crystals to sit in the solution for several hours to a few days.

Quartz crystals soaking in Iron Out in a mason jar.

Then rinse the crystals in warm water. You can use a firm toothbrush to scrub in any crevices to get any additional iron debris out. Then lay them out to dry.

Cleaned quartz crystals

Some crystals will have iron deposits in them too deep to get out with this process, but I feel that makes each crystal unique. This is one of my favorite crystals that I’ve cleaned so far!

Favorite quartz crystal from crystal mountain

If you have any quartz crystals covered in rusty iron deposits, you can purchase Iron Out here to clean them up safely and easily!

14 thoughts on “How to Clean Iron Stained Quartz Crystals”

  1. I have used iron out for a few years on my crystals & it works very well. I personally advise that you leave them a few days. & if you want or need some extra cleaning on your crystals then use some mueratic acid. Take precautions when using this method though. You should use gloves & only use outdoors. Don’t let it slash on you & don’t smoke around it. For heavy cleaning, leave crystals in acid solution to soak for a max of 2 days & light cleaning for 1/2 day to full day, If you leave the crystals for too long it will stain them yellow. And yes, i learned that the hard way. Use a utinsel to remove crystals & rinse well with a water hose, outdoors. Then wash the crystals with warm soapy water & rinse & leave to dry. I had amazing results rotating between the iron out & acid

  2. I am so glad to have found your blog post on Pinterest. I recently caught the crystal “bug”. Cleaning crystals instantly became my favorite 2021 summer project. I also use Iron Out and the same cleaning methods. Some of the crystals that my husband and I found were huge (one weighed about 75 lbs). I quickly realized the red dirt/rust was not going to simply soak off. What I have found helpful and useful was to use an old Sonicare toothbrush and a waterpik to get the deep rust/dirt out. I found a mini set of picking tools that help with crevices and graveled areas. Oh, nitrile gloves are a big must. I look forward to crystal digging this fall when it’s not going to be so hot. 😊

  3. Michelle Benavides

    Great post! I have a beautiful crystal that has a tiny spot of rust and I definitely want to clean it before the rust spot starts to expand.

    Did you dilute the Iron Out? If so, what ratio do you recommend?

  4. Regardless of what chemical you are using, even citric acid or vinegar you will get improved results if the liquid is kept warm i.e. above 60 degrees celsius/cent. Ideally a slow cooker from the thrift store or even a coffee pot warmer or Pyrex saucepan. i suggest the item being cleaned should be placed in a jar covered with the chem then placed in your waterfilled heating pot and put a lid on top ,do not inhale fumes 😉

  5. Sandra M. Cockerill

    Have any Of you tried covering in peanut butter and freezinh? Iron out doesnt really work that well. I seem to end up with a chemistry lab ! The blue toilet bowl cleaner seems to have worked the best so far!

  6. Hello,
    A couple quick notes on using Iron Out to clean quartz:
    -Iron Out powder and liquid have different chemistries. I think most mineral collectors prefer the powder (long discussions at – search for Iron Out). Also, the Iron Out liquid contains Hexafluorosilicic acid which can release hydrogen fluoride (HF) when evaporated, so it has similar risks (bad!). And, like hydrogen fluoride (hydrofluoric acid), it attacks (dissolves) silicates such as glass and quartz and may dull the crystal’s luster if used too long.
    -If you are going to be cleaning a lot of crystals, a TEXTILE gun is useful. As with the chemicals, proper safety equipment and precautions should be followed. The textile guns (or Textile Spot Cleaning Spray guns, or Mineral cleaning guns) produce a fine stream of liquid (mostly water for minerals) at 2000+ PSI (don’t aim at your hand or friends). A google search will provide lots of options and videos. is a great resource for discussions on cleaning crystals and minerals.


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