Sage Smudging: 4 Easy Steps to Cleansing Your Home

Let’s talk smudging and clearing negative energy from your homes and other spaces.

You can smudge at key times (like the start of the new moon, or after spring cleaning) or when the energy in your home needs to be freshened up…

But I know the process can sound intimidating if you’re not familiar with this Native American cleansing ritual. Don’t worry, though, it’s simple once you know how to do it.

The Latin word for “sage,” salvia, means “to heal.”

smudging: how to sage cleanse your home

Why Sage Smudging?

Sure, white vinegar and Clorox are great, but there is one BIG reason for burning sage in your home; it cleanses the negative energy from it.

It’s a spiritual or energetic cleansing.

Native Americans were known for burning herbs such as sage and palo santo in a smudging ritual to remove bad energy.

Sage was (and still is in holistic medicine) used as a key ingredient for stomach distresses and other ailments. But maybe even more important than its natural healing properties is its cleansing power.

Smudging your home not only releases all of sage’s healing benefits, it also chases out bad vibes and negative energy. It’s like the Clorox of nature!

Sage cleansing your home can also help you:

  • Relax. Seriously, post smudge naps are almost as good as post turkey-day ones.
  • Gain clarity. Without all those stale energies hanging around, your mind can find clarity.
  • Let go. Smudging allows you to release whatever is no longer serving you, and increase your spiritual awareness.
  • Purify your air. Sage is, first and foremost, a natural purifier. The air feels so crisp and clean when you’re done smudging!

Right about now you might be wondering how to know if your home needs smudging.

Do you just jump right in? Or wait for a certain time? All great questions!

When Should You Sage Cleanse?

Smudging a house is about releasing cleansing properties, but it’s also about internally centering and grounding. For that reason, you can smudge any time.

That said, it’s an especially great idea when:

  • Someone in the house has been sick
  • You move into a new home
  • You’ve recently cleaned, organized, or decluttered your house
  • You’ve had visitors (especially if there were negative emotions shared during the visit)
  • The family seems more tense than usual
  • You have come home from a crowded, negative or tense place
  • You’ve had an argument in your house (phone arguments and pet scuffles count, too)

Other good times to smudge are:

  • When the energy in your home feels off or unpleasant
  • After a life impacting event (car accident, career change, divorce, etc.)
  • If you’re having trouble getting out of your own head and letting things go
  • If you want to have an epic meditation or journaling session
  • The day after a new moon
  • You’ve been thinking about performing a sage cleansing (that’s your intuition trying to get your attention)

As you can see, you can sage smudge your house or car any time you want; there’s no wrong day or way!

What You Need for Smudging

1. Sage

Obviously, you will need sage. You can use loose sage, a smudge stick, or spray. You can buy either at a metaphysical store or online.

  • This white sage is my all-time favorite — it has over 25,000 positive reviews on Amazon, and it smells amazing.
  • I also LOVE this sage spray. I use it almost daily! It’s super easy for quick smudges and great for the car, too.

You can also make your own sage!

Growing your own sage is fun. Plus, you can set the intention of love and purification each time you tend to it. A pot in a sunny kitchen window is so nice!

Once you have a healthy portion, tie it with string and hang it upside down in a dark, dry place. Give it a few weeks to dry out and it’s ready to use!

Tip: You can also add these variations to your sage for a slightly different smell…

  • Sweet grass
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Cedar

2. Fireproof dish or bowl

Next you will need a fireproof dish or bowl to hold under the burning sage and collect ashes (and keep your home safe). If you’re using sage spray, you won’t need a dish.

Traditionally, an Abalone Shell is used, but if you don’t have one, you can use a small pottery bowl or some other type of fireproof dish.

3. Lighter or matches

You may need to relight the sage during the ceremony, so keep your lighter or matches handy.

Now that you have your items, let’s begin!

How to Sage Your Home

Step 1: Set your intention

Sage cleansing is easy to do. The most important part is to set an intention for the cleansing.

Ask yourself: What led you to believe a sage clearing ceremony is needed?

Set your mind on thoughts of cleansing, healing, wisdom or spiritual connectedness.

Then, say a prayer or invite your Spirit Guides and angels in. Ask your divine helpers to assist you in purifying the energy in your home.

Tip: I also like to open all my windows before I begin. This gives negative energy a place to exit, and allows fresh air to come in!

Step 2: Light the sage

Intention set? Great!

Now, light your sage stick over the dish. You’ll want to create as much smoke and as little flame as possible.

To get a nice stream of sage smoke going, gently blow on the burning sage. Keep your bowl handy to collect any ash or falling sage leaves.

Step 3: Purify yourself

When you wash dishes, do you use a dirty sponge? Of course not, because that would be super gross and the dishes wouldn’t get clean. We can apply the same idea to sage cleansing.

It all starts with you. Don’t be a dirty sponge. :)

Purify yourself by directing the smoke (or spray) towards your body, starting at your feet, up to your head, and then back down again.

Tip: You can use your hands or a feather to waft the smoke (just be careful of your eyes and nose).

Step 4: Cleanse your home

  • Start in one room and work from corner to corner. As you do, keep your intention in mind, and imagine pulling stale and negative energies from the corners. You can use your hands or a feather to direct the smoke where you want it to go (just steer clear of getting it in your eyes or nose).
  • You can also include an incantation or smudging prayers as you move through your home. Wondering what to say when smudging a house? Choose a simple affirmation that feels good in your heart, then, repeat it aloud or in your mind as you smudge. Intention is the power behind the ceremony, so use loving words such as:
    • Bless and purify this home and all who enter
    • Negative energy out, loving vibrations in
    • Fill this home with light, love and positive energy
  • Picture everything you want to let go of exiting your open windows. Some people recommend starting at the front door or in a certain room when smudging a house, but I always let my intuition guide me. If one family member has been sick or on edge I usually start where they spend the most time.
  • Pay close attention to unused areas of your home as they can collect stale energy. Take as much time as you need during this step and allow your intuition to really guide you.
  • When you are done, move on to the next room.

Smudging Tips:

  • Be sure to give attention to dark places, corners, doorways, and heavy traffic areas. Allow the purifying smoke or spray to clarify the energy.
  • Sleep and work areas are good places to focus on, too.

Most of all, let your intuition guide you through the smudging ceremony. If you allow it, your intuition will help you feel what areas of your home have the most bad vibes, and need the most attention.

Ending the Smudging Ceremony

There are two ways to end the cleansing. Choose the option that feels best for you:

  1. Let it burn out naturally. Lay the sage stick in your fireproof dish and allow it to work itself out naturally. (Obviously, don’t leave it unattended.) When I choose this option, I leave the dish near me as I meditate or journal. Once the ashes cool, throw away the stick and ashes, or bury them.
  2. Manually rub out your sage stick. Blow out the flame or rub out the embers. Then, bury the remaining sage and ashes to signify the finality of the negative energies that lived in your space. Imagine replanting them into the earth and recharging into new, positive energy.

When you are ready to perform your next sage cleansing, use fresh sage or smudge stick. Purify as often as you like and let your intuition guide you!

when to do a sage cleansing

Smudging Takeaways

At the end of the day, saging a house has the best effect when it’s personal and lead by your intuition.

Go with what you feel is right and don’t worry about saying the right prayer or moving in the right direction around a room.

When you’re ready to sage again, use a fresh sage stick and go for it! There’s no need to wait for a special occasion to purify your space.