Smudging Your Home: What You Should Know, and Is It Actually Doing Anything?

Person burning sage

The act of ‘smudging’ may sound more like a handwriting mistake than a home-cleaning practice, but it has grown into widespread mainstream popularity in recent years with the expanding interest in self-care and work-life balance among millennials. So if it isn’t an accidental ink stain, what exactly is smudging?

Smudging is all about the energies, especially the negative ones. The practice is common among feng shui followers, many Native American traditions, and other alternative healing practices. The basic idea is burning selective herbs (usually sage, cedar, sweetgrass, lavender, or a combination thereof) in a way that fills the cleansing area with smoke and (supposedly) clears out negative energy.

In order to smudge your home, you only need a few simple supplies: a smudge stick, a candle, a fireproof bowl, and a bowl of sand. Smudge sticks are bundles of herbs wrapped up by a twine or string, and are available at lots of online retailers and health food/alternative medicine stores. Light the candle first, then light the smudge stick using the candle flame. Wave the stick until the end begins to smolder (note: it should not be burning with an actual flame). Take your time, create a calm ritualized energy, and move from room to room filling the air with the cleansing smoke, removing negative energies along the way.

So the question is, does all this energy shifting actually work? Well that, like a lot of other things, all depends on what you believe. But we believe that the power of the mind is unknowably strong, so it’s all up to you in the end.