How to Cleanse a Dreamcatcher

  • People have always believed dream catchers have spiritual powers. According to this conviction, the purpose dreamcatchers have is to keep the wrong, negative energy at bay and safeguard sleeping people from nightmares. 
  • Dream catchers hang over a cradle or bed to protect a sleeper and catch a bad dream so that those night terrors wouldn’t interrupt a person ‘s rest. According to this belief, bad dreams caught in this spiritual object during the night disappear with the first sunrays of the morning light.
  • Dream catchers’ energies from dirt and unpleasant odors can interrupt the process. So what’s the best way to protect crystals and precious feathers of dream catchers? Read how to put dry method and wet method with soapy water in practice!

What are dream catchers?

Dreamcatchers originate in Anishinaabe culture, i.e., indigenous habitants of the US and Canada. They originated as spider web charm, replicating a spider’s web structure.

In Native American and First Nations cultures, they believed dreamcatchers eliminated negative energies and provided a peaceful sleep to a person who sleep under them. 

Initially, these cultures made dream catchers with the eight-point hoop with the web attached to it—which originated in the idea of the spider’s web structure.

Each part of the dream catcher had meanings tied to the physical world. For example, a round shape represents the earth’s spherical character.

Traditionally, people constructed them by tying sinew strands in a web around a small round or tear-shaped frame of willow; a method was similar to how snowshoe webbing was done. 

Then, they attached feathers and beads to the finished object by sinew or stalk of the stinging nettle. Feathers were said to act as ladders, allowing pleasant dreams to descend on the infant or adult who is sleeping.

These fancy little items of alleged spiritual powers were adopted in the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and gained worldwide popularity as native crafts items in the 1980s.

Up to this day, many people believe using dream catchers is an effective method to filter out bad dreams.

Contemporarily, we also use dream catchers to symbolize hope and healing.

What’s the whole idea behind this good dreams magnet? 

In short, dream catchers send good dreams to the sleeper and take nightmares away by “catching” them on the web. 

After the entire night of gathering bad dreams, the first rays of the morning sun “evaporate” air negative energies from the item, as happens with dew on the grass. It’s precisely the web of a dream catcher that absorbs bad dreams at night and discharges them during the day.

Nowadays, people create DIY dream catchers with, for instance, a twig, a little string, or sage leaves or with more innovative materials. However, a dream catcher from original cultures would comprise a willow hoop with woven net, web, string, or sinew.

While they still use dream catchers in their native cultures for their original reasons, the commercial world spreads the idea globally as a decorative accessory that has nothing to do with good and bad dreams or negative energy. 

No wonder original cultures claim their treasure is offensively misappropriated! According to Philip Jenkins, it’s considered by most traditional Native peoples and their supporters to be an undesirable form of cultural appropriation. Read more about the history of this precious object in the New World Encyclopedia.  

Important: Congress passed the Indian Arts and Crafts Act in 1990, making it illegal to falsely advertise that Native American-inspired artwork, such as pottery, baskets, jewelry, and totemic items like dream catchers, were made by Native Americans when they actually weren’t.

All in all, nowadays, we have

  • real energy-absorbing tools dream catchers, and
  • dream catcher-like articles ideal for decorating the house or handing out as a gift;

How to clean a dreamcatcher?

Now getting down to practical stuff, whether you believe in a dream catcher ‘s protecting crystals’ power or not, you need to keep this item clean if it makes part of your home decor. 

Tip: Getting rid of the unnecessary dirt and dust from your dream catcher will serve both as a way to save it from losing its power of “managing” your dreams and keeping your interiors nice and clean.

Dream catchers can become dusty and take in residue from the air. Moreover, they can absorb odors and spread nasty smells throughout the house.

There are two methods to cleanse a dream catcher:

  • dry method, and 
  • wet method;

We describe both of them ‌below. 

When you hang a life crystal or another energy-absorbing tool on your dream catcher in the room, recharge it from time to time to keep it efficient. Clean your dream catcher every few months, even if you don’t think it’s dirty.

Wet technique

The first method to cleanse a dream catcher uses water and dish liquid. We’ll utilize this technique to clean our dream catcher when it needs an actual refresh. 

Go for a wet method only if you’re one of those who don’t believe dream catchers can absorb energies and are interested predominantly in these home decor accessories only for aesthetic purposes.

Important: The primary dream catcher ‘s goal is to keep you happier and more balanced, so having it hanging dirty and smelly in the center of the room is the worst option. 

The idea is to swish the entire dreamcatcher in a bowl of soapy water and gently cleanse it with hands.  

First, wash one small area by hand to test whether the dyes come off in the water. 

Tip: Be particularly careful washing the feathers and other embellishments.  

If your dream catcher doesn’t get damaged by your washing, wash the entire thing in your concoction of mild liquid and water. 

In short, how to attract even more beautiful dreams with your dream catcher?

1. Fill a bowl with water and a bit of a dish liquid, 

2. Create suds and wash a small area of the dream catcher in the soapy water to test if no dyes come off in the water and the feathers don’t get damaged,

3. Dip each section of the dreamcatcher in the soapy water and stroke it between your fingers, 

4. Then, rinse it off. 

Dry technique

If a wet technique isn’t suitable for your dream catcher, try a dry method instead.  

It’s also safer when it comes to protecting the energy of dream catchers.

Important: Some people believe that the wet way to cleanse a dream catcher takes the item’s good energy away completely. 

A dry technique boils down to pouring a generous amount of either baking soda or salt in the bag and placing your dream catcher in it. 

Here’s how the dry technique works step by step:

1. Get a bag large enough to fit your dream catcher

2. Put your item inside the bag.

3. Pour a cup full of salt or baking soda.

4. Shake the bag to coat the entire dream catcher in white powder. 

5. Leave your dream catcher inside for a few hours or overnight.

6. Make sure you thoroughly coat all the parts with either the powder of baking soda or salt.

7. Remove a dreamcatcher from the bag.

6. Shake it off outside or wrap vacuum hose with sock and vacuum off the white powder. 

7. You can repeat the entire process from the beginning many times until powder fully absorbs dirt or odor.

Important: Pay attention to details because they’re essential to clean these small, fragile items: shake the bag with the white powder gently and use a vacuum hose only with a sock on it.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Authentic dream catchers were made with a wooden willow hoop and had several objects attached to them that were believed to be sacred, like beads and feathers hanging beneath the center of the circle. Some dream catchers had leather wrapped around the wooden part.
To ensure your dream catchers give the maximum effect, hang them on the balcony, verandah, or a window. It’s currently believed that no one should sit directly under or pass below it.
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