How to Cleanse a House Without Sage

Alternatives to Smudging

Black tourmaline stones next to spray bottle for smudging alternative

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

While smudging is one of the easiest ways to improve the energy of a space, it’s not always the best method for various reasons. For example, it’s not always desirable to burn and make smoke if you are in a hotel room, you have allergies, you don’t have matches, or you’re traveling.

Luckily, you can still create a sacred space without smudging or burning white sage. Learn the basics of smudging and some non-smoke alternatives.

  • 01 of 06

    What Is Smudging?

    Person preparing to use smudging to cleanse the home

    The Spruce / Margot Cavin

    While there are different definitions, in general, “smudging” refers to a technique of blessing and purification that involves the burning of botanicals, such as herbs and resins. The burning of the material creates smoke which can energetically cleanse spaces, objects, and people. The most popular and well-known smudging herbs are white sage and palo santo.

    In feng shui, the ceremonial burning of substances for space clearing is often used in tandem with other adjustments to improve the flow of qi in the environment. From the feng shui point of view, it’s helpful to clear your spaces on a regular basis.

  • 02 of 06

    Palo Santo Mist

    Palo santo essential oil next to palo santo sticks and spray bottle

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Palo santo is a wood that is used in space clearing. Palo santo translates to “holy wood” in Spanish. Traditionally, you would burn sticks of palo santo to create smoke to smudge a space, person, or thing. An alternative is a palo santo mist. This mist can be created by diffusing the essential oil in a space. 

    You can make a palo santo smoke-free mist by combining palo santo essential oil, water, and alcohol in a clean spray bottle. Another option is to brew a tea with palo santo that you mist. When making your own mist (of any variety), be mindful and focused when you’re putting it together.

  • 03 of 06

    White Sage Mist

    White sage essential oil next to sage smudging stick and spray bottle

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    White sage is probably the most well-known smudging herb. You will often find sage bundled with other botanicals in a smudge stick. In lieu of burning sage, you can employ smoke-free methods with white sage essential oil. For instance, you can diffuse the oil or create a white sage mist.

    You can make a white sage smoke-free mist by combining white sage essential oil, water, and alcohol in a clean spray bottle.

  • 04 of 06


    Orange essential oil next to sliced orange peels and spray bottle

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Oranges are used in feng shui to bless and uplift the energy of a space. It’s a great alternative to smudging, plus they're easy to find. If possible, use the highest quality organic oranges for space clearing purposes.

    The easiest method is to use fresh orange peels to clear a space. Simply peel the oranges and save the skins. The peels can be gently squeezed to release their oils and energy into the air. 

    You can DIY an orange smoke-free mist by combining sweet orange essential oil, water, and alcohol in a clean spray bottle. Or, you can use fresh orange peels with water in a spray bottle.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Sound Vibration

    Gold metal bowl next to stick for sound vibration

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    The vibration of sounds radiate through spaces, people, and objects, and can, in turn, bless and purify. You can use different instruments to do this. When the sound vibrations move through a room, object, or person, it can transmute negative energies into uplifting positive energy.

    There are several different ways to clear with sound, including gongs, cymbals, or bells. Metal instruments can cut through the negative energy, while crystal or glass can clarify. Use a mantra or repeat an affirmation to shift energy. Singing can uplift and bring in more joy. It can open up the heart when you "let your heart sing."

  • 06 of 06

    Black Tourmaline Mist

    Black tourmaline stones next to spray bottle with stones inside

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Black tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone that is useful to absorb and transmute negative energies. Even just having the stone in your home is protective. It’s a wonderful stone to have in your home in general to balance energies.

    It’s easy to make a black tourmaline gem water mist. Place black tourmaline and water in a clean spray bottle.

With all of these smoke-free alternatives, be sure to still use ritual and ceremony to clear the space. A simple space clearing ceremony is as follows:

  • Take a deep inhale and exhale.
  • Set an intention.
  • Clear the space with the alternative technique.
  • Set an intention again.
  • Complete the ritual with a deep inhale and exhale.