How to Take Care of a Mala Necklace

mala necklace is an important tool for spiritual practice in traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and to a lesser extent other religions such as Judaic religions. They are most often used to help count mantras or prayers. A mala necklace is also often considered to be symbolic of one’s spiritual dedication. A reminder of beauty and potential within ourselves.

Impermanence is an attribute held by all, and a mala necklace is no exception. Over time, you may notice your mala necklace beginning to look slightly different, or aged. Although mala necklaces are typically made to last a long time, you can help them last longer by taking proper care of them.

It is important to take great care while using, wearing, and storing your mala necklace. Traditionally these are considered spiritual objects and should be treated with respect. You should not carelessly lay them around or throw them upon your floor. A wood box or a pouch of some sorts would be more acceptable.

How to Clean a Mala Necklace

Most mala bead necklaces can be cleaned with warm water. If you need a stronger solution, you could add a few drops of dishwasher liquid.

However, be careful not to let the string or rope soak for to long as it may weaken the material. You should also keep the tassels out of the water and instead, spot clean them by hand if necessary. If material is stuck to your necklace, you could use a cloth or small toothbrush to loosen whatever is sticking to it.

Keep in mind that some mala necklaces may take a couple days to dry, so if you’re looking to use it soon, you may want to put off cleaning it to another day. If your mala is made from wood then you may wish to reseal the wood at some point using a natural oil such as almond or jojoba.

If your tassel is beginning to look mangled, sometimes dipping it in water and gently coming it out with a small comb can breath some new life into it. Tassels are always replaceable if they become to damaged for use.


  • It is recommended not to leave your mala necklace in direct sunlight. An example of this would be leaving it on your car windshield. The sun may discolor or cause your mala beads or stones to fade in color over time. The heat may also be damaging to some extent over time.
  • Wearing your mala necklace while you sleep is not recommended because sometimes people can sleep in awkward positions that cause tension upon the string. This may cause the string to weaken over time or even snap while you are sleeping.
  • Some beads, such as those made from gemstones or other fragile materials can break when dropped. You should also refrain from hitting these beads against hard surfaces while they are worn.
  • Although wearing mala necklaces around one’s wrist is becoming quite popular, it is known to put tension on the string. Of course, it is perfectly fine to do so, but it is important to know that the string may not last as long, in comparison to wearing it as a necklace.
  • Showering and excessive water exposure may weaken the mala necklace string over time.

This article was last revised on 02/26/2020.

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