- "She pointed her wand at Hedwig's cage. 'Scourgify.' A few feathers and droppings vanished."
- —Nymphadora Tonks's use on Hedwig's cage[src]
The Scouring Charm was used by Nymphadora Tonks when attempting to clean Hedwig's cage during their liberation of Harry Potter from 4 Privet Drive in 1995. It can also be used on humans. James Potter used it on Severus Snape in the grounds, causing soap to fill his mouth. Many wizarding families use this spell, both for cleaning and punishing people who swear.
Perhaps related to English scour, "clean". -ify is a common English suffix meaning "to make ...". Therefore scourgify could mean "to make clean".
Behind the scenes
- This charm has a curiously similar incantation to the Cleaning Charm.
- Skurge may be a variant of this spell.
- The Scholastic Official Site lists this as the Vanishing Spell.