Maintaining and Caring for Soapstone Countertops: A Complete Guide

Soapstone Countertops

Soapstone countertops are not only beautiful but also known for their durability and resistance to stains, heat, and scratches. However, to ensure their longevity and preserve their natural beauty, proper maintenance and care are essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with practical tips and advice on how to maintain and care for your soapstone countertops, keeping them in pristine condition for years to come.

Regular Cleaning Routine

To maintain the lustrous appearance of your soapstone countertops, establish a regular cleaning routine. Start by wiping the surface with a soft cloth or sponge dampened with warm water and a mild dish soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the stone. Gently scrub any spills or stains, rinsing thoroughly to remove any soapy residue. Finally, dry the surface with a soft cloth to prevent water spots and maintain the natural shine of the soapstone.

Applying Sealants or Oils

While soapstone is naturally resistant to stains, applying a sealant or oil can enhance its protection and deepen its color. Before applying any product, ensure the countertop is clean and completely dry. You can choose between mineral oil or food-grade beeswax for sealing. Apply a thin, even layer using a soft cloth or sponge, covering the entire surface. Allow the oil to penetrate the stone for a few hours or overnight before wiping off any excess. Repeat this process every few months or as needed to maintain optimal protection and luster.

Dealing with Scratches and Blemishes

Despite its durability, soapstone countertops may develop minor scratches or blemishes over time. Fortunately, these can be easily addressed. Begin by gently rubbing the scratched area with fine-grit sandpaper in circular motions. Gradually increase the pressure until the scratch is no longer visible. Next, clean the sanded area with warm water and soap, and then apply a small amount of mineral oil to restore the shine. You can see a video of Tops installers applying mineral oil to soapstone here. For deeper scratches or stubborn stains, it is recommended to seek professional assistance from a stone restoration specialist.

Preventing Heat Damage

Soapstone is renowned for its exceptional heat resistance, making it ideal for kitchen countertops. However, to prevent any potential damage, it is advisable to use trivets or hot pads when placing hot pots, pans, or other heated objects on the surface. Although soapstone can withstand high temperatures, sudden extreme temperature changes, such as placing a hot pan directly on a cold soapstone surface, can lead to thermal shock and may cause cracks. Taking these simple precautions will ensure the longevity and appearance of your soapstone countertops.

Additional Soapstone Countertop Tips and Recommendations

  • Avoid cutting directly on soapstone countertops as it can dull the blades of your knives and leave marks on the surface. Always use cutting boards.
  • Wipe up spills promptly to prevent potential staining, especially from acidic substances like citrus juices or wine.
  • Avoid placing heavy objects or applying excessive pressure on unsupported areas of the countertop to prevent cracking or chipping.
  • Periodically check the countertop coating and reapply as necessary to maintain the protective barrier.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that can scratch the soapstone surface.

Looking for more tips and tricks? Check out this great post from Martha Stewart’s blog.

Proper maintenance and care are vitally important for keeping your soapstone countertops in pristine condition. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can enjoy the timeless beauty and durability of soapstone for years to come. And as always, if you need a hand and live in Western Washington give the Tops Countertops team a call. We’ve been fabricating and installing soapstone countertops for over 10 years now and have learned a few things along the way which might help you!

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