CLEANING SOAPSTONE COUNTERTOPS: THE DO’S AND DON’TS
Soapstone countertops have a beautiful, modern appearance with some unique properties that set them apart from other natural stones. However, they also require special care when you’re cleaning them.
The key to keeping your soapstone countertops looking like new is understanding the do’s and don’ts of soapstone care, including finding the best product to protect them from damage. Here’s what you need to know.
PROPERTIES OF SOAPSTONE
The properties of soapstone make it a popular choice for countertops. Soapstone primarily consists of the mineral talc, which has a unique texture. It is nonporous and heat resistant, which makes it ideal for kitchen countertops where heat is often present. It’s also low maintenance, making it a great choice for people who don’t want to deal with the upkeep of more fragile stones like marble.
Other minerals in soapstone include amphiboles, carbonites, chlorites, micas, and pyroxenes. It occurs naturally in a variety of colors, including gray, brown, and greenish and bluish tinges, although all soapstone tends to darken with use. Its silky smooth appearance and soap-like texture earns soapstone its name.
THE DO’S OF CLEANING SOAPSTONE COUNTERTOPS
Cleaning soapstone isn’t difficult, but it’s important to know the right way to treat it. For regular cleaning, the best method is:
Put a few drops of dish soap into a bucket of warm water.
Using a clean sponge, wipe your soapstone countertops completely.
Rinse the sponge or use a clean cloth to wipe any excess soap from the countertop.
Allow to dry.
Once the countertop is clean and dry, you can treat it with a product that’s been specifically designed for treating and protecting stone countertops. SimpleCoat is safe, easy to use and comprised of nontoxic ingredients. You should apply it with a clean cloth, then wipe the excess away—it’s that simple.
Although soapstone is naturally nonporous, it will benefit from a beautifying sealer like SimpleCoat to make the colors pop and protect it from staining. Water, oil and greasy substances can cause it to become discolored and stained. SimpleCoat may be applied as often as needed to help to keep your soapstone countertops looking beautiful, and treatment with SimpleCoat will minimize the chances of your countertops becoming discolored for 3-6 months between applications, depending on use.
THE DON’TS OF CLEANING SOAPSTONE COUNTERTOPS
There is a lot of conflicting information online about the best way to clean soapstone countertops. It’s just as important to understand the wrong ways of cleaning soapstone as it is to understand the correct method.
One of the most common recommendations for cleaning soapstone countertops is to use mineral oil on them. While a lot of people use this method, it will almost immediately cause your soapstone countertops to darken. The first application can be quite strenuous, too, because it takes a lot of “elbow grease” to get the mineral oil to penetrate the soapstone.
Some types of mineral oil may not be food-safe because they are derived from petroleum products. They may also leave your countertops with a greasy feeling.
It’s also not a good idea to use any kind of harsh scrubbing product or tool on your soapstone countertops. Although soapstone is chemically inert and therefore not affected by acids, it can be scratched and nicked by strong abrasives or tools. And it’s never a good idea to use household cleaning products that contain harsh or toxic chemicals in your kitchen, where the residual chemicals could come into contact with your food.
If you want your soapstone countertops to remain looking beautiful, your best bet is to find a safe and nontoxic product to seal and protect them. SimpleCoat contains no harmful chemicals and may be reapplied as often as needed. It won’t cause your soapstone countertops to become dark and discolored the way mineral oil will, and it won’t leave a greasy residue on your countertops.
Best of all, SimpleCoat can be used on a variety of other surfaces in your home, including stone, tile, and stainless steel. It is a multi-use product that’s both affordable and effective.
Soapstone countertops are full of character. They’re increasingly becoming a popular choice for home countertops because of their low maintenance, beautiful appearance, heat resistance and unique texture. Use these cleaning tips to keep your soapstone countertops looking good for years to come.