Soapstone is used in a lot of different capacities, so chances are you’ve seen it in action. While it’s known to be very durable, proper care is important so you can enjoy these countertops for many years to come.
Cleaning soapstone countertops is extremely simple, using mild soap and water. If you decide to use mineral oil on the surface, you’ll want to avoid cleaners with harsh chemicals as they tend to undo that process.
Soapstone naturally darkens with time, but some use mineral oil to speed that up and ensure even impact on the surface. Mineral oil naturally works to darken the countertop. While optional, if you decide to apply it, you’ll want to use a cloth rag to apply and buff it into the surface.
When you notice the counters starting to lighten up, you’ll need to reapply it, usually between 1-3 months apart. Once you have done this several times over the course of 8-12 months, the darker coloring will become permanent and applying mineral oil won’t be necessary.
When applying mineral oil, be sure to put your rag into a resealable bag or container so you can reuse it.
Linseed Oil and Beeswax
An alternative step you could take instead of mineral oil would be a mixture of linseed oil and beeswax. These will also help enhance the natural colors of soapstone and one coat can replace multiple applications of mineral oil. With these, you apply with a cloth, allowing it to set for a few hours before wiping dry. One application should be sufficient, however if you notice the counter lightening in a few areas, you can reapply it without harming it.
When you choose this option, allow your rag to dry completely in a non-flammable area before disposing it.
Minor scratches can be worked out using mild sandpaper. If you’ve applied mineral oil, you’ll want to reapply in the area of the scratch when you’ve finished sanding it. For deeper scratches, first use 120-grit sandpaper in a circular motion followed up with 220-grit sandpaper and water to remove any remaining signs of a scratch. Again, if you’ve applied mineral oil to the surface, you’ll want to touch up that area to return the color. If doing this on your soapstone surface makes you uneasy, be sure to contact a natural stone professional like Stoneworks to have it worked on.
While some of this may seem overwhelming, remember mineral oil or the combination of linseed oil and beeswax are both optional treatments. Regular cleaning is all the surface needs to make your soapstone counters look great for years to come.