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Since soapstone is nonporous, it doesn’t stain and can withstand bacterial growth. Since it is chemically neutral, acidic foods like lemon juice won’t leave blemishes or cause the etching that occurs with marble. Additionally, soapstone countertops Youngstown, OH, is heat-resistant, preventing scorch marks. Typically, a sponge dipped in soapy water is all you need to clean it. Avoid using steel wool products or abrasive cleaners. Using a non-abrasive sponge is best to scrub off crumbs and food particles. Afterward, apply mineral oil to prevent the soapstone from darkening.
Oiling Soapstone Countertops
Soapstone countertops do not need to be sealed, but the natural oils found in the stone will help protect it. Soapstone will eventually develop a patina without oil, but adding oil will speed up the process and even out the appearance. Alternatively, you can use a stone sealer. There are two kinds of sealers for soapstone: mineral oil and wax. Mineral oil is an excellent choice if you want to enhance the color of your countertop. Waxing is another option, but it will require less reapplication than mineral oil.
Although soapstone countertops do not need to be sealed, applying mineral oil regularly is recommended to maintain their luster. Mineral oil will not damage the stone and is not harmful to the environment. Oiling soapstone will improve its patina over time, and it will take seven to nine months for the stone to develop a full patina.
Avoiding Abrasive Cleaners
The first step to cleaning a soapstone countertop is to avoid using abrasive cleaners. This material is more prone to scratches than granite and is best cleaned with mild cleanser. Soapstone will patina over time, but it’s best to avoid harsh cleaners, as they can cause your soapstone countertop to darken.
You should use a soft cloth with a little dish soap when cleaning soapstone countertops. A microfiber cloth is great for this purpose, but avoid using abrasive cleaning products. You can also use mineral oil to enhance the dark, lustrous surface of the stone.
One of the most common ways to clean soapstone is by applying mineral oil. This method is a bit more labor-intensive and will make your countertop appear darker than it is. But you should know that mineral oil is not food-safe and may leave your countertops feeling greasy.
Avoiding Steel Wool Products
While you can clean your soapstone countertops with any household cleaner, you should avoid steel wool and other scouring pads. These products can leave marks on your soapstone counters and can cause them to become scuffed. Fortunately, soapstone is a nonporous surface that is safe to use with antibacterial cleaners. You can also use mineral oil to hide scratches and hard water spotting.
For everyday cleaning, soapstone can be cleaned with warm water and dish soap. It helps remove the stone’s buildup and prevent it from becoming dull. Avoid acidic cleaners, which can strip the sealer and cause it to etch. If you have a stubborn stain, you can also clean the stone with baking soda paste. Make sure that you test this paste first to ensure it will not leave streaks or discoloration.
To clean soapstone countertops, use mild, non-abrasive cleaners without ammonia. It will avoid scratching the surface. Steel wool products may scratch or scrape the surface of your countertops.
You can repair scratches on a soapstone countertop with the help of sandpaper. Sandpaper is available in different grades depending on the hardness of the scratch. To sand the scratch, fold the sandpaper into fourths and rub it over the scratch with even pressure using all four fingers. The sandpaper can be used on both sides of the sandstone to get a smooth finish.
After sandpapering the scratch:
- Use a dry cloth to wipe the surface clean.
- Check for additional scratches.
- Apply a second layer of oil if needed.
The mineral oil will help restore the color of the countertop and help protect it from further scratches. However, remember not to let the oil soak into the stone. You have to apply it in small circular motions. Make sure to use a clean cloth for the application. Moreover, you can use the mineral oil as a hand towel after the repair process is complete.
Soapstone countertops can develop an uneven patina over time. To restore an even patina, you can sand the scratch off with fine-grit sandpaper and apply mineral oil. The mineral oil will make the new patina develop evenly and uniformly. You can also use a sealing product that claims to prevent soapstone from darkening, but it doesn’t penetrate the stone’s surface and will only be effective if you apply it once or twice a month. Granite and quartz do not get dark over time.