You’ve just moved into a new house and are excited to start making it your own. You love your new kitchen countertops, but there’s one problem: they’re made of soapstone, and you have no idea how to clean them.
Soapstone is a non-porous material, which makes them very stain resistant, but that doesn’t mean it’s stain-proof. In addition, soapstone is a soft stone, so it can be easily scratched or chipped if you’re not careful.
It can be frustrating dealing with a dirty countertop, but don’t worry- we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to clean soapstone, from what materials you’ll need to how to avoid damaging it.
What is Soapstone?
Soapstone is a natural stone that has been used for centuries in a variety of different ways. Early humans used soapstone to fashion bowls, containers, and utensils. More recently, soapstone has become a popular material for countertops, fireplace surrounds, and other home fixtures.
It is a metamorphic rock composed of talc (a soft mineral) and various other minerals such as quartz, chlorite, and micas. The talc gives soapstone its soft, soapy feel—hence the name.
Regarding hardness, soapstone falls between marble and granite on the Mohs scale (a measure of a material’s hardness). This means that soapstone is softer than granite but harder than marble.
One of the most appealing characteristics of soapstone is its durability. Soapstone is non-porous and resistant to staining, making it an excellent choice for high-use areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
When properly sealed, soapstone countertops can withstand years of use without showing any wear and tear. In addition, many homeowners choose soapstone specifically because it will develop a patina over time, giving it a unique look and character.
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How to Clean Soapstone
Soapstone is a natural stone that’s beautiful, durable, and easy to care for. But like all-natural stone, it requires maintenance to keep it looking its best.
When cleaning soapstone countertops, you’ll need a few things: water, soft cloth or sponge, and mild dish soap. You’ll also need a little elbow grease!
- Start by dusting your countertops with a soft cloth to remove any surface dirt or debris.
- Then, dampen your sponge or cloth with water and add a few drops of dish soap.
- Gently scrub the countertop in a circular motion until it’s clean.
- Rinse the soap off with some more water and dry the countertop with a clean cloth.
If you have a stubborn stain that won’t come off with dish soap and water, you can try using a little rubbing alcohol.
- Pour rubbing alcohol onto a soft cloth and rub it into the stain until it disappears. Once the stain begins to fade, rinse the area with water and dry it with a clean cloth.
Note: Don’t use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on soapstone, as they can damage the stone’s surface. Also, avoid using cleaners containing lemon or vinegar, which can etch the stone’s surface.
Caring for Soapstone
In addition to regular cleaning, you’ll also need occasional maintenance to keep your soapstone countertops looking their best. Every few months, you should treat them with mineral oil to help protect them from stains and scratches.
Just pour a little mineral oil onto a soft cloth and rub it into the countertop in a circular motion until it’s evenly coated. Allow the mineral oil to soak in for 30 minutes before wiping off any excess with a clean cloth.
You should also avoid putting hot pots and pans on your soapstone countertop, as this can cause damage. Instead, always use a hot pad or trivet when cooking or serving food from your stovetop or oven.
What NOT to Do When Cleaning Soapstone
Now that you know how to care for your soapstone countertops, there are a few things you should avoid doing to keep them looking their best.
First, don’t use abrasive cleaners or scrub pads, as they can scratch the stone’s surface. Second, avoid using vinegar, citrus, bleach, ammonia, or harsh chemical cleaners, as they can damage the finish of your countertops.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How often should I clean my soapstone countertops?
A: Soapstone is a reasonably low-maintenance material that requires regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. Aim to dust and wipe down your countertops at least once a week with a damp cloth or sponge. If you notice any stains, you can spot-clean them with dish soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
Q: Do I need to seal my soapstone countertops?
A: Soapstone is a non-porous material, so it doesn’t require sealing. However, many homeowners treat their soapstone countertops with mineral oil every few months to help protect them from stains and scratches.
Q: What happens if soapstone gets wet?
A: Soapstone is a durable material that can withstand getting wet. However, if your countertop gets wet, dry it off as soon as possible to prevent water stains.
Q: Can I use Clorox wipes on soapstone?
A: No. Clorox wipes are made with harsh chemicals that can damage the surface of your soapstone countertop. If you need to disinfect your countertop, use a diluted bleach solution.
Q: How do you get stains out of soapstone?
A: To remove stains from soapstone, use a little dish soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Gently scrub the stain until it disappears, rinse the area with water and dry it with a clean cloth.
Soapstone is a natural stone with many appealing characteristics, such as its durability and beauty. However, like all-natural stone, it requires maintenance to keep it looking its best. The good news is that cleaning soapstone is relatively easy – you just need water, dish soap, and a soft cloth or sponge.
Occasionally, you’ll also need to treat your soapstone countertops with mineral oil to help protect them from stains and scratches. With care and attention, your soapstone countertops will last for years!
Do you have any other tips and tricks not mentioned here? Leave a comment and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.