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Best of Houzz 2014 Service

Remodeling and Home Design

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Soapstone Maintenance & Care

Enhancing the Stone

Your True Colours

Mineral Oil

Soapstone is a nonporous stone, unlike marble and granite, and therefore does not need to be sealed. However, applying simple mineral oil to the surface of the stone will enhance its overall look as well as encourage its natural darkening over time - as well as ensure it darkens evenly.

Once doing the first application of mineral oil with a soft cloth to the countertop, store the cloth in a sealed plastic bag until the next time. This will assure the oil is readily absorbed in the cloth for the next use. After the first oiling, the stone will become significantly darker but will lighten again before the next coating. Don’t worry about applying too much or too little of the oil, as it will not damage the soapstone.

Once the last application begins to fade away, another coat can be applied. When soapstone is oiled for the first time the stone will become significantly darker. A little while after the first application of mineral oil the soapstone will begin to lighten again. At that point mineral oil can be reapplied.

When you notice your last application begins to fade away, as in the stone begins to lighten again to its original tone, you can apply another coat of the mineral oil. After each application you do, the stone will retain the oil for longer and longer. After continually oiling the stone when necessary for six to eight months, the soapstone will become permanently – and beautifully, dark.

Linseed Oil / Beeswax

You can also try a combination of linseed oil and beeswax with a cloth* to reduce the need for ongoing mineral oil applications. Linseed oil and beeswax will also enhance the deep rich colour of the soapstone countertop. Just allow it to set for a few hours and then wipe it dry. Most of the time you only need to do one application, but if you notice any areas begin to lighten again, there’s no harm in applying it a second time.

Since chemicals and acids do not cause any damage to soapstone, cleaning the stone with regular home cleaning products is fine. However, using these chemicals may wear away the mineral oil or linseed oil/beeswax applications. So the best way to clean soapstone is with just soap and water.

Any scratches to the soapstone can be very easily removed with just a bit of sanding and a re-application of the oil. If it happens to be a deep scratch, start with higher grit sandpaper and work your way down to a finer sandpaper as the scratch disappears. Apply your preferred surface oil or wax until the stone returns to its preferred dark colour.

*The cloths that have been used to apply the linseed oil and beeswax should be allowed to dry completely on a non-flammable surface and then disposed of.