What is Soapstone?

Soapstone is often used as an alternative natural stone countertop instead of granite or marble. Soapstone is a softer stone that feels smooth to the touch due to its talc content. It occurs naturally in shades of light gray to the deepest of blacks. If you prefer counters that stand out, soapstone also has natural swirls of blues and greens, making it an exquisite choice for a farm-style or modern kitchen.

What are the Pros of Soapstone?

  • Soapstone’s natural beauty speaks for itself. For the people who want their homes to have an earthy feel, this is the choice countertop for you.
  • It is durable and heat-tolerant. You can set your hot pans on it and not worry that it’ll mar the beauty of your countertop. There are some speculations that soapstone can withstand almost 3000° Fahrenheit!
  • It is non-porous, which makes it a very sanitary surface. Bacteria will have a hard time growing on soapstone.
  • You don’t have to worry about spilling acidic liquids on it or applying any sealant.

What are the Cons of Soapstone?

  • Due to its high talc content, this softer stone is prone to scratches. Using cutting boards for all your cooking will help avoid scratching.
  • Soapstone can be prone to chipping & denting.
  • While you don’t have to add sealant, if you want your soapstone countertops to keep their original color and shine, you’ll need to apply a coat of mineral oil every month. Soapstone naturally reacts with the environment and darkens. Applying mineral oil will help the soapstone to naturally oxidize consistently.
  • It can be expensive. However, soapstone will last a lifetime if properly cared for, so it’s worth the investment.

How to Care and Maintain Soapstone

  • Wipe clean with a damp cloth and use dish soap or other mild cleaner.
  • If you’ve elected to oil your countertops, you’ll need to apply a coat of mineral oil once a month for the first year. Afterward, you can reapply the oil when you notice water is leaving a dark spot. As the stone naturally oxidizes and becomes darker, oilings will become less regular.
  • If you’re using wax instead, the surface will need to cure for a few days after application. If you can cope with not using your counters for a few days, then wax may be the way to go as wax requires much less re-applications when compared to oil.
  • Or if you prefer to embrace the natural beauty of soapstone, then you won’t need to apply any oils or waxes to the surface. Over time the surface will gradually patina and darken from cooking and oils from handprints.
  • Scratches can be gently sanded out if you have a honed finish. Reapply either a mineral oil or soapstone wax product to help the spot blend in. Do not sand a polished stone!

The Best Uses of Soapstone

  • Soapstone is unaffected by acidic food, thus it is not stained or altered by tomatoes, wine, vinegar, or grape juice.
  • Soapstone is impervious to heat. Hot pots can be placed directly on it without fear of melting, burning, or other damage. With its high-heat resistance,
  • Soapstone will enhance your family room if applied around a fireplace. It also brings a sense of tranquility to your kitchen or bathroom.
  • Soapstone adds a restful, rustic touch to your home.
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