The main reason why people these days are preferring soapstone countertops over granite and marble ones is that soapstone is non-porous, stain and heat resistant, and if it gets scratched somehow, can be repaired very easily.
However, this in no way means that it does not need any care and maintenance. Here are some useful tips on soapstone countertops care. Have a look...
Tip # 1
There is one thing very unique about soapstone countertops. They can be brightened up and made even more beautiful with time, provided mineral oil is applied on them regularly. The correct procedure is to cover their surface with the oil and then buff with a clean cloth, like you do with a shoe.
With this simple method, you will see that the color of your countertop is getting darker day by day! Ideally, this method should be used from the very first week that you get the countertop installed for your home. During the first week, apply mineral oil two to three times. Then, give a gap of four to eight weeks and repeat the procedure, again and again.
Tip # 2
Soapstone countertops will darken out eventually, even if you do not apply mineral oil on them. So, if you prefer the gray-blue look which the soapstone countertops have initially to the darker one, take a sandpaper and buff their surface. You can even use an electric sander. By doing this, you will see your countertop getting back to its original color.
Tip # 3
Unlike other countertops, the soapstone countertop does not get stained as easily. Still, if there are some spots visible on its surface, take a clean cloth, some soapy solution and use both of these, to rub off the stain.
It is most likely that the stain on such a surface is temporary, so sheer by washing it with soap, it will go away. If it does not, use a light sandpaper to get rid of it.
Tip # 4
One disadvantage of a soapstone countertop is that it is prone to scratches. To take care of them, take a light grit sandpaper and gently sand them. If the scratch is deep use an 80 grit sandpaper, however, if it's a minor scratch, use a higher grit sandpaper like a 220.
Follow this up by applying bee's wax. This should do the trick and soon you will see the scratches vanishing from the surface of your kitchen countertop.
Tips # 5
For maintaining soapstone countertops, there are some precautions that you should always take care of. For instance, never keep the vegetables, fruits or meats directly on top of them and start cutting. Overtime, such a practice can cause nicks and dents on the countertop's surface, thus making them appear old and ugly!
So, invest in some good quality cutting boards and then carry on the activity. Similarly, get a number of trivets with rubber feet, on which you can keep utensils or other dishes, while cooking, as directly keeping them on the countertop can scratch its surface.
Tip # 6
There are certain stone sealers available in the market, which help in the maintenance of soapstone countertops. Some of these stone sealers darken out the surface of the countertop and give it an oiled look, which can last for as long as three years.
Some of the other ones have a completely opposite effect i.e. they keep the original gray-blue color of the countertop intact. Such stone sealers have to be reapplied every year. So, choose a stone sealer which meets your requirements, from the ones available in the market.
Besides the tips suggested here, one more thing that you should do is to clean the countertop with a soapy solution every week. As you can see, maintaining soapstone countertops is pretty easy. With a bit of effort on your part, you can maintain the beauty of your countertop for years and make your kitchen look new forever!