For New Installations
If your soapstone has just been installed, perform weekly oiling with a food grade mineral oil or enhancer made for soapstone for the first month, and then twice a month for the next three months. After the fourth month, you should only need to oil once a month or less. As the oil evaporates, the stone will lighten, telling you that it is time for another oiling.
To Enhance or Not…This is the Question
Versatility of finish is one of the great pluses of soapstone. Some homeowners love the natural, untreated soft-gray look, while others prefer to color enhance it to bring out the deeper colors. The choice is yours.
Alkalis and acids found in many foods and drinks are not likely to stain the dense and inert surface of soapstone (which is why it is so popular in labs and science classrooms). Any staining that occurs can be quickly and easily remedied with scrubbing or sanding.
Soapstone is a very soft stone and scratches will occur. Light scratches will disappear with a direct dab of FDA approved food-grade mineral oil or soapstone enhancer. To permanently remove a deeper scratch, apply medium pressure to the scratched area with an 80 grit sanding sponge.
Apply a light coat of FDA approved food-grade mineral oil or soapstone enhancer to the sanded area. The mineral oil application should be repeated 2-3 times over a 2-3 day period until the sanded area matches the coloration of the rest of the stone. The enhancer should be applied twice with the second application about 24 hours after the first.
Returned to Its Former Beauty
Even after 100 years of hard use, soapstone can be re-finished to a new state as though it had just been installed. Give us a call if you need any help. As a stone care professional we can expertly perform the services needed to repair or restore your soapstone.
See the full article, Stone Showcase: Soapstone in the Spring 2014 issue of Stone Advisory Magazine.