How to Care for Soapstone Countertops

Soapstone is a beautiful and highly resilient material often used throughout the home for decorating in both new home construction and countertop re-surfacing projects.

Here's how to maintain and care for soapstone countertops to keep yours looking new.

Use cutting boards, potholders, silicone trivets or other types of trivets that have rubber feet when working on the countertop surface to prepare foods or when resting hot pots and other dishes on the soapstone counter. Although soapstone is resilient and is not prone to scorching, chemicals or stains, it is easy to scratch the surface. If that happens, gently rub out any blemishes with sand paper and touch up with mineral oil or bee's wax.

Maintain the countertop color (blue-grey or dark) by either allowing the surface to darken naturally over time or through the application of mineral oil or bee's wax. If using mineral oil, cover the entire surface with the oil, wipe away excess with paper towels and then buff with a cotton cloth.

Remember that soapstone is non-porous and that you should apply the oil to the surface using this method several times during the first weeks until you achieve your desired countertop color and then follow with applications every one to three months afterward to maintain the effect.

Rub bee's wax, if you prefer a less oily surface, onto the surface of the countertop with a dry cloth, wait approximately 15 minutes and then buff with another cloth.

Remove oil from the first layer of stone to return your soapstone countertop to its natural blue-grey appearance with rubbing alcohol and a dry cloth or with fine grade of sand paper.

Seal the stone or attempt to seal the stone with a professional grade sealant. As soapstone is non-porous, the application of a sealer may take some time and effort. If you have difficulty with the application, go to your local home improvement store or countertop sales store for more information on and professional assistance with sealants that work with soapstone.

Things You Will Need

  • Sand paper
  • Mineral oil
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton cloth

Warning

  • Soapstone countertops darkened naturally over time maintain their light blue-grey coloring longer, but they are also prone to uneven dark spots from cooking oil splatters that occur near stoves and sinks. If you want your soapstone countertop to have an even-colored appearance, maintain the countertop with mineral oil or use sand paper to remove the marks as they appear.