How to Clean and Preserve Soapstone Countertops
A while back, we wrote about how to clean your kitchen countertops and unknowingly left out soapstone. Not because we dislike this chameleon of a material, but because caring for soapstone is so hands-off, we weren’t sure it was necessary to discuss it at length.
However, our team at Merry Maids® has turned over a new leaf and wants to give soapstone its very own spotlight and talk about soapstone cleaners and long-term preservation.
Why Is Soapstone So Popular?
Why do people go gaga for soapstone? The answer is simple yet still somehow complex. Obviously, everyone has their own reasons for wanting soapstone counters in their kitchens or bathrooms. We think soapstone can be summed up in one word: durable. Unlike granite and marble, soapstone doesn’t require sealing because it is non-porous. This also means that soapstone scratches or stains aren’t issues you need to worry about. At this point, you should be asking yourself, “why isn’t soapstone more popular?”
What Kind of Soapstone Cleaner is Safe?
Probably one of the most powerful allures of soapstone is that it doesn’t require a special soapstone cleaner for long-term care. Soapstone is impermeable to heat, acid, and other alkalis and harsh chemicals as an inert material. You can use virtually any soapstone cleaner to care for this beautiful, indelicate product. Still, we recommend avoiding harsh cleaners that could exacerbate skin and sinus irritations in your guests.
You can make various natural soapstone cleaners with water and white vinegar, water and soap, water and lemon juice, or many other combinations. The key to choosing a natural soapstone cleaner that works best for your home is considering loved ones’ health conditions.
Some Interesting Facts About Soapstone
Still not convinced the world needs more soapstone? Check out these interesting modern and historical facts that pretty much encompass why our cleaning experts love this material so much.
- No two soapstone slabs have the same mineral structure and metamorphosis that affect durability.
- Soapstone can have various mineral compositions with traces of micas, carbonates, chlorite, amphiboles, and other minerals.
- Used as invaluable tools for indigenous people, soapstone was made into bowls, smoking pipes, and other practical things for comfortable living.
- Bullet molds were carved from soapstone during the Revolutionary War because it was easy to carve, heat-resistant, and durable.
Cleaning Soapstone Countertops Step by Step
If you’re used to the deep, vibrant color of soapstone, you might be shocked to discover that this material is actually a very light gray color in its natural, raw state. Soapstone only takes on its signature dark color after being treated with mineral oils to bring out that luster. Keep in mind that this material is non-porous, so sealing soapstone takes a bit of elbow grease to get the oil to actually penetrate the surface. Ensure that any oil you use is food-safe and not derived from petroleum. From there, daily care simply involves warm soapy water or any other green cleaning agent.
For those who prefer the original, natural gray color, you can seal soapstone with a non-chemical sealer like SimpleCoat.
Step 1: Mix It Up
Fill a bowl or bucket with warm water and add a generous amount of soap to get the mixture sudsy and ready for your countertops. Make sure to do this a few days after using mineral oil to darken the stone and remove any lingering oily residue.
Step 2: Grab the Sponge
Even though soapstone is scratch-resistant, you’ll want to use the non-abrasive side of a sponge to keep from leaving any coarse material behind. Wipe from one side to the other, removing crumbs and food particles.
Step 3: Rinse and Repeat
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the entire surface, rinse the sponge clean with warm water and repeat the process until you’re satisfied that it’s clean. At this stage, we recommend using one part white vinegar and one part warm water in a spray bottle as a natural disinfectant. According to the National Sanitation Foundation, this mixture will kill food-borne pathogens and bacteria like E.Coli.
Step 4: Let Everything Dry
The final step is to let it all dry, not that it’ll soak into the material or anything. You just want to ensure your surface is dry before starting food preparation for a completely sanitized cooking space. You can safely clean your soapstone countertops daily using this method without worrying about damage or deterioration over time.
Merry Maids Can Take Care of All Your Countertops
Whether you have soapstone, granite, concrete, or any other type of countertops in your kitchen or bathroom, cleaning professionals at Merry Maids know how to preserve and extend their life. We don’t use harsh chemicals, but we do employ natural and organic cleaners that reduce allergic reactions and kill up to 99.9% of germs. Our green cleaning service is designed to tackle tough stains without harming your surfaces or the environment.
To get your free cleaning quote today, find a location near you or call us at (888) 490-4227.