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Best of Houzz 2014 Service
Remodeling and Home Design
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Maintenance & Care

Enhancing the Stone

Your True Colours

Mineral Oil

Unlike marble and granite, soapstone is nonporous, and as such it does not need to be sealed. Yet, applying mineral oil to the surface of the soapstone will not only enhance its overall appearance, it will encourage its natural darkening and will ensure that the stone will darken evenly.

Applying mineral oil too little or in excess will not damage soapstone. To effectively apply mineral oil, the oiling cloth should be placed in a plastic resealable bag between uses. This will allow the mineral oil to be readily absorbed for easy and even application. Removing all of the excess oil from the cloth will keep the soapstone product from feeling slick to the touch.

Once the last application begins to fade away, another coat can be applied. When soapstone is oiled for the first time the stone will become significantly darker. After the first application of mineral oil the soapstone will begin to lighten again. At that point mineral oil can be reapplied.

After each application the soapstone product will retain the mineral oil for a longer period of time. After a period of six to eight months of mineral oil applications, the soapstone will remain permanently dark.

Linseed Oil / Beeswax

A combination of linseed oil and beeswax will also enhance the deep rich colour of soapstone, and will reduce the need for multiple applications of mineral oil. Simply apply linseed oil and beeswax with a cloth*, allow it to set for a few hours, and then wipe dry. Usually, one application is enough. However, should the soapstone begin to lighten in various areas, linseed oil and beeswax can be reapplied. Further applications of linseed oil and beeswax will only be needed if the surface application wears out over time.

Cleaning soapstone is a simple process. As chemicals and acids will not cause any damage to soapstone, any common household cleaner can be used. However, using these types of cleaning products will have a tendency to remove the mineral oil or linseed oil/beeswax. Soap and water alone can keep your soapstone clean, and it will not strip the mineral oil or linseed oil/beeswax from the surface of the soapstone.

Because soapstone contains talc, any scratches can be quickly and easily removed without any damage by sanding the area and (or) reapplying mineral oil. Should there be a deep scratch, simply apply a small piece of 120 grit sandpaper to the area in a circular motion until the scratch has almost disappeared. Then, 220 grit sandpaper and water can be used to sand the moistened area to remove any remaining signs of scratching. With subsequent applications of mineral oil the soapstone's original colour will return within a few days.

*The cloths that have been used to apply the linseed oil and beeswax should be allowed to dry completely on a non-flammable surface and then disposed of.