Can I Keep My Soapstone Countertops from Getting Scratched?

Can I Keep My Soapstone Countertops from Getting Scratched?

February 27, 2014

The short answer to this question is no. Soapstone is a relatively soft material, and it will scratch. But, there are some things you can do to minimize the appearance of inevitable scratches.

Soapstone countertopsSoapstone countertops by Frank Valdes; photo via Houzz

Soapstone is composed mostly of the mineral talc, which is the softest mineral there is. Once an igneous or sedimentary rock that’s been changed, through time and tons of heat and pressure, into a metamorphic rock, soapstone is softer than materials like marble or granite. While talc is soft, it’s also incredibly dense, which actually makes it quite durable. Soapstone is very resilient. It’s resistant to stains, heat, and the elements and is impervious to chemicals and most liquids. Virtually heat proof, soapstone makes a great material for fireplace surrounds, and wood stoves. It also makes a great pizza stone or cooking pot.

The soapstone that’s used for countertops usually has a higher percentage of quartz, which makes it suitable for kitchen and baths. So while, comparatively speaking, soapstone can be easily scratched, one of its pros is that it may be easily brought back to its original beauty.

Soapstone is a hard-working surface that naturally darkens with age. And when it begins to show wear, scratches may easily be disguised with an application of mineral oil. While soapstone requires no sealer like marble or granite do, a light coating of mineral oil will help to blend the scratch or scrape, and make the natural darkening happen more evenly.

Soapstone countertops by Jewett Farms + Co.Soapstone countertops by Jewett Farms + Co.; photo via Houzz

Alternatively, there are now several all-natural sealer wax products for soapstone. Made with natural plant oils and carnauba wax, they’re easier to apply. However note that these waxes are not as permanent and will require frequent application.

Deeper scratches can be smoothed down with sandpaper. You’ll want to start with a piece of 120-grit sandpaper, and sand in a circular motion. Follow by a 220-grit sandpaper and water, then re-oil. (The sanding process removes the outer layer of oil.)

Oiling and buffing on a regular basis can help this unique stone looking great. And while common household cleansers won’t harm the stone, they will remove the mineral oil coating. For this reason, cleaning with simply soap and water is strongly recommended.

Soapstone fireplace surround Soapstone fireplace surround by Siemasko + Verbridge; photo via Houzz

Users love the distinctive “soapy” smooth feeling of soapstone, as well as the beautiful natural grey colors, which can range form blue to green. Soapstone has slowly and steadily become a popular choice in kitchens and baths. In fact, consumers in our New England market are pleased that there is a domestic quarry located in Schuyler, VA whose soapstone is just as beautiful as the selections that come from overseas, where the majority of soapstone is sourced.

Visit our website or stop by one of our two New England area showrooms to see the soapstone we offer. If you’re looking for a material that becomes more distinctive and beautiful over time for your next project, soapstone is a great choice. 


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