new
or
You are here : Stone Home > Info Center > Stone Knowledge > Soapstone Care & Maintenance

Soapstone Care & Maintenance

Updated:2008-10-22 11:47:17

What Is Soapstone?

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock. There are two different materials popularly called Soapstone. The first being Talc , softest mineral on earth mostly used in the manufacturing of cosmetics, refractory materials, sculptures, and everyday items such as toothpaste, baby powder and even chewing gum. What we manufacture at M. Teixeira Soapstone is an alternate material known as Steatite.

The rock Steatite (also called Soapstone) is the material we use for our countertops, sinks, masonry heaters, flooring, and many other architectural applications. Steatite was also used to "coat" the famous "Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Steatite is composed of several minerals, but the most abundant is Talc. Steatite, because of its additives is harder than Talc, hence suitable for the applications cited above. Soapstone (steatite) in its initial state only comes in shades of gray, unlike Talc, which is available in a variety of colors.

This natural quarried stone is softer than most other naturally occuring minerals. Although soft, Soapstone is a very dense (non-porous) stone ; more so than marble, slate, limestone and even granite. Since Soapstone is impenetrable , it will not stain, no liquid will permeate its surface. Other stones, including granite, have a propensity to soil; this is why Soapstone (Steatite) is widely used in chemistry lab-tops and acid rooms.

Fireplaces and Ovens

Our partners have been manufacturing massive soapstone fireplaces with great success for more than a decade. Soapstone derives its exceptional suitability for stove building material through its composition of Talc and Magnestite. These particular qualities were discovered in Nordic countries many decades ago. Its excellent heat-storage and heat-conductivity make soapstone more suitable than any other material for stove building. The air remains clean, the floor and walls are comfortably warm, and the airs humidity remains stable.

Soapstone radiates even warmth, which is repeatedly pointed out by doctors and biologists to be beneficial for human health. All these factors will convince you over and over that a Soapstone-stove can provide a zest for life, which allows you become fit and active.

Other Uses of Soapstone

More commonly in Brazil, soapstone is used as cook tops, grills, pots and bake trays. A softer variety of soapstone, the mineral Talc, is used for carvings, chalk, etc.

Maintenance

The only maintenance required for soapstone (steatite), is the application of mineral oil, to enhance the natural darkening process the stone goes through. Once mineral oil is applied, the stone will turn into a very dark charcoal gray, sometimes black. Often times, varieties of soapstone will keep a hint of green. Steatite (soapstone) is virtually heat proof and used in the construction of masonry heaters because of its excellent thermal qualities. It is also used in creating pizza stones, cooking pots, oven interiors and numerous related applications. You can take a pot right from your stove and place it on your soapstone countertops without harm.

Oiling the Countertops:

We recommend oiling your countertops to ensure that the stone will evenly darken.  The oil is not sealing or protecting the stone, it is only "speeding up" the natural darkening process that steatite (soapstone) goes through.  Soapstone is non-porous and unlike marbles and granites does not need to be sealed.

There isn't a set rule of how often you should oil the countertops.  Oiling too little or too much will not damage the stone in any way.  We recommend oiling the countertops as soon as the previous coat of mineral oil has started fading away (evaporating).  Once you oil the countertops for the first time you will see the stone will become much darker.  A few days from the first oiling, most soapstone will lighten back up. You can re-treat your countertops every time this happens.  The soapstone will take approximately 3 coats of mineral oil to reach its final color, getting darker after every oiling.  Every time you oil your countertops, the stone will hold the oil longer than the last time, until about the 6th or 8th month the stone will stay permanently dark.

You can oil the countertops any way you like, you can spread some oil on the counters, then rub it with a rag or you can put the oil on the rag and oil the counters.  To make the next oiling easier, keep the same rag in a zip lock bag, you will see that the rag will soak in the oil and spread easier on the countertops. 

Immediately after you've oiled the soapstone, you can remove all the excess, until the countertops don't fell slick.  There is no such thing as "let the oil soak in", remember, soapstone is impermeable, nothing penetrates the surface. 
 
Cleaning the Countertops

Any common household cleaner can be used to clean soapstone counter surfaces. Chemicals and acids do not harm it. However, we do recommend that you use regular soap and water because harsher solvents may remove the mineral oil treatment, therefore generating more maintenance. Soapstone, being softer than granite and marble, is also more prone to scratches. The great advantage is that any scratches can be easily removed with a light sanding and/or mineral oil. 

Removing Scratches

Eventually the countertops will get scratched. Most scratches can be hidden by lightly applying some mineral oil.  If you get a deep scratch in there, you will need to do some sanding.  With a small piece of 120-grit sandpaper, sand the scratch area in a circular motion until the scratch is almost gone, then using a 220-grit sandpaper do the same thing but this time using water.  Clean up the countertop and oil that section again.  Sanding will remove the mineral oil, and remember that the stone will take 3 coats to reach the final color.  You may notice a slight color difference on that spot, do not worry you can oil in the morning, then again in the afternoon and so on until the color evens out.

Source:http://china-stone-window.spoonylife.com

Premium Related Products
G654 Bathtub
G654 Bathtub
Price:Negotiation
Origin:China
Categories:Granite
XIAMEN FIT IMPORT & EXPORT CO.LTD
ChinaChina
Stone Bathtub
Stone Bathtub
Price:Negotiation
Origin:China
Categories:Granite
XIAMEN FIT IMPORT & EXPORT CO.LTD
ChinaChina
Sink & Basin(Crystal White)
Sink & Basin(Crystal White)
Price:$20-50
Origin:China
Categories:Granite
Xiamen Kacen Stone Co., Ltd
ChinaChina
Browse by: Stone Manufacturers | All Products | For Buyers | For Sellers | Suppliers | Stonebtb.com International | Stonebtb.com China | Site Map
About Us | Stonebtb Service | Contact Us | Our Partners | Video | Exchange Link | Terms of Use
Copyright 2007-2020 Stonebtb.com All rights seserced