Like marble and granite, soapstone is a natural product quarried from the ground in blocks. It is a metamorphic rock composed mainly of talc, magnesium, silicate and chlorate. That is where the similarities end, because unlike marble and granite, soapstone is non-porous, making it completely stain resistant. Luckily, there really aren’t any household products that will harm it since soapstone is an inert material, which makes it impervious to heat, chemicals, and acids. Soapstone has a tendency to dent rather than chip or crack, however, though durable like granite and marble it is more forgiving under stress. Due to soapstone’s lasting durability, many homeowners and business owners alike are using soapstone tile to cover the floors as well as countertops. Cleaning and maintaining are simple and quick as the non-porous quality, for which soapstone is famous for, is a desirable trait. Today, we at Silver State Floor Restoration would share some maintenance tips and care for your soapstone tile.
How to Clean Soapstone
For daily cleaning you will need a bucket of warm soapy water, a sponge, mop, or rag, and a dry towel. The cleaning process is listed in steps below.
1) Completely sweep the surface, ensuring the sides and corners are particle free.
2) Work warm water in a bucket and mix well until the suds form.
3) Use your sponge to transfer the soapy water on the surface and wash the floor thoroughly.
4) Use a water-damp cloth to rinse the soapy residues from the tile’s surface.
5) Use the dry towel to dry the residual moisture and allow the soapstone to completely air dry before resuming foot traffic.
Note: An all-purpose cleaner can also be used if you prefer as soapstone is impervious to chemicals.
Mineral Oil Maintenance for Soapstone
You will need to periodically maintain the stone with mineral oil. Be sure to have quality-mineral oil, a soft cloth, and a soft towel. Before you oil the surface, you want to make sure it is completely swept and mopped.
1) Dab mineral oil on the cloth and begin rubbing it into the surface. The oil will not seep into the stone, so be sure to use the towel to remove the excess to avoid slick surfaces.
2) In the first year of installation, be sure to treat the surface with mineral oil every 2 weeks to help the stone oxidize, as it darkens, evenly. The following years, the mineral oil treatment should be done every 2 months.
Soapstone Scratch & Crack Repair
Minor scratches can develop; however, they are easily remedied with fine sandpaper, sponge, warm water, mineral oil, and a soft cloth.
1) Being prone to scratches, be sure to keep fine sandpaper on hand. Use smooth, circular motions to smooth the surface with the fine sandpaper.
2) Sand the scratched area again after dampening the sandpaper with the same circular motions.
3) Use the warm water and sponge to manage the dust as you work.
4) Dap mineral oil on the soft cloth and work it into the recently sanded scratched areas to restore the luster and the natural dark color. You may need to apply the mineral oil several times to even out the color of the scratched and sanded area since the sanding will remove the mineral oil and make the color lighter.