Whether you are still in the process of kitchen renovations or you’ve recently added soapstone to your kitchen, that is an important investment. It makes sense that you want to do as much as you can to keep those new soapstone counters in great shape! If you’re on the hunt for soapstone in California, turn to your local pros! Connect with Dorado Soapstone to find the right soapstone slabs for your space, arrange for professional installation, get answers to all of your soapstone-related questions, and more! In order to make sure your soapstone counters (or other finishes) look great and stay that way, here’s what you need to know about cooking with — and otherwise caring for — your soapstone surfaces:
Basic Soapstone Care
First things first, before we dig into how you can make the most of your soapstone counters, we should touch on basic care. The good news: there really isn’t any! Soapstone is non-porous and chemically inert, so realistically you just need to wipe down surfaces on occasion to get rid of spills and grime. If you like the way it looks, you can also add a light layer of mineral oil to create a better sheen, but that doesn’t do anything to affect soapstone other than aesthetically.
In any case, soapstone is non-porous, which means there aren’t any little nooks and crannies for bacteria to get into — it’s a naturally antibacterial material, basically. Unlike other stone counter options, you don’t need to seal soapstone, and it is still going to be easier to clean because it is non-porous. So really, the only cleaning soapstone needs is a spritz of your preferred household cleaner to clean the surface and kill off any germs that may be living on the surface.
Over time, you may notice that your soapstone is gaining a bit of a sheen. Soapstone is a bit softer than granite or quartz. The upside is that it makes soapstone counters and other fixtures easier to cut and install. It does mean that soapstone will acquire the occasional nick or scuff; that’s not a bad thing! But if you don’t care for the patina that can develop, you can buff your soapstone back to smoothness with steel wool or a fine-grit sandpaper.
Using Soapstone in the Kitchen
The big reason soapstone has become so popular as a kitchen fixture is because it’s anti-bacterial, easy to clean, and requires basically no maintenance. On top of that, soapstone is pretty darn durable and incredibly heat resistant. It’s used so frequently in kitchens because it can handle all of the mess and chaos without being adversely affected. This includes:
- Heat straight on soapstone counters — No big deal! Soapstone is incredibly heat-resistant. The stone will absorb heat from hot pots and pans without any damage. Once the hot item is moved, the stone will slowly release the heat over time. You may want to avoid touching the stone immediately after moving a hot dish, but that’s the only care you’ll need there.
- Cutting on soapstone surfaces — Again, not really a big deal. You may notice a patina form, especially if you do all of your chopping in the same section of countertop. The more important thing to note is that you can chop directly on soapstone, but you may not want to for the sake of your knives!
- Concerns about staining — If you’re a fan of heavily colored dishes like curries or marinara sauce, staining is a real concern for most stone countertops. Not so for soapstone though! Since it’s non-porous and chemically inert, soapstone isn’t going to interact with anything you might slosh or spill, and won’t stain. Similarly, you can feel free to place raw meat directly on the counters without worry. Just use a sanitizing cleaner afterwards, and you’re good to go!
- How soapstone can help during cooking — Soapstone is impressively versatile and is generally helpful no matter what you like to cook. However, it’s particularly helpful when you’re mixing up dough, since it’s cool and smooth enough to reduce sticking issues. Try making pie crust or pasta straight on your soapstone counters to see the difference!