Keeping your home clean can be a major chore — but there’s no denying how important it is to do so! After all, bacteria and viruses can live for days or weeks on some surfaces. On top of that, regular cleanings help clear out allergens that could be causing respiratory issues and other health problems for your family. All told, a bit of cleaning now and then can go a long way toward keeping your family in good health. But when it comes down to actually doing the work, some materials are easier to clean and disinfect than others. Making smart choices about your home finishes can have a big impact on how easy it is to keep your home clean and how well those materials actually get clean.
When you think about adding stone countertops or other stone surfaces into your home, you probably aren’t thinking too closely about how they could help keep your family healthy. Most folks look at stone for home finishes because of how durable it is, or how eco-friendly stone is compared to other materials. But it may surprise you to know that soapstone stands out above other stone options because it can actually help keep your home and your family healthier! Here’s how that happens:
Soapstone is distinctly different from other stone home finishes like granite and marble. For one thing, each type of stone has a different chemical composition. For another, different types of stone are formed by different means. These two qualities combine in different ways, which gives each type of stone different properties. This is important to note because the chemical and physical makeup combines in such a way that it makes soapstone stand heads and shoulders above other stone home finish options. The two big qualities that make soapstone a healthier stone than other options are:
Soapstone is Non-Porous
First, let’s talk about how soapstone is made because that plays a huge role in its health-promoting nature. Soapstone is a type of metamorphic rock, which means that it is formed when minerals are compressed together by immense heat and pressure over a period of time. This plays a big role in what makes soapstone so helpful because it makes soapstone non-porous.
You probably don’t think about the tiny little holes and crevices that most natural materials have. It’s one of those things that is just a fact of life, and largely inconsequential. However, when it comes to home finishes, the pores and crevices in most natural materials can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses — which is especially problematic because most cleaning supplies struggle to get into all of those nooks and crannies. Soapstone, on the other hand, is non-porous. There are no little nooks and crannies to harbor bacteria the way you’d find with granite or marble. Instead, since soapstone is non-porous, any germs are stuck lingering on the exterior. This makes it easier to use bacteria-killing household cleaners to kill the germs without worrying about how the cleaners will seep down into all the little pores.
As a side note, this is also why granite and marble need to be sealed after installation and re-sealed at regular intervals over time. Even with the sealant, porous stone isn’t rendered perfectly non-porous, so there is still room for them to harbor bacteria. Since soapstone is naturally non-porous, it doesn’t need to be sealed/resealed.
Soapstone is Chemically Inert
The other big quality that makes soapstone notable is the fact that it’s chemically inert. One of the primary minerals in soapstone is talc, which goes a long way toward giving soapstone this unique property. Now, we know most folks don’t think about the chemical makeup of different stone varieties, but in this case, you should. Being chemically inert means that soapstone doesn’t interact with acidic or basic solutions. In fact, soapstone is often used for countertops and tabletops in chemistry classrooms and laboratories because it’s so wonderfully non-reactive.
But why does this matter? In short, it means that you don’t need to worry about the cleansers you use on your soapstone surfaces. Slosh bleach across soapstone and it won’t have a negative impact. Being chemically inert makes soapstone healthier for a few reasons. First, you can use whichever bacteria-killing cleaners you choose without worrying that the cleaners will have a negative impact on the strength or appearance of your soapstone surfaces. Second, it also means that you don’t have to worry about the negative impact of spilling other things. Unlike marble or granite, you don’t have to worry about, say, red wine staining soapstone.
Soapstone: The Healthier Option
Combine those two qualities, and it makes soapstone a heather option for home finishes. The fact that there are no pores to harbor bacteria and that you can use any cleaner you choose makes it a lot easier to take care of cleaning and sanitizing those surfaces.
Want to learn more about how soapstone can benefit your home? Connect with Dorado Soapstone to find a distributor near you across Minnesota!