How do you maintain soapstone counter tops? What is the maintenance on other stones, compared to soapstone? There is much conflicting information out there going on, both pro and con for soapstone. So, let’s look at the facts.
Granite is a hard stone, so it is more difficult to scratch than other stones. But, it is not 100% immune to being scratched when something, like a heavy pot, is dropped on the surface. What will happen is; the heavy object will leave a white distressed mark. This mark cannot be sanded away, and it will not come out. However, with care and maintenance granite can last a long time. Granite comes in a wide variety of colors as well. Giving you a wide selection. When you are cleaning granite it is best to use a non-abrasive cleaner, because an abrasive cleaner will scour the shine away and remove the chemical sealant. Granite should be chemically sealed once a year to keep stains from penetrating the porosity of the stone. Using clean soft cloths when wiping your counters and drying fully when done is best. Never leave granite wet, as the moisture can be pulled into the porosity of the stone. Some companies have developed cleaners made for granite, one of these is the “Rock Doctors” brand of spray cleaner at www.Rockdoctor.net. With proper care your granite will last a long time. Granite, depending on the quality of stone you get, will withstand between 400 and 800 degrees of heat before it cracks. However, this does not mean that your granite counter top is 100 percent immune to heat. Repeatedly placing a hot pan or a plate of hot food on a granite counter top will wear away at the calcium in it, causing it to soften and making it weaker against all kinds of wear. Reputable manufacturers and fabricators of granite counter tops recommend using hot pads or trivets for dishes and pans. When a counter cracks it usually needs to be replaced. Sudden heat or sudden cold, like placing a hot pot or plate down on counter can in some instances shock or crack a counter made of granite or marble.
Marble is such a beautiful stone. Most people have used it in select areas of their kitchen, such as a location used for rolling out pastry dough.
Caesar stone is resistant to low degrees of heat, but can be affected by heat higher than 150°C (300°F). However, like all stone material, caesar stone can be damaged by sudden and rapid temperature changes. Therefore, we suggest that hot pots and pans never be directly placed on the surface. We also recommend a hot pad or trivet be placed on the surface under cooking units such as electric frying pans, crock pots, or roaster ovens.
Caesar stone is a highly scratch resistant surface; however, avoid abuse of the surface by refraining from using sharp objects such as sharp knives, directly on the surface.
It’s important to be aware that like any other surface, caesar stone can be permanently damaged if exposed to strong chemicals and solvents that can damage its physical properties. Never clean your caesar stone surface with products that contain trichlorethane or methylene chloride, such as paint removers or strippers. Avoid the use of highly aggressive cleaning agents such as oven/grill cleaners and dishwasher polishing agents that have high alkaline/pH levels (pH 8.5 or higher). Products containing oils or powders may leave a residue and should be rinsed off thoroughly. Should your surface accidentally be exposed to any of these damaging products, rinse immediately with clean water to neutralize the effect.
Soapstone is unique from other natural stones. Its heat tolerance is historically known. It can resist 1,000 to 2,000 degrees of heat. Setting hot pots or plates on the stone will not harm or shock it. It is chemically inert. Any household cleaner or chemical cleaner can be used on soapstone. Or just clean with good old vinegar and water. In the beginning you will oil the stone to bring up a patina that would naturally occur over time, you can oil a few times a week for approximately a month. No scrubbing involved, wipe on, wipe off. Don’t over think this process. Soapstone likes to keep it simple. Some stones will hold patina with only a once a year waxing, others maybe 2 or 3 times a year. No right or wrong to this process. This stone, like other stones, will scratch if you cut on it, but these scratches unlike other stones, can be easily buffed out. You would always want to use a cutting board or matte so that you will not dull your knives. Soapstone will not stain or harbor bacteria and it will not emit radon and it is never slippery. It has proven to last for many hundreds of years. A wax to try that has received good reviews is the Dorado dry wax. This can be purchased from Soapstone Werks . www.soapstonewerks.com
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