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In today’s luxury kitchens, the countertops take center stage. Whether you’re redesigning your cooking space before putting your home on the market or trying to find the perfect surface for your new kitchen, the classic look of dark soapstone counters is always a stylish choice. Before making any decisions, however, here’s everything you need to know about maintaining this timeless material.

Apply Mineral Oil
Soapstone is prized for the beautiful patina that it develops in under a year. If you want to speed up the process and ensure that it appears evenly, the best way to do so is by applying a thin coat of mineral oil across the surface once a week for the first couple of months. After the patina has developed, you’ll only have to reapply the oil about once a year.

Use Cutting Boards
While soapstone is particularly hardwearing, it’s one weakness is that this surface is prone to scratching. For this reason, you should never chop food directly on it and be sure to always use a cutting board. If you do notice any light scratches, it’s possible to remove them using a fine sandpaper or you can hire a professional if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.

Easy cleaning
Unlike many other surfaces that are prone to staining and etching, soapstone is a nonporous material that can stand up to acidic substances. For this reason, you don’t have to worry about applying a sealant and can regularly wash it with regular soapy water or an all-purpose cleaner without causing any damage.

Heat Resistant
If you’re not sold on soapstone already, another major benefit that this surface has going for it is that it’s heat-resistant. That means you can place a hot pan directly on your counter rather than scrambling for a trivet when it’s time to take the food off the stove.

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