Second, it is versatile. Unlike zinc, for example, it is heat resistant. Unlike granite, marble and limestone, it is non-porous and does not have to be sealed to prevent staining. This non-porous quality also means it doesn’t harbor bacteria and is easy to clean. Acids from lemons or tomato juice won’t affect it and neither will alkalin found in some householder cleaners.
Third, it is easy to maintain. Owners will want to wipe a thin layer of mineral oil over the surface at regular intervals. This helps expose its deeper tones and veining, according to vermontsoapstone.com.
It is a soft stone, however, and will scratch or chip over time. The good news is that it is easy to repair. Light scratches can be smoothed with simple oiling. Deeper scratches can be sanded. And a chip can be easily repaired using a two-step glue.
Soapstone is affordable but not cheap. It costs between $70 to $120 per square foot, according to hunker.com. That is less than marble but comparable to high-end granite.
Many other uses for soapstone reflect its ability to retain heat. Historically, it was used as a fireplace material, since once heated it slowly radiates the heat long after the fire has died. That is why it has been used as a boot dryer and bedwarmer. Vermont Soapstone still sells small slabs for use as bedwarmers. At $42 each, they make a warm gift for chilly nights.