White "bloom" on soapstone

tadhg555May 7, 2013

We've had our soapstone counters for about 6 months now. Love them. Recently, though, I've noticed a few white spots that I don't think were there before. Sort of a chalky "bloom." See the picture.

Has anyone else encountered this? Any suggestions for what to do? I don't think it's a stain since it doesn't wipe away -- it disappears when I wipe it down, but then comes back when the countertop dries off.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How have you treated them to date? Has a wax product been used on them (by you or the installer)?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Hard water in your locale?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are efflorescence stains.

Here is a link that might be useful: efflorescence

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have my doubts about efflorescence from soapstone. Steatite (the predominant mineral in soapstone) is totally non-porous. Of course, there may be other components to this slab, some of which conceivably could be porous and efflorescing, but I sort of doubt it.

You cannot hurt the soapstone with the treatments I will suggest. I would try, in this order:
-nail-polish remover (acetone) or, better, mineral spirits. This would test my theory that it is a waxy deposit.
-CLR or Lime-a-Way. This would test hollyspring's theory that they are hard-water deposits.
-Nitric acid or muriatic acid. This would test barthelemy's theory that it is efflorescence. (Some efflorescent salts would be removed by CLR, too.)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the advice. A bit more info:

1. No wax or other treatment save for an occasional application of mineral spirits.

2. I think this is a straightforward soapstone slab. Bought it at M Texiera in SF.

3. Not much hard water in the Bay Area.

I'll try out the suggested fixes. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:03PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Has anyone bought from Builders Depot Direct.com?
I was looking for marble subway tile and came across...
Do upper super Susan shelves obstruct view?
The 42" tall upper corner cabinet was drilled...
KitchenCraft - will they last a lifetime?
Fell in love with a specific painted door when cruising...
Need blackish paint suggestions
We have assembled most of our Barker cabs. The wall...
Kitchen quote for RTA
I am shopping around for a redesigned kitchen. Below...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™