What keeps soapstone darker longer. . .The answer! ! !
So I did a little test to answer the question.
Clapham's Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish
Regular Mineral Oil
First a brief discription (my opinion)
Clapham's: It is a paste, inbetween a wax and a liquid. Goes on easy and feels amazing after you put it on. On the touch catagory it is the best of the bunch.
Bee's Oil: It is a wax. A little harder to get on but if you heat it up it would be easier. Has stay power. This is at the top when it comes to keeping the patina on the stone.
Regular Mineral Oil: Needs no discription. It's easy to apply. Would keep a bottle around for those lazy days. Feels oily compared to the wax or paste. That feel goes away quickly though (whithin a hour or two if you wipe it down with a rag).
Mystery Oil: It is a liquid similar to the mineral oil. Not so crazy about the warning lable. Feels a little bit more oily than the mineral oil at first. Seems to react similar to the mineral oil. In my opinion I would rather use the mineral oil just because of convienience considering the warning about it being combustable.
This is unoiled stone.
This is the stone just after application
This is a picture of the sheen each gives off
A day after the first oiling
I then oiled it twice more over the next 2 days and waited 4 days to see what we had. Here it is.
The mystery oil evaporated the quickest, then the mineral oil, contiuing on to the clapham's, and finally the Bee's oil.
I could continue the process but I do believe that you will continue to see the same results. Over time I think you wouold spend less time applying with the wax products but I would keep the mineral oil around for quick touchups or lazy days.
This test also gives people a good idea of how soapstone will react when it is installed in their home. This process of oiling and or waxing lessens with time. Each variety of soapstone can react differently as well. This means some stone evaporates the oil or wax products off quicker and or slower. Some people leave it unoiled some oil it often. Some like it inbetween and only oil it sometimes. . . So it really is up to the owner to choose how the stone fits your lifestyle. I still have not figured out how describe to someone who does not know about soapstone in one or two paragraphs. I know it sounds cheesy but I feel it's an experience. If you don't touch it, feel it, live with it, you'll never really understand it.