What is Soap Stone?

Soap stone is a metamorphic rock, but why is this rock called soapstone?

Well if you thought is was related to a bar of soap you would be wrong, however the name does give you a clue!

Got it? No? Okay here is the clue: the reason for the name soap stone is because it feels soapy, yes soapy and very soft. The reason is because its principle mineral is talc and talc is very silky, soapy and soft.

soapstone metamorphic rock

Although soft, you may be surprised by its uses,  for example worktops and counter tops because of its heat resistance. It has been used for cooking pots and  bowls and thousands of years ago  it was used for fire hearth liners.

Being soft it’s a great material to work with for early sculpture and is similar to Alabaster and Serpentine with other mineral content.

Soapstone is also useful for tiles for the wall and floor,  facing stone, bed warmers, electrical panels, wood stoves, pencil markers, molds for casting metal, etc.

Yes, a very useful stone being heat resistant, acid and alkali resistant  and only let down by the fact it scratches easily, but then again it’s easy to remove the scratches without too much effort. 🙂


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