Holland asked: How do I clean a soapstone sculpture that has been stained from dirt, kerosene and age?
You Will Need:
- Soft lint free cloth
- Mild liquid detergent (plant based products work well)
- Mineral oil
Steps to Clean the Sculpture:
- Begin by using a dry, soft cloth to rub over the surface of the sculpture. Remember to support all areas as you work. This will remove any surface dirt or dust.
- Mix a few drops of mild detergent with water in a small dish.
- Moisten a soft cloth with the cleaning mixture and rub it over the surface.
- Rinse the cloth and rub it over the surface with clean water to remove any excess soapy residue.
- Allow the piece to air dry.
- To restore the shine, place a few drops of mineral oil on the soft cloth.
- Gently rub it over the surface of the piece. Again, remember to support it fully as you work.
- Continue applying the mineral oil, adding more to the cloth as needed, until the entire piece is covered.
- Use a dry, clean cloth to remove any excess oil from the surface.
- Allow the piece to dry.
- For more difficult stains and dirt build-up, it may take several cleanings.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Although soapstone sculptures look durable, they need to be handled carefully. Always fully support your sculpture when handling.
- Display soapstone sculptures away from air vents and doors.
- Minor surface scratches can be buffed out carefully with a fine grade sandpaper. Gently rub the sandpaper over the scratched area. Follow with the cleaning and polishing steps.
- Never use abrasive cleaning products to clean a soapstone sculpture. They will cause scratches on the surface.