How to clean log cabin exterior walls.

How to clean log cabin exterior walls.

How to clean log cabin exterior walls.

Log homes are mostly built surrounded by nature, trees, lakes, rivers, and giant fields. While beautiful, these natural surroundings can create build up and stains on our precious log cabins. Mowed grass, mud, moss, and other such things are not only unattractive to look at but can also cause harm to your exterior logs. Cleaning your log home regularly will help protect your logs from stains, decay, and insects.

Prevent and protect your log home’s exterior from the elements.

Before you clean your log cabin’s exterior it is important to find the source of the problems. Is the rain splashing mud onto the logs? Are bushes or other plants to close to your log walls? Before cleaning your log home’s exterior find what is causing the problem and try to fix it. This will help to ensure that your logs and stain lasts a longtime. In most cases it will also help prevent insects and other pests. 

How to clean your log cabin’s exterior walls.

This guide is for basic cleaning. If you are looking to re-stain your log home, then there will be more steps. For most cases we would advise against using a pressure washer. Pressure washers can damage chinking, stain, and damage your logs.

What you’ll need to wash your log home’s exterior.

There are not many things that you will need to clean your log cabin. You do not need expensive equipment or a pressure washer unless you are planning to re-apply stain.

The things you’ll need are:

  1. Hose/Water – You’ll probably want a good nozzle on your hose that has a mist setting.
  2. Bucket – A bucket to mix your cleaner.
  3. Brush, Rag, mop, or Heavy Duty Sponge – This will depend on your preference. I prefer a brush to really be able to scrub well.
  4. Log Cleaner – There are many log cleaners on the market, we like to use TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) or some use cleaners like OxiClean. Do NOT use dish soap or bleach as it will damage the stain.
  5. Good Weather – Make sure that it is not going to rain that day.

Wet the wall by misting it with the hose.

You’ll want the walls to be damp before applying your cleaner. If your hose has a mist setting then this typically works best. The mist setting will allow you to dampen the walls and not have them drenched or dripping. In order to make sure that the walls don’t dry to fast, mist and wash one section at a time.

Mix your cleaner.

Most cleaners will have a specific cleaner/water ratio. Be sure to follow the instructions on the container and mix the cleaner with water in your bucket. 

Apply the cleaner bottom up across 2-5 logs at a time.

Now you can start applying the cleaner. Apply the cleaner using a sponge, mop, rag, or garden sprayer. Work starting at the bottom and going across about 2-5 logs at a time. Use a thick bristle brush to scrub the walls. Once the logs are completely cleaned, then move up to the next 2-5 logs and repeat until you are at the top.

Let the solution sit for the recommended amount of time.

Let the solution set on the logs for the recommended amount of time. Most log cleaners are somewhere between 10 – 20 minutes. For most cleaners you can use your mop, rag, or garden sprayer to apply more solution if the logs begin to dry during this time. 

Rinse from top to bottom and let dry.

Once you have made your way to the top and let the log cleaner sit, you can begin to rinse. Rinse using your hose and going from top to bottom. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and then let dry. If you plan on applying stain, it is important to let the logs dry for a few days.

Options for cleaner are:

TSP/90 Heavy Duty Cleaner package.
  • TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
  • Log Wash
  • CPR Log Cleaner & Brightener
  • Wood ReNew Log Cleaner
  • Outlast KleenStart
  • ABR X-180 Wood Restorer

That’s it Cabin Dreamers! Do you have any tips for other Cabin Dreamers on cleaning? Let us know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “How to clean log cabin exterior walls.

  1. Dave Chapman says:

    This was great advice. I had planned to have my cabin re stained with the first cleaning being done with a pressure washer. Glad I saw these cleaning tips first before I damaged the wood and chinking.
    Thank you for providing this advice on line.

  2. Kenneth Lebo says:

    I have a lok n log home that we built in the 1992 – 1996 Time frame. I have large, deep checking cracks in the interior posts that support the second floor beam and also the Ridge beam. What, if any actions should I take to address this situation?

    • Justin Palmer says:

      As long it is a solid log post, checks will not make a difference in structural support. If the checks are new, you may want to check the humidity in the house as it may be to dry. Checks can’t pass through the heart of a solid red pine log.

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