Asked on Jan 02, 2017

How can I clean interior log walls?

by Lms53720
We rent a log house with interior uneven, wood stained log walls. Vacuuming, wiping with Swiffer dusting clothes have not really helped. Any suggestions? Entire house is log interior, including cathedral ceiling in main room. These logs are visibly dusty. Ugh! Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
  4 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 02, 2017

    There is most likely a residue build up on the wood.The only solution is to wash the wood down using a product made for stained logs.once cleaned vacuum on a regular basis.

  • William William on Jan 02, 2017

    Light Cleaning ..... Periodically, knock down cobwebs and dust in hard-to-reach areas with a broom or even a damp mop. Start at the highest points of your ceiling, if it is also wood, and work down the walls to prevent redepositing soil and webs. The simple solution would be to try a cleanser like Murphy’s Oil soap. Sponge the liquid soap on the logs, scrub, then wipe them down. As with any of these methods, always try a small, inconspicuous place for a test patch to see how your logs and finish react to the product. ***** Deep Cleaning ..... If you find areas of mold or mildew, spray lightly with hydrogen peroxide, wait a few minutes, then scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Follow with a sponging of distilled white vinegar. This kills mold better than bleach, which will damage your wood. To remove smoke residue, grease, dirt and grime, wash your walls down with a mixture of 1 cup hot water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup mineral oil (do not use vegetable, olive or any other oil) and 20 drops lemon oil. Fill a bottle with the ingredients, shake vigorously, and apply like car polish. Follow with a soft, dry cloth to buff to a sheen. ***** For more stubborn buildup, elicit the muscle of a tougher cleaner. Mix one cup of trisodiumphosphate or TSP (a powdered detergent product available at Home Depot or your local hardware store), and three quarts of mildly warm water to help the solution dissolve. Wearing rubber gloves and working in a well-ventilated room, sponge a small amount on, then off, to test the reaction. If the logs respond well, continue cleaning. ***** If none of these cleaning solutions help, the only remedy may be to remove any finishes or stains – whether by sanding or a chemical strip such as Citristrip. Sanding returns the logs to their natural color. Aside from dust and grime buildup, logs do darken over time as they are exposed to indoor lighting, indirect sunlight and oxidation.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lisa Sherman Lisa Sherman on Jul 13, 2019

      Thank you all, for sound advice. As the wood is very dry and splintery, I am attempting a number of your suggestions. Many thanks.

  • Ruidoso Ruidoso on Jan 03, 2017

    I was going to share what I do with my inherited cabin outside Ruidoso but I see that William has more than covered everything.

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    • Lms53720 Lms53720 on Jan 03, 2017

      Good suggestion, Janet. Thank you very much. William also made some excellent suggestions as well. see below.

  • Debbie Debbie on Sep 21, 2019

    I live in a log Home built in 1977. . I know all the cleaning techniques but get discouraged when trying to dust because our logs are authentic and splintered . When I use cloths or sponges the threads of cloths get stuck on logs and tear away from cloths or sponges tear up and stick in small pieces on logs . It’s discouraging and have never quite figured out what to use to scrub with. We use Murphy’s oil soap too. It’s good . I don’t always like using vacuum because I’d like from time to time just to wipe down logs. Any advice ?? Thank you!