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I'm wanting to get some feedback on what most people are using to clean the inside of their log walls? and preserve them? I was told to clean with Murphy's oil and treat with Linseed oil. Good? Bad? any other suggestions?

I will mention that we have round logs that are hand peeled.

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If new construction, I wash the inside when I wash the outside. I use a cleaner such as sodium hydroxide to wash away most band marks, oily hand prints, hyd. fluid, etc. It also breaks the mill glaze so the wood will accept stain. I follow immediately with an acid wash to neutralize the cleaner and brighten the wood.

There are many good interior clears/stains that will work for you. I use the water based products that I apply with an airless sprayer. Not only does it protect the wood, but it also forms a sealed surface that is easy to clean and does not collect dust like raw wood will.

Products that I have used include Permachink, Sashco, Sansin, Sikkens, and even Sherwin Williams. They are easy to use, and when applied correctly, save a lot of time. My three guys and I can sand out blemmishes, prep windows etc., and spray out an average 2000 ft2 house in a day, including doors, closets, and vaulted ceilings. I only tell you this so that you will consider spraying instead of brushing.
Remember: anyone can spray, the prep is what is important. Use lots of tape and plastic.

If I can be of more help, or if you need more details, just give me a call. 931 284 1464.

Something of a challenge on your usual use of sodium hydroxide. That chemical compound has other names, those being; caustic soda or lye. Lye as many of you will recall is what the bad guys pour onto the bodies they dump in shallow graves to destroy evidence. A brand name for sodium hydroxide is "drano". Yup same stuff you pour down the sink to eat and dissolve all the mess in your pipes.

Now I'm not necessarily saying it is a bad product to use on a log house. But it is an aggressive measure that removes the outer layer(s). I am suggesting overkill in normal situations. It would be similar to using some type of blasting or sanding the entire structure as that also removes layers of wood.

The challenge is why? Are the buildings that you assemble so poorly protected and handled up to re-assembly that they need such a radical treatment?

Bob Warren
Khita Log Builders Ltd.
"tarps are cheap"

I don't often give advice on these forums because I don't have time to trade tit-for-tat.

One tablespoon of sodium hydroxide in a five gallon bucket run through a pressure washer at 600 psi,5gal/min is not what I call radical. With a 20% eductor, that is one tablespoon in twenty gallons of water. after rinsing, the oxalic acid is applied immediately afterward, then rinsed again.

I would not have repeat customers, both home owners and builders, if I made a mess of their homes as you implied previous.

Mr. and Mrs. Brock are free to call me for help. If you have questions for me, you are free to call also.

931 284 1464
That explains it better. Simply saying that you use sodium hydroxide and then an acidic wash without details might lead some to attempt the same thing and use far too much of the chemicals.

Although it would be good if you paid a little attention to what I did say in the previous post. At no time did I say or suggest that you made a mess of anyone's home.

Most people would consider using caustic soda on their log walls to be a radical measure. Now I see, in the amounts that you use, that it is not so in this instance.

Bob Warren
Khita Log Builders Ltd.
Our log home is 8 years old....all I really need is to clean the logs inside of our house of dust. I'm wondering what is the best product to use to make them look shiny. Not ridiculously glossy but just a little sheen.
Well, now the question is about what is on the logs now? Has there been an interior finish applied? Are there problems beyond dust? A few interior pictures would help.

Bob Warren
Khita Log Builders Ltd,
I will echo what Bob asks - what is on there now? The combo of vaccuum cleaners w/ brush attachments and/or Swiffer dusters will do a great job removing dust from walls that have been coated with something (and maybe a little Murphy's oil soap will shine it up a bit...). But that same combo won't do a whole lot of good wood that has nothing on it. In particular, you'll probably notice greasy finger prints around outlets or light switches...and those will take some work to remove and end up with an even color.

Let us know what you're up against & we can better recommend products & methods that will work.

Happy cleaning! -- Charis w/ Sashco - -
Linseed Oil was used on the interior walls when it was first built, which was 16 years ago. Nothing since then. What would your advice be?
Thanks in advance!!!
Well, there's probably not much of the linseed oil left on the surface, would be my guess. Do you have photos? From past experience, the linseed oil will soak in & leave the surface feeling much the same as bare wood, but a different color. So, you're essentially having to clean as though it were bare wood. Vaccuum cleaners w/ the brush attachment and Swiffer dusters will get a lot of the dust off, but actually cleaning is going to be harder. I'd then take some Murphy's oil soap to the rest to see if that gets it clean enough. If you're motivated & have it in your budget, apply some sort of clear coat after that is all done. That will make cleaning in future MUCH easier.

Hope that helps some! Again, pics would be helpful, if you happen to have any.

Thanks! -- Charis
I apologize as I don't have any photos to put up at the moment. I am def planning on cleaning the walls down w/ the Murphy's oil soap. As far as the clear coat....what kind of clear coat should I consider putting on? Anything to make future cleaning easier would be gr8!
Thanks again for your time & advice!!!
I imagine most of that linseed oil is gone by now, so really any clear coat would do the trick. Water-bases are obviously easier on the lungs, but there are good oil-bases out there, too. Water-bases tend to be more flexible than oil-bases so are apt to move better & not crack with the normal movement a log home goes through.

We make a water-based clear coat called Symphony, but we're not the only ones out there. Do some shopping around, get samples & see what you like. Make sure the clear coat wets the surface uniformly like it's supposed to. If you see any separation (like oil and water) or lacy-like reaction, there's something on the surface causing problems.

Hope that answers it for now! -- Charis
sounds like the experts are agreeing to's tough to decide how to do normal cleaning, and what to apply to get a protective barrier against dust/dirt.
I have been told by multiple sources NEVER to use Murphy's oil soap as it will yellow...
Good luck!


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