Here are 20 tips to help you clean and maintain your log cabin.
Cabins are usually smaller homes with a limited floor plan.
It's surprising how quickly such a small space can become dirty.
In fact, new home organization statistics show 54% of Americans said that they felt overwhelmed with clutter filling up their homes.
If you want to spend more time outside of the cabin instead of in it, it's important to know the best tips on how to keep it clean.
So, keep reading to learn exactly how to keep your cabin clean.
Here are 10 tips to follow to clean and maintain the exterior of your cabin.
1. Wash the Exterior
If your cabin is made of logs, then it requires a special method of cleaning. The exterior logs are often made of softwood. They don't hold up well against pressure washing.
Instead of pressure washing the logs, you should use a car wash brush. You'll want a brush with the longest handle.
Then choose a cleaner.
There are several cleaners on the market designed for logs. Spray the cleaner on the logs.
You'll want to pay special attention to areas where cobwebs linger. These are the areas that are the most protected and easiest to become dirty. It's where dirt and debris tend to gather.
Once the cleaner has been applied, wait a half-hour or however long the bottle says to wait, and then rinse it. Using the car wash brush, scrub the logs with water. They'll be shining like new in no time.
2. Use a Finish on the Logs
To get that extra shine or color on your logs, then you'll want to consider finishing it.
That might mean adding a wax, stain, or some other type of finish on it. Before you apply just any finish to your cabin, you should research the kind of wood that it's made of.
This will help you determine the right kind of application and finish that you need. The last thing you want to do is use a finish that actually melts your logs.
Certain finishes can make your logs look glossy and shiny. Others may just protect it from weathering and moss.
Decide what kind of finish is the most important to you and follow its instructions to apply it correctly.
3. Sand the Logs
One final cleaning tip you can use on the logs of your cabin is to sand the logs.
You need to sand your logs because weathering and mold will get to them eventually. Sanding is the only way to remove mold entirely and preserve the wood from becoming weathered and battered.
An 80-grit disc on a sander works well for white wood. It restores the color and helps prepare the wood for staining or sealing.
Sanding only removes the very surface of logs. You don't have to worry about your cabin losing its integrity for some time.
4. Inspect the Exterior for Termites
If your cabin is mostly made of wood, then you need to worry about termites. These insects live off of wood.
They're usually attracted to an area due to a dead tree. They'll house themselves within the dead tree and start to eat it from the inside out.
Then they'll migrate to a new source of wood. Some logs are particularly nourishing for termites.
You should regularly inspect your cabin for signs of a termite infestation.
One of the ways you can spot an infestation is through the presence of mud tunnels.
These tunnels are basically channels that termites build and use to safely navigate from one area to the next.
They'll climb up a wall until they reach a soft spot in the wood. Then they'll start to chew into the wood to create a new tunnel.
You can also find traces of them inside of the cabin, too.
They leave little holes in the wood and fling out their waste. You may notice some sawdust and small droppings at the base of your walls.
The moment that you notice the presence of termites, you need to call for professional removal.
Termites can do serious harm to your cabin. A professional can remove them and help keep your log cabin safe for generations to come.
5. Investigate the Chinks or Seals of Your Log Cabin
Log cabins are held together through a substance called chinking.
It's a mortar-like substance that is coated between logs.
It seals them together and also prevents bugs, mold, and the weather from slipping past the logs and into the cabin.
Over time, chinking starts to erode.
This opens up the gaps in the home and can see a steady increase in bugs. It will also make your cabin less energy-efficient.
Restoring chinking is relatively easy. You just need to purchase it at your local hardware store and apply it per the instructions.
If the gap is larger than 1-inch in diameter, then you should insert a backer rod first. This rod gives something for the chinking to adhere to. It creates a more solid sealer.
You also don't want to use more than a half-inch deep of chinking when sealing the logs.
It can make the chinking start to rip. Less is usually the better option.
Chinking also has the advantage of coming in different colors or being painted in different colors. This can give you an opportunity to make some stunning designs for your cabin.
It's also worth considering switching to use chinking if your cabin is older. Most old log cabins use clay lime and sand to seal the gaps between logs. Chinking is more durable.
6. Check the Drainage System
While you're outside, you need to check the drainage system for the area.
The last thing you want for your cabin is to have it in standing water. Maintaining water exposure is a great way for logs to quickly erode and lose their integrity.
To remove standing water, create a draining system. You can do this by sloping part of the ground. The water will naturally follow the slope.
You can also install piping or tubing around the base of your home. Drill holes within the pipe or tubing and lead it down to an area where water can safely collect. As the water falls onto the ground, it will find the holes of the tube and be carried safely away.
7. Consider Coating the Exterior in Borate
Because your home is made of wood, you're going to see an influx of bugs.
There are several species of bugs that feast on wood. They're nourished by living sapwood, for example. A way to get rid of bugs is to use borate.
You'll find several different borate sprays on the market. You want one that is safe to use on log cabins. All you need to do is coat the logs in the borate. The scent will keep bugs away from the cabin.
Some borate sprays aren't safe for pets. Do your research before purchasing a spray to ensure it's safe for the cabin and your family.
8. Check the Roof
Wood expands and shrinks in the presence of moisture and extreme temperatures.
That shifting could present a problem with your roof. The shingles may start to deteriorate or bend. Even the structural system, itself, may slowly start to form gaps.
It's worth inspecting your roof every year. This will keep you up to date on its lifespan, health, and whether or not you need to do anything to maintain it.
Because roofs collect a lot of moisture, it's also important to check the areas where the wood connects with the roof.
It's not uncommon to find mold or moss growing in these areas. Cleaning them can help preserve the area.
9. Clean and Inspect the Windows
Windows provide natural light in your log cabin. To save on energy, you need as much natural light as possible.
Cleaning them with a window cleaner at least once a year can help them shine that light into the cabin.
It's also a great time to inspect the sill. Like the roof, the window will start to shift in response to moisture and temperature.
It may break its seal. You can usually tell if the seal is broken by the presence of condensation within the glass. It means air is escaping and entering through the pane.
In most cases, a window can be repaired simply by caulking the gap. In other cases, it may need to be replaced.
10. Maintain and Preserve the Deck or Patio Area
No log cabin is ever complete without a deck or patio area. It should also be part of your cleaning and maintaining checklist.
A deck that is attached to your log cabin could break your cabin if it isn't properly maintained.
Unlike your cabin's log walls, you're able to pressure wash your deck.
The lumber used for this construction is designed to hold up against tough pressure. Washing it with a pressure washer can blast away dirt and mold easily.
You may also want to sand and stain it for the best appearance. Also, make sure that it's still structurally sound and make the necessary repairs otherwise.
For pavers, all you need to do is scrub the stone blocks with a brush and some water to remove mold and mildew.
Cleaning and maintaining the interior of your cabin is essential for a healthy and happy family.
Follow these 10 tips to clean and maintain your log cabin the best way.
11. Get Rid of Sink Odors with Lemon
Depending on the location of your cabin, you may find yourself cooking at home often. That may create a stink from your kitchen sink.
To keep your cabin kitchen sink from expelling odors, simply run a lemon rind through the attached garbage disposal.
The lemon juice will kill odors and clean out the parts of the sink that you can't reach.
Once the lemon is through the sink, rinse it with cold water.
12. Cut Through Grease On Kitchen Appliances
With all of the cooking you're doing in the kitchen, you likely have a few grease stains.
Your microwave, in particular, may look like a battle zone.
One easy way to clean it up is to heat a bowl of water with some chopped lemon in it. Add a little vinegar, too.
Then let the bowl steam up inside of the microwave. Once it's done, all you need to do is wipe away the grease and other debris.
13. Polish Your Countertops
Your cabin likely has countertops, and using vinegar to clean them could seriously damage them.
A better option is to use something like granite polish.
The polish picks up messes, cuts through them, and leaves behind a shiny and glowing finish.
It's a great way to clean and finish your countertops instead of making them appear dull.
14. Check Out the Latest Design Trends
Cabins are known to be rustic, but they don't have to be.
If you want to clean your cabin according to the standards of 2021, then you need to know what the latest trends are for cabins.
Take some time to research interior design for cabins in 2021 and make the necessary changes.
Your cabin will look trendy and practically new.
15. Refresh the Junk Drawer
Because your cabin is a gateway to adventure, it likely has a junk drawer.
To keep your cabin clean, go through the junk drawer regularly and sort it. You'll want to throw away items that are truly junk and leave items that have some use to you.
To further clean the junk drawer, vacuum up any crumbs that may be lurking inside of it.
You may be surprised to find what's in your junk drawer.
16. Replace Shower Curtains with Glass
If your cabin is used for vacations, then it's a good idea to replace the shower curtain with glass. Over time, the shower curtain can become moldy.
If you're not there to clean the curtain, then you may return to find a lot of mold on it.
Glass shower doors are easier to maintain.
You just need to wipe them down before you leave the cabin for the season.
17. Dust Every Crevice
The interior of a cabin has a lot of hideaway areas where dust can gather.
The tops of beams, the tight corners where beams are connected, and sloping areas can all be difficult to clean.
You may find that you need a special tool to reach them. However, cleaning them is critical.
Removing dust, cobwebs, and other allergens from those areas can make living in your cabin a lot more tolerable.
Start with the crevices first. Then clean up the floors to avoid messing them again.
18. Clean Out Your Wood Stove
Many cabins have wood stoves. If your cabin is one of them, then you need to care for it.
Regularly clean out your stove and have a chimney sweep take care of the chimney.
Your chimney should be cleaned at least once every year.
It's also important to use the right kind of wood to preserve the lifespan of your stove. Hardwood is the best wood to burn because it lasts longer. You'll get more of a burn with less mess.
19. Hang Mosquito Nets on the Porch
To keep using your cabin at night, you should consider installing mosquito nets on your porch or deck.
They're effective at keeping mosquitoes from entering your home and porch area.
You'll need to take them down every now and then to clean them.
Simply spraying them with a garden hose will do the trick. By maintaining your mosquito nets, you can enjoy your cabin's porch at all hours of the night and day.
20. Use a Robot Vacuum
One of the best ways to keep your cabin tidy is to use a robot vacuum.
The best part about them is that they do all the cleaning for you.
While you're out enjoying the outdoors, the robot is keeping your cabin clean. You can come back to completely cleaned floors and a healthy cabin.
Taking care of your cabin requires a bit more work than the average house. By following these tips to maintain the exterior and interior of your cabin, you can make it last for years. Try them today and enjoy your cabin.