Artificial Grass Maintenance: How To Clean Artificial Grass Guide
One of the most appealing features of synthetic turf is that it does not require the amount of care and maintenance a natural grass lawn must have. Never again will you need to fertilize, mow, aerate or waste huge amounts of water to have green grass surrounding your home.
However, this does not mean that artificial turf is completely maintenance free; to keep your synthetic grass looking its best and to get the most enjoyment out of your investment, you will need to perform a bit of regular cleaning and maintenance.
How to Clean and Maintain Artificial Grass
How often you need to perform artificial grass maintenance tasks will depend on your particular situation. For example, if you have outdoor pets, children, or lots of trees and shrubs, you will likely need to clean your synthetic lawn more often than homeowners who do not have these factors at play. If you live in a particularly dusty area, this may also prompt you to rinse down your fake lawn more often.
Conversely, during rainy months, you can allow the rain to wash your lawn and may not need to spray it down as often. Because of the various factors that make your situation unique, consider the following maintenance schedule suggestion and amend it to best suit your needs.
Weekly Artificial Lawn Maintenance
Most homeowners will need to lightly rinse down their synthetic lawns once per week. Spraying down the grass fibers with a hose will remove dust and other small debris that has accumulated between washings.
Monthly Artificial Lawn Maintenance
A more thorough synthetic grass cleaning, performed on a monthly basis, will help keep your lawn green, clean and inviting.
How To Perform Monthly Artificial Grass Maintenance
- Remove dust, dirt and leaves with a stiff brush.
- Use a broom or handled brush and sweep against the natural grain of the grass to groom it into an upright position.
To remove dust, dirt, leaves and other debris, use a flexible lawn rake, a broom with stiff bristles or a stiff brush. If you choose to use a stiff brush, make sure you do not choose one with steel bristles, which could damage the fake grass.
Cleaning your grass in this manner is also an effective way to maintain the upright position of each blade. Keep in mind that you may need to perform this level of maintenance more often if you have pets or during seasons when trees and shrubs lose their leaves or bloom.
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your grass, you may find that it is not standing as upright as you would like. You may also notice that your grass is not erect in certain areas after you, a family member or pet has lain on it. This is easy to fix by simply grooming your lawn by using a broom or handled brush to brush against the natural grain to encourage each blade of artificial grass to stand up properly. Regular grooming also prevents matting and keeps your lawn’s infill from compacting.
If you have moved into a home with artificial grass that has not been properly groomed or you have not been able to keep up with regular groomings, it is recommended that you have your lawn professionally groomed to restore it to its former lushness. You can then follow the above schedule to clean and maintain your lawn.
How to Remove Pet Waste from Artificial Grass
Synthetic turf is a pet-friendly option, and pet owners can rest assured that little additional maintenance is required to keep their lawns looking great.
How To Clean Pet Waste off of Artificial Grass
- Remove solid waste using a baggie or pooper scooper.
- Hose down the area.
- Spray where pet urinates at least once a week.
- Apply a turf neutralizer if needed.
To remove pet droppings from grass, simply use your preferred method for removing solid pet waste. This could be a plastic bag or a pooper scooper, for example. Once you have removed the solid waste, hose down the area in which the pet waste was located.
Most pets have favorite places to relieve themselves, which makes pet urine removal simple as well. To clean pet urine on artificial grass, use a hose to spray down the area at least one time each week.
To ensure that your lawn stays clean and odor-free, you may want to hose down your pet’s favorite urination area more often. It is also recommended that you keep a bottle of turf urine odor neutralizer handy, which will allow you to avoid lawn odors with quick, regular treatments of the area.
Some pet owners choose to create a separate bathroom area for their pets in order to make fake lawn maintenance even easier. This could be a dirt or gravel patch in a side yard or other area. Dogs can often be trained to use these separate areas, making this a viable option for homeowners that do not want to clean pet waste from their synthetic turf. Keep in mind that this is not really necessary, since artificial turf is an ideal option for pet owners, particularly when compared to natural grass. Make sure to let your installer know that you have pets when you are making your installation appointment.
When pets are involved, turf installation should be completed differently, including the addition of turf deodorizer to the base preparation, a recommended membrane between the base and the turf to allow enhanced air circulation and additional turf deodorizer on top with the installation of the infill.
How to Clean Artificial Grass: Spills, Chewing Gum, Blood and Other Unfortunate Occurrences
Lawns are meant to be lived on, which means drinks may be spilled, chewing gum or candy may be dropped, roughhousing may result in a bit of blood or mustard may drip from plates during a family barbecue.
Artificial turf is stain resistant, which makes cleaning up spills and other accidents easy. Most spills can simply be rinsed away with water. If residue remains after hosing off the area, you can use a mild, natural soap with warm water or a half-and-half mix of vinegar and water, which is also a great option for removing bacteria.
The key to effectively removing spills is to respond quickly. Spills are easiest to remove when they are still in liquid form and can be simply washed away.
Chewing gum, candy and other sticky substances can usually be removed just by picking them up with your hand; however, if a piece of chewing gum is being particularly difficult to remove, you can chill the gum with an ice cube to make it easier to remove completely. You can also use a plastic putty knife or similar tool for tougher removals. If this is required, make sure you use a dull object that will not cut or tear the synthetic turf. Do not use harsh chemicals or solvents to remove spills or sticky substances from your lawn.
How to Remove Bacteria from Synthetic Grass
Bacteria buildup is generally not an issue with artificial grass(especially if you opt for the antimicrobial acrylic coated infill, which is highly recommended) that is frequently cleaned and properly maintained.
However, if you believe there are bacteria present, you can use a half-and-half mix of vinegar and water to remove the buildup of bacteria spores. If the area is small, such as a spot where your pet frequently urinates, you can use this mixture in a spray bottle. If you wish to treat your entire lawn, you can use a garden hose attachment, like those generally used to spray fertilizer, to treat larger areas.
How to Avoid Stains and Burns
If your artificial lawn has cigarette burns or stubborn stains, it can always be repaired; however, the better plan is to avoid spills and burns before they become a problem. Certain spills, such as battery acid, grease, lubricants, motor oil and similar substances can discolor or damage synthetic turf. Prevent contact with these substances by repairing vehicles and garden tools away from your fake grass.
Artificial grass burns can occur from cigarettes, smoldering charcoal spilling from a grill, fireworks or sparks from fire pits. To avoid these accidents, relegate smoking, lighting fireworks and grilling to areas that are a safe distance from your synthetic lawn.
If accidents happen, contact your artificial lawn provider to inquire about repair options.
How to Remove Snow and Ice from Synthetic Grass
As a general rule, the best option for snow and ice removal is to allow them to melt and drain away naturally. Artificial lawn backing is perforated, which allows it to drain much like a natural grass lawn.
However, there may be some cases where you wish to remove the snow or ice from your fake grass.
- If it is a light dusting of snow, it can simply be brushed or swept away.
- If several inches – or feet – of snow are present, and you choose to shovel the snow or use a snow blower, it is best to remove only the top layers of snow, while leaving at least one inch of snow to be swept away with a broom or brush. This will help you avoid damaging your artificial grass with your snow removal method.
Metal rakes and shovels should not be used to avoid potential damage to the lawn. While salt can be used on artificial turf, it is generally not recommended. Over time, the residue from the salt can build up and prevent the backing material from allowing proper drainage.
How to Prevent Burnt Turf from Window Magnification
Artificial grass can become warm when in direct sunlight on high-temperature days. This can lead to some homeowners being concerned about the potential for their fake grass to be burned by the sun.
Even the hottest direct sunlight will not burn your synthetic turf; however, it is possible for sun magnification or strong reflections from windows and sliding glass doors to damage your grass. While any double-pane window has the potential to cause a magnifying effect, the culprits are usually energy-efficient windows and doors made from low emissivity glass, which is often referred to simply as low-E glass.
This type of double-pane glass has a metallic oxide or metal layer in the glazing surface, which is responsible for controlling heat transfer and giving this glass its energy-efficient quality. The purpose of low-E glass is to prevent heat from entering the home in summer months and to prevent heat from leaving the home in colder months.
To achieve this, low-E glass reflects sunlight, which can result in an intense, focused heat similar to what can be achieved using a magnifying glass. These intense reflections are known to melt plastic trash cans, plastic pieces on vehicles and vinyl siding, and it has been confirmed that at least four houses have caught fire from these focused rays. This magnified sunlight coming from your own windows or those of a neighbor can also burn your artificial turf if left unchecked.
The easiest way to avoid having your synthetic grass burned by window magnification is to find simple solutions that allow you to block potential window glare. If the windows threatening your fake grass are on your home, you can install awnings, shutters, screens, or shades to minimize reflections. If the potentially harmful windows are on a neighbor’s home, consider planting trees or bushes to protect your grass from focused window reflections.
If your artificial grass becomes burnt or melted from window magnification, the damaged area can be removed and replaced. However, if you do not take steps to keep this from happening again, you may find yourself regularly replacing that patch of fake grass.
With proper care and maintenance, you can extend the life of your synthetic lawn and keep it looking its best for years to come.
Performing these simple tasks on a regular basis will help ensure your lawn remains clean, lush and odor-free, which will make it an inviting place to relax, play, sunbathe, or hang out with family and friends.
You can always call in a professional for a thorough cleaning, grooming or repair; however, you can keep costs to a minimum by taking steps to prevent artificial lawn damage and following a regular synthetic lawn maintenance routine.