Pulling up your old grass and replacing it with artificial turf is becoming a hot new home improvement trend…
And it’s easy to see why! Artificial grass keeps your yard looking fantastic year-round, with all the benefits and characteristics of real grass.
But while it’s a carefree and durable alternative, you’ll still need to give your artificial lawn some simple maintenance and care to keep it clean and fresh.
Today, our team of artificial grass experts will give you a complete crash course in cleaning and maintaining your synthetic grass.
You will get our simple weekly maintenance checklist, as well as instructions on how to clean and handle your artificial grass in a variety of situations, from stains and pet waste to mold and stray weeds!
In This Article:
Your Weekly Maintenance Routine for Artificial Grass
When maintaining a real lawn, you have to cut it every week, lay down lawn dressing at the start of the spring, and weed it throughout the growing season.
This can get really tedious, especially when you consider bad weather conditions, and the time and money it takes to keep live grass healthy in the long run.
With artificial grass, there is no worry and no stress! All you have to do is follow this simple weekly routine, and you can enjoy the same lawn for many years to come.
1. Remove Leaves and Debris from Your Lawn
- With a simple plastic-tooth leaf rake, remove the leaves on a day when the wind is moving in a favorable direction away from the lawn. Avoid metal rakes, as they can damage your grass layer.
- Wait for leaves to dry after a rainstorm – Removing damp leaves is very difficult, and it will brush away a lot easier when it is dried up.
- Don’t forget about other debris, such as dog poop and weeds! You will find detailed instructions for removing these later in the article.
- For bigger yards, consider using an electric leaf blower. This will allow you to quickly clean all debris and dirt off the surface, leaving nothing behind!
2. Brush Your Artificial Grass
- Lightly brush against the grain of the artificial grass to remove deep-set debris. This technique is called “cross brushing”, and will also help to fluff up the grass and prevent matting and flattening.
- We recommend using a power broom for this task. This will allow you to brush your entire lawn easily and quickly, removing dirt from deep within the grass blades. However, you can also brush your whole backyard by hand with a light stiff-bristled push broom.
3. Remove Weeds
- Check your artificial grass for weeds. Believe it or not, they can sometimes start growing in the soil and through the surface layer of your artificial lawn.
- Do not yank the weeds out. This can damage and tear the top layer of your artificial grass. Instead, apply a natural weed killer to kill off the roots before carefully pulling it out by hand.
- Be sure to brush your lawn regularly – This will remove any airborne seeds hidden within the grass blades before they start growing.
4. Rinse Your Artificial Lawn
- The final step is simply to rinse your lawn with a garden hose!
- The great thing about artificial grass is it behaves just like real grass when it comes to drainage. So any remaining dust and pollen will easily be washed down into the soil when you hose it down.
- During rainy seasons, you can skip this step entirely because the rain will do all the work for you!
Preventing Damage to Your Artificial Lawn
There are a few things we generally recommend to prevent permanent damage to your artificial grass.
First, avoid carrying heavy objects and furniture onto the lawn. If you have to do so, always pick them up with the help of a friend, and never drag them along the surface. Make sure the bottom of these objects are not sharp or abrasive.
Never set up your barbeque on the lawn: Sure, you might not drop hot coals, but the embers from the charcoal can drift onto the grass and cause burns in your grass.
Also, keep chewing gum away from your lawn, as dropping it on artificial grass can be extremely difficult to remove.
How To Remove Stains and Spills from Artificial Grass
Sooner or later, accidents happen on your lawn. Some substances like grease and motor oil can leave permanent stains on your artificial grass.
It’s not hard for this grease and grime to work itself into the grass when you step on them. This will cause hours of frustration when you have to clean it off.
The best solution? Simply prevent these stains from happening in the first place.
So keep activities like handyman repairs and engine work as far away from your artificial grass as possible. And make sure you don’t drag these substances onto your lawn with your shoes.
But what if it’s already happened? Don’t worry: We’ve got you covered.
For common household stains like pet urine, cola, blood, tea, and coffee, it is quite simple to clean these from your artificial turf.
Just follow these easy steps to remove these stains from your lawn.
- Act quickly – Cleaning the stain as fast as possible stops it from setting and seeping deeper through the surface.
- Blot up as much of the material as you can using paper towels. You can also use kitty litter as an absorbent for the stain.
- Always remember: Blot and dab, but don’t wipe! This will make sure you’re not spreading the stain around and making things worse.
- Following this, mix some water with household detergent to create a light cleaning solution.
- Gently wash away the stain by spraying this solution onto the affected area from a spray bottle. If you need something stronger, add a 3% solution of ammonia to this cleaning solution.
- After cleaning, rinse the affected area thoroughly using your garden hose.
To remove stubborn stains like motor oil, ink, grease and suntanning oil, you should attempt to dissolve these stains first using mineral spirits. After this, simply follow the same steps above to absorb and draw out the stains.
Removing Dog Pee from Artificial Grass
The amazing thing about artificial grass is that it is designed to allow liquids to drain right through, and into the soil, just like real grass. And this includes dog pee!
If you have pets, you should opt specifically for a pet-friendly artificial lawn. These lawns ensure quick surface drainage, and come with anti-microbial protection too.
Dogs tend to pee in the same spot every day – they’re creatures of habit. This actually makes cleaning easier for you, because you can concentrate on one spot instead of searching for the pee in your lawn!
You’ll need to wash away the pee every day and as soon as possible to prevent staining. Dog urine can produce odors if left on your artificial grass.
If you notice these smells, a great way to remove this is to neutralize it using a solution of half vinegar and half water.
Some brands also make special formulas for cleaning away pet pee from artificial grass.
When installing your lawn, make sure you get a deodorizing membrane between the base and grass. This layer absorbs and neutralizes smells before it starts.
The addition of this membrane also improves airflow within and underneath the grass, allowing for faster drying of your lawn and better drainage.
If in doubt, simply give the grass a rinse daily to keep it clean!
Removing Mold from Artificial Grass
Leaves are the primary culprit for the development of mold outbreaks in your artificial grass. If you purchased and installed an anti-microbial infill for your lawn, you wouldn’t have to deal with any mold issues.
Even if you use a microbial infill for your artificial grass, you’ll still have to follow proper maintenance guidelines to keep it clean and prevent mold from forming.
Always ensure you sweep up and remove leaves from your yard in a regular fashion, and don’t leave them hanging around for weeks on end.
If you don’t have an anti-microbial inlay in your lawn, you’ll have to resort to other methods to contain the mold. Some brands make a custom anti-microbial spray formula for artificial lawns.
However, you can create the same mold-killing spray using ingredients at home. Just take a spray bottle and fill it equally with vinegar and water. Make sure you use white spirit vinegar for this.
Simply spray it on the affected area and let it dry. Then rinse away the solution using your garden hose, and repeat the treatment if necessary.
How to Remove Snow and Ice from Synthetic Grass
Kids love playing in the snow, and it’s a nice break from the traditional green covering your yard.
But can artificial grass withstand heavy snowfall? How do you remove snow and ice from the grass?
The best option is to let the snow and ice melt and drain away naturally through your lawn’s permeable membrane. However, in deep snowfalls, you might have to remove the snow to prevent damage to the bedding and membrane under the artificial lawn.
If you live in a region experiencing heavy snowfalls in the wintertime, you’ll have to do some yard work after a snowstorm. Remove the top layer of snow, but don’t dig into the lawn. Leave about a foot of snow on your lawn, and it should drain away as it melts.
Avoid using snowblowers, metal rakes, and spades on your lawn. Some experts say it’s fine to use salt on your grass, while others recommend against doing so.
Ask your manufacturer for their recommendations when purchasing your artificial grass. Most experts agree that salt might cause issues with the backing and membrane as it accumulates.
Stop Window Magnification From Melting Or Burning Artificial Grass
Artificial grass gets warm on hot, sunny days. However, it comes with a fade-resistant design and heat-resistant materials. Your artificial lawn won’t burn, even on the hottest days.
However, that doesn’t mean your lawn can’t burn. If you notice burn patches on your grass around the house, it’s probably due to the windows.
When sunlight reflects of “Low-E-Glass” (eco-friendly glass), it magnifies the light. Any double-pane window provides the same magnifying effect on the light, burning your lawn.
Before you start thinking that artificial grass should accommodate this effect, think again. The magnification of light produced by some Low-E glass is strong enough to melt trash cans and vinyl siding on your home.
It’s not only your windows you need to look out for when assessing this risk in your yard. Your neighbors might also have glass producing the same effect, with the magnified sunlight landing on your lawn.
The best way to ensure your lawn doesn’t burn is to check for risks around the yard that might cause the effect. Using natural objects to block the light like trees and bushes can resolve the problem.
You also have the option of installing shutters or screens on your windows. Awnings and shades are also good options for reducing the glare on your lawn.
Fortunately, if your lawn does experience burn damage, it’s possible to replace only the affected section. You don’t have to worry about tearing the entire lawn up to lay a new one.
Magnification of sunlight isn’t the only factor causing burns on your lawn. People might drop cigarette butts on the grass, or you might accidentally spill some charcoal on the lawn during your barbeque.
To mitigate the risk of burns, we recommend banning any of these activities around or on your lawn.
Removing Weeds from Artificial Grass
What? Weeds on an artificial lawn, is that possible? Yes, weeds can start growing in your synthetic grass. The porous membrane of the lawn allows draining to the soil bed beneath the bedding layer.
Weed seeds can work down to the soil bed over a season or two. Eventually, they reach the underlying soil bed and start to grow. However, you’ll notice them immediately, and they only appear occasionally.
You can use a weed killer on the weeds or pull them out by hand. Make sure you don’t cause any damage to the underlying membrane when removing the weeds.
Regularly maintaining your artificial lawn is the best way to prevent weed and moss growth. Remove all leaves and dirt on your lawn as often as possible. Check the final section of this review for some ideas on tools for maintaining your artificial grass.
Removing Dog and Bird Droppings from Artificial Grass
Bird droppings aren’t a real problem on real lawns. The waste breaks down easily and washes away into the soil.
However, that’s not the case with an artificial lawn. Animal droppings won’t rot, and require removal from your lawn, or they will cause stains and odors.
Once a day, inspect your lawn for bird droppings, preferably in the evening or early morning when it’s cool. You might find that the droppings all congregate around a tree or bush in your yard.
If that’s the case, consider cutting the tree back to give the birds nowhere to perch over your lawn. That should resolve most of the problems, but you’ll still find some droppings from time-to-time.
As to dog waste, it is a lot easier to spot on your lawn. Just pick it up as soon as you see them and discard it promptly.
Simply follow the steps below to remove any dog or bird droppings from your artificial grass.
- Scoop off solid waste, being careful not to smear or spread it around.
- Use a turf cleaner spray to remove any stains or odors from the grass.
- Spray the cleaner directly on the affected area, or onto a sponge, and wipe it down.
- Repeat the process for a deeper clean if necessary.
- Give the lawn a final rinsing with water after cleaning.
Artificial Grass Maintenance Equipment
Maintaining artificial grass isn’t hard. But you do need to have the right tools for the job!
Here’s a simple shopping list of equipment that will help you keep your lawn clean and fresh for many years to come!
- Plastic leaf rake – Never use metal rakes on your lawn, or you’ll damage the grass. The steel can rip through the mesh backing, damaging the underlayer. We recommend using plastic rakes for the best results clearing your lawn.
- Stiff bristle push broom – This brush is ideal for areas that get heavy foot traffic. Repeated walking on the same lawn area mats the grass fibers, causing them to break down. Cross-brushing your lawn reduces damage, fading, and wear.
- Turf Spray – Look for biodegradable and eco-friendly options for spraying down stains on your lawn. Avoid products containing bleach and other caustic or acidic chemicals.
- Spray Bottle – This will help you with spraying turf spray, detergents and weed killers. It will also come in handy whenever you need to clean a tough stain by hand.
- Weed Killer – Weeds occasionally appear on older artificial lawns. Keep some organic weed killer on hand to resolve the issue.
- Power Brush – Sweep away debris caught deep in the fibers of your artificial lawn. Brush against the grain of the grass, with the brush spinning away from you as you work. This clearing method is not ideal due to the amount of labor involved.
- Leaf Blower – Why go to the hassle of raking your lawn? Use an electric leaf blower to clear debris from your artificial grass and fluff up the blades.