Artificial grass, a flawlessly picture-perfect lawn with less effort! A crisp, green look all-year round without the hassle of trying to keep grass alive or the dreaded mowing.
Wondering how to clean your artificial grass? Our guide explains all you need to know about cleaning artificial grass. The flexible nature of artificial grass creates a vast variety of different methods that can be used to keep it clean and looking fresh.
Table of Contents
- How to Clean Artificial Grass?
- 1. Sweep it Clean First
- 2. Wash Using Simple Green Odor Eliminator
- 3. Simply Wash it Down with a Garden Hose
- 4. Use a Leaf Blower
- 5. Use Vinegar and Rinse
- 6. Wash Using NaturVet – Yard Odor Eliminator Plus Citronella Spray
- 7. Pressure Wash it on Low Setting
- 8. Clean with Homemade Artificial Grass Cleaner Solution (Vinegar, Mild Dish Soap, and Water)
- 9. Wash Using Roco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator for Strong Odor
- Artificial Grass Cleaning FAQs
- Final Thoughts
Do You Need to Clean an Artificial Turf Lawn?
While artificial grass, or turf, does require much less effort to maintain than regular grass, it must be kept clean. Bacteria, dirt, organic material, leaves, and weeds are just a few of the components that can get on your turf lawn and make it unsafe for you or your pets to use. To keep it safe, keep it clean!
Luckily there are many different ways to keep your artificial turf lawn clean and safe for children, adults, and pets. Below are nine of the most popular and effective ways to clean your artificial turf lawn. Try out any that look appealing to you or try a combination of multiple! There are different ways to clean the turf, with different ways targeting different types of messes. Find the one that works best for you and your lawn.
How to Clean Artificial Grass?
Sweeping your grass clean first can be a great way to begin the cleaning process. Leaves, sticks, rocks, and other medium-sized or large-sized objects can be a pain to have on your lawn. Dirt is also a common, pesky occurrence on artificial grasses.
To remove the leaves, sticks, rocks, and dirt before applying different methods of deep cleaning, or just to give it a quick once-over before company comes, use a rake or a broom. These tools are easy to find, affordable, and useful for other household chores as well. They are very versatile and a great investment to make.
When picking out a rake to clean your lawn find a rake with flexible tines. The flexible tines allow it to be gentle on the grass itself, but also sturdy enough to remove the objects from the grass. There are rakes that can be purchased that are specifically made for cleaning artificial grass, turf, and lawns. Find one at your local hardware store or online!
In terms of brooms, you want a sturdier broom, especially when dealing with larger particles on the grass. Brooms with a thick wooden handle are usually best for your artificial lawn.
The Simple Green Odor Eliminator is a great way to keep odor off your artificial grass!
This odor eliminator removes odor from a variety of organic matters, including but not limited to stool, vomit, and urine. In addition to being safe for artificial grass, and being ideal for yards, it is safe to use on concrete and gravel as well.
A key feature of this product is the easy-to-use nature! First, shake the bottle well. Connect the head to a regular garden hose. Turn the hose on and start spraying! Always point the nozzle away from pets, yourself, and other people.
If you have an excessive odor coming from your lawn, this eliminator can be sprayed onto the lawn and scrubbed. When scrubbing, use a brush to achieve best results. Whether spraying or scrubbing, ALWAYS wash your hands or use gloves. It is also advised to wear protective eye coverings and to avoid direct contact with your eyes.
The Simple Green Odor Eliminator is efficient and effective due to its restructuring of odors. The enzymes, microbes, and fragrance of this product works in two major ways. The enzymes and microbes work to consume the odor and the fragrance is a great way to mask the odor while it is being consumed.
This product is great for odors from large or small animals and has a fresh, almost soapy aroma. The more animals you have, and the bigger the yard, the more frequently you will need to apply the spray. Happy spraying!
3. Simply Wash it Down with a Garden Hose
Using a garden hose is a great way to rinse the grass. This process removes dust and some dirt from the artificial grass. A sprayer with adjustable settings may make it more effective. Don’t use too hard of a setting as it may damage the artificial grass itself. A gentle spray is best.
For best results, use cold water. When using a hose, be sure to spray evenly across the grass. Work systematically from one end of the grass to the other, making sure to leave no part of the lawn untouched. If the garden hose can’t reach the entire lawn, use a bucket or a watering can to finish the job.
As an alternative option to a rake or a broom, try a leaf blower! It is a great way to easily remove unwanted debris from the lawn. Leaf blowers are ideal for leaves, small sticks, and other medium-sized lightweight debris.
When using a leaf blower, use it to blow the leaves, or debris, into smaller piles to properly dispose of. You can use a normal leaf blower or a vacuum cleaner blower. There are artificial grass-specific leaf blowers that are recommended for this use. Be careful not to blow away any sand on a sand-filled turf.
Using a leaf blower to clean debris off of your artificial grass makes it easier to brush, if you choose to do so, as the large materials will be gone from the surface. A leaf blower is quicker than using a rake or a broom, but be sure to keep the blower at least 3 inches from the grass to avoid damaging the artificial surface.
Many of you may have seen this heading and asked yourself, “but doesn’t vinegar damage the grass?” In terms of regular grass, yes, the vinegar will kill it. However, vinegar does not damage the artificial grass when used properly.
You do, however, want to avoid extremely strong acids on grass. It is recommended to use a 1:1 mixture, as to not damage the artificial lawn. Use 1-part vinegar and 1-part water to create a safe and effective solution. This mixture dilutes the vinegar so the acidity is healthier for the artificial grass.
There are several different, beneficial uses for vinegar on your artificial grass.
Unwelcome Weed Killer
Vinegar is great for killing weeds! Yes, weeds still grow when artificial grass is in place, but that doesn’t mean they need to stay. Use vinegar with an acidity around 20%, mix in a spray bottle, and voila! A natural weed killer. Be careful when spraying around plants that you may want to keep around.
Pet Waste Be Gone!
A vinegar solution can help to clean pet waste. Doing so can remove odors and keep the grass hygienic for the little guys. To clean, pick up the solid wastes, rinse with water, then spray the affected area. This works to clean bird droppings as well.
Artificial grass may not be alive but it is still exposed to germs and dirt. Insect waste, dead leaves or animals, and other organic matter forms can decompose on the grass. The decomposed materials can get stuck between blades of grass and the backing of the artificial grass. Vinegar contains properties that can aid in the disinfectant of the turf.
Removes Food and Paint Stains
Food stains are quite common on artificial grass, especially given the number of barbeques and other outdoor summer gatherings that occur. A spray of a vinegar solution can help remove the stains.
For paint stains, use a rag. Spray the rag with the vinegar solution. Then apply the rag to the affected area and do a bit of scrubbing.
Artificial grass is not immune to fungus and bacterial growth. It can still retain water and moisture, often in Spring and Autumn, making it a prime mold growing spot. Mold can trigger asthma and allergies so it is best to remove it as soon as possible. Spray vinegar solution on grass and wipe with a sponge. Dispose of sponge after use.
This NaturVet – Yard Odor Eliminator Plus Citronella Spray is excellent for cleaning artificial grass while keeping it super safe for your animals! The spray is primarily dog-specific and will eliminate odors from their stool and urine. It is not meant to prevent dogs from going to the bathroom on the grass, but it is great for the clean-up.
The odor eliminator is easy to use: just open and spray! The citronella in the spray, commonly used as an essential oil in candles and soap, is released as a fragrance agent assisting in masking the odors while they are being eliminated.
Formulated by veterinarians you can be certain of your dog’s or dogs’ safety. This spray can be sprayed on any outdoor surface and is made in a company that is cGMP compliant.
You can indeed pressure wash your artificial grass. It is convenient if you are pressure washing your driveway or another surface around your lawn. However, you want to be careful not to damage the fibers of your artificial grass when doing so.
Don’t use a high intensity nozzle for your grass. Using a wide-angle tip for washing is best, and rinsing with the lowest pressure nozzle is recommended. Always keep the nozzle itself at least a foot away from the grass.
This fast and easy method is great for dirt and pet hair!
8. Clean with Homemade Artificial Grass Cleaner Solution (Vinegar, Mild Dish Soap, and Water)
This method is really great for exceptionally dirty lawns that a vinegar and water mixture alone can’t clean properly. Always use this method with a soft brush or sponge to maintain the quality of fibers in your artificial lawn.
For this solution it is recommended to use the same 1:1 ratio as above for water to vinegar. This time, hot water may be used to help the soap mix in.
Use 1-part warm water and add in some mild dish soap. Don’t add in too much, add in just enough to make a 5% solution, a bit of a drizzle. Add this mix to 1-part vinegar and there you have it! A more heavy duty homemade artificial grass cleaner.
Sometimes the regular vinegar solution won’t cut it so you may need to use the heavy duty one. Same goes for odor eliminators! Roco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator for Strong Odor is great for just that: strong odors!
This odor eliminator is chlorine-free and color safe to maintain a crisp, fresh green color to your artificial grass. It leaves behind no residue and eliminates stains and stinks. It can be used for every surface, not just artificial grass.
This bio-enzymatic formula has enzymes that feed on the ammonia crystals and organic matter prominent in pet waste. This formula is child and pet friendly. It is good for all breeds!
To use, apply the eliminator to your grass. Let it sit for about an hour, then use a cloth to wipe and let air dry. For harsher stains and stinks, let it sit for longer and place heavy objects on top to increase the absorption.
Artificial Grass Cleaning FAQs
How to Clean Pet Urine from Synthetic Turf?
In order to clean pet urine from synthetic turf, begin by removing all solid materials from the area (i.e., sticks, leaves, rocks, etc). Next, rinse the affected area with a regular garden hose. You can use a solution made from 1-part water, 1-part vinegar, and a bit of mild dish soap to clean the area. Rinse with some water. For remaining odors, try an odor eliminator!
How to Clean Stains and Spills from Artificial Grass?
Again, the vinegar solution may be your best friend! It is inexpensive to make and is extremely efficient at removing stains and spills. Mix 1-part water with 1-part vinegar, apply to artificial grass, and use a soft brush or a sponge to clean the mess. Rinse with some water.
How to Remove Gum from Artificial Grass?
Gum is not just a problem for under desks or hair. It can also stick to artificial grass. When this happens, cool it down! When gum, or any other melted candy, becomes very cold it loses the stick factor. You can use dry ice, ice water, or a refrigerated aerosol spray. If using a spray, be sure it isn’t chemical or acid-laden. This may cause damage. Once the gum is cold enough, you can use a scraping tool to remove it completely.
How to Fix a Burn Area in Artificial Grass?
Burn areas can be caused by a number of problems, including reflection of windows or lit cigarettes or even from a fire pit. If you have artificial grass, always remember that it is flammable. It is best to not fill in artificial grass around barbeques or fire pits.
If a burn to the grass does happen, and meltage occurs, there are ways to fix it. Unfortunately it often means that you must cut out the section that was burned and replace it.
First, vacuum the area to reveal the backing and cut out the burned area. Cut some synthetic seaming tape and apply it to the area. Put a bit of an adhesive over the seaming tape and place a piece of replacement turf on the adhesive. Finally, add the turf infill. Brand new turf and no burn marks to clean!
If you live in an area that gets below freezing regularly, you may run into the problem of having to clear snow from your artificial turf. The best way to do this without damaging the surface of your artificial turf is to use a snowblower with turf tires. Tires below 35 psi are necessary.
You may also use a snow plow if you have a lot of artificial grass to clear. You can even use a tractor mounted snow plow. When using a plow, it is necessary to have a rubber edge to the snow plow.
Why Does My Artificial Turf Have Bugs?
While artificial grass can be a great deterrent of bugs, you may still run into the issue of bugs on your artificial turf. There are two main reasons why your turf may have bugs.
The first, and most likely, is food! Bugs love food, and eating or serving food on artificial turf can attract bugs. The bugs may even stay when the food is gone due to scraps that may have been dropped, juices spilled, or small crumbs that are difficult to clean.
The second reason you may have bugs is because of the leaves and sticks that may land on the lawn. The more leaves and sticks the more bugs. With wet leaves especially, many little critters can find their home on artificial turf.
Bugs may come, but you can definitely get rid of them too! The best way to do so is to prevent them from coming to your artificial grass in the first place. Sweep, rake, or blow away leaves when they come. Try not to get food mess on the grass, if at all possible.
If you do get bugs, a great way to get rid of them is to thoroughly rinse, or clean, your lawn. Using one of the cleaning methods above can be a great way to get rid of bugs.
Can Artificial Grass Self Clean?
It would be great if everything could self clean, wouldn’t it? Artificial grass can self clean! Think about it, when does the artificial grass receive a constant, moving source or water that is not provided by you? Answer: When it rains!
Rain is an excellent source of cleaning for your turf as long as it has proper drainage. The water will run through the turf, rinsing away dust and dirt along the way.
Unfortunately, it does not yet get rid of leaves, sticks, rocks, pet waste, or strong odors yet. But a good rise? Let the rain do it!
Artificial grass is an excellent way to have fresh-looking grass all year long! It is great for lawns and many athletic teams use it for sports. Artificial grass has many benefits, and much less of the growing and mowing, or other hassle-provoking tasks. Only thing you have to worry about is keeping it clean!
Luckily, artificial grass has many great ways to be cleaned! Hopefully, after reading this article, you now have an idea of the best way to keep your artificial grass crisp and clean.
Enjoy the green of your lawn all year long with these helpful tips and tricks!
Read our related artificial grass articles:
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- 5 Best Artificial Grass Options for Your Backyard
- Is Artificial Grass Slippery When Wet?
- Does Artificial Grass Feel Real?
- 10 Best Artificial Trees for Outdoors
- 10 Best Tall Outdoor Artificial Trees
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.