How to clean artificial grass? The complete guide
Artificial grass is a wonderful solution for garden lovers who want a lush lawn without all the extra work. But even though it requires minimum maintenance, you still have to clean artificial grass every once in a while.
Although artificial grass is quite durable, unfortunately, it is prone to damage. That is why protecting it from external aggressors plays an essential part in keeping it intact. And the best way to protect artificial grass is to clean it regularly.
Artificial grass cleaning prevents weed infestation, lawn spots, dust accumulation, and avoids other garden problems. It also makes your lawn look neat and presentable at all times.
If you are wondering why cleaning artificial grass is important and how to properly clean your artificial grass, check out our material. Understand more about the basics of the routine, how often to do it, and what to avoid.
How often should you clean artificial grass?
When it comes to cleaning artificial grass, there are simple basic rules to follow. Clean your lawn lightly once a week to keep up the good appearance, remove stains and identify potential damage. Do a deep clean every month to keep artificial grass in optimal condition.
A light cleaning once a week
The purpose of a light artificial grass cleaning (every week) is to remove light stains, accumulated dust, and small litter. The rinsing procedure is short and easy. All you need to do is get a hose and start spraying the synthetic grass to keep it clean.
Light cleaning also allows gardeners to spot any potential threats and stop them before they become a serious problem. So try to inspect the lawn regularly. Pick up any debris that you come across. Dispose of everything that does not naturally belong on artificial grass.
A thorough cleaning once a month
Routine cleaning and maintenance of artificial grass once per month will save you a lot of headaches. Not only does it keep the lawn in its most presentable condition but also stops dust accumulation and avoids permanent grass staining.
Some of the tools and supplies you need for regular maintenance and monthly artificial grass cleaning include:
- Bucket and water
- Garden hose
- Leaf blower
- Lawn brush (for small artificial lawns)
- Plastic rake (for mid-size lawns)
- Power Broom (for large lawns)
- Artificial grass cleaner
Here is how to clean artificial grass every month, step by step:
- Collect all debris, trash, and pet waste
- Use a leaf blower at its lowest setting to clear the lawn from leaves
- Use a lawn rake or a brush to loosen up build-up and improve airflow
- Apply artificial grass cleaner to break down hard-to-remove materials
- Spray the grass area with a low-pressure garden hose to remove dust and small particles
- Leave the artificial grass to dry on its own
- Rake or broom the dry grass at the spots where it looks flat
Right after the monthly maintenance, the clean artificial grass will stand out as one of the greatest features in your garden.
Most common problems and how to tackle them
Spots and stains are some of the most common problems with synthetic lawns. There are different types of stains you could be dealing with – beverages, food, pet waste, debris, etc. To avoid harsh and long-term stains, react fast and always clean artificial grass before the spillage hardens or soaks in.
Check out this list of tools and supplies you need for stain artificial grass cleaning:
- Garden hose or watering can (optional)
- Two buckets with cold water & warm water
- Dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent
- Dry cloths or paper towels
- Stiff plastic brush
- Plastic bags for waste disposal
The best way to clean artificial grass spots depends on the type of stain.
If you are dealing with solid waste, put gloves on to remove the debris and its big leftover particles by hand. Contain the pollutant in a plastic bag, seal it shut and dispose of it accordingly.
Mix household detergent or mild dishwashing soap with warm water. The best ratio is one teaspoon per pint of water. Then use a stiff brush to work the solution in with a gentle upward motion. Finally, rinse with cold water and you will have clean artificial grass again.
If the lawn stain is caused by a liquid, make sure to clean the artificial grass before it hardens or soaks in. Take a clean cotton rag or a paper towel to soak up the liquid. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum. Once the excess fluid is gone, rinse out with cold water.
Snow and ice
The best way to remove snow and ice from synthetic lawns is to let them melt off and drain in the soil. However, if you really need to clean artificial grass in heavy winter, here is some advice on how to do it without damaging the lawn:
Light layers of snow are the easiest to deal with, as you can remove them just by sweeping the snow away. For thicker snow coverage, clean artificial grass by shoveling the snow or using a blower for the build-up. Finish up with a quick snow brushing. Remember, salt laying is not good for fake grass as it slows soil drainage.
One of the most common questions pet owners have about their garden is how to clean artificial grass after a pet accident. Here are a few guidelines that will make cleaning artificial grass from pet waste easier:
- Dispose of solid pet droppings with plastic bags and hose down the area
- Find your pet’s favorite place to relieve themselves and spray the area daily
- For a clean and odor-free lawn, apply a turf urine odor neutralizer
If you want to cut the bad habit of your pet, make them an outdoor patch (gravel or dirt) that is specifically set up for their hygiene needs and train them to use it. That way, you get to enjoy beautiful clean artificial grass, free of pet waste.
For those pet owners who want to install artificial grass specifically for the needs of their pets, make sure to mention that during the installation appointment. That way the installer can add a deodorizer to the base and top of the infill, and make required adjustments.
One of the best ways to clean artificial grass from dirt and dust is to remove the tiny debris with a stiff brush, lawn rake, or broom. Avoid using gardening tools with steel bristles, use plastic ones to avoid damaging the grass.
Sweep against the ‘natural growth’ of the artificial turf, keeping the grass in an upright position. After brushing the artificial grass from dust, hose down the area to rinse it and clean artificial grass.
Artificial grass is very durable and has higher weed resistance, compared to a natural lawn. But unlike fresh grass where weeds grow in the soil, in artificial grass weeds could grow in the infill, around the edges, and even on the surface.
That makes them harder to remove and control without ruining the lawn. For that reason, it is important to prevent weeds from growing in the synthetic grass. Cleaning artificial grass is a viable method to stop plant debris accumulation, where weeds tend to develop. Meaning clean artificial grass is weed-free grass.
What can really damage artificial grass?
Learning how to clean artificial grass is helpful to the extent of keeping your garden healthy. Yet, some foreign aggressors can damage your lawn so badly that you might have to repair artificial grass, not just clean it.
To help you navigate the process, we summarized some of the worst enemies of artificial grass. It is vital to learn how to repair and clean artificial grass that has been severely damaged by fire, chemicals, or sharp tools:
Burnt spots are some of the worst nightmares of people with artificial lawns. Fire damage is quite serious, considering how easily synthetic grass melts off.
Often, the cause is cigarette buds, firepit sparks, charcoal spilling, or fireworks. But in some cases, artificial grass could be burnt by something relatively harmless like direct sunlight reflections or window magnification.
Here is some advice on how to avoid fire damage:
- Move smoking, grilling, and leisure areas away from your artificial grass
- Install awnings, shades, or shutters to minimize sun reflection
- Plant trees or tall bushes to block any potential window glare
If your artificial lawn gets fire damage anyway, you can always remove and replace the damaged patch or consider other artificial grass repair options.
Cleaning artificial grass is easy. Unless there is a chemical spill. Harsh chemicals, paints, and oils are extremely damaging to synthetic lawns. They could dissolve the grass, make it more flammable, cause discoloration, or could soak deep into the turf and harden, making it harder to remove.
In those cases, cleaning artificial grass would barely do anything. So it is better if you avoid using paints and chemicals anywhere near your lawn. If the harm is already done, consult with professional gardening services for damage assessment and advice.
Last but not least, let’s talk about sharp tool damage. Sharp items and garden tools have no place near your artificial turf. In fact, these objects cause some of the most expensive artificial grass repairs, as they easily cut through the synthetic material. That is bound to ruin the lawn’s appearance and become a reason for re-turfing.
Here is how to avoid this. No matter what your gardening or outdoor task is, always place your tools on a tarp and be careful not to drop anything. If possible, work away from the lawn. And of course, refrain from puncturing the grass with sharp objects because any penetration could cause visible (sometimes irreversible) damage.
Did you enjoy our guide on how to clean artificial grass?
If you need professional gardening help with keeping your artificial lawn in its best condition, our team of experienced gardeners in London is available for consultation. Get a quote now.