Taking care of natural lawns can be really challenging as it is not only a time-consuming process, but the materials are expensive. It is often a costly hassle to maintain natural grass whether by yourself or someone hired.
Artificial grass is a low maintenance alternative to real lawns. However, it is also believed by many people that artificial grass means no maintenance. But there is still upkeep that is required to keep your grass in presentable condition. Indeed, trimming and watering is not required in artificial grass unlike traditional lawns.
For your artificial grass to last long and maintain the natural look, minimal care is required on a regular basis. Slight maintenance work each month can lead to saving a lot of work at the end of that year. An artificial lawn may stay a beautiful lawn year-round if small jobs including weeding, cleaning, and brushing are done on a monthly basis.
1. How to Clean Artificial Grass
The cleaning of artificial grass is very simple. Basic maintenance should be carried out as usual, and obvious spills can be easily cleaned up. Gently brushing the artificial grass once a week can eliminate any dirt and dust, but you need to clean it thoroughly once a month to keep it green.
On the other hand, in stormy months, you can let the downpour wash the grass instead of splashing it as usual. There are few steps that may be followed to clean and maintain artificial grass.
- Regularly brushing the grass with rake or broom
- Remove weeds and remove surface leaves and debris
- Use silica sand to infill the turf
2. Cleaning Mold from Artificial Grass
Fungus or mold stains may still appear in artificial turf even after strict maintenance is carried out, after all, they live outdoors. These are common powdery plants, especially seen in warm spring and summer. As long as they have enough water to grow, they will be found in every type of climate and location.
In particular, if any pet waste is left unattended, unnecessary spores may be produced. If this happens, hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean the area. It will remove any mold while killing the remaining invisible spores and eliminating any musty smell.
To remove mold on the artificial turf, first brush off as much growth as possible from a broom. Sprays can then be used on the affected surface while allowing it to stand in the sun for approximately a day. It may be needed to repeat the process again. Afterwards, in order to prevent it again from happening, artificial grass should be treated after every six months.
3. How to Remove Bacteria from Artificial Turf
There are a lot of ways to remove bacteria from artificial turf; one of the easiest ways to do so is hosing it down after your dog defecates on it to remove any sort of remaining stains and substance from it rather than letting it dry under the sun.
If you smell any sort of lingering smells, you can always spray it down with vinegar or soda bicarbonate and it will permanently and efficiently remove any sort of smell and odour as well.
Try not to use any sort of harsh chemicals on the artificial turf. Oftentimes, some sanitization products will not be pet friendly and cause allergies and rashes for your pet.
You can also opt for natural organic infill that can help with drainage better so there is no bacteria spurt due to drainage issues.
Consider having a spray bottle with half mixture of natural soap, water and vinegar added so you can clean any debris as early as possible.
4. Removing Gum from Artificial Grass
Having a sticky residue that is too tough for water? This stuff can sometimes be tricky to get rid of. Sticky substances like chewing gums and candies can be removed by picking them out using your hand.
In some cases, it might be difficult to remove a piece of chewing gum or other sticky material. In such cases, particularly for gum, it can be chilled by using ice cubes to remove it completely.
Even for other tougher materials, plastic putty knives, or similar tools can be used. The knife should be used carefully as it may accidently cut the grass while scraping. The grass should be followed upwards rather than scrapping it across.
It is not recommended to use harsh chemicals or solvents to remove sticky substances from artificial lawns.
5. Removing Pet Waste
Artificial grass is a pet friendly option. Therefore, minor additional maintenance is required for pet owners for their lawn to look great.
There are several ways that can be used to clean pet waste off from synthetic turf. Pooper scoopers can be used to remove the solid waste of dogs. Afterwards, hosing down the area can also be one the considerable option.
If there is something left after hosing off the area, wash the area with mild soap and warm water. Wipe off any remaining debris with a brush. It is afterwards recommended to rinse off the solution when you are done.
Lastly, when it’s confirmed that the lawn is completely clean, apply a desired deodorant and disinfectant. Use pet-friendly products to avoid irritating your dog. A DIY disinfectant can be made using equal parts of vinegar and water. Let this mixture soak in the synthetic turf before you rinse it off. Additionally, spraying and applying a turf neutralizer where the pet waste off should be done at least once a week.
6. Removing Dog Urine from Pet Turf
Many pets have a favorite place to relax, making the removal of pet urine easy. Over time, dog urine can leave stains and unpleasant odors on turf. For its prevention, rinsing the grass with water at least once a month is highly suggested.
If you are trapped in smells that cannot be eliminated by water alone, commercial grass cleaners and deodorants can be beneficial. Household products such as vinegar and baking soda may also be used to keep the turf clean.
With proper maintenance, it will be impossible to even tell that your dog is on the grass. You may need to clean your pet’s favorite urination area more frequently in order to ensure that turf remains clean and odor free. A bottle of turf urine odor neutralizer is also recommended to keep with you so lawn odors can be dealt with quickly.
7. Artificial Grass Maintenance Equipment
When synthetic grass is ready for maintenance, it is important to use the right equipment to treat the artificial grass blades.
Although they are hard wearing and durable they have to be properly looked after using specialized artificial grass maintenance equipment.
There are many tools available including the garden hose, leaf blower and rake with synthetic fibers. These can be used to ensure your artificial grass is in tip-top shape.
Garden hose is essential for grass maintenance. It can be used while spraying the turf to wash away dirt and pollen helping to keep the infill evenly distributed. Garden hose can also be used with attachments to use as special spray cleaner. Hose along with the attachments can be applied to dilute the cleaner and facilitate fast and easy application.
Leaf blower is a great equipment that can be utilized to quickly blow the dried leaves from the artificial lawn or pile them into a stack to dispose of them.
The blower is also ideal for removing leaves and light debris from landscaped areas, drains and sidewalks. You may also need to keep a vacuum in the store to remove the built-up debris that can imbed themselves into the grass.
8. Dealing with Summer Heat
In high temperature days, it is important not to allow pets or children to play or walk barefoot on grass without sufficient protection. For the grass to stay cool during harsh temperatures, it is recommended to run your sprinkler system, if you have one, for a few minutes. Watering your artificial lawn very quickly with a garden hose is also great way to reduce its temperature
9. How to Remove Snow and Ice from Artificial Grass
Snow and ice do not affect artificial grass. It mostly melts and discharges from ground without any assistance. However, if the snow continues and the snow is needed to be removed, then the below mentioned ways should be adopted.
Using Snow Blower
Snow blowers or rotating brushes can be used if the snow is dry like power. The snow blower must be placed in the middle of the artificial grass ground, so the snow is cleared part by part.
For thick ice, it is recommended to use chemicals. Chemicals used on artificial grass sites leaves a sticky or smooth residue that needs to be washed out upon the clearing of weather.
For the surface that has very thick ice, spreading 10 lbs. of urea per 300 square feet can melt the ice within an hour.
Note that urea does not work accurately at -12 °C, and it does not melt ice at -17 °C. Using mineral salt or other toxic and corrosives on the surface of artificial grass to melt the ice will damage the turf.
10. How to Remove Weeds and Debris
There are certain ways that are used to remove weeds and debris. These are mentioned below.
It is advised to brush your artificial lawn with a stiff brush on a regular basis to remove airborne seeds and debris. It is a quick and easy job that will stop weeds from appearing while making your lawn look charming.
A brush with synthetic bristles should be used while the metal one should be avoided. The brush with synthetic bristles will not damage the turf while brushing it firmly in the direction of the grain. This will not only result in removal of seeds and other debris but will also give the blades of grass a perky look.
Maintenance of Surrounding Areas
Trees or hedges hanging over the lawn may also result in growth of weeds. Therefore, its regular maintenance will also help reduce weed growth. Pruning and trimming trees and hedges will prevent leaves from accumulating.
Applying Weed Killer
One of the widely adopted and effort-free ways to prevent and remove weed is to apply pet-friendly weed killer. It is not needed to be applied on a regular basis. Applying it once or twice per year is sufficient as it will easily keep weeds at bay all year round.
11. Removing Stubborn Stains from Synthetic Turf
A stain can become stubborn if it is undetected, thus becoming more difficult to remove. In this case, regular cleaning may not be enough.
Artificial grass that is affected by cigarette burns or stains can be repaired any time. It is even better to avoid spills and burns before any problem occurs.
Substances leaking on artificial turf including battery acid and motor oil may discolor or damage it. Therefore, it is recommended to keep the garden tools away from grass to prevent its contact from these substances.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Artificial Grass Maintenance
Here are bonus tips for your artificial grass maintenance that can be helpful in the long run:
- Do not use harsh chemicals that can burn or stain the artificial grass; much like real grass, artificial grass can also get damaged if you use harsh chemicals. Plus, they are not pet-friendly. Soapy water and vinegar solution would be more than enough.
- Do not drive any sort of motorized vehicles on the artificial grass such as ATVs, scooters, etc.
- Do not throw gum and other sticky things on artificial grass like glue, sap, etc.
- Do trim the surrounding areas in order to reduce the amount of debris on the artificial grass.
- Do keep any sort of heating elements away from the grass such as heaters, cigarettes, fire pits, etc.
- Do hose down your lawn once in a while, especially after your dog has done doing its business in order to avoid any bacterial growth and odors.
- Do not let sharp objects on the artificial turf that can puncture it, such as sharp pointy chairs, cleats, sharp sticks, etc.
While artificial turf is low maintenance, it does not mean you do not have to take care of it at all. Take care of your artificial turf so it can take care of you and your pets.
Why Is Artificial Grass Maintenance Required?
Unlike the threats faced by real grass, artificial grass is quite threat free. It does not require the daily maintaining procedures that are done for real grass. Artificial grass is not vulnerable to weeds or diseases, but it may suffer other wear in areas with heavy foot traffic resulting in natural damage.
Although it is artificial, it does not mean at all that it’s effort-free and does not require attention after installation.
Artificial grass usually undergoes dust and dirt accumulation. Moreover, fallen leaves, branches, and other rotting debris that lands on top of artificial grass may also require cleaning maintenance.
To maximize the use of artificial grass and extend the lifespan of artificial turf, a certain level of maintenance is required. This means removing all debris (including leaves) and brushing the grass frequently for a better look. Doing so will result in longer pleasure of using the artificial grass.
What kind of maintenance does artificial grass require?
Artificial grass can be kept lush green in top condition without even watering, mowing, and weeding on a regular basis.
For its maintenance, it truly depends on the specific situation the grass undergoes. For instance, a landscape encountering pets or dust while surrounded by trees, requires more cleaning work. If it does not encounter much vegetation or foot traffic, the maintaining process would be much simpler and faster. For Spills and stains in artificial turf, they have to be treated to maintain its high-quality appearance.
Artificial lawns look like natural ones, but they are made of synthetic materials and may get damaged by fire and ruthless composite materials. Therefore, general care is also needed to overcome such damages.
Artificial grass is very durable and it is a low maintenance solution to having both a green lawn and dogs and there are countless benefits for pet owners. Whether it’s dog urine drainage, pet waste cleaning, it’s just easier to deal with than real grass.
For pet owners who want to have a beautiful, lush lawn and keep their dogs from ripping a hole in the ground, artificial grass is the perfect solution. While some may argue that bacteria may be a problem on artificial grass, you can easily clear any sort of bacterial growth by hosing the area down and cleaning it with a vinegar soap solution.
Conclusively, artificial turf is a great solution for pet owners and for your yard to look lush green.