Are you struggling to maintain a clean-looking yard with artificial grass? To make it so, you need to know how to clean fake turf. Unbeknownst to many people, unlike natural grass, synthetic turf requires regular cleaning and maintenance to start.
Fake grass carpet comes with the advantage of not requiring fertilizing, watering or removing pests and weeds. Nonetheless, you still have to maintain artificial turf. So, to help you maintain a neat and well-kept yard. Here's how to clean synthetic grass properly.
Material and Tools
- Stiff brush
- Plastic lawn rake or stiff-bristled broom (optional)
- Regular broom
- Pooper scooper or brown bag
- Water hose
- Artificial grass deodorizer or neutralizer or DIY deodorizer ingredients (water and vinegar)
- Mild natural soap and warm water or DIY solution of half and half water and vinegar
- DIY solution of half and half water and vinegar
- Snow shovel or blower
- Regular broom or brush
How Often to Clean
The maintenance of artificial grass largely depends on several factors. These include the climate, settings, and how much traffic is drawn around the grass. For example, if you have outdoor pets or frequently host events, you will more likely require frequent cleaning.
Other factors such as dust and frequent rain may also impact the frequency of cleaning artificial grass. As a general rule of thumb, you should lightly clean synthetic turf weekly, regardless of your environment. You should then thoroughly clean artificial grass once every month. If your carpet requires more cleaning frequency, you can thoroughly clean grass more than once a month.
Weekly Artificial Lawn Maintenance
To lightly clean artificial grass weekly, use a hose to rinse down the turf. Spraying artificial turf with water helps to remove dust and small debris. This, in turn, helps to keep the grass bright and clean.
Monthly Artificial Lawn Maintenance
During monthly maintenance, you should thoroughly clean synthetic grass. Monthly grass maintenance integrates a more detailed process with multiple steps. This process involves removing dirt and debris, pet wastes, spills and stains, bacteria, and even ice and snow during the cold season.
How to Clean Artificial Grass
To clean artificial grass, start with a light wash and sweep before moving to the more detailed steps.
Remove Dirt and Debris
Using a stiff brush, remove any dirt, mud, and debris lying around the grass. If large leaves and other tree remnants are lying on the grass, use a flexible plastic lawn rake or stiff-bristled broom to remove them gently.
Next, use a larger broom to sweep large debris and position the artificial grass upright. If your lawn hasn’t been clean for long, you may have difficulty keeping your grass upright. In this case, you can always hire a professional groomer to help out.
The next step to thoroughly cleaning artificial grass is to remove pet waste. Typically, any type of grass can harbor pet waste. When turf is left uncleaned for long periods, it eventually looks dirt and disheveled. It may also create an environment for harmful pathogens to grow. Here’s how you should remove pet waste from artificial grass:
- Use a pooper scooper or brown bag to remove solid waste. To thoroughly clean the yard, pick the solid waste one by one.
- Next, use a water hose to rinse out the area where you pick up the solid waste. Hosing down the turf area will also clean out areas where there’s pet urine. Focus this step on areas where your pet enjoys and prefers to relieve themselves.
- When done, use an artificial grass deodorizer or neutralizer to remove any lingering waste odors. Alternatively, you can make your own solution at home. To DIY artificial turf deodorizer, make a solution with equal parts of vinegar and water. Add it to a spray bottle and spray around the turf. Let the solution work for about 5 to 10 minutes and rinse it with clean water.
Spills, Chewing Gum, Blood
This step involves cleaning more stubborn items out of your artificial grass lawn. These include spills, chewing gum, blood, and any other related items. If you host events such as barbeques, you are more likely to find remnants such as food dripping and sauces. In some cases, these remnants may even be cleaned out during the previous steps, during the brooming or rinsing steps.
If not, the next thing to do is use the mild natural soap and warm water to scrub the grass gently. If you notice stain-like remnants, you can opt for a DIY solution of half and half water and vinegar instead. Using the latter option also helps to fight pathogen breeding due to pet or food waste. This is because the water and vinegar solution boasts antibacterial properties.
When you thoroughly clean synthetic grass monthly, you will always cover this step. However, frequent spills and stains on your turf will ultimately shorten its life span and leave it looking disheveled permanently. So, the best solution is to mitigate stubborn stains and spills on your grass. For example, you want to avoid doing any home improvement projects that may contain greasy or other chemical items around your yard.
Instead, move these projects in the shed or garage.
Additionally, you can set aside designated areas for activities such as cigarette smoking, well away from the synthetic turf lawn area.
Once you are done removing spills, stains, and other stubborn items from synthetic turf, the next step is to remove bacteria. Generally, if you clean and maintain your grass weekly, you will not have that very much trouble with this. However, some people still prefer to cover this step to keep their grass thoroughly clean.
To clean out bacteria from synthetic turf, you can create your own antibacterial solution at home. To do so, mix one part of water and one part of vinegar and transfer the solution into a spray bottle. Spray areas that may be prone to bacteria breeding. These include areas your pet prefers to urinate frequently. Alternatively, you can apply the solution throughout the lawn. To cover this huge space, you can use a garden hose attachment.
Snow and Ice
Snow and ice are additional components to think of during the winter season. Unlike natural grass, artificial grass traps snow and ice. But, as with any other surface, these two components eventually melt.
Thus, the best way to handle ice and snow on artificial ice is to let them melt and drain naturally. Generally, artificial grass installed on lawns feature a perforated design. Thus, it allows liquids to drain away into the earth, just like natural grass. However, there may be incidents whereby you need to clean off ice or snow from your turf quickly. In this case, you can use extra tools to help you out.
If you notice a pile of light snow dusting, you can easily remove it by sweeping or brushing it with a regular broom. However, you will need a shovel or snow blower if a large and thicker pile of snow forms on the grass.
When you are left with a thinner and lighter dusting of snow underneath, use a soft brush or broom to sweep away the remaining snow. When cleaning out snow from artificial turf, you want to avoid using metal rakes and metal snow shovels to keep the risk of damaging the turf at a minimum.
Unlike your driveway, you should refrain from using salts on your artificial grass lawn. Slats will most certainly melt away even the thickest snow and ice. However, it does so at a price. With frequent use of salts on your turf, you will eventually damage the backing material of the synthetic turf due to salt build-up. The increased salt build up on the artificial grass backing prevents adequate drainage.
Learning how to clean artificial grass doesn't only keep your lawn looking neat and well maintained. Proper maintenance and cleaning of synthetic turf help to prolong its life span. Furthermore, regularly cleaning your artificial lawn keeps bacteria and odors away.
After all, the maintenance process is quite simple and quick, using readily available items in your home. You can always call a professional for repairs and detailed maintenance. However, you don't have to call a professional to do the regular cleaning for you, keeping your costs at a minimum.