Artificial grass care guide

Artificial grass care guide

One of the main benefits of artificial grass is the fact that it requires so much less care than real grass. So, no more mowing, weeding, fertilising, watering, or whispering sweet nothings to the grass to make it grow – hurrah! However, it still needs a little TLC to keep it looking its best. In fact, artificial grass is an investment that can last for years, even decades, if looked after correctly. And what’s even better is it takes minimal effort to maintain artificial grass! Here, we share with you all the tips and tricks you need to know when caring for artificial grass, from how to remove pet stains from your lawn to your essential guide on how to clean artificial grass.

Caring for artificial grass

There are two different ways to clean artificial grass: one is your basic maintenance, which is the best way to clean artificial grass, and the other is a periodical deep clean. Both are important for keeping your turf in tip-top condition and extending its life. The easiest way to keep your grass in good condition is to brush it regularly. Organic matter like dust, leaves, twigs, petals, bugs, and other debris can become lodged between the fibres and over time this will decompose and form soil. This can lead to drainage problems and damage to the fibres or the latex backing. 

How often should you clean artificial grass?

A lot of people ask us this and generally, a weekly brush should do the trick. During autumn you might need to brush more frequently as the trees shed their leaves. When it comes to deep cleaning artificial grass, every four weeks or so should be fine under normal circumstances.

How to clean artificial grass

  1. First, use a plastic rake or even a leaf blower to remove larger pieces of debris.
  2. Use a stiff bristle brush and go against the grain of the grass to remove the remaining dirt and detritus buried deeper into the fibres. Brushing against the grain will also help the fibres stand up and make the grass look ‘fuller’. A coarse haired bristle brush is the best brush for artificial grass - avoid using a metal-bristled brush as this could damage your grass.
  3. Optional step! In Britain, the rain usually does this for us... but if you want to put a bit of shine back into your grass in the summer, run the hose over it and let it drain. If you have artificial grass on a balcony, remember that drainage may not be as fast, so consider using less water if you choose to do this.
Deep cleaning artificial grass

Sometimes, usually once every four to six weeks, your artificial grass will require a deeper clean. You may need to do this more frequently in the summer months, or if you have pets.

  1. Complete steps 1 and 2 above as if you were doing a regular clean.
  2. It’s time to give your grass a shampoo! Mix a bucket of warm water with eco-friendly washing up liquid or detergent. Using a brush, work this into the fibres of the grass and let it sit for a few minutes. Tapi Top Tip - It’s important that the detergent you use is safe to use on plastic and isn’t harmful to plant, insects, or animal life, so double-check the label first before cleaning artificial grass with it.
  3. Use a hosepipe or buckets of fresh tap water to rinse off the turf and allow it to dry in the sun (so choose a sunny, breezy day to do this).

How to remove dog and cat stains from artificial grass

Modern artificial grass is so good that your pets won’t be able to tell the difference! The downside is they’ll happily still do their business on it. Oh, dear. Fortunately, the plastic used in artificial grass is easy to clean, but if left too long then pet urine and faeces can potentially cause stains, so it’s better to maintain artificial grass on a regular basis. No one likes a yellow lawn!
 
  • The first step is a preventative one, the key to artificial grass maintenance. Some dogs and cats can be trained to do their business in a specific area. Try setting aside a gravel area or even a litter tray and training them to do it there.
  • If Rover or Fluffy insist on leaving you a present on your lovely grass, you should try and pick up any solids as quickly as you can – just as you would do with real grass. Artificial grass with a shorter pile length is the best choice for homes with pets.
  • For urine, it’s not a huge problem if you don’t deal with it immediately, as it will mostly drain away. But if you do spot a little piddle puddle from your four-legged friend, the best way to clean it up is to wash it away with a hose or a bucket of water.
  • In some cases, you might find that pet mess leaves a smell behind. The easiest way to remove the smell of pet urine from artificial grass is with warm water and soap. 

How to remove stains from artificial grass

  • In most cases, rinsing with water should be the extent of artificial grass care needed to get rid of any spillages on your lawn. Whether it’s food and drink stains from a summer BBQ, pet mess, or even something sticky like chewing gum, there are plenty of ways to deal with the problem.
  • For drink stains, the best approach is to remove as much of the liquid as you can with a paper towel and then rinse the rest away with water.
  • For food stains, like sauce or grease, mix warm water with detergent and rub it in with a cloth. If this doesn’t work, try scrubbing the mark with an old toothbrush. Again, rinse away with water.
  • For chewing gum or other sticky substances, try chilling the area with an ice cube and using a putty knife to scrape it off.

Artificial grass maintenance in winter

Looking after artificial grass in winter brings its own set of challenges. If it snows, the best thing to do is allow it to melt naturally. However, it’s very easy to clear snow from artificial grass if you need to. Remember to only use plastic tools when cleaning artificial grass; metal tools risk damaging the pile and/or the latex backing.
 
  • To clear snow from the turf, use a plastic shovel to remove most of it, leaving around 2.5 cm (one inch) of snow on top. Then, using a stiff brush, sweep the remaining snow to the side.                       
  • To clear ice from your lawn, the only option is to allow it to melt naturally. We recommend against using antifreeze, salt, or grit as these can all end up leaving marks on the pile. The latter two may also block the drainage pores over time.

Can I pressure wash my artificial lawn?

We get asked this question a lot in relation to looking after artificial grass, and the answer is… it depends.
 
If your artificial grass has infill (which most do) then the answer is a firm ‘no’ as this is what creates that soft, cushioning feeling to the turf. It’s easy for a pressure washer to move (or even remove!) this and you don’t want to do anything to jeopardise the integrity of the turf.
 
If your artificial lawn doesn’t have infill, then you can use a pressure washer. However, we recommend using the widest-angle tip you have, spraying at a shallow angle to help prop the fibres up, and most importantly, keeping the tip of the wand at least 30 cm (12 inches) from the turf to make sure you’re looking after your artificial grass.
 
You now know the best way to clean artificial grass, and as you can see, cleaning and caring for artificial grass is easy! If an artificial lawn sounds like something you’d like for your garden, find out more about the benefits of artificial grass, how to lay artificial grass on soil, or book a home visit today. Alternatively, you can discover our other range of care guides too, including vinyl, carpet and more.
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