Getting artificial grass installed at your Arlington, TX home or business is a big deal, and likely required a significant investment.
You’ll want to ensure that your artificial grass lasts for as long as possible while maintaining its beauty, aesthetics, and function.
When comparing artificial grass vs. natural grass lawns, the maintenance required for artificial grass is negligible.
That said, you’ve invested in artificial grass and we’re here to help ensure that you can enjoy your artificial grass installation for years to come.
Keeping up with the minimal artificial turf maintenance requirements will ensure the longevity of your installation.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the key points you need to know about keeping your synthetic lawn looking great.
Artificial Turf Maintenance & Cleaning
You might be thinking, “I got artificial grass installed to eliminate maintenance! I don’t want to waste my time on artificial turf maintenance!”
Don’t worry, because artificial turf maintenance is laughably simple and easy.
You’ll be able to spend far more time enjoying your yard than maintaining it.
By spending a few minutes a month on turf maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy the countless benefits of your artificial grass installation for years to come!
We’ve divided this article into different sections that will outline a specific type of turf maintenance:
- Routine Turf Maintenance [Weekly & Monthly]
- Long-Term Turf Maintenance
- Pet-Specific Turf Maintenance & Cleaning
- Removing Spills, Stains & Other Contaminants
Tools Needed for Artificial Grass Maintenance
As with any investment, you’ll want to keep your synthetic turf looking presentable year-round.
Although artificial grass maintenance is not as intensive as caring for natural grass, you’ll still need to take responsible steps to ensure you properly maintain your lawn.
Thankfully, cleaning synthetic grass is manageable with a few tools and consistent upkeep.
Leaf blower: Use a leaf blower or rake to remove any leaves, twigs, or other natural debris that has accumulated on the turf.
Garden Hose: A hose that extends far enough to water your entire lawn will ensure you wash all the turf fibers.
Hose Nozzle Attachment: Connect a nozzle-and-bottle assembly to the end of your hose to mix equal parts water and vinegar to sanitize your turf where pets have relieved themselves.
Push Broom: Sweeping the artificial turf with a stiff-bristled push broom will rejuvenate matted fibers and help them stand strong.
Rake: A simple gardening rake can help prevent the turf fibers from matting down.
Routine Maintenance & Cleaning
One of the best ways to maintain your artificial grass lawn is to practice routine maintenance and cleaning.
Try to incorporate your turf maintenance into an existing habit or routine that you have around the house.
Your artificial grass doesn’t require daily attention, so we’re only talking about a few minutes each week to keep your artificial grass looking lush and full all the time.
We’ll first provide recommendations for weekly artificial turf maintenance, and then monthly turf maintenance and cleaning.
Weekly Maintenance & Cleaning
How much maintenance and cleaning your artificial turf will require, depends in large part on how much foot traffic it has.
High traffic areas will need more attention in the maintenance and cleaning department.
If you live in an area that receives a lot of rainfall, the rainwater will help clean your turf by rinsing dirt, dust, pollen, and small debris.
Unfortunately, Arlington, TX isn’t exactly known for heavy rainfall.
For an artificial grass installation that experiences a moderate amount of foot traffic, you’ll be fine rinsing your lawn with a garden hose once a week.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of monthly artificial grass maintenance, it’s important to understand that the type of turf you have will play a role in how often you need to perform certain tasks.
For example, if you have a pet turf, it will need to be cleaned more often than a standard artificial grass lawn.
Monthly Maintenance & Cleaning
As we’ve established, maintaining an artificial grass lawn is going to require some effort on your part.
If you’ve ever seen an antique or classic car that’s in pristine condition, it has most likely been routinely cleaned, maintained, and serviced.
Once it has been restored, the amount of effort necessary to maintain the car’s mint condition is minimal.
The same thing applies to a fake grass lawn.
Performing regular, monthly maintenance will help ensure your lawn looks as good as new for years to come.
For areas with low foot traffic, you won’t have to worry about much upkeep at all.
Alternatively, areas with heavy foot traffic will require a bit more attention.
To keep your artificial grass lawn looking its best, perform the following tasks each month:
- Remove twigs, leaves, branches, or other debris by hand
- For a lot of debris, use a leaf blower or stiff-bristled push broom. Turf fibers are directional, so remember to sweep against the natural direction of the fibers.
- Rinse with a garden hose to remove any dirt, dust, pollen, or remaining debris
Long-Term Maintenance & Cleaning
While monthly maintenance is important, there are also some long-term tasks you’ll need to perform to ensure your synthetic grass lawn looks its best.
Artificial grass might be durable, long-lasting, and low-maintenance, but it’s not indestructible.
There are substances, both liquid and solid that should be removed, rinsed, or cleaned from artificial grass as quickly as possible.
- Dog & Pet Urine
- Dog Poop
- Sugary Beverages
Below we’ll review the items above and explain why you don’t want them sitting on your artificial grass, and how to remove them quickly and easily.
Pet Turf Maintenance & Cleaning
Pet-friendly artificial grass has exploded in popularity in recent years.
In fact, pet turf is the most popular residential turf application here in Arlington, and throughout Texas.
If you have pet turf, it will need to be cleaned more often than a standard artificial grass lawn.
Whether you replace your entire lawn with artificial grass or create a dog run or designated dog potty area, the same cleaning requirements will apply.
The Turf Maintenance & Cleaning section above provides general maintenance tips that can be used for all types of turf, but there are some additional considerations to take when it comes to cleaning up after your pets.
Most pet owners make the switch to artificial pet turf to prevent the brown dog urine spots that ruin natural grass lawns.
Those spots are caused by the high levels of nitrogen found in dog urine.
The nitrogen in dog urine won’t damage your artificial grass if left alone, however, over time it can cause a buildup of odor and bacteria in your turf.
Preventing the buildup of odors and bacteria on your artificial grass is pretty simple, keep reading to learn more.
How To Deal With Dog/Pet Urine on Artificial Grass
Rinse regularly with water and a garden hose.
Dogs are creatures of habit and will usually urinate in the same spots to mark their territory.
That makes it easier for you to rinse the areas where your dog most commonly urinates.
If you’re wondering what happens to the dog pee and water when you rinse your artificial grass, we’ll provide a brief overview below.
When your dog pees on fake grass for dogs or you spray it with a hose, the liquid passes through the turf backing in one of two ways depending on the type of drainage that your artificial grass is equipped with.
The two most common types of turf drainage are hole-punch and fully permeable.
Hole-Punch Turf Backing
This is the most common type of backing found on turf products.
It consists of small holes that are spaced 4″ – 6″ apart to allow liquids to pass through the backing and into the base.
With this type of backing, the urine or water has to make its way to one of the drainage holes in the turf’s backing.
If water is the only liquid that will be passing through your turf, then this type of backing is fine.
Any water that doesn’t drain through the holes will evaporate.
However, with dog urine, any urine that doesn’t drain through the holes can pool in the space between the holes.
When it eventually evaporates, it leaves behind nitrogen and bacteria that over time will build up and cause odors.
Fully Permeable Turf Backing
This type of backing is designed specifically for applications involving dogs.
The turf backing doesn’t have holes punched into it, because the entire backing is permeable.
With a fully permeable backing, the urine will pass through any point in the turf.
This is the best type of drainage for pet-friendly applications because liquids pass straight through the backing and into the base.
Regardless of the backing your turf has, a small amount of dog urine will be left behind.
To maintain a fresh, clean, hygienic, and odor-free lawn we recommend rinsing it with a hose regularly.
The water will flush any residual urine and help combat the buildup of odors and bacteria.
Solid Waste: How To Remove Dog Poop From Artificial Grass
Removing dog poop from artificial grass is no different than removing it from natural grass.
When your dog does its business, just wait for the poop to dry.
Once dry, you can use a plastic bag to pick it up, or a small scoop.
Once you have the poop in a bag, you can dispose of it in your trashcan.
I should emphasize the importance of allowing time for the dog poop to dry, as it will prevent it from smearing into the turf.
How to Remove Bacteria From Artificial Grass
The buildup of bacteria and odors with artificial grass isn’t a major issue.
That said, if you have a dog or dogs you may want to consider spraying your artificial turf with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to help eliminate any lingering bacteria.
A common scenario in which one might use this method to remove bacteria is homeowners with multiple dogs.
Over time, bacteria can accumulate and cause odors due to the number of pets using the lawn.
Some pet-friendly artificial grass products are now equipped with antimicrobial technology to help combat the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause stains, odors, and premature product deterioration.
Removing Spills, Stains & Other Contaminants From Artificial Turf
For installations that experience a lot of foot traffic or that are located in a busy outdoor living space then you should expect spills to occur.
While you can avoid every accident or spill, your response time to spills is important to ensuring the longevity of your artificial grass.
The longer you leave a spill unattended, the more likely it is that its had time to set, which can make cleaning it more difficult.
As we’ve established, accidents and spill happen, but what should you do when they do occur?
No need to worry!
Cleaning artificial turf is similar to cleaning up in other areas of your home.
Below we’ll take a look at a few different scenarios involving spills, stains, and other contaminants and explain how to clean them up.
The easiest way to remove dry spills from your artificial grass is with a shop-vac.
Do not stick the end of the hose into the turf!
Hold the hose off of the turf surface so you won’t suck up the infill along with the debris.
For stubborn spills that remain after using the shop-vac and hosing off the area, use mild natural soap + warm water OR Equal parts vinegar & water.
The materials used to manufacture artificial grass are stain-resistant, so cleaning spills and accidents is usually pretty easy.
Most spills can be rinsed away by spraying them with a garden hose.
For spills like paint, which will adhere to the turf fibers, use a water-soluble solution for cleaning it.
DO NOT use chemicals like acetone or petroleum-based products.
Using these harsh chemicals on your turf could cause long-term damage.
If your turf has been stained with a substance that you can’t remove using the method above, you should contact your turf installer.
Food & Beverages
A lot of homeowners choose to install artificial grass to enhance their outdoor spaces for entertaining guests and providing a safe place for kids to play.
With these activities though comes the potential for food and beverages to be spilled on your artificial grass.
When the inevitable accident occurs, be sure to remove any food or sugary substances as quickly as possible.
Artificial grass doesn’t provide a hospitable environment for bugs and pests, but if you leave a food source sitting on your turf, you’re inviting them to the party!
Chewing gum and other sticky substances can usually be removed by hand.
For stubborn chewing gum, an ice cube and a plastic putty knife can help with the removal.
Important Note: Do NOT use harsh chemicals or solvents to remove spills or sticky substances from artificial grass.
Avoid Stains & Burns
If your artificial grass ends up with a large stain or burn, that section can usually be replaced.
That said, you’re better off avoiding stains and burns entirely.
As mentioned earlier, artificial grass is not indestructible.
If certain elements come in contact with your artificial grass, they can cause discoloration or even damage.
- Cigarette burns
- Grills & Firepits
- Motor Oil, Grease, Battery Acid
How to Remove Snow & Ice From Artificial Grass
This section may not be relevant for all readers, but we want to provide a complete guide to artificial turf maintenance.
Here in Arlington, TX, you don’t really have to worry about removing snow or ice from your artificial grass.
For those of you that do live in an area that experiences snowfall, removing it from your artificial grass lawn is pretty straightforward.
The ideal solution is to simply let the snow or ice melt on its own.
If you do find yourself needing to remove a few inches of snow from artificial grass, a push broom is the best tool for the job.
DO NOT use metal or sharp-edged tools like shovels.
For deep snow, you can use a snowblower to remove the top layers of snow from your artificial grass.
Don’t allow the snowblower to touch the surface of the turf.
Leave an inch or two of snow and then use a push broom to remove the rest.
How to Prevent Energy Efficient Windows From Melting or Burning Artificial Grass
Summer in Texas is hot!
Scorchingly hot days aren’t limited to summer but occur during the spring and fall months as well.
The artificial grass products that we carry are built to withstand the worst heat Texas’ summer sun can throw at it.
As hot as the summer sun gets here in Texas, direct sunlight on artificial grass will not burn the turf.
Our turf products are also equipped with UV-Inhibitors that help prevent the sun from damaging the artificial grass over time.
Direct sunlight is no problem, but when it’s reflected off of energy-efficient windows or sliding glass doors, the magnified power of the sun can damage artificial grass.
Preventing this is as simple as applying screens or protective films to the outside of the windows or doors that are causing the reflection.
The benefit of screen/protective films include:
- Low-cost solution
- Energy efficiency in the home. The U.S. Department of Energy states that an outside window screen is 7 times more effective than interior blinds or window tint.
Final Thoughts on Artificial Turf Maintenance & Cleaning
If you’ve already invested in artificial grass and are using this guide to help with cleaning and maintaining your turf, then I hope it was helpful and informative.
For those of you still on the fence about installing artificial grass, it’s an important decision and we want you to have all the information necessary to make the most educated and informed decision possible.
We recommend exploring our website a bit.
There are a lot of specifics to understand about artificial grass, and the first step of your journey should be to educate yourself on the many features and options available.
Let’s get an expert on your side to help you put together the perfect installation plan.
We have teams of the best artificial turf installers in Texas.
Arlington Turf Installers is happy to help you explore this decision by answering any of your questions.