How to Look After Artificial Grass
- All the advice you need for artificial grass maintenance
- How to keep your artificial lawn looking its best
- Cleaning tips for artificial grass
Artificial grass maintenance is much less effort than a standard turfed lawn. For one, you don’t have to constantly mow it in the summer months. But even though artificial grass is easier, it does come with its own minimal upkeep, which we have detailed in this guide. We’ll go through how to clean artificial grass as well as how to make sure it keeps looking its best so you can be sure that your neighbours will be green with envy.
Top Tips For Artificial Grass Maintenance
Remove leaves and debris
Remove pet waste
Don’t use mirrors or reflective materials
Avoid barbecues and fire pits
Advice on How to Look After Artificial Grass
Leaves, twigs and the like can congregate on your lawn, which compromises its quality and doesn’t look as aesthetically pleasing. You should make sure to get rid of any debris using a leaf blower, plastic rake or stiff bristle brush. Artificial grass maintenance is easier if you choose a day that isn’t particularly windy or if you brush in the direction of the wind.
Any organic debris, like dead flowers or plants, is capable of encouraging the growth of weeds, which is not something you want in your artificial lawn. Even airborne seeds and flower material are capable of causing weeds. A little artificial grass maintenance every now and again will save you a headache later down the line. Not only will you make your lawn look pristine again, but you’ll stop it being spoilt by weed growth.
Artificial grass maintenance prolongs the life of your lawn. Regular brushing is ideal for cleaning debris, but also to keep the shape of the underlying structure. Once the base has had time to settle, brushing will keep the fibres plump and prevent them from flattening or looking a bit miserable. To keep the sponginess of your artificial lawn, going against the grain with a medium brush can work wonders.
Even though all steps are taken during the installation process to ensure no weeds will come through, sometimes it can still happen. As such, artificial grass maintenance can still involve weeding your lawn. Although the job is actually much easier because you don’t have any other plants to worry about, there are a couple of different ways in which you can undergo weeding.
The first way is to simply cut off the top of the weeds that appear through the artificial grass. This doesn’t solve the underlying problem of the roots though, and weeds are persistent enough to keep coming back. Unlike a natural lawn, you can’t go digging up your artificial lawn with a trowel, or you’ll need more than artificial grass maintenance to fix it.
The second option for weeding your artificial lawn is to treat them with weedkiller. Although this can be easy to do, you must ensure you use a water-based solution or you might risk damaging the surface of your artificial grass. When weeds die, remove them or brush them away to keep the problem under control. It can also be useful to spray the entire surface with weedkiller to thoroughly complete your routine for artificial grass maintenance.
There’s nothing wrong with mixing artificial grass and pets, but the waste they produce should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Not only can smells permeate the area, it can be unsightly and be an unintentional obstruction for children. In terms of pet waste, the artificial grass maintenance advice is to pick up any solids as best you can before making use of an artificial grass cleaner or bicarbonate of soda to eliminate any smells. The final step should be to hose the area down with clean water. Diluted vinegar can also be used, but test an inconspicuous area first and leave overnight to see if it causes damage.
This artificial grass maintenance tip may sound strange, but it comes from a place of health and safety. Fake lawns are essentially plastic, and plastic and heat do not mix very well. Decorative surfaces that are reflective, or mirrors, should certainly be avoided as they have the potential to magnify the sun’s rays and melt parts of your artificial lawn. This can also happen with highly efficient windows, which reflect more of the sun’s rays than they absorb.
Linked to the previous point, if you want to avoid replacement, aim for the far easier artificial grass maintenance. Fire pits, barbecues, cigarettes, fireworks and other items that generate heat should not go anywhere near an artificial lawn. You will ultimately melt your lawn. This can happen if it reaches temperatures around 80°C or above, depending on the material it’s made from. To be on the safe side, any heated appliances should be elevated on bricks or concrete blocks or, better yet, completely set aside from the artificial lawn on a patio or similar surface.
Now that you know how easy artificial grass maintenance is, see our related article about how much artificial grass costs.
How to Clean Artificial Grass
To keep your artificial lawn looking its best, regular cleaning is required. You can use a pressure washer on your artificial lawn, but it’s best not to use the most powerful setting as this can displace the sub-base, rip the surface up and remove fibres. The key in how to look after artificial grass is to be cautious, test and make sure you do what’s best for your lawn. Artificial grass maintenance rarely differs between suppliers, but some are more hard wearing than others. After some years, the grass can accumulate dirt and look a bit dull. You can refresh the colour by going over it with a pressure washer.
Ice and Snow
Autumn and winter are the seasons that require the most work, so artificial grass maintenance can be centred around these times. In adverse weather conditions, snow or ice can build up on top of your artificial lawn. With ice, it’s simply best to leave it alone as it will not do your lawn any damage. If you try to break the ice away, you can risk damaging your lawn. Snow, on the other hand, can be removed. A small build up can be cleared by using a brush, while a big build up can be eliminated using a shovel. You should be careful, when using a shovel, that you don’t go too deep and rip the surface of your fake lawn. As with other artificial grass maintenance, caution is your best aid.
It’s always best to keep in mind how to clean artificial grass. Sometimes there are stains that just refuse to budge. Fortunately, though it’s a little more work, artificial grass maintenance for tough stains exists. Firstly, any hardened material should be removed with a plastic spatula or scraper. A detergent and water solution should then be applied to the area with a cloth or sponge and scrubbed. It can also be left on the area for 15 minutes to allow it to penetrate into the stain. Once cleaned, the area should be rinsed with clean water. If the stain persists, a hard bristle brush can be used.
White spirit can be used, but with caution, and sparingly. It is a flammable substance, which is not something you want to have on your lawn. If you wish to try using white spirit, test it on a small area that’s out of sight. Alternatively, you can use white spirit in your artificial grass maintenance by applying it to a cloth first before you attempt to remove the stain. After you’ve used white spirit, be sure to rinse the area clean.
Additional Artificial Grass Maintenance Points
Avoid sharp objects coming in contact with artificial grass, including metal outdoor furniture, high heels and studded sports shoes
Bleach should be avoided as it can degrade the fibres and cause discolouration
If chewing gum finds its way onto the lawn, remove it immediately. If this is not possible, freeze it with ice cubes so you can break it apart
Make sure you cut back any overhanging hedges and trees to minimise the amount of debris you’ll have to clear up
Some dogs may try to dig on your artificial lawn, which you should try to put a stop to. The underlay can be ripped if the behaviour is not stopped
Unsure about all the artificial grass maintenance? Read our guide on the advantages and disadvantages of artificial grass.