Photo: Inside Creative House / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
Simple project; big impact.
Time to complete
Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.
What you'll need:
Doggy poo bags or a shovel
Artificial turf broom
Artificial turf cleaner
One of the main benefits of installing artificial turf in outdoor living spaces is that it's low maintenance. That's right—no having to worry about mowing, weeding, or discoloration due to hot weather or even pet urine. That sounds like a win in our books, too.
That said, low maintenance doesn't mean no maintenance. Artificial turf costs$2 to $8 per square foot, so it's definitely a good idea to clean it from time to time, both for sanitary reasons and to maintain your initial investment. Don't worry: It'll only take a few minutes. It’ll take you far less time than walking around the backyard trying to fix patches of grass.
Learn how to clean pet and dog urine off artificial grass in this seven-step guide.
This step might seem obvious, but it's vital for effectiveness and sanitary reasons.
Dispose of waste in a sealed bag, then take your trash out so it doesn't linger in the home.
They do make pet-friendly artificial turf these days for your puppy to take care of business. Even still, it's not good to let solid waste sit on top of fake grass for too long. Dog waste can ruin turf and also expose your family to harmful bacteria like e.coli and salmonella.
Rinse the Area With Your Hose
Use a gentle hose setting to rinse off your artificial turf, especially if you laid sand down during installation to help with drainage. This will prevent the sand from being blasted out of the turf.
Depending on the size of your artificial turf, you might just need to use a spray bottle.
Many pets have a spot or a few spots they particularly like to do their business in/on. If you know where these areas are, give those sections a little extra attention.
Use an Artificial Turf Cleaning Solution
There are plenty of turf-friendly pet cleaning solutions available to help with this project.
Some popular options to look for include:
Enzyme-based artificial turf cleaner
Non-chemical turf cleaner
Stain removing artificial turf cleaner for pet urine
Odor-eliminating artificial turf cleaner
Using a simple solution of vinegar and water (1/2 cup per liter of water) is another natural way to deodorize and detoxify the area of dog pee.
Let the Solution Set, Per Directions
Read the instructions on your artificial turf cleaning solution and follow them.
For many products, you'll need to spray the product on all areas of the turf you want to clean, then let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes. A light rinsing with the hose to remove the compound afterward is pretty standard.
Scrub the Area with a Broom
In some cases, you may be instructed to lather the cleaning agent into the artificial grass to neutralize pet smells and urine. This helps get the solution deeper into your fake grass.
You can buy an extendable turf broom for as little as $15. If you plan to have turf for a while, it's a good investment. It doubles (once cleaned) as a tool for removing debris like rocks or leaves from your artificial grass.
If you don't have a turf broom, a regular broom could work. A wet/dry surface push broom is recommended in this case.
If Odor Lingers, Apply a Light Coating of Baking Soda
If it's been a few months since the last turf cleaning (or this is the first time ever), some dog pee smells might still linger after you rinse the cleaning agent off. Have no fear—a light coating of baking soda can help. Sprinkle it over the turf, let it rest for an hour, then rinse.
If you choose to use vinegar and water to clean your turf, this step is actually recommended regardless of if the smell lingers. Otherwise, the next time you have a hot day and your turf heats up, your artificial grass may give off a smell of vinegar (even if with a deep rinse).
Give your best friend the most sanitary place to do their business by maintaining your artificial grass on a regular basis. Plus, it’ll keep your backyard looking and smelling nice and help increase the lifespan of your fake grass.
Here are some proactive maintenance tips for cleaning artificial turf:
Mop up dog pee using paper towels or wipes when your dog goes to the bathroom.
Hose the area daily or weekly to prevent urine buildup.
Don't let pet waste linger on turf during hot weather spells.
Use baking soda on a monthly basis to neutralize odors.
A few minutes per week can go a long way. If you need help maintaining your fake grass, talk to a lawn care professional near you to schedule routine maintenance and cleanings.