Converting a natural grass lawn to artificial grass is just plain smart in areas where drought conditions restrict water usage. Actually, it’s just plain smart for lots of reasons. One of them being artificial turf’s minuscule maintenance requirements. Nonetheless, you will want to keep your fake grass clean, so it’s always in tip-top aesthetic and functional condition.
So, how do you clean artificial grass, and what tools will you need?
Remove Large Pieces of Debris Daily
No matter what type of lawn you have, there will always be fallout from nearby trees and bushes, whether they’re yours or from a neighbor’s yard. It is important to remove any large pieces of debris so that they don't damage the mesh fabric of the turf. Check the lawn after a good storm or a strong wind.
This is normally a good chore for kids who want to help around the house. It gives them a chance to contribute, and a way to earn their allowance. However, there are occasions when you’ll need more than your kid’s brief manual labor to clean your artificial grass.
Lawn Blowers and Vacuums
On a smaller lawn, you can use a lawn blower or your shop vacuum. Both are effective for removing debris, as long as you use a lower setting so you don’t disturb the infill that supports the blades of grass. Sand and sand mix infills are lighter than pea gravel or crumb rubber and may shift or be sucked up into the vacuum if too much force is used.
Before you begin to clear the lawn, test a few areas to determine whether or not the infill is solid enough for the amount of force you need to use. If not, choose a different tool.
Lawn rakes with baggers that attach to riding lawn mowers are ideal for larger lawns. They will easily remove leaves and other types of small debris without disrupting the infill. The soft brushes of the rake will also fluff the blades and pull debris that may have settled deeper into the turf. Smaller lawn rakes can be used manually but may not be as effective, and they will have to be emptied more often than the larger versions. Or, you could bag the debris the old-fashioned way – by hand.
Using a stiff-tined, hand rake to comb through the infill will prevent it from becoming compacted. Raking allows air to permeate, helping keep the infill dry and preventing odors from building up. Raking also straightens the blades of grass so they don’t become matted in high traffic areas.
Lawn Brushes and Brooms
Lawn brushes and push brooms are another great choice for smaller lawns. They are stiff enough to fluff the infill and blades as well as remove small pieces of debris from between the blades of artificial grass. Bigger lawn? Try a power broom instead.
Rinsing the lawn with a hose once a month is recommended to knock down dust and eliminate any pet residue that may be present. If you have a dog or cat who loves to use the lawn as a restroom, landscapers often recommend rinsing those areas at least once a week – or, better yet, immediately. This will dilute any remaining urine or feces and rinse away any residue that may be left behind to cause odors.
Cleaning an artificial grass lawn is easy, and much simpler than putting in hours of effort to meet the endless maintenance requirements of natural grass. With minimal care, your lawn will save you time, save you money, conserve water, and always look its best.