Artificial Turf Maintenance for Increasing Longevity

Synthetic turf rinsed with water

Artificial turf doesn't wilt, grow too long, or turn brown like natural grass. But it does need routine cleaning and maintenance throughout its 20 to 25 years of life to keep it fresh and clean.

While taking care of artificial grass demands less time and effort than a natural lawn, neglecting a proper maintenance schedule will shorten its lifespan.  

This guide is for property owners who want to know what equipment and cleaning processes to use for proper artificial grass maintenance.  

What Equipment Do You Need to Clean Artificial Grass? 

The equipment you need to clean artificial grass is: 

  • Garden hose for removing stains 
  • Rake or push broom to straighten the grass blades and redistribute infill material 
  • Leaf blower for removing leaves and debris without damaging the turf 
  • Shop-Vac for removing debris 
  • Putty knife or other scraper for sticky stains  

Cleaning your synthetic lawn largely consists of keeping the grass straight, regularly rinsed, and debris-free.  

How Do You Care for Synthetic Turf Lawns? 

Artificial lawns require light routine maintenance to keep them clean and in good condition. This mainly consists of weekly rinsing and brushing cycles. Lightly spraying your artificial grass with low-pressure water at regular intervals is essential to remove dirt, dust, and organic debris from staining or weighing down the blades over time. 

A maintenance schedule for artificial grass should include at least three re-occurring activities: 

  • Weekly watering 
  • Biweekly cross-brush 
  • Yearly deep cleaning 

How Often Should You Water Synthetic Turf? 

Give your artificial turf a light but thorough rinse once a week, along with spot-cleaning stains and pet waste. Lightly hosing down your artificial lawn keeps it clean and removes pollen, dirt, and liquid waste that can build up over time.  

How Often Should You Cross Brush Turf? 

Drag brush (also known as “cross-brush”) your lawn at least biweekly to remove debris, redistribute the infill between the blades, and push the grass blades back up. For most synthetic lawns, it's best to cross brush—or move the brush "against the grain" of how the blades are leaning. If there are high foot traffic areas of your lawn, or you are entertaining larger groups, cross-brush the turf more frequently to minimize wear. 

How Often Should You Deep Clean Turf? 

Deep cleaning is a comprehensive maintenance task recommended once every two years for lightly used lawns or annually for heavily used yards. Professionals equipped with power brushes or vacuum systems can handle this process for you, or you can rent the necessary tools yourself. 

During a deep clean, thoroughly scrub the lawn with a stiff brush to remove debris and buildup. Redistribute the infill and knock loose any caked together areas while removing larger pieces of debris. For an even deeper clean, lift out the infill material, separate the dirt, and add it back across the lawn. 

How Do You Clean Stains on Synthetic Grass? 

You can clean stained synthetic grass by lightly scrubbing away the stain with a light soap or scraping off sticky stains. Using the proper process to clean up each type of stain will protect your artificial turf and make it look its best. 

Mild Stains 

For mild stains like cola, alcohol, liquid waste, coffee, tea, and other substances, try to clean it as soon as possible before it can spread or dry; mop up the liquid without tugging or rubbing the grass. Large pieces of trash or debris can be manually removed. But for solid waste from pets, allow the solid to dry before removing it. 

Pet Stains 

If you have pets, remove debris and pet waste as soon as it dries. Solid waste can weigh down the grass and cause hard-to-remove stains and odors. However, professionally installed turf can handle liquid waste easily, and you can choose an infill layer for odor neutralization. Adopt a schedule for monitoring and rinsing typical pet waste areas to clean away stains and keep the turf in good condition. 

Stubborn Stains 

For more stuck-on or stubborn stains such as grease, suntan oil, motor oil, or even crayon, you can use a mild detergent solution or mineral spirits. Dab at the stain and blot it with a damp sponge. Once the stain has been removed, rinse the area to clear away the detergent water and stain. 

Sticky Stuff 

Sticky material like tree sap or chewing gum may adhere to the synthetic grass rather than discolor it. Use a scraper to carefully lift away the sticky substance. Try not to tug on the grass. After you've removed the stain, rinse the area and cross-brush it to restore the grass so it doesn't look spotty or disheveled. 

Tips for Maintaining Synthetic Turf 

With routine maintenance and quick spot cleaning to remove stains, property owners can keep their turf in good condition for years. However, some additional maintenance concerns can come up.  

If your area has gophers or other garden pests that may try to dig through your turf, consider installing specialty barrier materials when installing the grass so they can't pierce the layers.  

Also, be cautious about excess heat on your lawn. Leaf blowers and other powered lawn equipment may burn or melt the grass if the tools sit on it too long. Highly reflective windows can concentrate the sunlight, causing discoloration and heat damage as well.  

If you have specialty artificial turf installations, such as putting greens, you may need additional maintenance options to keep the high-use turf in good condition. Consider using a water roller once a week to restore the putting green for a better experience. 

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Biltright’s Cool-Pet solution lengthens the life of your lawn through its proprietary design! Its acrylic coating prevents the absorption of pet waste, while its highly rounded shape minimizes compaction — ensuring that your lawn stays fluffy and soft to the touch for years to come!