So, you’ve just laid your first artificial lawn. You’re buzzing with excitement to use it and build unforgettable family memories. Or maybe you’re planning a BBQ or garden party to show it off to your friends and family.
But what happens if you drop paint, wine or coffee on it. And if you own pets, you’ll need to know how to make sure their mess doesn’t lead to any unsightly stains - or smells!
The good news is that with proper maintenance keep your artificial lawn stain-free is hassle-free. Once you know how to deal with the stubborn stains that can find their way onto your artificial lawn, you will have it looking good as new in no time.
Artificial Grass is Low Maintenance
Before you look into any specific solutions for your stains, it is a great idea to revisit standard artificial grass maintenance. Doing this properly will probably deal with most stubborn stains.
Carrying out your maintenance regularly will also prevent stains from becoming embedded and difficult to remove.
You really need to include washes with warm soapy water as part of your artificial grass maintenance plan. First, prepare a solution of a small amount of washing-up liquid and warm water. Then use it to wash your grass with a bristled brush and a cloth.
Using this technique will remove any stains you may not have noticed yet. But letting soapy water dry on your artificial grass can also stain it. After you have washed your grass, be sure to quickly rinse it down with your garden hose.
Preventing stubborn stains from developing is also about reacting quickly. As soon as a liquid is dropped on your artificial lawn, you should think about your response. Using anything that will absorb the liquid is always a brilliant first step. Think about using a kitchen towel or cat litter for example.
If you don’t manage to get to the liquid before it dries, it will harden and stick to the artificial grass fibres. It can be tempting to just pull it off the artificial grass, but caution is of utmost importance. The last thing you want to do is to snap off some grass in the process. Instead, you can use something like a toothbrush to brush off the stain without damaging your grass.
How to Remove Oil-Based Stains
As stains become more stubborn, the chemicals needed to remove them become stronger. The trick to removing oil-based stains is white spirit.
You have probably heard of using white spirit to clean paintbrushes. Well, it’s excellent for tackling anything oily. Put a small amount of white spirit on a bristled brush and rub it into the stained area thoroughly until the stain has been removed. Then use a garden hose to rinse off the residue.
Be careful not to use strong chemicals. They can bleach beautiful greens into drab greys. Before applying any chemicals to fake grass it is important that you test them on a small corner first.
Even when there is no sign a cleaning agent will discolour artificial grass fibres, you should still be very careful when using it. Try not to be too heavy-handed with the amount of lotion you apply, and don’t leave the bottle uncapped near the grass in case it is knocked over.
A spillage of high density of chemicals will soak into your grass fibres - and a high density of chemicals is not good for anything.
It’s also worth remembering that strong chemicals can be environmentally damaging. If particles get caught in the wind, chemical solutions can wreak havoc with the quality of the soil in your garden and beneath your artificial grass. It will be very hard to grow anything in soil that is contaminated with white spirit.
White spirit can also hurt you. Direct exposure to your skin can irritate it, leaving blisters and burns. Worse still, inhaling it can cause permanent damage to your lungs. To avoid these symptoms, you can avoid breathing it indirectly and you should wear gloves while cleaning with it.
How to Remove Chewing Gum
Chewing gum is the nemesis of anybody who works in the household cleaning industry. Every day, they tackle gum that could have been stuck to a carpet or sofa for years.
But their experience has created an array of methods that can be applied to removing chewing gum from your artificial grass. Suggestions from this industry vary, but a lot of them can damage and stain your artificial grass, such as using heat, grease, or even peanut butter.
The best solution we know of involves ice. By applying ice to the chewing gum stain, it will harden and become brittle. In this state, you can simply remove it without damaging the grass fibres. Use a spoon to gently break it up and lift the gum off the grass. If it resists, apply ice for longer until it peels off easily.
The best thing about using this method is that it will leave nothing behind but water. No chemicals will need to be washed off. After removing the gum, you should simply leave the melted ice to dry out.
Will Animal Waste Damage My Artificial Lawn?
Everybody loves their furry friends, but they do tend to go to the toilet where they are not meant to. And if they poo on your freshly laid artificial grass, it will be even more frustrating. Fortunately, cleaning up after your pet will be quick and easy. And it will not leave any odours.
Dealing with your pet’s urine is easy. Great artificial grass has excellent drainage and unlike natural grass, cannot die from exposure to urine. However, we still recommend installing a zeolite infill.
Zeolite is made from natural stones that absorb ammonia - the odour that is associated with stale urine. The small pebbles are not intrusive and act as a magic potion to eliminate unwanted odours.
Cleaning up after number twos on your artificial lawn will be a little more challenging. But the process of cleaning poo off your artificial lawn is very similar to how you would clean it up normally. Simply use a scoop or plastic bag to pick up the poo and dispose of it as you normally would.
You can then use a hose to clean up any lingering residue left behind. If you want a deeper clean, you can use soap and warm water.
However, any kind of animal waste will leave an odour long after the waste is dealt with. Especially in the summer months, these odours can make your garden a very unpleasant place to be.
A common and effective response is to use baking soda, water, and vinegar. You should first sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the odorous area then dilute the vinegar in water and give it a good scrub. Once your grass dries out, you will notice it is delightfully odour-free.
Of course, the best way to prevent animal waste from damaging your grass is to prevent it from getting there in the first place. Before you go onto your artificial grass, you should check your shoes first to make sure you are not bringing any dog poo onto your lawn.
You might also want to consider training your pet not to poo on your artificial grass. Training techniques like praising and treating your pet when it poos in the right place can be a very effective way of keeping them off the lawn.
What Happens if My Artificial Lawn is Permanently Damaged?
No stain removal technique is perfect. You may not be able to remove the stain at all. Worse still, you might damage your artificial grass in the process. Doing so is unlikely as an artificial lawn is much stronger than natural grass. But it is still possible, especially if you are too rough when cleaning it.
If any damage occurs, it will be unsightly and you will need to get it sorted. However, replacing all of your artificial grass will be far too expensive at £60-75 per square meter. The saving grace is that it’s possible to replace only the damaged section of grass. This is a much more cost-effective strategy.
Simply use a Stanley knife to cut out the damaged section of artificial grass and lift it up off the surface. Hopefully, you will have some leftover grass from your initial installation, but if not a replacement section should be easy to buy.
Measure out the area you have removed and accurately cut a new section, before placing it flush into the space.
If you’re not sure which cleaning products or techniques are best for your artificial lawn, there are plenty of trustworthy recommendations on the internet.
Alternatively, give us a call and one of our advisors will be able to offer guidance. We believe in offering our customers excellent customer service, before during and after the installation process.