Easy How To Clean Artificial Turf Guide

bright green artificial turf with red and yellow leaves on top and a beige broom

When your backyard has artificial turf as a part of the maintenance, for the most part you are one of the luckiest in the neighborhood.  Artificial turf is one of the best ways to avoid the lion’s share of lawn maintenance. No more mowing, weeding, and dealing with a living lawn.  However, artificial turf does still get dirty, and eventually you’ll find yourself looking into how to clean artificial turf.  Whether it’s leaf litter, sticks, or pet messes, we will go over a few ideas below.

How To Start Cleaning Artificial Turf

Whenever you are cleaning your artificial turf, the first thing to look for are sticks and large debris.  Do not try and sweep up sticks or drag them on the surface of your turf.  The first step on how to clean artificial turf is to make sure you protect it for the long term.  Once you pick up all the sticks and large debris, you can move on to a couple different methods for smaller debris removal.

How To Clean Artificial Turf From Leaves

To remove leaves, a leaf blower is the absolute best way to clean artificial turf.  It’s best to avoid using traditional rakes on artificial turf if you can.  Even wood or plastic rakes if not designed for artificial turf can catch seams and exacerbate any minor imperfections caused by a branch falling or a table leg.  Every turf owner however should have in their possession an artificial turf rake.  

Grandi Groom AB24 Carpet Rake, 18-Inch Head, 54-Inch Handle, Blue
  • LIFTS PET HAIR: Simultaneously loosen and lift deeply embedded soil particles and pet hair for efficient extraction and cleaning.
  • 18-INCH HEAD: The Extra wide (18 inch) head covers large areas quickly so less time in required to finish a room.
  • “LIKE NEW” APPEARANCE: Restructure the original design of the carpet to restore the resilient effect.

How To Use An Artificial Turf Rake

Artificial turf rakes are designed for use on artificial turf and allow you to sweep off the top layer of debris into piles.  Granted they will not be anything like the rakes you’re used to, really they’re more like brooms.  If you’re trying to rake up a huge leaf fall, you really should put it away and grab the leaf blower.  However, after using the leaf blower, the rake is a great way to clean up the last remaining debris.

How To Clean Artificial Turf From Pollen And Small Debris

What do you do when you have small leaf litter and pollen?  How do you clean that up?  This is where the power broom comes in handy.  Many artificial turf owners will buy these affordable machines. However, you can also rent a power broom if you’d rather not have another piece of equipment around.  

power broom showing how to clean artificial turf from pollen

A power broom will help you clean all of the remaining debris. It should be done every few months or so to keep your artificial turf looking its best. We’ve reviewed several brands of this equipment to find the best power broom options.

How To Clean Artificial Turf From Bad Odors

All of the above can be useful advice when it comes to debris, but how to clean artificial turf when it comes to pet stains and odors?  This can be one of the most frustrating aspects of any lawn, let alone artificial turf.  Don’t be discouraged!  There are some great solutions to this you can try.  

First, there’s good old baking soda.  Once you’ve removed any of the pet poo from the artificial turf there’s undoubtedly a scent left over.  You can use a light detergent solution to clean the last remaining smudges, but you’ll need something more for the smell.  Sprinkling baking soda can be very helpful with odor elimination.  

Most artificial turf owners with pets will augment the baking soda treatment by using a solution meant for artificial turf.  One of the most popular is Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator.  

Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator for Pets, Dogs, Ideal for Artificial Grass & Patio (32 oz Hose End Sprayer & 1…
  • Quickly removes odors left behind by urine, stool, vomit and other organic matter
  • Safe for use on grass, artificial turf, gravel, concrete, brick and more
  • Uses powerful, natural enzymes to eliminate odors at the source rather than cover them up

This is popular for a few reasons, not the least of which is the handy hose attachment spray bottle.  You simply treat the area you want to clean while spraying down the artificial turf.  The secret to Simple Green however, is the enzymes which do the work of breaking down odors once you’ve sprayed down the turf.

landscaper showing how to clear artificial turf with a leaf rake

Every maintenance regimen should end in hosing down the artificial turf to clean off the last bit of dust.  By adding the Simple Green attachment to the hose you both soak down the turf in your pet area, and neutralize the urine scent.

How To Clean Artificial Turf Summary

Hopefully all this has not discouraged you from artificial turf ownership.  Though it does take some maintenance, once you have your system in place, keeping your turf clean and beautiful will become easier over time.  Once you understand how to clean artificial turf, you’ll be able to move on with the rest of your life and go back to enjoying your backyard environment.