How to Handle Artificial Turf Cleaning and Pet Odors

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Originally posted on April 24, 2020

Artificial turf is convenient, easy to install, affordable, and readily available. With the right cleaning and care, it can last a long time. You don’t even need any kind of artificial turf cleaning machine, but that requires knowledge and a little bit of elbow grease to keep things clean and odor-free. This article will take you through the necessary steps to handle the cleaning and care of artificial turf, especially where pets are concerned. 

Using the Right Infill

To begin, it’s always a solid plan to make sure that your artificial turf is ready before you start getting pet odor and other contaminants on it. That means picking a good infill. Here are some of your options: 

Silica Sand 

A quartz derivative that has been eroded into tiny granules, and has a variety of commercial uses, including as an infill. This sand helps keep blades of artificial grass standing upright, and provides excellent drainage. It’s cheap, but it can harden and lose it’s permeability. For pet turf, it’s probably the worst choice, as it has been known to trap odor. Best for areas that don’t see a lot of traffic. 


Rubber pellets are another commonly used infill for artificial turf, giving the fake grass a tactility that resembles natural grass. It’s bouncy and permeable, and it adds volume, which makes for lush-looking artificial terrain. Unfortunately, rubber has some downsides. It traps heat like nobody’s business, and spreads dust when it’s regularly walked on. This means that it can be a little too hot hot hot for your pets’ tender paws. It also can absorb some bacteria, and isn’t the best for odor. 


Made from rounded quartz, Durafill sand is a common artificial turf infill that’s pretty useful. It keeps cool in intense heat, doesn’t absorb liquids, and it has antimicrobial properties. If you’re not strapped for cash, Durafill sand is the way to go. It’s a little more expensive than other infills, but its rounded shape is great for absorbing impact without damage to the grass. Perfect for high traffic areas, and it’s pet safe.

Picking a Turf that’s Right for You

Another factor in making sure that you’ve got a clean artificial turf lawn is to make sure that you create a landscape that’s easy to clean and has proper drainage. Here are some of the options to choose from. 


Polypropylene turf comes in a variety of styles and is used for many different types of projects. It’s cheap, however, it has a very low melting point and is not the most durable material, so if your turf is going to be seeing a lot of use/sunlight, there’s likely better choices to avoid frequent repair and replacement. 


This one is a common favorite, as it’s got a soft texture that’s far more durable than polyethylene. It feels natural, and is a little bit more expensive, but your pet will appreciate it. 


Nylon is the most durable, but it’s also the most porous and has the roughest texture. It’s mainly used as sports and athletic turf, or on roofs and decks, but it’s not the best choice for pet turf because it absorbs odor.

Cleaning and Maintenance Routine

Most artificial grass only needs to be cleaned once a week or so, just to ensure that dust and debris don’t accumulate too much. Simply spraying it off with a garden hose will likely do enough to maintain its appearance. 

If you’ve got a pet that regularly relieves itself on your grass, you want to make sure that you’re regularly cleaning up after them, as well as applying deodorizer as needed to keep things smelling fresh and clean. Additionally, getting a fine rake or brush that you can use on the lawn is a good idea too. Pulling against the grain will help keep the artificial turf looking stiff and perky. Make sure to occasionally re-up on the infill too!

How Often to Clean

Depending on how much use your artificial lawn sees, you’ll want to make sure that you clean it on a regular schedule. For lawns that never see much walking or use, once every two weeks or every month is probably enough cleaning. 

If your pet is regularly heading out to do their business on the artificial lawn, cleaning every week is a good idea. Most artificial turf and infill have antimicrobial properties, but getting some sort of mild antibacterial solution won’t hurt when it comes to cleaning the lawn either. You can even water it down quite a bit to make it last longer. 

Many people wonder if you can vacuum artificial grass. The answer is: it depends. You don’t want to vacuum artificial grass with an infill, as that can clog and ruin a vacuum cleaner very quickly. But, most artificial turf that doesn’t have an infill can be vacuumed with no problems. 

DIY vs. Commercial 

Yes, now it’s time to talk about artificial grass and dog urine.The most reliable anti-odor and antimicrobial solution you can make for yourself at home is a mixture of half vinegar/half water, which you can then just use in a regular lawn sprayer or use in a small spray bottle for spot cleaning. This will effectively neutralize dog urine on artificial grass. Vinegar and water solution also has many other useful applications around the house.

As far as commercial options go, your best bet is a good artificial grass enzyme cleaner or antimicrobial turf cleaner. These cleansers will help ensure that you’ve got the cleanest turf this side of a football stadium. These cleansers will also double as turf deodorizers too!

Keeping your lawn clean is easy with a proper maintenance schedule and a little discipline. If you’re interested in starting your own artificial turf journey, get in touch with us, and we’ll help you find the turf you need.