Artificial grass is an effective alternative to actual grass in modern lawns. It has all the benefits of a natural grass lawn minus the hassles of mowing, fertilising, bringing mud in the house and plucking out weeds. You don’t have to cut ends of long grass and grow it again. It doesn’t get damaged when your dog runs over it and doesn’t require watering other than cleaning purposes. A great way to save water and efforts indeed!
Insects don’t grow in artificial grass, and perhaps it’s an end to all the maintenance worries in your lawn. Well, the last statement comes with an asterisk because nothing is perfect. Being a dog owner, you must have realised this fact sooner than other artificial grass owners.
While artificial grass is excellent for dogs and children to run around and play on it, it’s not the best place to urinate. Obviously, your dog cares least about that fact. They start urinating absolutely whenever and wherever they want. And your artificial grass turf might have become the new favourite peeing spot for them.
What happens when Dogs Urinate on Artificial Grass?
Natural grass absorbs urine and wastes and filters into the soil which perhaps turns it into manure. There’s no issue when a dog urinates on natural grass. But while artificial are designed to have proper drainage facility, sometimes even better than natural grass, it can’t absorb some parts of urine.
Urine is made up of 95% water, but the remaining 5% includes a lot of other elements like uric acid, urea, ammonia, minerals and toxins. The artificial grass can’t absorb and decompose uric acid. It perhaps seeps inside the layers of the turf and stays there for a long time.
Over time, urine waste builds up in the layers of the grass turf and react with humidity and temperature to enhance the foul smell of urine. Rinsing the urine instantly after your dog urinates can help counter this, but it’s impossible to do that all the time. Fortunately, there are ways to repair the damage and get rid of the foul smell created by your dog.
How to Clean Dog Urine from Artificial Grass?
A bucket of water poured over the affected area within hours from which your dog urinated on the turf can get rid of the disinfectants in the urine and prevent them from seeping into the layers. A hose is a more effective tool to get rid of dog urine from the grass. Turn the tap to its maximum speed and apply water with pressure to get rid of waste instantly.
It doesn’t mean you need to keep this mind all day. It’s practically impossible and meaningless to spend so much thought into cleaning the turf. Watering in the same day when your dog urinated on the lawn will do fine and perhaps save you the hassle of using a grass cleaner. But once the grass turf has started smelling, the only antidote is using a grass cleaner.
Using Artificial Grass Cleaner
A natural odour eliminator will help you remove the foul smell and intoxicants absorbed into the grass turf within hours. Check the composition of cleaner you have bought as a toxic cleaner may be harmful to the grass and deteriorate it. It can harm its glaze while it may have adverse effects on your dog who sniff and lick the grass.
Directions to use a Grass Cleaner Effectively:
Use a biodegradable and non-toxic cleaner to prevent any harmful chemicals from seeping into the grass turf. Here are the directions to use a grass cleaner effectively:
Remove solid wastes –
Sweep all the solid waste from the grass turf using a pan and a broom. Keep your children and pets away from the lawn while cleaning the turf.
Attach the Sorry to Hose –
Shake the bottle of odour eliminator well before use. Attach the hose to the back of the spray and keep the nozzle away from your face.
Turn the tap on –
Turn the water on and speed it up gradually. Don’t let it exceed the medium speed. Turn the nozzle on and start spraying on the affected area. If you think the whole grass turf is stinking, spray it gently all over the lawn.
Keep the area damp –
Use a scrub brush if the grass smells extremely bad. Once you have sprayed the clean all over the affected area, let it absorb for at least 10 minutes. Keep watering it slowly if the weather is hot and it’s drying too soon. It’s essential to keep the area damp in order to attain the best results. Allow the area to dry and check after a few hours. Respray the cleaner in case the smell remains.
Homemade Products to Avoid using as a Cleaner:
While artificial odour eliminators are aplenty in the market, many people suggest homemade products which can be used to clean grass turfs. Artificial grass turfs are expensive, and you don’t want to destroy them by doing anything silly. Here are a few products you must NOT use to clean your grass turf:
Some people suggest sprinkling sand onto the grass turf to get rid of urine smell. In reality, sand will absorb uric acid and give it a base to expand. The infections might crystallise and perhaps amplify the smell.
Vinegar is a proven odour eliminator but not a great product to use as a grass cleaner. While it can eliminate the urine’s odour from the artificial grass, it can get absorbed and expose you to the strong smell of vinegar itself.
Again, this homemade cleaner can eliminate the odour, but it has a significant smell which is nearly as bad as vinegar.
Tips to Avoid Urine Retention in Artificial Grass:
Now you know some easy ways to remove urine smell from artificial grass, but it’s essential to take some precautions to avoid such a problem. Artificial grass turf is an expensive and long term investment, so it’s vital to maintain its quality over time. You can use the following tips from the scratch of the installation to extend your grass turf’s life and make it smell better.
Proper Installation –
Improperly installed artificial grass is more prone to building up urine traces over time. You should make sure that the base beneath the grass turf is permeable. It should let liquids pass easily through it, which in turn ensures proper drainage. Laying a weed membrane under the grass turf is a good way to ensure adequate drainage as it prevents uric acid from trapping in the layers of the grass turf.
In case you’re still thinking of getting an artificial grass turf installed in your lawn, talk to the expert to have a clearer picture on ensuring proper drainage. Grass turfs with proper drainage may still trap urine in dry areas having low rainfall, but you can counter this by watering regularly.
Watering the grass bank well at least once a month will remove the smell from the grass turf. If your dog continually urinates on the lawn or you have more than one pet, you should hose the turf more frequently. It’s a good idea to use a grass cleaner or odour eliminator once or twice a month to keep away any foul smell.
Avoid Pet Hair Blockage –
Your dog’s hair might fall off when he’s playing around the turf, which can result in blockage of the drainage system of the turf. The blockage can result in trapping of urine. While pet hair may fly away with the wind, try to groom your pet to avoid such situations. You can also use a leaf blower to blow away the hair and prevent drainage blockage.