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Artificial Grass Lawns for Dogs Have Special Grooming Needs

Apr 25, 2008
As every pet owner experiences, what is consumed at the front of the pet usually comes out the back; some how, somewhere.

Defecation materials, spit and other biological "stuff" can be deposited by your pets on the area. Just like any surface around your site, synthetic grass and artificial turf need some regular attention to keep it clean, fresh and safe for your family, friends and customers.

Solid materials should be removed regularly. Leaving solid material waste on the surfaces to break down will increase the amount of contaminate that saturates the turf system; remove solid wastes as soon and as regularly as possible.

Treat loose stool material with care by removing with gloves and spot treating with cleaners. Irrigate the area locally. Do NOT hose solid waste away; this just spreads the waste across a larger surface area.

In dry weather, it is okay to leave solids to harden prior to removing. During wet weather, remove immediately so the solids do not break down further.

Urine will be difficult to locate on the surfaces by sight. Assume that the animals are urinating and treat the entire surface when deodorizing and sanitizing. Most products require one gallon per 500 square feet to achieve the best coverage and saturation of liquids to do the job efficiently. You can use the sprinkler setting on any hose nozzle to drizzle water through the site, helping to drive the treatments down through the turf, infill, backing and base materials.

Volume of waste and use of the area plays a large part in how often you wish to groom the site. A single dog family with a mid to large size animal may need to sanitize the area weekly where a kennel or clinic may wish to do this daily. Sanitizing and deodorizing is critical to your long-term enjoyment and safe use of synthetic grasses and artificial turf.

For best results...

Keep the site free of organic debris (leaves and such)
solid wastes will be easier to see and clean up.

If your pet has an illness, you might want to consider spraying spots with a disinfectant

During winter rains, irrigating the area isn't needed; during summer sun and dryness, treat with full strength cleaners (except bleach) and irrigate the area weekly to wash the treatments deep into the system

If you have turf pieces laid on concrete, wood or other hard surface materials, clean under the turf regularly!

Recommended Artificial Grass Grooming Supplies would include:

A scoop or rake and pail or gloves and bags

A pressure sprayer or hose attachment for applying liquids to large areas

Enzyme cleaners help deodorize safely and you can use them often(Odormute, OdorBan, Nature's Miracle, Kids & Pets, etc. Rinse after 4 hours to dilute and rinse the treatments through the surfaces surfaces)

Vinegar (5% white distilled vinegar; do not dilute, irrigate through surface) "green" cleaners any sort that does not contain alcohol and is biodegradable, non foaming and low suds are best

5-10% of bleach and water
(remember to rinse well; bleach can collect in most infilled turf systems. Too much bleach may create its own smell and can be harsh on paws and skin.

To make the application of the liquid treatments easy, place cleaning materials into a pressurized spray bottle that has a hand wand for distributing the materials on the surfaces.

AVOID Cleaners containing alcohol which can damage the blades and void your UV warranty.

De-greasers and soapy cleaners can be used, however, you will need to completely rinse these products out of the turf. They may create a build-up on the surfaces, making dirt and dust stick to the fibers. Use a sprinkle setting on your hose to insure you will not wash out infill materials from turf.
About the Author
Assoc of Synthetic Grass Installers (ASGi) publishes articles, periodicals and publications:Synthetic Turf Market studies, rebates, HOA guidelines, grooming, maintenance and more at Grooming Artificial Grass Lawns for Dogs
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