How to clean fake grass - get your artificial grass looking as good as new

Fake grass looking a little faded? Here are the best ways to get in back in ship shape

Fake grass with bench
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Artificial grass is a popular choice for modern lawn ideas; little maintenance, and no yellow or brown patches when we've had a dry spell. But little maintenance doesn't mean no maintenance, so if you're part of the fake grass club, you need to learn how to clean fake grass properly to keep it in tip-top condition.

Fake grass can do a really god job of imitating real grass. Modern firms make artificial grass from polyethylene and add infill so that it will remain upright, so you don't need to worry about it losing its shape after the installation period. But what's the point in investing in a lovely lawn of fake grass if it's not going to stay well groomed all year round?

There are a few tricks that will keep your artificial grass in tip-top condition, and remove any stains if the pets have been getting a little too comfortable on the lawn. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to clean fake grass, so get ready to get your outdoor space back to its original shiny condition.

How to clean fake grass

Now is the best time to learn how to clean fake grass to ensure it looks lush and green next to your decking ideas in time for spring. According to Lazy Lawn the average lifespan of artificial grass ranges between 7 and 15 years. That's with regular cleaning to keep it well maintained.

Obviously you don't have to mow an artificial lawn (removing this garden chore is a big bonus!), but that doesn't mean you don't have to lift a finger to keep it in prime condition. Follow our guide on how to clean fake grass to ensure it stays looking healthy and lasts longer.

artifical grass with hammock and plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Bridget Peirson)

1. Brush regularly

Fake grass lawn in back garden

(Image credit: Artificial Lawn Company)

A lot of artificial grass is installed with sand infill, which ensures the artificial blades stand up in an upright position. It's a good idea to brush your fake grass regularly to re-distribute the infill and restore the blades to an upright position.

Garden and driveways company Marshalls recommend brushing an artificial laid lawn with a stiff artificial bristle broom or specialist artificial grass grooming rake. Doing this will help the infill to do its job correctly. Under no circumstances should you use metal or wire bristles as these can damage the grass fibres.

2. Wash with a hose

Spraying down an artificial lawn with a hose will remove dust, dirt, pollen and other airborne pollutants. If you don't have a hose, mix a bucket of warm water with eco-friendly washing up liquid or detergent. Using a brush, work this into the fibres of the grass and let it sit for a few minutes. 

'It’s super important that the detergent or soap you use is safe for plastic and isn’t harmful to wildlife – just be sure to double-check the label,' says Johanna Constantinou, Brand and Communications Director, Tapi. 'Then, using a hosepipe, or buckets of fresh tap water, rinse off the turn and allow it to dry in the sun.'

3. Remove leaves and weeds

artifical grass with cushion and table

(Image credit: Carpetright)

During autumn, leaves and twigs will blow on an artificial lawn which could encourage weed growth. Remove the debris regularly with the stiff broom, grass rake or a leaf blower. Again, under no circumstances use metal.

If the artificial grass has been installed correctly weeds will not grow through. However, airborne seeds may nestle within fibres and grow on the surface especially around edges of the grass membrane. Because any weeds that germinate will be on the surface level of the lawn, they can be easily removed by hand.

Moss is another common fake grass pitfall which can be avoided by applying a water-based weed killer with a sprinkler-headed watering can twice a year.

4. Clean up food spills immediately

BBQ sauce, coffee and wine spills on artificial grass are an easy cleaning job  Blot spilt liquids with a paper towel. Clean the fibres as you would a carpet, using a mix of detergent and water. Cleaning up food spills as soon as they occur can help to reduce the threat of staining. You can remove any stains left ingrained with a toothbrush.

How to clean up pet mess from artificial grass

artifical grass with sofa and dog

(Image credit: Lazylawn)

For learning how to clean fake grass after the pets have done their business on it, follow these easy steps: 

  • First remove and dispose of any hardened faeces. The quicker you do this, the better, so it doesn't have time to settle.
  • Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and mix with a teaspoon of washing up liquid.
  • Rinse the affected area straight away to clean the stain.
  • Hose the area down further with water hose to remove remaining odours and wash away the detergent.

'If you do have pets, then a shorter pile length is the best option,' advises Johanna. 'To attempt to manage the space, you can train you dog or cat to do their business in a specific area of the garden - this will just help with the general maintenance of your garden space.'

How to clear snow and ice from fake grass

To remove a light dusting of snow from an artificial lawn sweep with a brush or rake to a corner and remove with a plastic shovel.

To remove inches of snow, remove the top layer with a plastic shovel. Leave behind approximately one inch and remove as above.

How often should you clean fake grass?

Lawn of fake grass surrounded by plant beds

(Image credit: Artificial Lawn Company)

'To keep on top of artificial grass, you should give it a weekly brush,' says Johanna from Tapi. 'During Autumn you might need to brush it more frequently as the trees shed their leaves. When it comes to deep cleaning artificial grass, every four weeks or so should be fine under normal circumstances.'

'It’s easy to neglect your fake grass, as it keeps it’s colour really well, so often looks ‘well’ for longer,' adds Harry Tregoning, Founder, Tregoning Property & Tregoning Maintenance. 'Environmentally though, it’s important to maintain it - for hygiene reasons as well as how it looks. Keeping on top of this really means that maintenance can become a once-a-week job - but fortnightly would certainly suffice.' 

Can you pressure wash artificial grass?

Pressure washer cleaning fake grass with leaves

(Image credit: Vonhaus)

Whether or not you can use your pressure washer on fake grass depends on if the grass has infill. Infill is any product that is placed between the blades when the grass is installed, usually to weigh down the turf and prevent it from flattening. 

'If your artificial grass has infill then you cannot pressure wash it as this is what creates the soft, cushioning feeling to the turf,' explains Johanna. 'It’s far too easy for the pressure washer to remove the infill and it can jeopardise the integrity of your turf.'

'If your artificial lawn doesn’t have infill, then you can use a pressure washer,' she goes on. 'However, we recommend using the widest-angle tip you have, spraying at a shallow angle to help prop the fibres up, and most importantly, keeping the tip of the wand at least 30cm from the ground.'

If you aren't sure whether or not your artificial grass has infill, contact your supplier/ installer and they will be able to tell you.

Can you clean artificial grass with washing-up liquid?

You can use washing-up liquid mixed with water to clean your fake grass. But if you're dealing with tough stains or strong smells thanks to the family dog, you may need something a little stronger.

'Washing up liquid will do no harm but might not be strong enough to get rid of the smell and clean it thoroughly,' says Harry. 'Some people use vinegar mixes but there are some ready-made, grass-specific products designed for this use and although they are more expensive, they do a thorough job.'

Artificial grass cleaners like Fabulosa Artificial Lawn Disinfectant and Deodoriser in fragrance Lavender, £3.99 will definitely do the trick and get your fake grass looking as good as new.


Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.  

With contributions from