Eliminate Dog Urine Smells from Fake Grass – Our Top Tips

Introduction

Artificial grass offers many benefits for dog owners, such as minimal maintenance, durability, and always green lawn. However, dog urine can damage artificial grass fibers and cause unsightly yellow or brown spots. The uric acid in dog urine oxidizes and burns the grass blades, leaving behind an unpleasant odor and discoloration. Over time, concentrated urine spots can lead to excessive matting and deterioration of the artificial turf.

Using a dog urine neutralizer helps reverse and prevent damage on artificial lawns. Neutralizers work by breaking down uric acid crystals and restoring the grass color. They make artificial turf inhospitable for bacteria growth while eliminating odors. With proper urine neutralization and cleaning, dog owners can enjoy their artificial grass for years before needing replacement.

How Dog Urine Damages Artificial Grass

Dog urine can cause significant damage to artificial grass over time. The main culprits are the high acidity and ammonia content in canine urine.

The average pH of dog urine is around 6 to 7, which makes it quite acidic. This acidity eats away at the blades and backing of artificial turf. The urine crystallizes and causes the blades to become brittle and discolored.

In addition to being acidic, dog urine also contains ammonia which is corrosive. Ammonia damages the grass by breaking down the polymers in the blades. This weakens and fades the color of the grass.

As the urine soaks through the turf, it can also stain and degrade the backing material. This causes the artificial lawn to become less durable and leads to premature replacement.

Left untreated, dog spots and burn marks will only grow larger and more unsightly. The urine smell also becomes very difficult to remove over time.

That’s why it’s crucial to quickly neutralize dog urine and prevent permanent damage to your artificial grass investment.

Top 3 Neutralizer Ingredients

There are three main ingredients commonly used in DIY dog urine neutralizers for artificial grass:

Vinegar

White vinegar is acidic and helps neutralize the alkaline salts in dog urine that cause yellowing and odor. When sprayed on artificial grass, vinegar’s acetic acid kills bacteria and releases the urine’s ammonia smell. It’s safe for pets when diluted. Distilled white vinegar is best.

white vinegar neutralizes the alkaline salts in urine that cause odors and discoloration on artificial grass.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a mild base that counteracts acidic urine to reduce damage. It also absorbs odors. Make sure to sweep up excess after letting it sit awhile. Don’t use too much as this can increase the grass’ pH over time.

Enzymes

Enzyme cleaners contain bacteria that feed on urine and break it down. This eliminates odors at the source and makes the urine easier to rinse away. Look for pet-safe enzyme cleaners to use on artificial grass.

How to Make a Homemade Neutralizer

Making your own dog urine neutralizer for artificial grass is easy and affordable. Here are a few simple homemade recipes you can follow:

Vinegar Neutralizer

Vinegar helps counteract urine’s high alkaline levels. Mix together:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water

Spray this solution liberally over any urine spots, let sit 5-10 minutes, then rinse with water.

Dish Soap & Hydrogen Peroxide Neutralizer

The dish soap helps break down the uric acid crystals while the hydrogen peroxide disinfects and deodorizes. Combine:

dish soap helps break down uric acid crystals while hydrogen peroxide eliminates odors and disinfects artificial turf.

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons dish soap
  • 2 tablespoons 3% hydrogen peroxide

Spray on and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing off.

Baking Soda Neutralizer

Baking soda is alkaline and helps neutralize acidic dog urine. Make a paste with:

  • 1 part baking soda
  • 1 part water

Rub the paste into urine spots and let sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing clean.

Ready-Made Neutralizer Products

If you don’t want to make your own homemade neutralizer, there are some effective ready-made products available:

there are effective ready-made urine neutralizer products for artificial grass available from brands like simple green and nature's miracle.

Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator

Simple Green is a popular all-purpose cleaner that also works well for neutralizing odors and removing urine stains from artificial grass. Some pros of this product are that it’s readily available at most hardware stores, it’s non-toxic and biodegradable, and it’s safe for pets and kids. Some cons are that it may need multiple applications to fully remove urine odors, and it can be more expensive than homemade options.

Nature’s Miracle Artificial Grass Pet Odor Eliminator

This product from Nature’s Miracle is specifically formulated for use on artificial lawns. It contains bio-enzymatic bacteria that help break down urine and fecal matter. Pros are that it’s fast-acting and designed for artificial grass. Cons are that it has a strong medicinal smell and may not be as effective on older or stubborn stains.

Petmaster Oxi Strength Pet Stain & Odor Remover

Petmaster Oxi Strength uses oxygen-powered enzymes to lift organic stains and eliminate odors. Pros are that it’s color-safe for use on any artificial grass color. Cons are that it may require presoaking for tough stains, and has a strong bleach-like scent.

How to Apply a Neutralizer

Applying a dog urine neutralizer to artificial grass is straightforward. Here are some tips for effective application:

Frequency – It’s best to treat urine spots as soon as possible after they occur. For heavily used areas, consider applying a neutralizer once per week as a preventative measure.

Technique – Use a spray bottle to evenly coat the affected areas. Avoid excessive saturation, as you don’t want too much liquid pooling. Let the neutralizer soak in for 5-10 minutes before lightly rinsing.

Coverage – Thoroughly treat all areas that have been urinated on. It’s better to use more neutralizer than required than to miss a spot. Heavily trafficked areas may need more applications.

Drying – Allow the grass to completely dry before letting your dog back onto it, usually 1-2 hours. The drying process allows the neutralizer to work on breaking down urine crystals.

Rinsing – After letting it soak, lightly rinse the area to wash away any remaining urine and neutralizer residue. Avoid heavy pressure washing.

Reapplication – If odors persist, reapply neutralizer to the affected spots. Severely damaged areas may require multiple treatments over weeks to fully neutralize.

Cleaning Artificial Grass

Regularly cleaning artificial grass is critical for keeping it sanitary and free of odors. The frequency of cleaning depends on usage, but a general guideline is to clean dog urine from artificial grass at least once per week. More frequent cleanings may be needed if multiple dogs use the area.

Begin by removing all solid waste and rinsing the turf thoroughly with a hose on a high pressure setting. Allow the grass to air dry completely before applying any cleaners. Next, spray a pet-safe artificial turf cleaner liberally across the area, targeting any urine stains. Let the cleaner soak in for 5-10 minutes. Scrub the area with a stiff bristle brush to lift stains from the grass blades and infill. Rinse the cleaner away with a hose. For tough odors, sprinkle baking soda across the turf and let sit overnight before rinsing.

In addition to routine cleanings, deep clean the artificial grass 2-4 times per year. Use a turf rake to fluff and redistribute the infill material. Then use a wet/dry vacuum to remove all loose debris. Finally, scrub the entire surface with an artificial grass cleaner or mild dish soap and water solution using a push broom.

Consistent cleaning keeps artificial grass looking fresh, extends its lifespan, and prevents urine damage. Be sure to completely dry the turf after each cleaning. Store bought cleaners or mild DIY solutions of white vinegar, dish soap, or baking soda can be effective.

Preventing Dog Urine Damage

Proper potty training is key to preventing dog urine damage on artificial grass. Take your dog outside frequently and reward them with treats and praise when they relieve themselves in designated areas. Avoid scolding accidents, as this can discourage your dog from going in front of you. Maintain a consistent routine and recognize signals that your dog needs to go out.

proper potty training and limiting water before bedtime can help prevent dog urine accidents on artificial grass.

Limiting your dog’s water intake in the evening can also reduce accidents overnight or first thing in the morning. Remove water bowls a couple hours before bedtime to give their body time to process fluids. However, don’t restrict water during the day, as proper hydration is important to your dog’s health. Providing ample outdoor potty breaks, especially before crating at night, will help curb accidents. Consider setting an alarm to take puppies out in the middle of the night.

These steps for potty training and limiting fluids before bed can significantly reduce dog urine on your artificial grass. Preventing accidents and damage will save you both time and money on cleaning and replacement.

When to Replace Artificial Grass

Even with diligent neutralizing and cleaning, artificial grass will eventually need replacing. Most artificial grass lasts 5-10 years with proper care, but heavy use or damage can shorten its lifespan. Here are some signs that indicate it is time to remove and replace artificial turf:

  • The grass fibers are breaking, fraying or coming loose from the backing.
  • There are bald or threadbare spots where the grass pile is worn down to the backing.
  • Visible staining persists even after cleaning and neutralizing.
  • The infill between blades is depleted, compacted or unevenly distributed.
  • The grass blades are matted, flattened or crushed and won’t stand up.
  • Standing water pools on the surface instead of draining through.
  • Seams between turf sections are coming apart or gaping open.
  • The turf smells bad or mildews despite cleaning efforts.
  • Weeds, moss or molds have taken root in the grass and spread.
  • The sub-base or underlayment is deteriorating.

If your artificial grass shows these kinds of issues, it is unfortunately time to replace it. While neutralizing urine damage extends its life, no artificial grass lasts forever under pets and heavy use.

Conclusion

In summary, dog urine can cause significant damage to artificial grass if left untreated. The best way to neutralize dog urine and prevent damage is to apply a solution containing ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, enzymatic cleaner, dish soap or hydrogen peroxide shortly after urination occurs. Making your own homemade neutralizer with these ingredients can save money compared to store-bought products. Properly cleaning artificial turf on a regular basis and reapplying a neutralizer as needed is crucial for maintaining a pristine lawn.

Dog urine neutralizers are an essential tool for any artificial grass owner with pets. Taking the time to find the right neutralizer and regularly treat dog urine stains will extend the life of your synthetic turf investment. A small amount of effort in neutralizing and cleaning artificial grass will prevent costly replacements down the road. With the right maintenance strategy, you can keep your artificial lawn looking lush, vibrant and urine-free for years to come.

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