Why does my artificial grass smell of pet urine header image

The whole point of artificial grass is to allow you and your pets to be able to enjoy your garden, having removed the effort and headache that comes with real grass.

So, it’s not surprising that your happy grass bubble soon burst because your newly installed artificial grass proved to come with a very new problem. The foul smell of dog urine odour.

Whenever you go into your garden, you’re now greeted with the unpleasant smell of dog urine. It wafts through the open windows and BBQs outdoors are less appealing.

Why isn't simply hosing the synthetic grass working?

Smelly synthetic grass from dog urine

Urine is actually made up of 95% water. The other 5% however, is composed of urea, uric acid and ammonia. This is where the real source of the problematic odours come from, along with other waste product materials such as proteins, salts, minerals and toxins.

When your pet urinates on artificial grass, the urine typically runs down through the artificial grass blades and settles on the backing mat or runds through the drainage holes in the grass settling in the crusher rock base below.

Once urine dries, it crystallises forming uric acid crystals which are the source of the urine odour. Uric acid crystals are insoluble so won't naturally dissolve when water is applied.

No amount of water, vinegar or baking soda will break down the non-soluble uric acid crystals.

These uric acid crystals react to environmental factors that worsen (high temperatures and humidity) or lessen their smell (cold weather and heavy rainfall).

How to I clean pet urine odour from artificial grass?

Spraying on Turfresh artificial grass cleaner for pet urine

The good news is that those crystals are not completely insoluble or indestructible. Uric acid crystals can, in fact, be broken down by beneficial bacteria or active enzymes that consume these crystals and eliminate the urine smell for good. Turfresh artificial grass cleaner eliminates the smell and prevents it from ever reaching the nose. Best of all, it’s all-natural and safe for both kids and pets. It comes with an easy-to-use Siphon Sprayer which clicks on to your garden hose for quick, even, and hassle-free application that can be done regularly for odour elimination.

Dog dreaming of a fresh smelling yard thanks to TurFresh

Depending on how many pets you have, how large your area is and your threshold for the urine odour, you'll quickly work out your ideal maintenance regime that suits you best.

As a rule of thumb we recommend fortnightly in the warmer months and monthly in the cooler months.

Looking for other handy tips to keep your artificial grass smelling fresh and urine odour free?


Tip 1. Flush with water when it happens!

Hosing your artificial grass helps with pet urine odour

You can't always be present when your pet decides to pee, but flushing the urine with hose water when it happens, goes a long way to reducing the build up of pet urine odour.

If your dog sleeps indoors and you let them out first thing, they're pretty definitely going to pee within seconds of being let out. This is the largest and most concentrated effort of the day, so it's worth waithing those few seconds and flushing the spot with hose water. Diluting the pet urine thoroughly while it is still liquid will prevent smelly urea crystals forming when that puddle evaporates.

Treat training your dog to help with pet urine odour on your artificial grass

Tip 2. Train your dog to go in the same spot!

Teaching your dog to pee in the same particular area will limit the urine smell buildup to a smaller area of your artificial grass.

Positive reinforcement training is a great way to teach this.

Positive reinforcement training uses praise and/or treats to reward your dog for doing something you want him to do. Because the reward makes him more likely to repeat the behavior, positive reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog’s behavior.

You really need a controlled environment to achieve this. If your pet is not contained overnight and is free to pee anywhere in the yard, then this tip is not achievable.

Pet urinating on artificial grass

If your dog is contained overnight and released to the yard in the morning, muster your dog to a particular area before there is the chance to pee. Once the dog "goes" in the area you want, reward him/her with a little treat. Repeat the process every morning. Be sure not to use the treat to lure your pet to the chosen area, but rather try to muster them where you want them and then only treat them once they have urinated.

If your pet learns to pee in the same spot/or area, the effort will in the long run save you money on TurFresh artificial grass cleaner and time spent cleaning the smelly artificial grass.

Updated: Mar 10

Having artificial grass definitely comes with lots of perks; lush green grass all year round making the top of the list and low maintenance coming in a close second. But artificial grass still needs to be cared for to ensure longevity, to keep it looking as real as possible and if you're a pet owner, to have it smelling as fresh as possible.

We recommend the following tips to keep your synthetic grass looking as great as the day it was installed:

Raking leaves to clean your artifcial grass

Step 1: Remove Debris Regularly

One of the easiest ways to keep your artificial grass in top shape is to regularly remove debris from its surface. This includes leaves, twigs, pet hair & pet poops! Using a rake or leaf blower to gather up leaves in just a matter of minutes. If left for long periods, this debris could cause your grass blades to become flat, or clog your drainage, reducing your synthetic grass' lifespan.

Brushing grass to clean artificial grass

Step 2: Cross-Brush Your Grass Blades

With frequent use and foot traffic, even the best synthetic grass will eventually become flattened and matted over time. Cross-brushing your turf every month will help counteract this, restoring the artificial pile to its newly installed appearance.

A good stiff garden broom and a bit of elbow grease, brushing against the natural lay of the synthetic grass, will help fluff and restore the grass blades.

Powerbrushing synthetic grass with TurFresh Power Brush

To speed the process up and remove the substantial effort, investment in a handheld power brush is worthwhile.

The TurFresh Power Brush is specially designed to effectively re-fluff grass blades and remove debris without damaging your synthetic grass.

When cross-brushing always use a brush or broom with synthetic bristles, and avoid metal prongs at all costs.

Applying Turfresh Artificial Grass cleaner to remove pet urine odour

Step 3. For Pet Owners, Remove Urine Odour

with TurFresh Enzyme Cleaner

If you want a foolproof solution that will keep your synthetic grass smelling fresh year-round, apply our proprietary TurFresh Enzymatic Cleaner on a regular basis. Our specially formulated concentrate removes pet odour effectively. It is the best artificial grass cleaner for dog urine.

The TurFresh Spray Applicator makes the job of diluting and applying fast and efficient. It gets the cleaner down to where the urine has settled. TurFresh breaks down the ammonia and proteins in pet urine to eliminate the smell altogether rather than just covering it up. This results in a deeper clean.

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