Can You Vacuum Fake Grass? What’s Best for Artificial Lawns?

Can you vacuum fake grass

Its that time of year when our small front garden starts to quickly fill up with leaves from both our blossom tree and the larger trees in the street. We are looking at laying some artificial grass soon and I was concerned about how difficult it would be to remove the leaves from the grass, so I had a look to see if its okay to hoover fake grass and what’s the best type of vacuum to use.

So can you vacuum fake grass? There is nothing to stop you getting the hoover out on your artificial lawn, however, the deciding factor on whether you should use a vacuum is if the lawn has any infill. If your lawn has an infill that it is highly recommended that a vacuum should not be used.

At the end of the day, vacuuming your lawn is more than likely to damage your lawn over the long-term, especially if used frequently. While it may seem okay for a quick tidy up, its also worth considering other options to keep your kawn looking great.

When Can a Vacuum Be Used on Artificial Grass?

So, the first thing you need to do is check if your lawn has an infill. If you dont know then its advisable to get in touch with the company that laid the lawn and check with them. The all-important infill is commonly added to artificial lawns to keep the grass fibres standing up straight and to prevent the fibres from staying flat when trodden on. Infill is usually sand but could also be other materials such as rubber.

So, what’s the problem with using a vacuum on a lawn with an infill? Because the infill is loose then the vacuum will suck up the infill along with any debris on the lawn. Another issue is that a vacuum, especially a powerful one, can loosen the fibres in the lawn which over time will affect the look of the lawn.

If you have confirmed that your lawn does not have any infill then a vacuum can be used, although this is only recommended for shorter periods as the vacuum can still flatten and damage the grass fibres over time.

Another point to mention is that the debris on the lawn could also damage the vacuum itself especially if there are larger objects, such as twigs, on the lawn. You’re not going to be able to use a vacuum to hoover up leaves as well as they will quickly become trapped in the filters. As the lawn is also likely to contain moisture, especially outside of the summer months, a normal household “dry” vacuum will not be adequate and the filters and components may become damaged.

Before taking the Dyson or Henry to the lawn, it would be wise to check with either the grass manufacturer/supplier or the company that installed the grass to check if using a vacuum (or other power tools) would invalidate any warranty or guarantee.

What Are the Alternatives to Vacuuming Fake Grass?

If you can’t or don’t want to use a vacuum on your lawn, then there are some good alternatives for removing debris.

The first is just to use a brush. A simple dustpan and brush will suffice, although for larger areas its best to use a long-handled brush. The brush needs to have stiff bristles and its better if these are plastic. Most domestic brushes are up to the task, however, you can also buy brushes that are specifically designed for artificial turf and lawns. 

These brushes, like this one here, usually have rubber bristles that clean up the debris and lift the fibres, without damaging your lawn. They are a bit more pricier than your standard domestic broom though.

When it comes to larger areas with more debris or when leaves are falling in autumn, you’re going to need something more efficient than a manual brush. A time-saving alternative to a brush is to use a garden vacuum or leaf blower.

Be careful with a garden vac though, as your likely to have the same problems as using your normal domestic vacuum (removing infill and loosening turf). Therefore, it’s best to go for a lower powered model that i just enough to remove the debris without damaging your lawn. 

The best solution is to buy a combined leaf blower/garden vac and just use on the vac setting. There are plenty of models to choose from and you don’t really need to pay any more than £50 for a decent one. You can get electric (corded), cordless and petrol/gas types, but if you just need a blower for your lawn then go for a cheaper corded model. I would recommend keeping it simple and going for this value-for-money garden vac/leaf blower from VonHaus (it also has an in-built mulcher for use on vac settings).

What Vacuum Would Be Best for Artificial Grass?

If you can use a vacuum on your artificial lawn (or just decide to anyway) than what vacuum would be best. I definitely wouldn’t recommend taking your brand new Dyson outside and getting it clogged up with leaves but there are some alternative options.

A few points to consider though:

  1. The vacuum needs to be capable of collecting the debris and also any water on the lawn. A “wet & dry” vac is best for this and something from the Numatic range, such as the Henry Charles is a good option as this is made (and advertised) as being able to handle more heavy duty tasks along with being able to collect any water.
  2. Don’t use a vacuum with high suction power as this will remove any infill and damage the fibres. Look for a vacuum that has adjustable suction power.
  3. A good option is to use a vacuum you already have in the house or look for a secondhand one that you don’t mind getting damaged, as there is a chance that the lawn debris could harm your hoover. Also, you might not be covered under a guarantee for your new vacuum if it’s used on lawns.

Can You Buy Specialist Brushes for Articial Lawns?

You can buy specialist brushes and vacuums for artificial lawns but I’ve not come across many. The brushes, like this one, are mainly for improving the appearance of the grass.

The only specialist artificial grass vacuum that I could find was this called the TurfVac. This looks a reasonable price and would be suitable for larger lawned areas, but it’s only available in the US.

Related Questions

How do you maintain artificial grass? Its a (very) good idea to keep your artificial grass in good condition all year round instead of letting the debris build up. Its recommended that every month you remove debris from the lawn either by using a brush or broom with stiff bristles or by suing a lawn rake with a flexible head

Does artificial grass get dirty? Yes it will. especially if you have children or pets. The easiest way to clean it is by using a normal garden hose; just be careful not to displodge too much infill if your lawn has it.