Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2015

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How do I remove the smell of dog urine from fake grass?

Conservationists: Go ahead, wash it with water.

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Dear Mr. Sun,

To help conserve water, I took up the offer from the Southern Nevada Water Authority to remove my water-gobbling grass and get reimbursed $2 per square foot. I used that money to put in artificial turf, and everyone loves it, including my dogs. But on hot days I can smell the buildup of dog urine in the perfectly green blades. What can I do to remove the smell of dog urine on my fake grass? I suppose I can drench it with water, but then I’m back to square one.

Fake grass experts say the evergreen blades are made of nonporous materials. After a dog has its way with the turf, hosing it down — the grass, not the dog — is usually all that’s needed.

And there’s nothing wrong with it, from a water conservation perspective, officials say. There is a big difference between watering real grass and cleaning up after a dog has watered fake grass.

“It takes 72 gallons per square foot, per year to keep fescue (Southern Nevada’s most common grass) alive,” authority spokesman J.C. Davis said. “Even if you have to hose artificial turf down frequently, you’re not going to use but a tiny fraction of that amount of water. And if you use a high-pressure washer, you’ll use even less.”

Three gallons of water is enough to clean 100 square feet of artificial turf, Davis estimates.

Also, veterinarians and pet supply stores sell enzymes that break down particularly potent pet messes.

Questions for Mr. Sun should be sent to [email protected].

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