Blog: News & Updates

Sannitree Banishes Pet Urine Odours from Artificial Grass

When Mike Mayne received a call from a man desperate to find a way to remove pungent dog urine odours from the artificial grass in his garden, he decided to take up the challenge.

As founder of Sannitree, a major supplier of environmentally friendly, biodegradable bio-enzyme products which it markets in South Africa and exports to 30 countries, Mayne certainly knew a lot about treating waste and odours but he knew next to nothing about artificial grass. Diving into Google, he quickly learned that artificial grass is extensively used worldwide. He concluded that its popularity in South Africa was likely to grow particularly as a way to maintain a neat green cover over gardens and other spaces parched by drought and severe water restrictions. “Our country and many other parts of the world are going to get hotter and drier, and water shortages are here to stay,” he says. “Water conservation just has to become a way of life.”

He also learned that his desperate caller was not alone in his anguish over dog urine odours on artificial grass. This is a common complaint the world over, research on Google revealed.

So, Mayne and his team got down to some serious work in Sannitree’s Cape Town head office. They enlisted a specialist researcher who produced a voluminous study containing just about everything on artificial grass. They learned that dog urine does not leave pungent odours in natural lawn because the roots of grass absorb urine together with other moisture, and process this through photosynthesis. Artificial grass isn’t that clever. The best advice available to consumers at the time was to hose down the artificial grass with water, but this turned out to be the worst solution. “The pungent smell of stale urine is caused by ammonia evolving from the gradual decomposition of urea when mixed with water,” explains Mayne. “If the water has any hardeners present it forms limestone encrustations which can block drainage holes in the grass backing. Washing down the grass with water will only aggravate the problem.”

Using disinfectants, chemicals or cleaning fluid won’t help either, adds Mayne. “They will only mask the odour, which will return as soon as the weather becomes humid. “

Another challenge was the difficulty in detecting the spot or spots where a dog has urinated on the artificial grass. This meant that whatever product was developed to eliminate odours would need to be applied to the entire area under artificial grass, making the solution expensive for consumers.

The Turf Pong solution

To meet these challenges, Sannitree came up with the most innovative solutions. Using one of its existing bio-enzyme formulations, Sannitree developed Turf Pong, a powerful combination of ammonia-eliminating enzymes and odour-eating bacteria.

“The enzymes break down ammonia and ammonia crystals,” explains Mayne. “Long-acting, odour-eating bacteria continue to replicate until the food supply from the ammonia is finally exhausted. The smell and its source are eliminated completely.”

Some lateral “boer-maak-‘n-plan”-type thinking then obviated the need to detect where urine has been deposited. The solution was to select a single spot where the dog is encouraged to urinate. Plant in the spot a small post against which the dog can lift its leg, and spray around the post a pheromone attractive to dogs and which acts as a behavior-altering agent. Spray Turf Pong once a week or so in the dedicated area.

Turf Pong also goes a long way. The one litre bottle of Turf Pong with its trigger spray remains effective for two years from date of opening.

While the pooch becomes accustomed to using the dedicated spot, spray Sannitree Pet Repellant on the rest of the artificial grass as a temporary measure to discourage the pet from urinating beyond the designated area.

“The result,” says Mayne, “is clean grass, a happy homeowner and a pooch who’s not in the dog box.”

Turf Pong available only from retailers

Turf Pong is now being introduced to retailers country-wide, and the export market is also beckoning.

Mayne says Sannitree has taken a fundamental decision to not market Turf Pong on-line, giving hardware stores, nurseries, pet shops and general dealers exclusive access to consumers.

Turf Pong is backed by Sannitree’s country-wide representatives who are ready to assist retailers to develop a thorough understanding of the product and its application, and to give their customers the best advice.

To find out more about Turf Pong Artificial Grass Pet Urine Remover, call us now on 021 701 1266 or email

What a Testimonial! Read what the Arizona State University has to say about our revolutionary no-smell waterless urinal valves!

From: Mccaw, Kory G
Sent: 09 July 2015 10:20 PM
To: Brian Goodman
Subject: Re: Waterless Urinal Valves

Hey Brian,

Greetings from a hot wet and humid desert town!

We have the valves installed in both of our staff and faculty restrooms. They are the only ones being used over the summer months. We plan to do the student facility in August before they return for the new school year. Anyway…

They are PERFECT! No more smell!! I never got used to that blue seal chemical odor that comes with the Waterless brand urinals. Always the chemical or chemical and urine smell. Now there’s just NO smell with the Free-flowing Waterless Urinal Valve. They are wonderful and we couldn’t be happier! We’ll be in touch for more product soon.

Thank you.


From: Brian Goodman <>
Sent: Monday, July 6, 2015 1:28 AM
To: Mccaw, Kory G – (mckory)
Subject: Waterless Urinal Valves

Good Morning Kory

Greetings from a wet cold cape Town

I trust you are fit and well. You have had our free-flowing waterless urinal valves for slightly over 3 months and I thought I would  check to find out your level of satisfaction?

My best regards to you and Delia

Odour Digestor proves itself as a popular cleaning solution for Forensic Teams



Odour Digestor has found a new niche market: cleaning up after a crime or accident scene. It takes expert knowledge and reliable products to restore an affected home to what it was before the tragedy.

Petro van der Westhuizen of is one such specialist who swears by the effectiveness of Sannitree Odour Digestor. She traditionally used chemical based products for her clean-ups but grew concerned when bad odours kept returning, upsetting the traumatised occupants of the affected home. She desperately needed a product that could literally digest blood, bodily fluids and human tissue without damaging carpets and fittings.

As an example, she tells us about a recent incident involving an elderly couple who tragically died within one week of each other. Their bodies were only discovered a week after the event, and Petro was called to assist a week later, meaning the gentleman’s body had been decomposing for three weeks. “Both had medical issues,” says Petro. “As far as the Police could establish, the husband must have fallen in the bathroom whilst shaving, hit his head and died. Sadly, the wife could not do anything to help and the post mortem revealed she died a week after the husband.” Said Petro, “The house was full of chemicals and fingerprint powder used by the police, but the worst part was the bodily fluids in the bathroom ran down the passage and into the room next door. I used about 25 litres of Odour Digestor in the house and the results were dramatic.” She continues: “I also used a litre of Fat-Cracker as there were lots of fatty bodily fluids. Both your products once again came out tops!!!”

“The best part is that you can now walk into that house without even knowing that such a tragedy took place. The son of the couple was extremely traumatized and didn’t even want to come close to the house during the three days we spent there. Yesterday he was able to walk through the house. Thanks again for a wonderful products.”

Regards, Petro van der Westhuizen, owner,

My cat just peed on my curtains!

Cat Pee 2

Here’s how to remove a urine smell for good!

It happens: dogs, cats (even humans) sometimes pee where they shouldn’t. This often occurs during winter when your animal is reluctant to go outdoors. After all, why suffer the cold and rain when you can back-up and spray inside a nice warm lounge?

Sannitree Odour Digestor has been around for years and it is the go-to product for stubborn animal and urine smell (s) (in fact any organic smell: spilt milk, vomit, smelly shoes . . . rotten fish, you name it)

The old-fashioned approach to removing bad odours caused by urine etc. is to drown them in chemicals and deodoriser. Unfortunately this method does not work and the smell always returns. The reason for this is that the chemicals kill the very microbial bacteria which will eliminate the problem if only you would let them.

Quite simply, the odour (say sour milk) is caused by bacteria feasting on the milk solids. As the bacteria eat they release a gas. This gas is in fact the bad odour which you smell. Unfortunately, these bacteria take quite a while to work – months in some cases – and nobody can tolerate a bad malodour for that length of time. This causes frustrated home owners to resort to chemicals which will of course kill the bacteria, but won’t destroy the milk solids. In time, new bacteria will thrive and the smell will return.

So the cycle goes.

The Sannitree approach to odour removal combines modern technology with ancient natural processes. Instead of killing the friendly bacteria we help them. By giving them an over-supply of enzymes we assist them in breaking organic solids down into bite sized chunks which they can then quickly devour.

The interesting thing about this approach is that the urine smell or other bad odour actually gets worse for a 24 hour period as the microbes embark on a feeding frenzy – but then the odour magically vanishes after the bacteria run out of food. No more food means no more gas, which means no more bad smell.

And the bacteria? Unfortunately, good guys always finish last and it does not end well for them. They literally starve to death and your home is left clean and odour free.

For specialised advice on odour control, contact us on – we have a whole team of microbial specialists at your disposal.