This page is my review of the best and most popular liquid thatch remover products on the market today. I have used and reviewed many thatch digesters and biological thatch decomposer products and you’ll find my recommendations below based on my own experiences using these products as well as scientific research that support the methods these products use.
I’m still writing this page up but in the mean time (to be brief) I’ll say that in 2020 I used three different lawn thatch digester products. I felt like all of them would work if given enough time but of three only two of them I would buy again or recommend to my readers and viewers over on YouTube.
The one I used but wouldn’t buy again is Nature’s Biological Dethatcher. It falls squarely into the “bugs-in-a-bottle” category which might work on some particularly dead soils but probably not most soils.
I didn’t actually think this product was working as well as the others throughout the year…and now that 2021 is here, I believe it wasn’t working as well because it’s a biological product that adds to the microbial life in your lawn. I don’t believe these style products are nearly as effective as the products that feed the existing biological life in your lawn.
The other two products I used were N-Ext’s D-Thatch (which I thought was best) and Lawn Star’s Liquid Dethatcher (which I felt was a close second).
Both of these are humic acid and molasses-based products that feed the soil microbes that already exist in your lawn. I thought that D-Thatch was performing slightly better for me in my lawn, but to my surprise in 2021 D-Thatch was no longer available for sale in my state (Oregon) or in a couple other states (Alaska & Hawaii) so I started using Lawn Star’s Dethatcher.
UPDATE – I was using Lawn Star’s product for a little over a year but then I moved from Oregon to California. Starting in 2023 I went back to the best thatch digester on the market, N-EXT D-Thatch.
► You can price out a full gallon of N-Ext D-Thatch through this affiliate link.
► You can price out Lawn Star’s Liquid Dethatch product through this Amazon affiliate link.
► You can price out Nature’s Biological Dethatcher which you can see through this Amazon affiliate link.
For those of you that don’t want to spend a bunch of money then there is a DIY option as well that I’ve covered on the Turf Mechanic YouTube channel and here on the site. Make sure to see the following post for my instructions on making your own liquid thatch removal product.
Honorable Mentions: What Alternatives Are There?
This article wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t talk about the obvious alternatives out there. Most of these I haven’t personally used but based on their active ingredient list I can easily provide a lot of valid info on how they work and if they are worth spending your money on.
Alternative liquid thatch removal products I haven’t used but may be better for you based on availability and/or pricing include the following:
► Thatch Buster by Turf Titan is available on Amazon here. It falls under the bugs-in-a-bottle category delivering micorbes directly to your lawn. This is not my favorite type of product but this is a good alternative to Nature’s Biological Dethatcher (which I have used before) and it should be perfect for someone looking for a biological product rather than a bio-stimulant.
► PetraTools Liquid Dethatcher is available on Amazon here. This is a bio-stimulant product similar to D-Thatch and Lawn Star’s dethatcher in style. It is also Humic Acid and molasses based and designed to stimulate the biological activity in your soil as a means of reducing lawn thatch more efficiently. If you are looking to get a smaller bottle at a low price point then this is probably your best bet because they offer a size smaller than most alternatives.
► Humboldts Secret Sweet & Sticky is available on Amazon here. This product is similar to the dedicated dethatcher products discussed on this page but it is formulated for edibles making is potentially the safest product on this list other than something you mix yourself. It’s basically a carbohydrate source that will feed the microbial life in your soil just like the molasses based dethatchers. In a garden it is capable of increasing crop yields as well so your grass will probably benefit from it right along with your soil life. This product comes in many different sizes ranging from small to large.
With those product recommendations and reviews out of the way I now want to encourage you to take some time to learn more about thatch… how to diagnose it, fix it, and manage it’s depth. Each of the following articles should expand your knowledge, they are worth your time.
► How To Remove Lawn Thatch: Best 5 Ways To Get Rid Of Thatch Compared
► Why Your Lawn is Spongy, Soft, or Squishy
► The Best Electric Dethatchers & Scarifiers For Lawns w/ Comparisons & Alternatives
► What Causes Thatch To Build Up & How To Stop It
► Should You Dethatch Your Lawn Every Spring?
► Is Old Dead Brown Grass or Thatch a Nitrogen Source for Compost?
You can also watch my thatch Q&A video playlist over on the Turf Mechanic Briefs YouTube channel here.