How to Clean Your Solar Panels

This PowerVersity guide teaches you how to clean your solar panels. The guide covers steps to clean solar panels with water and other items that will not reduce the durability of the panels.

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Do You Need to Clean Your Solar Panels?.

In order to generate electricity, solar panels need to be unsheltered from sunlight. Solar panel cleaning is necessary at least once every year. However, except if you live someplace with high amounts of smoke, dust, dirt, and so on, solar panel cleaning is generally not necessary.

It will be a good practice to make it a routine to clean up your panels occasionally if you live in an unpurified area.

Steps to Take before Cleaning Your Solar Panel.

Step 1: Disconnect the Solar Panels

Safety should come first in washing your solar panels. When washing your solar panels, one of the most important steps to consider is your safety. I strongly recommend following the steps in manual to disconnect the panels before attempting the cleaning.

As part of safety, all safety and protective gear should be in place.

Step 2: Getting all Cleaning Kits Ready

Cleaning Kit
Image from

Cleaning your Solar Panel

Time to Clean Solar Panels

Cleaning your Solar panels when the sun is out is not the best time. Any water used during this time can quickly evaporate and dirt will become smeared. It is advisable to wash your solar panels on an overcast day, late at Nite or early in the morning.

I strongly recommend early in the morning. This can be a perfect time for cleaning your panels. Dew that has settled on the panels overnight will have softened grime. In order to wash the solar panels, less water and energy can be used.

Cleaning your Solar Panels

Dusted Solar Panel

I will recommend you brush off any loose materials before applying water to the surface of the Solar Panel – this will make washing easier and faster.

Washing the solar panels should be done the way we wash the windshield of our vehicle. Moreover, scratching the glass on a solar panel will reduce the performance as scratches will cast shadows. It may also be helpful to use a squeegee to remove dirty water. Remember – avoid damaging or scratching the glass at all costs!

Solar Panel Cleaning Tools
Best Solar Panel Cleaning Tool.

Oily stains will appear on your panels on rare occasions. If you live near a popular truck route or an airport, you might find these. They can be handled with a little isopropyl alcohol and a rag. However, it is necessary to avoid using strong cleaning fluids, as these can streak the glass and damage it.

In addition, most solar panels are tilted to a high enough degree that most of the buildup would run straight off the panel instead of sticking to the top of it. You may have a minor buildup on the lowest panel, even with tilted panels (because the runoff collects at the bottom), but the reduction in production based on this alone is so minuscule, it’s not anything worth thinking about.

Finally, going up a ladder, getting on your roof, and washing your solar panels yourself, energy-wise and cost-wise, is a pretty minor tradeoff.

I hope you found this PowerVersity pick helpful?

If you found it helpful, kindly share your thoughts with the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page.

Finally, to read more guides like this, visit our solar panels page.

Victor Akin-Ojo
Victor Akin-Ojo is the founder and the Lead Editor of Before he started, Victor worked in the IT industry for close to 15 years. He worked mainly as field Engineer on Installation of VSAT, Wimax Technologies, including but not limited to, Power Maintenance Sector for close to 10 years – Designing an electrical installation for Homes, Private and Government Offices and more.
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