Cleaning solar panels is easy, and you don’t need very many unique tools or cleaning mixtures to do it. In fact, the best way to clean your solar panels involves no cleaning mixtures at all.
It is important to clean your solar panels to keep your efficiency at a maximum. Otherwise, the buildup of dust and debris can reduce how much power you are getting in and even cause you to damage your panels over the long run as scratches can occur.
However, there are certain things you need to avoid using to make sure that you aren’t damaging your panels.
The very best way to clean your solar panels is very easy. You really only need a non-abrasive cloth or sponge and water. When you are done, you can use a squeegee or a cloth to wipe it up, so there is no water residue left over.
You can also use chemical-free soaps if you feel they need a bit more cleaning, but it really isn’t necessary.
Of course, you also need to consider safety. It is important you wear the proper safety gear like a harness when you are on the roof and cleaning your panels. (1)
As long as you feel confident going on the roof, it only takes a few minutes out of your day. As long as you don’t live in an exceptionally dirty area, you only need to clean your panels once or twice a year.
While you can clean your panels easily on your own, there are times you can’t clean your own panels, or you should hire a professional. If you are scared of going on the roof or your roof is particularly steep, then you may want to consider hiring someone to help so you can be safe.
If you live in a heavily polluted area, get a lot of bird droppings, or there are thick buildups on your panels, it may also be worth hiring a professional. (2)
There are some things you want to keep in mind when cleaning your panels. The first is heat. Solar panels absorb a lot of heat during the day. This means during the midday sun may not be the best time to clean your panels.
Instead of cleaning them during the hottest parts of the day, aim for early morning or late evening after the air has cooled down a bit.
Always avoid harsh soaps and chemicals, like detergents and soaps as they can corrode the surface of the solar panels. You also want to use softer clothes and sponges. Harsher abrasive tools will scratch the surface of your solar panels and reduce their efficiency.
- Olorunfemi, B. O., Ogbolumani, O. A., & Nwulu, N. (2022). Solar Panels Dirt Monitoring and Cleaning for Performance Improvement: A Systematic Review on Smart Systems. Sustainability, 14(17), 10920. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/17/10920
- Dale, T., & Dale, T. (2022, May 31). The Best Solar Panel Cleaning Services of 2023. Bob Vila. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-solar-panel-cleaning-services/