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Best Way to Clean Solar Panels


Homeowners are increasingly installing solar panels on their homes to take advantage of free, green energy. Investing in solar panels can cost a small fortune, so you understandably need to maximize their life and their benefits. With proper care, you can enjoy an exceptional return on investment over time. While maintenance is relatively minimal, solar cleaning efforts are essential from time to time. The best way to clean solar panels will leave the panels spot-free without causing any related damage.

The Importance of Solar Panel Cleaning


Solar panels must be exposed to an exceptional amount of sunlight regularly, so they are most commonly installed on the roof of a home. In some cases, they may be installed on a shed’s roof or even on ground-mounted platforms. They angle upward, so they collect many types of filth over time. In comparison, consider how filthy your car is if you leave it sitting outdoors for several months or longer without washing it. Solar cleaning is required to remove bird droppings, pest remnants, dust, dirt and other types of grime. Keep in mind that this layer of filth will become increasingly thick over time, and it will prevent the solar rays from fully penetrating into the panels.

Solar panel cleaning should be done with exceptional care. While these panels are built to be durable and to withstand natural forces, some solar cleaning efforts can result in serious damage.

What to Do Before You Clean Solar Panels


The best way to clean solar panels may vary slightly depending on the type of panels mounted on your home. Always consult with your panels’ manufacturer for solar panel cleaning guidelines, or review the owner’s manual that you received at the time of installation. It may be easy to assume that all panels can be cared for in the same way, but this assumption could unfortunately result in damage in some instances. In most cases, your solar panel system must be shut off before you can begin cleaning it.

The Best Way to Clean Solar Panels


While your manufacturer’s guidelines should always be taken into account first, there are some general solar panel cleaning steps that you should follow. If you are not comfortable with any aspects of these steps, you should hire a trained professional to do the job for you.

Focus on Safety

In many cases, solar panel cleaning can be completed from the ground level. However, this will depend on the height of your home and how far up on the roof the panels are mounted. If you must climb on top of your roof to wash the panels, ensure that you have access to all essential safety gear and that you are confident in your abilities to do the job. The elevation of the roof is combined with a steep incline to create a potentially hazardous work environment. In addition, the roof will become slick through the wet cleaning process, and this adds to the danger.

Choose the Right Time

If you choose to clean your home’s solar panels on your own, pay attention to weather conditions. If the solar panels are too warm, the moisture used during the cleaning process can evaporate quickly. This can leave smudges and can reduce the benefits of cleaning solar panels. For the best results, clean the panels earlier in the morning or on a cloudy day. Early-morning cleaning may be particularly ideal because the solar panels may already be moist from dew.

Gather Supplies

Before your solar panel cleaning project can get underway, you need to gather all essential supplies. Some soaps, abrasive cleaners and brushes can damage the glass on the solar panels. With this in mind, you should use a broom with soft bristles, a water hose with an adjustable sprayer nozzle, a relatively coarse sponge or mop and a squeegee. The broom, mop and squeegee should be mounted to a long extension pole so that you can access all of the panels from the ground level.

Clean Solar Panels with Care

Solar panel cleaning begins by removing loose debris with a dry broom. Choose a soft bristle broom, and apply light pressure to gently brush off the debris without scratching the glass. Spray the panels with water, and use the sponge or mop to remove any caked-on dirt. You generally do not need to use soap or detergents to clean the panels. To eliminate the risk of water spots, use the squeegee to wick away moisture. This is particularly important if you live in an area with hard water.

Solar panel cleaning should be completed at least twice each year for the best results. Consider adding this important chore to your regular home maintenance plan so that it is never overlooked.