How to Clean Solar Panels


Solar panels are a great way to supplement your own energy supply and lower your carbon footprint. In order for your solar panels to work effectively, they need to be able to capture as much sun as possible. Over time, buildup of dirt and grime is inevitable and will cause the output of your panels to drop. Cleaning your solar panels periodically will ensure optimum output and extend their longevity.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Water bucket
  • Water
  • Cleaning soap
  • Sponge
  • Towel
  • Check the panels for exposed wires or cracks before you begin washing. If there are any and you are not able to fix them yourself, call a technician to do it.

  • Fill your bucket with warm water and your cleaning solution. Any streak-free cleaning solution will work fine and should be safe for your solar panels.

  • Wash the solar panels with the water-and-cleaner mixture, carefully removing any visible dirt and grime. Gentle scrubbing may be necessary.

  • Dry your panels gently with a towel. Make sure the towel does not scratch the panels. A chamois that you would use for a car is a good choice.

Tips & Warnings

  • In order to avoid having to climb onto the roof just to see if the panels need to be washed, make a record of their power output after the cleaning. When you see the output drop considerably, you'll know it's time to clean your panels again.
  • Solar panels are fairly delicate, so be sure you do not put too much pressure on them---they may crack. Walking and kneeling on your solar panels will likely break them. Also, when working on your roof, it is a good idea to use a harness or other safety device to catch you in the event of a fall.

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