How to Clean Solar Panels: Do It The Right Way!

Regular clean solar panels will make it more efficient and enhance its service duration. 

If you are a homeowner with solar energy, then you might search for how to clean solar panels.

Your solar system will produce less power if your panels are covered with dirt, dust, or garbage. It will perish your expectation that you desired from the solar system. 

To make your solar panels active and useful, you should clean them after a certain period.

In this article, you will get the basic idea of solar panel cleaning, and you will understand the need for solar panel cleaning. 

This writing will also explain solar panel cleaning, maintenance, and upkeeping procedures

Finally, you will have complete knowledge of solar panels cleaning with the answer of some FAQs.

Cleaning Your Solar Panels

Cleaning your solar panels will keep the system trouble-free and increase its lifetime. 

As you clean your cars or home appliances to protect them from dirt and dust, in the same way, you have to clean your solar panels. 

A solar panel can be untidy by dust, dirt, leaves, or other things. This dirt can prohibit sunlight on the solar panels.

With a frequent cleaning exercise, you can get sufficient energy from the system. Otherwise, the system will produce less energy than its capacity.

Let’s explore more.

Does Cleaning Solar Panels Necessary? How Often?

Does Cleaning Solar Panels Necessary? How Often?
Does Cleaning Solar Panels Necessary? How Often?

Yes, cleaning your solar panels is necessary, but not often. It requires only in the time of uncleanliness.

If you installed a residential solar system, then the system is on the rooftop of your house. You might never clean your rooftop, and you don’t think that it is a necessary exercise. 

But you have to clean solar panels in case of any dirt and grime.

Rain can clean the panels, but it won’t remove dust and pollen. You have to wash the pollen or other dust with approved detergent and tools.

Perfect cleaning practices will maintain the energy production of the solar system. It will help the panel to get enough sunlight during the daytime.

How often?

You should clean your solar panels approximately every 6 months. Try to understand the weather of your living area.

In general, late spring and autumn are the perfect seasons to clean your solar panels on the rooftop.

The cleaning method may vary from place to place. For example, your solar panels need to be cleaned several times if your solar panels are placed in a dirty and dry area.

Understand The Need Of Cleaning The Solar Panels?

You have to clean your solar panels because they can get dirt from different types of garbage.

An unclean solar panel will produce less energy, and it will affect the whole energy production process.

Solar panels absorb sunlight from the sun and convert it into electrical energy. So, the surface of the solar panels should be cleaned to get sufficient sunlight.

On the other hand, solar panels can produce up to 20% of electricity, and it is the most efficient production rate.

But, if your solar panels are filled with dust, then the production rate will decrease to 15%.

It will bother you to operate all the home appliances with less energy.

A clean surface will absorb more sunlight and produce more electricity. It will make the system energy proficient and provide hassle-free service for a long time.

Similarly, solar panels contain 25 years of warranty, if you don’t clean the panels for a long time, then it will be difficult to get service for this long duration.

Try to compare your solar panels with other appliances, or devices, that require cleaning. In the same way, solar panels need cleaning and maintenance.

However, a solar system gets power from the sun through solar panels. It is necessary to clean the solar panel for removing unwanted dust from the surface.

A clean solar panel can produce energy even on less sunlight. It will capture sunlight without any obstacle.

We hope you can understand the need for solar panels cleaning.

Is It Worth It To Clean Solar Panels?

The answer is both yes and no. 

Yes, if your solar panels are getting dirt regularly, and there is not enough rain to clean it. 

No, if your solar panels are installed on an angle where rain can clean it.

Solar panels can be untidy in case of dust, pollen, or other things, but rain can clean it automatically.

You don’t have to do it manually. But if your solar panels are filled with heavy dirt and installed on a flat position, then you need to clean your solar panels.

Solar panel cleaning requires a perfect cleaning method and equipment.

Similarly, in a residential solar system, solar panels are installed on the rooftop of the house. So, the place is safe from dirt because of its height.

Now come to the point, a solar panel with dirt can decrease the production of energy up to 5%. But in the next rain, it will clean all the garbage and produce regular energy.

Besides, the system will get enough power in the summer. In this sense, the total energy production measurement will get an average calculation.

If you do it yourself, then it will be helpful for you, but it will be difficult to clean your solar panels on the rooftop.

On the contrary, if you hire a professional, then it will cost more than the energy production that will be increased.

So, you can understand the fact of cleaning your solar panels.

How to Clean Solar Panels

How to Clean Solar Panels
How to Clean Solar Panels

If you have decided that you will clean your solar panels, then there are two ways.

Firstly, you can hire a professional to clean solar panels.

Secondly, you can do it yourself.

Several solar companies are ready to clean your solar panels for a specific fee. You can consult with a solar system company to get a complete cleaning package with the installation. 

Besides, you can hire them to clean your solar panels when required. You can pick a monthly, half-yearly, yearly, or instant cleaning package from them.

But the truth is, solar companies charge a steep amount, and you will get nothing in comparing the service fee and energy production rate. So, the possibility of investment return is very low.

On the contrary, if you want to do it yourself, you need all the equipment and tools to do it at home. But it is not difficult. 

In general, a hose, some detergent or soap, and a soft surface cleaning brush are enough to clean solar panels.

You are providing water with the hose that can be provided by rain on the area.

Experts recommend inspecting solar panels before cleaning to avoid any unwanted situation or damage. Similarly, you can find out the dirt, pollen, debris, and set the work plan.

So, it is up to you which process you will follow to clean your solar panels. 

Always try to clean solar panels in a gentle way to avoid any damage and loss.

What Do You Use to Clean Solar Panels?

If you would like to clean your home’s solar panels by yourself, there are several products available in the market. 

You can use these products to clean your solar panels. But it is better to contact the solar system installers to know about the cleaning packages, recommendation, and process. 

If you get this information at the primary level, then it will be easier to clean your solar panels at the right time. It will keep you a step ahead.

However, you can use a hose and a bucket of soapy water to clean your solar panels. It is very effective and familiar with the system. It is the same way you wash your car at home. 

This technique allows you to clean solar panels without any scratch and damage. It is better to use a non-abrasive sponge and water along with soapy water. 

Remember, the surface of your solar panels is not so strong, so avoid a high-pressure water sprayer during the washing. 

A high-pressure water sprayer can damage the surface of the panels.

On the contrary, if you want to remove something different from the solar panels such as bird’s stool, or something that is attached to the panel, please make sure what you are using is soft and not stiff.

Sponges are the most recommended products to clean solar panels. 

Similarly, you can use a little bit of dishwasher soap and don’t use laundry detergents and other chemicals. A chemical might harm the solar panel in the wrong way. 

The experts suggest using plain water. It is the best solution, and you will have 99% success when using clean water.

Keep in mind that a sunny day is not suitable to clean your solar panels. Solar panels can be extremely hot on a sunny day. 

Try to wash them on a cool and overcast day to avoid scratch. Soapy water can evaporate quickly on the hot surface of the solar panels. This evaporation will create small bubbles on the surface.

What Steps To Clean Solar Panels?

You can clean your solar panels by yourself. To do this successfully, you have to follow some steps such as turn off the system and disconnect other connections, select a cool day, and try to clean from the ground.

Besides, you have to ensure the water only on the surface and use soft cloth along with sufficient safety equipment. 

We are presenting a step by step guide to clean solar panels. Let’s explore.

Turn off your entire solar system

You have to shut down the system before cleaning and maintain the process provided by manufacturers and installers. If you use an on-grid solar system, then you need to shut down the grid electricity switch also.

Disconnect any water connection

Your solar system might be connected to a swimming pool or rainwater tank, to avoid any short circuit, disconnect all the connections to ensure safety during the cleaning.

Choose a cool and overcast day

Your solar panels are installed to absorb sunlight. On a sunny day, it might be extremely hot, and the sudden water or soap can affect its chemical structure.

The sudden change will affect the energy production process. You need a lot of water because the hot surface water will evaporate quickly.

On the contrary, a cool and overcast day allows you to clean solar panels with ease. It will be beneficial for your skin and the surface of the solar panels.

Clean your solar panels from the ground if possible 

It will ensure safety and allow you to complete the job within a short time

Make sure that you are spraying water only on the top 

You have to spray water only on the top of the solar panels. If water touches the back of the solar panels, it can damage the system.

For stubborn and grime, you can use a soft cloth and mild soap

It will be removed easily after getting water. Don’t try to do it too hard. A sponge is the best solution for this cleaning.

Take sufficient safety equipment before climbing on the roof

Remember, you are working with water and soap both are slippery and can bring danger to you on the rooftop. Starting with safety equipment will protect you from danger.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Solar Panels Maintenance and Upkeep
Solar Panels Maintenance and Upkeep

Maintenance and upkeep will enhance the power of your solar system. If you protect the system from danger, it will enable you to get the necessary power.

In general, let the rain clean your solar panels. Try to do it by yourself when you notice extreme dust or dirt. 

Hiring a professional cleaning service will cost you more than the additional energy production that you will get after cleaning.

In general, let the rain clean your solar panels. Try to do it by yourself when you notice extreme dust or dirt. 

Hiring a professional cleaning service will cost you more than the additional energy production that you will get after cleaning.

Besides, you have to think about other types of maintenance after installing the solar system. Keep in mind that the solar panels come with a warranty of 25 years and allow you a one-stop service.

Cleaning your solar panels keep the surface dust free and allow them to absorb more sunlight on day time. It will increase production efficiency and provide you more power.

The clean surface also supplies sufficient sunlight even on a rainy or cloudy day.

So, inspect your solar panels and decide what you need to do.

How often should I clean the solar panels?

It is better to clean your solar panels periodically and decide the cleaning time. How often you should clean your solar panels depends on the place and weather.

You can do an annual or half-yearly cleaning in comparison with the weather and the amount of dust. Hazardous weather can bring dirt on the surface of the solar panels.

You can find the best time of solar panels cleaning by monitoring the energy production ratio. If you notice that the system is generating less power than before, then you have to clean it properly. 

Make sure that other equipment of the system is working fine. Don’t clean solar panels unnecessarily. 

The half-yearly cleaning schedule can be a wise decision because it will allow you to clean your solar panels after 6 months and two times within a year.

So, try the best cleaning method to keep your solar panels active.

FAQs

Can I clean solar panels with Windex?

Yes, you can use Windex to clean your solar panels, but not a lot of Windex.
You know that Windex is a glass and surface cleaner, it is made of chemicals, and hot solar panels can create bubbles after getting this cleaning liquid. 
It is better to use soapy water and a sponge to clean your solar panels.

Can you use vinegar to clean solar panels?

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean your solar panels. But you need other materials to do this washing. 
It is a green cleaning method, and you have to prepare a home made water mixture to do this.
You have to mix up water, vinegar, and non-abrasive soap or detergent to apply this green cleaning process.

Do I need to turn off solar panels to clean?

Of course! Solar panels are producing electricity from the sunlight. Water can damage the system or create a short circuit at the house.
Turn off your solar system before cleaning to avoid risk. It will ensure your safety during the cleaning time and protect the system from damage.

Can you walk on solar panels?

Walking on solar panels doesn’t seem a great idea. It will be harmful both for you and the solar panels. 
If solar panels get excessive pressure, then it will be broken, and the hardy materials can affect your body.

Can you use a pressure washer to clean solar panels?

No, a pressure washer could damage the solar panels. You can not ensure adequate pressure while cleaning a solar panel with a pressure washer.

Does cleaning your solar panels make a difference?

Cleaning your solar panels increase energy production efficiency by up to 5%.
It will remove the dust and allow solar panels to absorb more sunlight.

Wrapping Up

Finally, you can clean your solar panels with a different procedure. Select the most effective and easy way to clean your solar panels.

How To Clean Solar Panels

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