Solar panels are made to be essentially maintenance-free, which is one more of the many benefits you’ll enjoy when you switch to solar. Most homeowners find that periodic rain eliminates the need for regular cleaning of any kind. However, here’s a few helpful tips on keeping solar panels clean for those looking to go above and beyond.
First, where you live matters
If your home is near a major freeway system or airport or there’s a lot of dust in your air, you may have occasional dust grime issues to deal with. For the majority of homes, however, panel cleaning is rarely needed.
Tips for cleaning solar panels
- For safety reasons, it’s best to clean your panels from the ground. A long extension pole with a special sponge pad attachment and a squeegee is probably all you’ll need. Never use rough or hard objects as they can scratch the panels’ glass and reduce their performance.
- In most cases, a simple solution of dish soap and warm water will make your panels sparkling clean. If the panels have picked up an oily residue, rubbing alcohol diluted in water should clear it off. Make sure to rinse afterward with pure water so the alcohol doesn’t remain on the panels. You should only rinse or clean your panels with extremely soft water as hard water will streak and leave spots.
- If your cleaning involves the use of a liquid (as opposed to just brushing), avoid working in hot, direct sunlight as it can cause water to evaporate quickly and leave dusty smears on the panels. Early morning and early evening are ideal cleaning times.
- Snow normally isn’t a problem, because it naturally slides off angled panels. During a snowy period with overcast skies, your panels won’t be producing much energy, anyway, so don’t worry about the snow. But if you’re looking to maximize your output, you can use a long extension pole and a squeegee to remove snow from your panels. Again, for safety reasons, you should only clean your panels from a safe and secure location on the ground.
Solar panels rarely require cleaning. But on the off chance they do, following these tips will make sure they remain pristine all year long.
Download our eBook, Solar Post-Install Guide, for the expert rundown on how you can get the most value out of your solar panel system!