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How to clean solar panels

Bird poop, dust, dirt, and debris. A complete guide to cleaning your solar panels without affecting your warranty.

Solar panels are a great source of natural energy, letting you power your home in a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way. You can even make money from your solar panels by selling the excess energy generated to the National Energy Grid.

However, as with many other installations in and around the home, you need to know how to clean your solar panels and maintain them. This will ensure maximum efficiency, improve their performance, and increase their lifespan.

How to clean solar panels on a roof

How to clean solar panels

Before attempting to clean your solar panels, there are a couple of important considerations:

  • Working at height in a wet and slippery environment can be incredibly dangerous. We always recommend calling in a professional for cleaning roof-mounted solar panels.
  • Cleaning your solar panels with the wrong tools or cleaning materials could invalidate your solar panel warranty.

A professional solar panel cleaner has the necessary training and equipment to carry out this task safely for you. On average, cleaning solar panels normally costs around £9.50 per panel.

You can use our request a quote feature to obtain quotes from local solar panel cleaning experts who come highly recommended in your area.

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How to clean solar panels from the ground

Tools and materials

  • A soft brush
  • A squeegee with a plastic blade
  • A hose or harvested rainwater (especially in hard water areas, as rainwater will leave less residue on the panels)

How to clean solar panels

The best time to clean solar panels is early morning or late evening during spring or summer, preferably on an overcast day. It’s best to avoid cleaning the panels when they’re hot from the sun.

  1. Make sure you turn the power off on the panels and the inverters before cleaning the panels. Check your solar panel instruction booklet for how to do this.
  2. Use a soft brush to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  3. Use your harvested rainwater to wash the panels.
  4. Squeegee the panels. This is especially important if using tap water in a hard water area, as mineral deposits will form on the panels as it dries.

Warning: stop cleaning immediately if you notice any damaged cables and report it to your solar panel installer.

How to clean solar panels on garden lights How to clean solar panels on garden lights

We recommend cleaning the solar panels on your garden lights every 2-3 months to maintain their performance.

  1. Use a dry or damp cloth to gently wipe any dirt or dust off the panel. Make sure your cloth is only damp – not wet – as you want to avoid water damaging the electronics within the panel.
  2. For more stubborn grime, add some biodegradable soap to your damp sponge and give the solar panel a scrub. Never use any abrasive cleaners or materials to clean the solar panels on your garden lights, for example, scourers or bleach.
  3. Finally, wipe the solar panel with a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap residue.

How to clean flexible solar panels

Flexible solar panels are becoming more and more popular. They are made from layers of thin films of photovoltaic (PV) material, which makes them more lightweight and much thinner than traditional solar panels. You might notice them on boats, caravans or campervans, due to their flexibility and portability.

But how do you clean flexible solar panels?

The best way to clean this type of panel is with a soft sponge and biodegradable soap and water. Simply hose the panel down once clean, and dry with a squeegee or clean cloth.

How to clean solar panels glass

In most cases, the best way to clean solar panel glass is with a soft cloth and biodegradable soap.

Always avoid using harsh materials, such as an abrasive sponge or scourer. This could damage the panel and lead to expensive repairs.

To understand how best to clean your solar panel glass, check your solar panel instruction booklet or contact a professional solar panel cleaner, experienced in this line of work.

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How to clean algae off solar panels

If your solar panels are installed in an area that’s prone to constant rainfall and a fair amount of shade, you may find algae growing on the panels. This can turn into lichen, which is much harder to remove if left untreated. Therefore regular cleaning will prevent the algae from having the chance to grow in the first place.

So how do you clean algae off solar panels?

  1. Using a soft brush, remove any loose algae from the solar panel.
  2. Gently hose down the panel.
  3. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of 1/2 tsp biodegradable soap, 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar.
  4. Spray the solution onto the solar panels and rub with a clean cloth or sponge.
  5. Wash the panel down to remove any residue and dry with a clean cloth or squeegee.

Make sure you refer to your manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your solar panels. Failure to use the recommended tools or cleaning materials could invalidate your warranty.

How to clean bird poop off solar panels How to clean bird poop off solar panels

If tree branches overhang your solar panels, you may find an increased amount of bird poop on your solar panels. Much of this will be removed by rainfall.

If nature hasn’t managed to rid the panels of this unsightly deposit, you should be able to remove any remaining poop with a hose. Angle the hose downward rather than creating a pressurised spray directly at the panels.

Remember, if your solar panels are on the roof, we always recommend using the services of a professional solar panel cleaner.

An expert solar panel cleaner will have the necessary training to safely shut down and restart the solar panel system before and after cleaning. They will also have professional water-fed brushes and non-abrasive chemicals suited to this specialist task.

Use our search function below to find a local solar panel cleaning expert near you.

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FAQs

What is the best way to clean solar panels?

For roof-mounted solar panels, we always advise you seek the services of a professional solar panel cleaner. For ground-level solar panels, water, a soft sponge and a little biodegradable soap should be sufficient to remove dust and dirt.

Does cleaning your solar panels make a difference?

Yes. Clean solar panels will work more efficiently than those covered in dirt and debris.

How often should solar panels be cleaned?

You may be wondering how often do I need to clean my solar panels? Ideally, your solar panels should be cleaned every six months or so.

Is it ok to pressure wash solar panels?

It is not advisable to use a pressure washer such as a jet hose to wash solar panels. The high-pressure action could damage the panels, lead to costly repairs, and invalidate your warranty

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