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Community and Q&A

How do you clean solar panels?

Ridojiri | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Hi there!

I am afraid to clean my solar panels with a wet cloth even if I see on this blogger recommend it.

Which are the safest ways to clean your residential home panels in order to not damage them?

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Expert Member
    Akos | | #1

    I've never cleaned them in 10 years. Still producing great.

    About the only cleaning I would do is spraying it with a garden hose, anything else might do more damage than good in the long run.

    1. Ridojiri | | #3

      That`s good to know! I guess will follow up John Clark advice and contact the manufacturers.

  2. JC72 | | #2

    Have you contacted the manufacturer of the panels?

  3. Ridojiri | | #4

    Brilliant idea!

  4. Expert Member
    Peter Engle | | #5

    I've seen some studies showing that cleaning panels improves production, from a few % to as much as 15%. No references right now, but the gist of the article was that, in areas that get frequent rain, the benefit was lower than the cost of cleaning (and the safety risk if roof-mounted). In dry and dusty areas the panels can get pretty bad, and cleaning starts to make more sense.

    Unless you're in the desert, I don't think I would bother.

  5. George_7224612 | | #6

    I have panels on the roof of my van. Soap and water doesn't hurt them at all. They're designed to be out in the weather for years and cleaning them simply involves getting dirt off the glass surface. They may look clean from the ground, but not so clean up close having collected bird poop, leaf munge and dust.

  6. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #7

    If the solar panels you have have a glass face, you’re pretty safe cleaning them with any normal glass cleaner. If the solar panels you have have some kind of plastic face, you want to be sure to avoid any cleaners containing ammonia since ammonia can make many plastics haze. For plastic faced panels, I’d stick with soapy water to be safe.

    If you have your solar panels in the open (also beneficial for other obvious reasons :-), you’ll probably only get some dusty dirt on them that water alone may take off. The all-natural cleaning cycle (rain) can probably get most of this done. I’ve only found tree sap, which sets up like glue and holds the dirt, to be so difficult to clean off that I need to use cleaners. A broom with an extension pole and a garden hose with a good spray nozzle is usually enough to get dirt off of if there isn’t a lot of tree sap mixed in.


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