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How To Clean Solar Lights & Solar Panels. Clean cloudy solar lights

How To Clean Solar Lights & Solar Panels. Clean cloudy solar lights

    How To Clean Solar Lights Solar Panels?

    Solar lights are exposed to the environment, and require regular maintenance in order to ensure that they continue to operate at their best. Solar lights will become dirty as a result of being outside, and over time will accumulate debris that will reduce the ability for solar lights to receive enough sunlight. Solar lights such as solar path lights that are in need of maintenance might have limited/dim light output at night, reduced periods of nighttime illumination, or might simply not produce any light at all. If this is the case, it is usually possible to solve these problems with a small amount of maintenance and our guide on how to clean solar lights, which should keep your solar lights running smoothly. Regular maintenance can be helpful to extend the lifetime of the solar lights, and reduce the time needed before the solar lights will need to be replaced.

    There are three main parts that require maintenance:

    • Solar panels: Solar panels can become obstructed due dirt collecting on the surface, and the plastic covering the panels may become cloudy. These should be checked approximately once a month in order to ensure that the panels receive as much light during the day as possible.
    • Batteries: Batteries can sometimes oxidize as a result of moisture collecting within the solar lights. Batteries should be checked once every three months, but would benefit from being checked more frequently if you install them in a humid climate with lots of rainfall.
    • Light Cover: Solar lights also include plastic or glass that protects the lights within from the outdoor environment. Over time, these will become cloudy as well, reducing the amount of light that can be produced at night. As needed, ensure that the light cover is clear, and that it provides enough light to meet your lighting needs.

    Generally, maintenance requires a few basic tools, and less than 20 minutes per light. A few paper towels or a cloth, a Phillips screwdriver, and a soft brush are all that is needed to maintain your solar lights to the best possible quality. It is also a good idea to have the instructions for your solar lights handy to help to disassemble and reassemble your solar lights.

    Cleaning the Solar Panel

    The solar panel is found on the top portion of the solar light, and is used to collect solar energy to store in the solar light battery for nighttime illumination. Over time, the protective plastic on top of the solar panel will become cloudy, limiting the amount of energy that can be collected and limiting the amount of nighttime illumination. If you do not clean your solar panels regularly, the solar lights may stop working entirely. However, this does not mean that they are broken, but instead the solar panels might need to be cleaned.

    Cleaning the solar panel is quick and easy. Brush off any loose debris with a damp paper towel, then proceed to gently wipe the surface of the panel to remove any cloudy buildup. Applying a small amount of dish soap to the surface of the solar panel and using a damp cloth might help to remove cloudiness. Once finished, use a slightly damp, clean cloth to remove any remaining soap.

    Cleaning the Batteries

    Solar lights, like many electronics, may malfunction if exposed to humid environments. This is why many electronics suggest that they be stored in a cool, dry location when not in use. Moisture can collect within electronics if left in a humid environment, or as a result of heavy rain, causing the wires or batteries to corrode. While solar lights are designed to be weatherproof, moisture from rainfall can accumulate inside the solar light housing. As a result, checking the battery inside the solar light is necessary to ensure that the solar light will continue to operate.

    Battery corrosion can be identified as a white powder that accumulates on the metal surface. If you notice this on your battery, remove it from the housing, and brush it with a soft brush. The white powder should come off rather easily. If there is corrosion that more difficult to remove, using fine-grit sandpaper might help to remove it. It is also important to brush off the housing of the battery within the solar light using the same procedure. Ensure that the housing is dry before replacing the battery inside the solar light in order to prevent further corrosion.

    Cleaning the Light Cover

    Most solar lights have a glass or plastic cover that protects the LED lights from the environment. Over time, debris or dirt can collect either on the surface, or on the inside because of being exposed to the outdoors. Lights that are placed in climates with lots of rain or thunderstorms are more likely to require more maintenance than those that are placed in drier climates. This plastic or glass can be cleaned in much the same way as the cover of the solar panel, with a paper towel or cloth softly rubbing away any contaminants.

    Final Steps

    Once the all the light components have been cleaned, it is also important to ensure that everything is dry before reassembling. Moisture that is trapped within the solar lights will cause problems, and will require further maintenance. Use the instructions manual to ensure that all the pieces are put back together correctly.

    Extra Steps to Minimize Maintenance

    There are few things that can be done with solar lights that help to minimize the amount of maintenance that is required on your solar lights.

    • If the solar light is still not functioning after removing the corrosion from the battery and the battery housing, it will be necessary to replace the battery. Bring the battery to a hardware store and purchase replacements, as generally solar batteries need to be replaced every two years as a result of repetitive use.
    • When purchasing new solar lights, you can apply either a clear lacquer or clear nail polish to the surface of the protective plastic covering the solar panel. Make sure to put painter’s tape around the cover to prevent coating other areas. This will help to protect the cover from damage from UV light from the sun, and extend the lifetime of your solar panels. Another potential tool for this is 3M-brand clear paint protection film, which can be purchased online from 3M directly.
    • After major rain storms, it is best to make sure that water has not collected within your solar lights. The longer the delay between maintenance periods, the greater the chance that damage may occur to your solar lights. Regular maintenance ensures that your solar lights are long lasting, and that they are performing to their optimal level.

    Our solar security lights buyer’s guide showcases the best solar lights for garden, home lighting and commercial applications. We identify lights that are designed to last, and provide recommendations to meet specific lighting needs. Check out our buyer’s guide to learn more about the specifics of solar lighting.

    Ross Spark is a passionate advocate for the future of sustainable energy. With his expertise in green energy, he has been able to help people save money and live more sustainably through solar power. Ross’ writing also helps educate others about the benefits of greener living and renewable resources. He loves saving money anywhere he can, as well as helping people do the same.

    How to Clean Solar Lights? – Tips Tricks

    Most people decide to install the outdoor solar lights, the ones that will light up their gardens, backyards, pool area, or pathways, so it’s necessary to know how to maintain them properly and keep them clean all the time.

    They are exposed to different weather conditions, from the sun to rain, storm, and snow, so they need to be checked regularly in order to make sure they will perform as expected, with full capacity.

    The fact is solar lights that are placed outside will become filthy after some time, and that dirt will reduce their ability to generate the sun’s energy into electricity. Because of that, they will be less efficient for sure. To prevent that from happening, here is a detailed guide on how to clean solar lights properly.

    Solar Light Cleaning Guide

    Usually, there are three parts of solar lights that need to be cleaned. The most important one is a solar panel that dictates how much sunlight will be transformed into usable energy. If there is too much dirt, or the plastic that’s covering the panel is all cloudy, then it is definitely the right time for regular maintenance.

    clean, solar, lights, panels, cloudy

    Then there is the battery that can be subject to oxidation thanks to the moisture remaining on solar lights, and the light cover, as the third part, also needs some attention. Given that this piece is usually made of plastic or glass, it can also become filthy or stained after some time, so it won’t project as much light as it actually can.

    So here are the steps you can take in order to make sure every part is super clean and ready to deliver what it is supposed to deliver.

    Cleaning the Solar Panel

    Solar lights are almost always located on top of the solar lights since that is the most exposed place. They need to be placed in a way they can accumulate all the sunlight they can, and then transform it into the energy we can use.

    Given that solar panels are super sensitive, they are covered with plastic part than can protect them, but at the same time allow them to do their job. But that plastic can become dirty and cloudy thanks to the fact the light is placed outside, and lower the efficiency rate of that particular solar light.

    In order to clean the solar panel properly, you need to brush off the dirt that’s on top of it with a paper towel or some cloth, and then to wipe it thoroughly. If you notice some stains or cloudiness that simply won’t go away, you can use a bit of dish soap and water, but make sure to rub it gently. And don’t forget to remove the rest of the soap with the clean and dry cloth.

    Cleaning the Battery

    Yes, solar lights are designed in a way that allows them to be resistant to all weather conditions and to work well despite the snow, rain, storm, or extreme heat. But, if they are in a very humid environment, or they are exposed to heavy rain, it may happen that the wires or the battery inside start corroding. That’s because of the moisture accumulated inside of the solar housing.

    You need to check your battery from time to time and see if there are any traces of white powder. That’s corrosion, and you need to brush it off immediately. It should come off easily, but if that’s not happening, then use the fine-grit sandpaper.

    Don’t forget to clean the housing of the battery as well, and to check if it’s dry. It needs to be completely drily before replacing the battery in order to provide a safe and corrosion-free area.

    Cleaning the Light Cover

    Every solar light has a glass or plastic cap that serves as protection for the LED light. Since this part is surrounded by nature and exposed to different weather conditions too, after some time, debris or dirt will find its place on its surface or inside of the cover.

    Because of that, the emission of light will be weaker, so you need to clean it from time to time with a soft sponge and water. If it’s needed, you can also use dish soap, just like when cleaning a solar panel.

    Depending on the climate of the area you live in, you will have to do this more or less often. If, for example, you live in a place that’s surrounded by sand or has a lot of rainy days, you should clean your lights at least once a month.

    How Often Should Solar Lights Be Cleaned?

    There are no strict rules when it comes to this question, but, given that these lights are placed under the open sky, and that they are disclosed to every weather condition, it would be good to determine some kind of regular cleaning schedule.

    Solar panels should be checked and maintained quite often, for example, once a month just to make sure they are working properly. Batteries are not so demanding, so you can subject them to cleaning once in three months, and the light caps are somewhere in the middle regarding this topic.

    You should monitor their condition and do the work when it’s needed. That will be every two months, on average.

    How Much Time Does Cleaning Solar Lights Take?

    Those who do this kind of work regularly say it takes around 20 minutes to clean one light completely. But you need to bear in mind that in order to reach that speed you will need some practice and some time. Also, you will be pleased to hear that you will need just some basic tools like a screwdriver, soft brush, and paper towel.

    But solar lights can be very different, design and construction-wise, so make sure to have the instruction on how to disassemble and reassemble it without making a mistake.

    Why Is It Important?

    Let’s sum up things. It is crucial for you to clean each part of your outdoor solar light because of multiple reasons. First of all, you want your solar panel to accumulate and generate as much sunlight as possible into the electricity. If it’s dirty, it won’t be able to do that with full capacity.

    Second of all, you want your light to shine as bright as it can. In order to make sure it does its work, you have to make the light cover clean and non-cloudy. And the third thing is the battery. You should protect it from corrosion, so it has a long lifespan. So make sure this part is always clean too, and more importantly, dry.


    It’s really not so hard to keep your solar light functional and clean. It won’t take much time, and you don’t need some extra tools to do it properly.

    Don’t be lazy, it will save you a lot of money if you do this once in a while, and it will provide you with good and bright lighting in your backyard. Just have in mind that the average lifespan of a battery is two years, so you will need to replace it probably after that period of time.

    Also, in order to keep the solar panel well protected, you can apply clear nail polish on top of the plastic that covers it. That will keep this part safe from UV light.

    How to Clean Yellowed Plastic Solar Lights?

    If your solar lights have been outside for a while, then you might have noticed that their plastic components aren’t as pristine as they were. In fact, they may now be a yellowish color, making them visually unappealing.

    I found out that this is due to a process called oxidation which is common for plastic exposed to the elements such as my plastic garden solar lights. I also found out that not only are they unsightly, they can also compromise the structural integrity of the lights, greatly shortening their lifespan.

    Thankfully, restoring them to their former glory is easy as pie. Check out how to clean yellowed plastic solar lights in the tutorial below.

    What You Will Need

    Before we get into the process of removing the yellow stains, let us first enumerate the things we will need for this tutorial.

    • Cloth (2 pcs)
    • Sponge
    • Dish soap (a few drops)
    • Regular 3% hydrogen peroxide (1 gallon)
    • Oxy laundry booster (1/4 teaspoon)
    • Bowl of water
    • Another bowl for the peroxide or the same bowl without the water
    • Rubber gloves (1 pair)
    • UV light or sunlight
    • Paper towels
    • Plastic wrap (optional)
    • Tape (optional)

    Now that we have that clear, let’s move on to the tutorial itself.

    Restoring Your Yellowed Plastic Solar Lights

    Part 1: Cleaning the Surface of Your Lights

    Before we remove the stains, we first need to clean your solar lights first of any accumulated dirt and debris.

    • Wipe it with a dry cloth. Remove any loose dust or debris with a soft but dry cloth.
    • Dip your sponge in soapy water and wipe the plastic again. Make sure to wring out most of the water before doing so to avoid getting water inside the lights.
    • Repeat the cleaning process. Rinse the sponge and repeat the above step.
    • Pat it dry with a dry cloth. You can also allow it to air-dry or if you’re in a hurry, use another dry soft cloth to pat it dry.

    Cleaning your lights before you remove the stains ensures that there are no small debris or dust that can damage the surface of your solar lights.

    clean, solar, lights, panels, cloudy

    Part 2: Removing the Yellow Stained Appearance

    Once the surface of your lights is clean, you can now move on to removing the yellow stained appearance of your lights.

    clean, solar, lights, panels, cloudy
    • Safety first. Take the necessary safety precautions and wear your rubber gloves before handling anything. This is to prevent the peroxide from irritating your skin or causing an allergic reaction. It is, after all, still a chemical.
    • Fill your bowl with the hydrogen peroxide. Once you have taken the necessary safety precautions, you can now pour the hydrogen peroxide onto your bowl.
    • Add ¼ teaspoon of your oxygenated laundry booster per gallon of peroxide. Make sure you stick to this ratio as there might be negative chemical reactions should the ratio be off.
    • Wet your paper towel with the solution. Wet enough paper towels to cover the area you want to restore. Make sure that the paper towels are wrung out of any excess solution.
    • Flatten the paper towels and press them against your surface. The towels should stick on their own but you can use the plastic wrap and tape it in place if it doesn’t.
    • Keep it soaked for several hours under UV light/sunlight. Depending on just how stained your plastic lights are, the soaking time will vary. The average is around 2 to 6 hours and the solution itself is viable for up to 4 days before needing replacement. The UV light or sunlight can help speed up the whitening process.
    • Remove and rinse once it reaches the desired result. Make sure to remove any residual cleaning product on your lights by rinsing or wiping it carefully with a damp cloth or sponge. Should this not be enough, you can wash it with soapy water. Be careful not to get water inside as this can lead to electrical problems.

    If you need more information about solar light, we have a list of solar disk lights for your reference. Furthermore, check out the top-rated solar dock lights guide if you like.


    Did you enjoy this tutorial? Cleaning yellowed plastic solar lights is an important part of its maintenance and because I want my own set of lights to last a long time, I make sure to keep up with its cleaning to avoid excessive oxygenation once more.

    What about you? Did you try it? Was it effective? Let me know the results in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев and if it was effective, please feel free to share the knowledge with your family and friends.

    Solar Light Sensors: 5 Things The Experts Don’t Tell You

    Solar light sensor

    When it comes to solar lights, there’s a lot of information out there…but there are always little factoids and “ninja tips” that seem to not get passed around as often as they should. While I think you could probably scour the internet and troubleshooting manuals and find these tidbits of information I know it will be much more helpful to compile it into one place.

    If you’re interested in purchasing solar lighting I have several articles on this site that covers a wide range of topics, but here are a few little nuggets of info that may be helpful if you’ve already made a purchase!

    Can Solar Light Sensors Be Cleaned?

    In general, cleaning the sensors on your solar lights is a great idea that should be done fairly regularly. Cleaning dirt and grime off your solar light sensors every 3 months will maximize their effectiveness. That way, they’ll have a much longer lifespan overall.

    Solar light sensors sit inside a hard outer shell. The manufacturers who make them typically use clear plastic or glass that does a fantastic job protecting the component inside, even when you clean the sensor thoroughly.

    You should avoid scrubbing solar light sensors too hard despite that hard outer shell. Applying too much pressure will damage the solar light sensors and cause you more problems.

    So, when cleaning solar light sensors, use gentle cleaning supplies like:

    You can start by using a damp cloth to wipe away any loose dirt on the solar light sensor. Next, you can clean more stubborn stains with dishwashing soap and a sponge for gentle scrubbing.

    In more severe cases, you can use sandpaper to gently sand away all grime and dirt stuck on the surface of your solar light sensors. However, you should do so very carefully to avoid damaging those sensors.

    In most cases, a 3-month interval is enough to keep your solar light sensors clean and working efficiently. Still, there are some cases when you should do it more often.

    For example, solar lights under tree branches will often get covered with leaves, small branches, and tree sap. As a result, you’ll have to clean the sensors on those lights more frequently.

    Sun being blocked by clouds

    Do Solar Light Sensors Need Direct Sunlight?

    No, solar light sensors do not need direct sunlight to work. Instead, these kinds of sensors rely only on ambient light.

    For instance, when there’s little ambient light at dusk, the sensor will understand that it’s getting dark and activate your solar lights. That’s why covering the sensor with your finger will cause the solar light to turn on, regardless of what time of day it is.

    On the other hand, bright ambient light in the day will trigger the sensor to shut off the solar light.

    Will Solar Light Sensors Detect Artificial Light?

    In general, solar light sensors will detect artificial light and can even charge the light’s battery. However, since the lumens provided by artificial light are much lower than what is provided by natural sunlight your solar lights will charge much more slowly and the bulbs likely won’t burn as bright.

    That’s why the placement of your solar lights is quite essential. These lights shouldn’t be placed too close to any artificial lights sources that will affect their regular operation.

    For example, people typically place solar lights out in their garden where there is no conventional lighting. However, placing them under a street lamp or too close to your household’s outdoor lighting will prevent them from turning on even when it’s dark out.

    The reason for that is pretty straightforward, the solar light sensors think that it’s daytime because they’re picking up on the artificial lighting.

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