Skip to content
How to clean your solar panels. Water solar cleaning

How to clean your solar panels. Water solar cleaning

    How to clean your solar panels

    While a solar energy system is generally a “set it and forget it” system that allows you to passively produce renewable energy for your home, you may need to freshen up your panels occasionally. While it’s not absolutely necessary to clean solar panels, you may be losing out on value and efficiency by not doing so. In this article, we’ll provide answers to some common questions solar panel system owners have about solar panel maintenance and how to perform it safely.

    Do I have to clean my solar panels?

    Your solar panels need to be exposed to sunlight in order to produce power. However, unless you live somewhere with high amounts of smog, dust, dirt, grime or sand blowing around, solar panel cleaning is generally not necessary. In most cases, occasional rain will be enough to naturally and safely keep your solar panels clean and free of debris that could lower production. But a good clean every once in a while can help to maximize your panel’s photovoltaic (PV) production. So if you need or want to clean your solar panels, we’re here to help you determine the best way to do it!

    Can I clean my solar panels myself?

    Just like washing your car, you can definitely DIY solar panel upkeep, but there are also professional solar panel cleaners to make it easier. In fact, for a small fee, your solar installer may even do it for you! If you have a rooftop system, it might be a good idea to enlist a cleaning service, if only for safety precautions. A professional solar panel cleaning company may not do a significantly different or better job than you can do yourself, but they are better equipped to safely clean and maintain rooftop units. For ground mount units, it may not be worth the service fee when you can safely and effectively clean your own panels with a water hose, some dish soap, and a soft rag.

    Types of of professional cleaning

    There are many different types of professional cleaning companies that can help you. Robotics companies use semi-autonomous machines to clean without as much direct personal work involved. Some maintenance companies also use soapless brushes and sponges to clean panels to avoid potentially harmful residues. Other high-tech cleaning options are in development including waterless vibration and nanoparticle coatings.

    Does your solar lease cover panel maintenance?

    If your panels are leased, solar lease agreements will often include a maintenance clause of some sort. Some companies will perform regular maintenance on their panels, including washing services, while others will just repair damages the customer reports. It’s important to remember that solar panels generally require little maintenance, and simply spraying your panels down with a hose occasionally can do the trick.

    How to clean solar panels

    Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your solar panels:

    • Shut off your solar panel system – this will help ensure your safety and that equipment is not damaged.
    • Use a soft brush to clean the surface of your dirty solar panels to remove any debris like dirt and dust.
    • When cleaning your panels with water, be sure to use a standard garden hose and soapy water. There’s no special cleaning solution you need to purchase to clean your panels, just regular dish soap will work perfectly. You should avoid using a high-pressure hose that you might use to do things like power washing your house, as they have the ability to create cracks or otherwise damage your system.
    • After you have finished the cleaning process, monitor energy output to see the difference in efficiency that cleaning has made!

    What should you use to clean your solar panels?

    When cleaning your solar panels, the most important consideration to keep in mind is that scratching or damaging the glass in any way will reduce a panel’s energy production. It’s best to approach panel cleaning the same way you might clean your car. Dish soap and clean water applied with a soft sponge or cloth is the safest and easiest cleaning method. It may also be helpful to use a squeegee to remove dirty water. Remember – avoid damaging or scratching the glass at all costs!

    On rare occasions, oily stains can appear on your panels. You might find these if you live near a common truck route or an airport, and they can be tackled with a little isopropyl alcohol and a rag. It’s essential that you avoid using strong cleaning detergents, as these can streak and damage the glass and impact panel efficiency.

    How often should you clean solar panels?

    The frequency of solar panel cleaning depends primarily on where you live:

    • In desert climates including the U.S. southwest, more regular cleaning is needed due to the large amount of dust and sand that could affect a solar energy system’s output.
    • Solar panels in polluted areas near highways, factories and airports should also be cleaned more frequently to avoid residue buildup from pollutants that could result from heavy machinery nearby.
    • In heavily wooded areas, solar panels should be frequently cleaned to prevent obstructions as a result of overgrown vegetation and bird droppings.

    Should you remove snow from your solar panels?

    In the winter, snow on solar panels generally doesn’t need to be removed – it will typically slide off on its own. Most panel installations are tilted at an angle, and snow will naturally slide off as it melts. If snow persists on your panels, you can also invest in tools like a solar panel snow rake, which makes it easy for homeowners to safely remove snow covering on solar panels. It’s important that you don’t use a standard broom, shovel, or another non-specialized tool to remove snow from panels, as they can scratch the panel glass and lower your solar power production.

    Frequently asked questions about solar panel cleaning

    Dish soap and a soft sponge or rag are the best thing to clean solar panels with.

    Yes, you can clean solar panels yourself by filling a bucket with water and using dish soap and a low pressure hose.

    Keeping your solar panels clean will not automatically void your warranty, but be sure to avoid using harsh chemicals and pressure washers or other water fed poles that could potentially crack or otherwise damage your panels. Improper cleaning practices do have the potential to void your warranty, so be sure to read the details before you jump into cleaning yourself.

    Windex is a cheap and widely available cleaner that is excellent for cleaning glass surfaces such as those on a solar panel to make sure they are running at maximum efficiency.

    While they may be good for cleaning other parts of your home, a pressure washer should never be used on solar panels to avoid damaging them and creating cracks.

    A professional cleaner may charge between 150 and 300 to clean solar panels. This varies widely on the type of panel, the degree of cleanliness and how many panels you have. Costs range from 15-30 per panel.

    While debris being cleaned off naturally by rain will help, making a concerted effort to clean your panels will lead to increased solar panel performance.

    It is recommended that you clean your solar panels every six months to a year in order to maximize the efficiency of your solar panels.

    Start your solar journey today with EnergySage

    The EnergySage Marketplace connects you with solar companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for, and invest in solar. Sign up today to see how much you could save with solar!

    reading on EnergySage

    Looking to go solar? Here’s everything you need to know in… Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared Are solar panels worth it in 2023? How to install solar panels Solar shingles: what you need to know in 2023

    About Jacob Marsh

    Jacob is an EnergySage writer with expertise in solar, electrification, and renewable energy. With over five years of experience researching and writing about the home energy industry (plus a degree in Geological Sciences from Tufts University), he brings a unique scientific approach to writing and investigating all things energy.

    How to clean your solar panels

    While a solar energy system is generally a “set it and forget it” system that allows you to passively produce renewable energy for your home, you may need to freshen up your panels occasionally. While it’s not absolutely necessary to clean solar panels, you may be losing out on value and efficiency by not doing so. In this article, we’ll provide answers to some common questions solar panel system owners have about solar panel maintenance and how to perform it safely.

    Do I have to clean my solar panels?

    Your solar panels need to be exposed to sunlight in order to produce power. However, unless you live somewhere with high amounts of smog, dust, dirt, grime or sand blowing around, solar panel cleaning is generally not necessary. In most cases, occasional rain will be enough to naturally and safely keep your solar panels clean and free of debris that could lower production. But a good clean every once in a while can help to maximize your panel’s photovoltaic (PV) production. So if you need or want to clean your solar panels, we’re here to help you determine the best way to do it!

    Can I clean my solar panels myself?

    Just like washing your car, you can definitely DIY solar panel upkeep, but there are also professional solar panel cleaners to make it easier. In fact, for a small fee, your solar installer may even do it for you! If you have a rooftop system, it might be a good idea to enlist a cleaning service, if only for safety precautions. A professional solar panel cleaning company may not do a significantly different or better job than you can do yourself, but they are better equipped to safely clean and maintain rooftop units. For ground mount units, it may not be worth the service fee when you can safely and effectively clean your own panels with a water hose, some dish soap, and a soft rag.

    Types of of professional cleaning

    There are many different types of professional cleaning companies that can help you. Robotics companies use semi-autonomous machines to clean without as much direct personal work involved. Some maintenance companies also use soapless brushes and sponges to clean panels to avoid potentially harmful residues. Other high-tech cleaning options are in development including waterless vibration and nanoparticle coatings.

    Does your solar lease cover panel maintenance?

    If your panels are leased, solar lease agreements will often include a maintenance clause of some sort. Some companies will perform regular maintenance on their panels, including washing services, while others will just repair damages the customer reports. It’s important to remember that solar panels generally require little maintenance, and simply spraying your panels down with a hose occasionally can do the trick.

    How to clean solar panels

    Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your solar panels:

    • Shut off your solar panel system – this will help ensure your safety and that equipment is not damaged.
    • Use a soft brush to clean the surface of your dirty solar panels to remove any debris like dirt and dust.
    • When cleaning your panels with water, be sure to use a standard garden hose and soapy water. There’s no special cleaning solution you need to purchase to clean your panels, just regular dish soap will work perfectly. You should avoid using a high-pressure hose that you might use to do things like power washing your house, as they have the ability to create cracks or otherwise damage your system.
    • After you have finished the cleaning process, monitor energy output to see the difference in efficiency that cleaning has made!
    clean, your, solar, panels, water

    What should you use to clean your solar panels?

    When cleaning your solar panels, the most important consideration to keep in mind is that scratching or damaging the glass in any way will reduce a panel’s energy production. It’s best to approach panel cleaning the same way you might clean your car. Dish soap and clean water applied with a soft sponge or cloth is the safest and easiest cleaning method. It may also be helpful to use a squeegee to remove dirty water. Remember – avoid damaging or scratching the glass at all costs!

    On rare occasions, oily stains can appear on your panels. You might find these if you live near a common truck route or an airport, and they can be tackled with a little isopropyl alcohol and a rag. It’s essential that you avoid using strong cleaning detergents, as these can streak and damage the glass and impact panel efficiency.

    How often should you clean solar panels?

    The frequency of solar panel cleaning depends primarily on where you live:

    • In desert climates including the U.S. southwest, more regular cleaning is needed due to the large amount of dust and sand that could affect a solar energy system’s output.
    • Solar panels in polluted areas near highways, factories and airports should also be cleaned more frequently to avoid residue buildup from pollutants that could result from heavy machinery nearby.
    • In heavily wooded areas, solar panels should be frequently cleaned to prevent obstructions as a result of overgrown vegetation and bird droppings.

    Should you remove snow from your solar panels?

    In the winter, snow on solar panels generally doesn’t need to be removed – it will typically slide off on its own. Most panel installations are tilted at an angle, and snow will naturally slide off as it melts. If snow persists on your panels, you can also invest in tools like a solar panel snow rake, which makes it easy for homeowners to safely remove snow covering on solar panels. It’s important that you don’t use a standard broom, shovel, or another non-specialized tool to remove snow from panels, as they can scratch the panel glass and lower your solar power production.

    Frequently asked questions about solar panel cleaning

    Dish soap and a soft sponge or rag are the best thing to clean solar panels with.

    Yes, you can clean solar panels yourself by filling a bucket with water and using dish soap and a low pressure hose.

    Keeping your solar panels clean will not automatically void your warranty, but be sure to avoid using harsh chemicals and pressure washers or other water fed poles that could potentially crack or otherwise damage your panels. Improper cleaning practices do have the potential to void your warranty, so be sure to read the details before you jump into cleaning yourself.

    Windex is a cheap and widely available cleaner that is excellent for cleaning glass surfaces such as those on a solar panel to make sure they are running at maximum efficiency.

    While they may be good for cleaning other parts of your home, a pressure washer should never be used on solar panels to avoid damaging them and creating cracks.

    A professional cleaner may charge between 150 and 300 to clean solar panels. This varies widely on the type of panel, the degree of cleanliness and how many panels you have. Costs range from 15-30 per panel.

    While debris being cleaned off naturally by rain will help, making a concerted effort to clean your panels will lead to increased solar panel performance.

    It is recommended that you clean your solar panels every six months to a year in order to maximize the efficiency of your solar panels.

    Start your solar journey today with EnergySage

    The EnergySage Marketplace connects you with solar companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for, and invest in solar. Sign up today to see how much you could save with solar!

    reading on EnergySage

    Looking to go solar? Here’s everything you need to know in… Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared Are solar panels worth it in 2023? How to install solar panels Solar shingles: what you need to know in 2023

    About Jacob Marsh

    Jacob is an EnergySage writer with expertise in solar, electrification, and renewable energy. With over five years of experience researching and writing about the home energy industry (plus a degree in Geological Sciences from Tufts University), he brings a unique scientific approach to writing and investigating all things energy.

    Solar Cleaner 500ml

    Solar Cleaner is a concentrated universal cleaner specifically designed for solar thermal systems, by removing degraded solar heat transfer fluids, sludge and blockages. This product rapidly restores efficiency to existing solar thermal systems.

    Fernox Solar Cleaner is compatible for use with all materials commonly used in solar thermal installations.

    • A concentrated universal cleaner designed for solar thermal systems.
    • Removes degraded solar heat transfer fluids and sludge
    • Clears blockages quickly
    • Restores efficiency of existing systems
    • Non-foaming formulation for fast, easy removal from the system after use. Available as 500ml product.
    • Suitable for use with all makes and models of solar thermal systems

    Application, Fitting Dosing

    Solar Cleaner is suitable for use within solar thermal installations that conform to BS EN 12976 and BS 5918. Drain the system of solar fluid from the lowest point on the system into a suitable container for disposal. Fernox Solar Cleaner is supplied as a concentrate and should be diluted with mains or demineralised water using one bottle for every 25 litres. Refill the system with cleaner solution and circulate for at least 30 minutes. Drain or pump the used cleaner to a suitable container for disposal. Refill the system with water and circulate for 5-10 minutes to remove residual cleaner from the system and dispose. After flushing, the pH of the mains water and the final flushing water should be the same. If the mains water pH is lower then repeat flushing procedure. When the flushing procedure is complete, ensure that all pipes are drained so no water remains in the circuit, before filling with Fernox Solar S1 fluid.

    Package, Handling Safety

    Fernox Solar Cleaner is supplied as a concentrate in 500 ml bottles.

    Fernox Solar Cleaner is classified as non-hazardous, but as with all chemicals, keep out of reach of children. Dispose of degraded thermal fluids and used cleaner solution according to local regulations.

    Physical Specification / Properties

    A concentrated aqueous solution of specifically formulated cleaners and inhibitors. Appearance: Clear, colourless liquid Odour: Slight SG: 1.04 pH [conc] 7.3

    Cleaning Solar Panels With Vinegar In 9 Steps

    Vinegar isn’t a great disinfectant but works wonders for cleaning solar panel glass. It will break down dust and debris buildup leaving your solar panels good as new!

    Many people keep vinegar in their cleaning supply closet for everyday tasks around the house. It’s considered safe for most surfaces. Before using vinegar to clean your solar panel glass, you should ask if it’s truly safe. Damaged solar panels can cost a lot to replace!

    In this article, I share how safe it is to use vinegar on solar panel glass, explain the best method, and list the pros and cons of vinegar as a cleaning agent.

    clean, your, solar, panels, water

    Is It Safe To Clean Solar Panels With Vinegar?

    It is safe to use vinegar to clean your solar panels. Your panels should be just fine and cleaner than ever before!

    Vinegar is actually considered safer than other options like detergents, regular soaps, and hard chemicals.

    Just be sure to use cleaning vinegar instead of the regular cooking vinegar you can buy in grocery stores. Cooking vinegar has much more acid, harming your solar panels.

    If you’re still unsure, diluting the vinegar in some water could make it a little weaker. This will ensure that nothing gets damaged, and the water adds a little extra cleaning power.

    How To Use Vinegar to Clean Solar Panels

    Step 1: Get Your Supplies Ready

    • White cleaning vinegar
    • Mineral-free/ deionized water
    • A hose or bucket
    • A soft cloth or window cleaner

    Ensure you have the right vinegar before you start. Dilute your vinegar with some deionized water (mineral-free) to prevent any marks or damage on your panels.

    Step 2: Fix Any Cracks on Your Solar Panels

    Hosing your solar panels off with water or vinegar could be catastrophic if there are small cracks in the glass. The water could slip through and damage your solar panel cells or wiring.

    Check the manual for ways to repair these cracks or send the solar panel in to have it checked out and fixed.

    Step 3: Wipe Your Solar Panels Down Manually

    Use your hands to carefully wipe off leaves, branches, and other large pieces of dirt. Then, use a cloth or window cleaning device to physically wipe down the glass surface.

    This should remove all the dust and dirt that has accumulated over time. It may turn into mud if you simply add water before wiping it down.

    Step 4: Wash Your Solar Panels With Water

    Using a hose may be quicker to complete this step, but you can use a bucket of water too. Simply spray the surface with water to ensure that you have removed all of the dirt.

    You could scratch your solar panels if you start rubbing or wiping the glass with vinegar water before removing all the dirt.

    Step 5: Make A Diluted Vinegar Mixture

    Use mineral-free water to dilute your vinegar. If you’re working with many solar panels and large amounts of cleaning fluids, use the following ratio:

    1 cup vinegar: 8 cups mineral-free water.

    Do not add anything else to the mixture.

    Step 6: Use The Vinegar Mixture To Cover The Surface of Your Solar Panels

    Don’t pour a whole bottle of pure vinegar over your solar panels. Use a misting bottle or soft cloth to add diluted vinegar to the glass surface.

    You should cover the entire solar panel surface with vinegar water.

    Step 7: Wipe The Solar Panel Glass Again

    Use a new, clean cloth to give the glass surface of your solar panels another wipe.

    Vinegar breaks down dirt layers even further. There should be some dirt on the cloth you overlooked on the solar panel.

    Step 8: Use Water To Clean Your Solar Panels Again

    This is a repeat of step 4. You should only be hosing off the surface or using a bucket to pour clean water over it.

    Step 9: Leave Your Solar Panels to Dry Before Setting It Back Up

    You won’t be able to use your solar panels for another hour after completing step 8. They need to properly dry to prevent damage due to wetness.

    The Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar to Clean Solar Panels

    The Pros of Using Vinegar to Clean Solar Panels

    • Vinegar contains acid, making it a better cleaning agent than most others.
    • It’s eco-friendly since it doesn’t contain ingredients that can harm animals or the environment.
    • Vinegar is simple to use for cleaning and doesn’t make bubbles or foam that’s challenging to soak up.
    • Vinegar doesn’t leave dirt or streaks on solar panels.
    • You won’t be left with a rusty solar panel. Vinegar doesn’t harm the materials that it’s made of.
    • There is almost no cheaper option, except for water by itself.

    The Cons of Using Vinegar to Clean Solar Panels

    • You have to use mineral-free water to dilute vinegar. If you don’t, your solar panels may end up full of streaks.
    • Cleaning solar panels with vinegar require a lot of steps. It can take some time to perform them all.
    • The wrong vinegar can damage your panels. You need to be 100% sure you have the right one.

    Vinegar vs. Other Cleaning Products

    Vinegar is considered the best cleaning product to use on your solar panels. It contains acid that literally eats through all of the dirt on them.

    It’s better than regular soap and water since vinegar doesn’t leave an invisible layer of dirt or soap on your panels. It’s also cheaper than this option.

    Soap and water can also leave streaks on your panel glass, and the wrong detergent will probably leave stains. However, soap is still a better option than hard chemicals.

    Final Words

    Vinegar is cost-effective and delivers excellent cleaning results. Because of its acidic nature, vinegar is great at breaking down and lifting dirt and dust from surfaces for an effortless wipe.

    I hope this article was helpful and that you feel confident using vinegar to clean your solar panels. If you have more questions, ask them in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *