A Guide to Cleaning Your Solar Panels Safely

For the best solar energy production, solar panels need to be exposed to as much sunlight as possible. Dust and dirt can decrease the amount of light that the panels receive, which would reduce their effectiveness and dependability. Therefore, users of residential solar should understand how to maintain their solar panels. Read on for a short tutorial on how to clean solar panels safely.

Essentials for Safety & Cleaning

To maintain your solar panels without harming them, you'll need non-abrasive, and non-corrosive cleaning materials as well as other tools listed below:

  • An extension ladder, hard hat, and harness when working at an elevated height  
  • A sponge, soft cloth, soft bristle brush, and/or squeegee
  • A bucket of water or a garden hose connected to a tap
  • Gentle dish soap

Prior to Cleaning, Recognize the Risks

The two most significant things to think about before cleaning your solar panels are your safety and the safety of the PV modules. In particular, solar panels mounted on tall roofs present a personal safety risk of falling, which could lead to injuries such as broken bones, or even disability. For this reason, it is crucial to clean the panels while wearing safety gear comparable to that used for installation.

The integrity of the solar panels is also important. They can be easily damaged during cleaning because they are constructed of fragile materials like glass and other electrical parts. Reviewing the cleaning guidelines provided by the manufacturer and purchasing the appropriate cleaning supplies is advised.

To Clean Your Panels, Follow These Simple Steps:

First, disconnect the solar panels.

To avoid electric shock, the solar panels must be turned off before cleaning. Ensure that you completely turn off your solar PV system in accordance with the directions in your user handbook.

Second, clear out debris & dirt.

Your solar panels may be covered in dust, mud, and debris, blocking their exposure to sunlight and decreasing efficiency by up to 30%. Utilizing the soft bristle brush, remove the dirt and debris. To prevent breaking or scratching, use caution when brushing the glass of the panels. Gentile scrubbing may help with stubborn spots and filth.

The third step is to rinse the panels.

The solar panels must next be cleansed of any loose dirt and debris using water from a garden hose. It is best to use low water pressure while washing the dirt off your panels because powerful water jets might damage the delicate glass.

Fourth, scrub away difficult grime.

After the initial round of cleaning and rinsing, grime and difficult stains could still be present. Typically, it is effective to apply dish soap (or vinegar) to the panels and scrub away any stubborn stains with a soft brush and sponge. In order to get rid of the dirt and grime stuck in the solar panels' small crevices, it is a good idea to use a squeegee. Lastly, use the garden hose again to rinse the panels of the soap residue.

The last step is to test your system.

After cleaning, make sure the solar system is operating properly. Reconnect the solar panels to the home's electrical system and keep an eye on the energy output for a while. If after cleaning you notice any issues with your solar panels, it is smart to seek professional advice.

Still Need to Go Solar?

You should consider a DIY project if you've been interested in converting your home to solar power. By performing the installation yourself, you can save money on both the installation and your monthly electric costs. Start your project today with DIY Solar Power or reach out to one of our experts with any of your questions and we can guide you to the best options for your home.